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  • Helly Barnes

Aim For Overshoot To Overcome an Eating Disorder? Introducing the Book

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

My second book is available to buy now. It's called 'Aiming for Overshoot' and it is a complementary handbook that you can either read alongside my first book, 'Addicted to Energy Deficit' or independently of it. Aiming for Overshoot provides practical information and tools, as well as motivation and inspiration to empower you to do all you need to do to overcome the challenging thoughts, emotions, physical changes and life obstacles that make finding freedom from a restrictive eating disorder so hard. It is a book to dip in and out of when you are feeling stuck with something in your process to bash the eating disorder out of your life or when you need a little bit of reassurance or motivation to keep going. Nothing is a magic pill that will make overcoming an eating disorder suddenly feel easy but I hope that the book might help, even if just a smidgeon!

You might though be wondering why I called the book 'Aiming for Overshoot' and why you would ever consider reading a book that sounds like it advocates doing the very thing that strikes terror into your heart.

To help you understand the credibility behind the idea of actively pursuing overshoot to overcome a restrictive eating disorder let’s go back to some neurobiology.

Why Aim for Overshoot - A Physical Requirement

One of the key reasons that overshoot can be so important to overcoming a restrictive eating disorder is that 'fat overshoot' is almost certainly a pre-requisite to get you out of the current state of energy deficit that your brain is addicted to. My first book, Addicted to Energy Deficit, explains why your body goes through a process of fat overshoot when it’s restoring from a semi-starved state and that this fat overshoot is necessary to ensure your body can fully restore and repair all lean tissues. Only when your body has fully gained both fat and lean tissue stores will your brain recognise that you are in energy balance. It's only once you are back in energy balance that you finally reach a physical state that will allow you to also fully overcome the eating disorder on a brain-based level. Without the fat overshoot, you don't escape energy deficit and so won't overcome the eating disorder.

Why Aim for Overshoot - Brain Reprogramming

The other critical aspect to overcoming a restrictive eating disorder is brain reprogramming. The brain networks that have become deeply embedded over the years of your addiction to the pursuit of energy deficit need to be unwired and your brain needs to wire in new circuits that will drive behaviours of unrestricted eating without compulsions to compensate. A detailed neuroscience-based explanation for why the best method to fully reprogram your brain is by full abstinence from restrictive eating and all the eating disorder behaviours is in Addicted to Energy Deficit (and briefly covered in earlier blog posts on this site).

But, how do you abstain from the eating disorder and energy deficit? Well, as discussed in this post, you stop behaving like someone aiming to lose or closely control their weight and start acting like someone who wants to gain weight. If you are actively aiming to gain weight then you will do all the things that are most beneficial to your brain rewiring process. For example, you will eat frequently and abundantly with foods that are dense and high in calories and fats while not doing anything that will unnecessarily expend energy because you can’t afford to waste it.

When you are deliberately aiming for overshoot, you essentially take on the necessary abstinence mindset that will get you where you need to be—towards a brain that is reprogramming very effectively as your body restores and fully emerges from energy deficit. In this way, you address both sides of the process together, with quicker and more effective results.

And staying with some neuroscience for a moment longer—when you are fully focused and determined on overshoot, your brain will recognise this deliberate pursuit and pay more attention to what you are doing. Therefore, your brain will notice that these behaviours in pursuit of weight gain are intentional and is more likely to recognise them as a good thing, making it more likely that your deep learning (or rewiring) process occurs more rapidly and that the new developing brain circuits become stronger and deeper.

Why Else Should You Aim for Overshoot?

Perhaps you are reading this and were intrigued by the title of this post or of the book because you have been through eating disorder treatment or attempted to overcome the eating disorder yourself (even multiple times) and haven't yet reached the freedom you know is out there. You know there has to be a way to overcome this eating disorder but the approaches you have tried haven’t felt quite right or ever taken you far enough, leaving you stuck or sliding backwards each time.

The old saying that, 'If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got', is true. Why would the outcome be different if you keep pursuing recovery in ways you have before?

Perhaps deep down, no matter how terrified you might also be, you know that it’s time to try an approach that might seem extreme but perhaps that's because you also have a gut feeling that it might actually work.

Finally, I suspect that you are intrigued by this idea of pursuing weight gain to the point of fat overshoot because, as uncomfortable as you are with this level of weight gain, at a deeper level, you want to move past the aversion to gaining weight. You want to eat all the food you are hungry for and to rest your weary body and mind in ways that might make you gain weight but that will also come with intense relief because you no longer have to spend every day hungry, cold and driven.. and very likely feeling lost, isolated and alone.

The people who do overcome restrictive eating disorders empower themselves. They develop tools and find support to break eating disorder habits and restrictive eating patterns in more complete and 'feck-it style' ways than those who don’t. They let the weight gain happen, accepting overshoot, without attempting to manipulate it, even if at first they struggle with their changing body. They hold on and push through. They learn that life is so much better in a body that’s no longer in energy deficit and when their minds are free to live with more authenticity than was ever possible with the eating disorder.

You can have this too.

Become empowered and aim for overshoot!

Interested in picking up a copy of,

Aiming for Overshoot—The Handbook You Need to Overcome a Restrictive

Eating Disorder & Addiction to Energy Deficit?

Find out more by clicking here and find the book available to buy on Amazon and most online book retailers around the world.

And my first book,

'Addicted to Energy Deficit - A Neuroscience Based Guide to Restrictive Eating Disorders' is also available to buy now.

If you like to listen, as well as (or instead of read!) then this blog post is the transcript of a podcast episode which you will find on my podcast series,

available on this website, all mainstream podcast platforms and on YouTube.


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