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Obesity and Weight Management

Effects of sudden weight gain.

11/30/2007

Question:

Hi- I am a college student and I have question about the sudden weight gain. Since I`m living in dorm in my freshmen yr - I was stressed getting freshmen fifteen and because of limited myself too much - I started to have binge eating habit eventually. Sometimes, i ate all cakes (about 4 pieces.) and eat nothing else- and I ate 2meals amount at one meal. I felt pain in my stomach and I wanted to throw up but I couldn`t.

I think i used eating as an escape ... all stressful thing from studying and getting fat... About 2 months repeating this cycle now- I gained 4-5 pounds and my skins are all being expand- like a ballooon-! I`m so worried about my health statue and (not about the weight) like blood pressure and all that stuff.. Is there any solution to my position?

Answer:

Starting college can be exciting and very stressful at the same time.  Your living environment, daily schedule, and food availability all change and can lead to sudden weight gain.  Binge eating can occur when meals are skipped and may lead to:

When you have periods of food restriction, your body thinks it is being starved.  As a consequence, your body stores up energy when you binge eat, protecting itself from future food restriction.  This may be why your skin feels like it "expanded like a balloon."

A possible solution to your problem would be to consume a balanced diet which contains appropriate types and amounts of food to supply nutrition and energy for your body.  The diet should include at least 3 meals a day and healthy snacking between meals.  Aim to get a variety of all food groups: dairy, fruit, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. 

For more information on a balanced diet, visit the website ChooseMyPlate.gov.  Try keeping an exercise and food journal of what you eat and how you feel at that time.  This may be insightful and show you what emotions trigger your eating patterns and enable you to take control of your diet.  Exercise is a great stress-reliever.  Often by adding regular exercise individuals are able to eliminate mindless or boredom eating, but you will not recognize the benefits of exercise if you do not track it so you know what you have done.

By planning your eating and exercising, you should see improvements in how you feel, and you should see your weight decrease, too.  Thank you for your question. 

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Response by:

Shirley A Kindrick, PhD Shirley A Kindrick, PhD
Team Leader of Comprehensive Weight Management
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University