How to regain weight lost through misery?
September 30, 2007 5:31 AM   Subscribe

Help a broken-hearted bloke gain back some of the weight I've lost due to breakup-related depression.

You might have been there before - I actually haven't. She was my first love and the end has hit me really, really hard. I've been trying to make a real effort to eat and sleep, but having returned to university after a difficult summer, all my friends have noticed that I'm even skinnier than before and people are worried about me. I don't want to ask for breakup advice, I've read all the threads. But I think I'd feel a lot better if I could look in the mirror and not see such an emaciated and pitiful figure.

Eating more's a no brainer, but I seem to get full so quickly now that I can't finish most meals when I sit down to eat. Is there a proven way of "training" my stomach to fit more again? What foods and drinks should I be going for? Perhaps a supplement?

I really think that "regaining my figure" is an important step in moving on. Not that I feel ready for that, but that's no reason not to take care of myself.

Thanks in advance for any help.
posted by Ted Maul to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Do you exercise? Some exercise will help get your appetite back plus you'd probably rather gain muscle than just get fat.

Plus exercise will probably help lift your spirits.

Good luck.
posted by GuyZero at 5:39 AM on September 30, 2007

Any good health food shop will sell all kinds of meal supplements. A good one is Myoplex, which can be used either as a meal replacement for weight loss or a supplement for people training or trying to gain weight. One sachet made up with water is around 280 calories. If you mix it with milk, it'll be double that. A couple of those a day and you should start to gain back a few pounds. The vanilla is very sweet, the chocolate is good.

I also second the exercise - it'll get the endorphins pumping and will help your depression as well as increase your appetite.

Oh, and donuts too. It's deep-fried cake drenched in sugar. No other food is guaranteed to add weight more quickly, as any dieter will tell you.
posted by essexjan at 5:49 AM on September 30, 2007

Here's a guide to healthy weight gain, there's a lot more like that through google.
posted by jacalata at 5:52 AM on September 30, 2007

Ted, I went through this, and it was exacerbated by chronic stomach pain. I found drinking nutrition shakes was a huge help. (Ensure etc.) They're kind of gross but at least you won't waste away any more.

Good luck.
posted by miss tea at 5:54 AM on September 30, 2007

I agree with essexjan. Have a pastry or a croissant for breakfast. You'll see the pounds creep back.

Add a little more fat if you can. If you like a turkey sandwich with mustard, add mayo and cheese. Have a few bites of ice cream here and there when you can tolerate it. Use full-fatted cream in your coffee. Instead of vinaigrette, choose the creamy Italian or blue cheese. Cheese, of course. Instead of a salad for lunch make something more substantial, like an egg salad with mayo or a BLT with mayo.

Cranberry juice is loaded with calories; have juice instead of water. I remember reading this is what the supermodel Stephanie Seymour used to gain weight. Cranberry juice and ice cream milkshakes.
posted by LoriFLA at 6:40 AM on September 30, 2007

You may need to put on some fat, but you'd probably gain more confidence from packing on some muscle.
posted by mpls2 at 6:46 AM on September 30, 2007

How about small regular meals? When I was trying to gain weight I would eat something small every two to three hours, since I didn't have the time (or interest) to eat larger quantities 3 times a day.

also n-thing the exercise. You want to gain weight but you don't want to gain fat. It is also good for your appetite and its energizing!

Best of luck! In a few months you will be lookin good, eatin good and feelin good! We are all 100% behind you here!
posted by bitteroldman at 6:56 AM on September 30, 2007

Find a girl who likes skinny guys. They are out there, for sure.

Take it from an old hand. Don't let a woman fuck you up for more than 3 months before you get back in the saddle. Nothing restores the heart like the vengeance of doing better the next time. And as young as you are -- this was your first real love, you say -- get used to it. You gotta get your heart broken a few times (every decade) or you ain't living.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:59 AM on September 30, 2007

Exercise - get a bike. Cheers you up and makes you hungry.
posted by ComfySofa at 7:43 AM on September 30, 2007

posted by breakfast_yeti at 8:23 AM on September 30, 2007

If you're looking to gain weight that will make you look better, you should lift weights. Cardio will make you skinnier, but weight training plus cardio, or just lifting will put muscle on your frame. Heavy weights, not light weights, and slow and controlled movements. Have someone who knows what they're doing show you proper form.

You'll look great in no time. It's always annoyed me how quickly boys can shape up; girls have to work at it comparably forever in order to show any improvement.
posted by buka at 8:29 AM on September 30, 2007

Cooking classes.

1) You get to eat delicious food.
2) You might meet someone there.
3) If you don't, you'll be able to impress someone else with your cooking skills.
posted by stereo at 8:35 AM on September 30, 2007

If you're looking to gain weight that will make you look better, you should lift weights. Cardio will make you skinnier, but weight training plus cardio, or just lifting will put muscle on your frame. Heavy weights, not light weights, and slow and controlled movements. Have someone who knows what they're doing show you proper form.

You cannot gain weight just by lifting unless you eat. Just as ladies won't get hyooje by lifting heavy and nothing else, neither will gentlemen. But lifting while you try to gain this weight is a good idea. Lifting is almost always a good idea. Just realize that you will have to eat even more calories to realize any weight gain if you add exercise.
Personally, if I just wanted to get a lot of calories fast, milkshake milkshake milkshake. Liquid calories in general don't make you feel as full, so they might be a good way to get started until your stomach stretches back to its normal size. Maybe try something like muscle milk if you want something a little better than an ice cream milkshake.
posted by ch1x0r at 9:43 AM on September 30, 2007


google: "He is reely becoming a big man cat --- he's HYOOJE and he keeps gayning wate. ... That wuld eggsplain why he's so HYOOJE!"

posted by StickyCarpet at 9:55 AM on September 30, 2007

Been there Oh So Many Times. I'm a naturally skinny guy - 6'3" and about 160 lbs right now. Pretty heavy for me. My natural weight seems to be about 150 lbs. I'm 38, btw. There's no easy answer for this. I know that people will advise you to eat this or eat that, but I know from experience that no matter what I eat (and I normally eat a lot) and no matter how many hours I spend at the gym lifting, I'm just never going to be anything other than skinny.

I go through the same thing when I am depressed - the thought of food just does nothing for me and I have to force myself to eat just to avoid wasting away to nothing. It's probably not the healthiest thing, but a couple of big snickers bars a day is something to which I fall back on from time to time. And pasta drenched in some nice olive oil. But when I'm depressed, I can't bring myself to eat more than small portions. I would'nt worry about the health effects since this will hopefully be a short term thing. Eat whatever you feel like, or if you don't feel like eating anything at all, force down some ice cream or cake, just for the calories. And the best medicine is to get over her. Think of it like this:
If she doesn't want to be with you, she must be insane, and do you want an insane girlfriend?
Usually works for me. Or get out there and drown yourself in bimbos for a little while - they'r no good for the long run but can go a long way to repairing that broken heart.
posted by conifer at 10:06 AM on September 30, 2007

Sorry you're feeling this way. I lose my appetite when stressed and/or heartbroken and sometimes its gotten out of hand. Little and often is a good rule - give yourself something small to eat five or six times a day. As a last resort meal replacement drinks like ensure or some of the athlete-orientated drinks work okay, but try to eat solid food first. Don't forget a vitamin supplement. Good luck, I hope you feel better soon.
posted by poissonrouge at 11:01 AM on September 30, 2007

n'thing the exercise suggestions. Just trying to eat more while you still feel crap is pointless. Exercise will stimulate your appetite - particularly swimming. You'll feel better about yourself, and you will start to eat more naturally.

Don't stress about the weight loss. You're in an infinitely better position than the bazillion people out there who react to emotional stress by sitting in front of the telly hoovering up ice-cream. It's much easier for a too-skinny person to feel breat by exercising a bit and eating more than it is for a fat person to feel good by exercising more and eating less!
posted by tim_in_oz at 4:59 PM on September 30, 2007

Go, with a friend, and drink a delicious shake or smoothie. If it's the former, make sure it has ample hot fudge. post-illness shakes at the soda fountain were wonderful for gaining weight and feeling better.
posted by melissam at 5:37 PM on September 30, 2007

$100 on ebay will get you a set of foldable weights. Spend an hour every evening just pumping. Saturday nights, go out with or without any friends you may or ma not have, and try as hard as possible to talk to the laaadies. Just talk for now, since you're not yet ready for a new one. Just NEVER mention her to them.

After 4 weeks, you'll be fine.
posted by markovich at 7:14 PM on September 30, 2007

An extra 500 calories a day should see you gain a pound per week. Try a couple of chocolate bars during the day, or a large coffee, one of the super sugary fatty ones. I do also agree about the exercise, do some walking, it helps me straighten my thoughts.
posted by tomble at 5:29 AM on October 1, 2007

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