Ask Jigsaw: Afraid of gaining weight

Ask Jigsaw: Afraid of gaining weight

Friday, 11 September 2020

I’m not able to eat enough food during the day. I have seen things saying that a young person should eat about 2000 calories a day but if I do that, I gain weight and that makes me feel terrible but I want to grow. What should I do? 

– Hello  


There are lots of opinions about how many calories someone should eat. With so much information available, it can be very confusing to figure out how much food is a healthy amount to consume.  

How much to eat

The amount of food we need depends on things like our activity levels, lifestyle and our natural appetiteOur body takes this into account, and communicates how much food we need by sending us hunger signals. 

Not eating when we are hungry can make us feel exhausted. Our bodies need food as fuel to grow and repair. It sounds like you’re aware of this, but the fear of gaining weight is stopping you from eating when you want to.    

Jigsaw clinician
Many people are led to believe that they can only be happy if their bodies are a certain shape.


There is a lot of pressure to be a certain size. Many people are led to believe that they can only be happy if their bodies are a certain shape. In reality, happiness does not come from appearance. There are so many more important things that are valuable about you.  

Getting support

Figuring out our thoughts around body image and food can be a lot to do by ourselves. It would be a good idea to speak to a trusted family member or friend who can support you to make a plan to deal with this. There are professional supports available to you too. 

Bodywhys is a charity that provides a lot of information about restrictive eating and they also provide online support 

Thank you for reaching out and I hope you can take the next step of opening up to someone about what is going on for you.

Take care,  


Jigsaw clinician

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