Extreme hunger. It’s real! I am writing this, as back when I was going through it, I searched Google, looked through every blog post, looked at forums and watched as many videos as I could. It’s a scary yet somewhat freeing thing to go through.
First of all, extreme hunger is NORMAL when you’ve restricted. Here’s some information about it:
‘You will most likely experience extreme hunger in eating disorder recovery. You eat, eat, eat and never seem to get full. You may be physically full but still feel you want to eat more! You feel like a crazy Foodzilla who is about to make an end to the world’s food supply.
The normal amount of food seems to not satisfy you (even the 2500-3000 calorie recovery recommendations) and you think you just have a binge eating disorder! You feel hungry, but not hungry. You feel “empty”, but you know that you are physically full. You feel like a bottomless bit. Ready to inhale all food at once! BAM! – it’s gone! Next!
If you start recovery from any kind of eating disorder or just past of dieting and restriction, having extreme hunger is normal and it will pass! It is your body’s response to the previous restriction. Sometimes, when we have gone through extreme restriction like eating disorders and dieting we might temporarily need to go to the other extreme and eat in large amounts to actually restore balance!’
I don’t remember my food intake as such with extreme hunger, but some ‘binges’ I do remember (it’s important to know that it isn’t actually binge eating – it’s your body trying to get in as much food as possible, due to restriction. You won’t develop BED or bulimia, as long as you don’t restrict, purge and make sure to follow your cravings – no matter how much food your body wants):
- - My first meal was Quorn chicken nuggets and chips. But it wasn’t enough. So I ate 2 servings of cheesecake, ice cream and slices of plain bread, straight from the loaf…Just because I felt so mentally hungry and dissatisfied.
- - One morning, I finished a whole packet of ginger biscuits and still felt ravenous, so I had a pint of ice cream – as breakfast. It’s all about following the cravings. I’m pretty sure I still felt hungry after.
- - I’d also eat ‘sharing bags’ of crisps and chocolate...In one night.
As long as you follow cravings – it WILL end. Trust me. It may take a while, but it won’t last forever.
My extreme hunger ended about 5/6 months into my real recovery. I do occasionally have points where I do eat more than normal, but this is normally reactive eating, due to undereating days before. I now feel full quickly and couldn’t finish a packet of biscuits even if I tried…I’d feel sick! And this is from someone who ate whole packets of biscuits daily during extreme hunger. I rarely have biscuits now, but if I do, it’s only a few. Also, a pint of ice cream now lasts me about a week…whereas during extreme hunger I’d have a pint daily.
Just believe me when I say, it’s OKAY to crave anything and everything. Listen to your hunger, even if you eat over 4000 calories...Your body NEEDS it.
Also remember that the extreme hunger may be longer or shorter for you. I was anorexic for about 3 years, so the length may have an impact.
Feel free to leave a comment or message me if you have any questions or need any support.
Take care x