Eating Disorder Recovery Recovery Motivation Restriction & Fear Foods Rewiring / Neuroplasticity Weight Changes

Seeking reassurance about ‘overshoot’?

The most searched for and read posts on this blog are my posts about overshoot weight and set point weight. Perhaps this should not be surprising as people with eating disorders are scared of weight gain and so seeking information about the weight they are gaining or have gained is probably to be expected. However, noticing these trends in the website statistics made me really reflect on what people are really seeking when they search for these posts and what sort of mindset is driving it.

Ultimately, in my mind, seeking reassurance about overshoot weight and when it will come down is not really letting the eating disorder go or truly accepting weight gain.

When you are seeking answers about how much ‘overshoot’ weight you might gain and how long it could take before it tapers down to your ‘set point weight’, with a hope in your heart that your weight will drop again, you are ultimately still holding onto the mindset that weight gain is a bad thing that is to be avoided and that weight loss is desirable.

With this mindset, you are simply coming from a space of fat phobia even if that’s only internalised (i.e. it is fine for other people to be in bigger bodies but not you!).

The other risk is that while still holding onto the desire for overshoot weight to go down, almost subconscious disordered behaviours can creep back in and when they result in some weight loss, you convince yourself and others that this is just the overshoot weight finally tapering down and avoid the truth (that the ED is worsening). Sadly, I’ve seen this happen time and again in others!

Always Question Weight Loss Or Body Changes In Recovery

When in or post recovery, any weight loss or body shape changes (in a downward direction) should be questioned.

Have you started to restrict again (without realising)? Are you eating less because life has become busy or is the movement or exercise creeping back up?

If you have any doubts that downward weight changes are not purely natural, then address them by eating more and resting more again…

After all, if you really are on the path to recovery, then eating more food or resting and doing other things that are ED bashing, even though they might lead to weight gain, won’t actually be an ongoing fear will they?!?

On the other hand, if you are 100% sure that you are not restricting and haven’t let any more disordered behaviours back into your life and that your weight is naturally dropping regardless then fine, it’s very likely that your body has reached the weight it needed to be and has completed all the internal repairs and it is now trusting you enough to settle at your set point.

Feel free to celebrate your recovery at this stage because that is a huge, huge achievement but please don’t celebrate or shout about your overshoot weight loss.

Publicly Celebrating Overshoot Weight Loss Reinforces Fat Phobia

The more people who publicly celebrate their loss of overshoot weight, the more the belief that weight loss is a good thing is reinforced. And I think we all know that the belief in our culture that weight loss is a positive is what drives the very dangerous, diet obsessed and fat phobic culture we live in. If you are reading this then you probably know first hand the tragic consequences of such a culture, so please don’t exacerbate it!

Work On Your Fears Of Overshoot

Ultimately, it is my belief that fears of overshoot and concerns about when it will stop or drop down are sadly just signs that the eating disorder is lingering and there is still work to do to mentally heal and overcome ongoing fears and discomfort with weight gain (and I get that, I really do, so this is not me judging anyone else!).

Like so much in recovery, we all have to learn to recognise the disordered thoughts and change them. It is learning to meet those thoughts questioning overshoot and when it might stop and instead learn to say, ‘who cares?’ and put our focus on the positives that are coming from being in recovery.

Avoid continuing to engage in the waltz with these eating disordered thoughts.  Learn instead to accept and appreciate your body at any weight and the freedoms in recovery that can be gained, when you chill out about the weight thing and embrace living instead!!

I have now trained as a coach and mentor, working with people who are overcoming eating disorders, disordered eating or low body confidence. If you are interested in knowing more about my coaching work, then please take a look at my coaching website:

2 replies on “Seeking reassurance about ‘overshoot’?”

Hi. Your work is helpful, thank you. I have been in recovery since 11/2019 and I’ve been at a settled weight for almost 2 years. I’m unhappy with this weight, considered to have obesity now and it appears I have insulin resistance as well. My blood sugar and insulin are always a bit high. I’m super frustrated because unrestricted eating feels irresponsible to my health but restricting feels impossible anymore. Are there any resources about how to deal with this situation I’m in? I can’t seem to find anything and I’m afraid I might be stuck in quasi recovery forever


Hi there and thank you for your comment and question.
To be honest I don’t know of any specific resources around your question with recovery and insulin resistance. But I would say that being considered to have ‘obesity’ now, as you say, is a culture we live in that has a false impression of what healthy body shapes and sizes are and that is not taking account of body diversity and that people are supposed to come in bigger bodies. If your body is bigger with recovery, then that is because it is the body size that is right for you.
Restriction would send you straight back into the eating disorder and if you have worked hard to get out of the ED then you can’t afford to go back there. And it is not necessary at all.
Diabetes / insulin resistance is very likely to be caused more by factors such as stress, lack of sleep, lack of daylight and other factors that are so much more prevalent in our culture today and known to impact on the body and insulin function than it is to be attributed to diet or weight.
I would say you need to keep eating unrestrictedly, stay firmly in recovery, accept your body at the weight it needs to be for you to be recovered but focus on ensuring you find ways to address stress in your life, get enough sleep and ensure you get daylight each day. xx


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