National Eating Disorders Association

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Concerns About Extreme Hunger During Recovery

As of recently, I have been back to eating a healthy amount of calories. It definitely took some working up to, but now I can eat the correct amount of food. I still religiously count and weigh all my food, and I panic when I even go a few calories above.
But over the past week, I have been so hungry. Nothing fills me up like it used to. I haven't been good at responding to or recognising my hunger urges, so I just follow a healthy meal plan.
As a result I am constantly restricting, and exercising obsessively just so I can eat more. I am more hungry than I was when I was eating less calories a day.
I'm scared if I just eat whenever I'm hungry, I will gain weight.

Post Edited

Hi jadewillow, welcome to the forums and thanks for sharing! I wanted to let you know that your post has been edited to take out any weight-related numbers as these might be triggering to other forum members. You can find our guidelines here: Please keep posting!

I'm a little confused

You say you've been eating enough calories, but say you've been restricting. Could you explain that please? Just trying to understand. I will try my best to help you understand.
I know that as your body is healing, it's still trying to figure out or make sure you aren't going to bring it back to starving it, so from my understanding, this happens to everyone going through recovery. I hope this helps.

After keeping your body in

After keeping your body in starvation mode it may lose hunger signals. And then in recovery when you start to give it the amount of calories it needs to function properly again, it can feel weird when these signs come back. Sometimes your body even asks for more in preparation for the next cycle of not getting enough.

Maybe a new perspective on the hunger signs could help? I know I rarely feel hungry, which is hard for my own recovery. I know you might here this enough (I know I do), but take the time to listen to your body telling you what it needs. This is a great time to reconnect with your body and get to know it better; it sounds like it is trying to communicate with you. I like to talk to my body. That sounds a bit ridiculous, but I like to tell her I am eating this to give her strength, or I am drinking enough water to keep her clean and balanced, if I do a great run, I thank my leg muscles for being here for me and able to carry me through the miles.


Hi. I am glad you posted. It does sound a bit confusing but that may mean that you are a bit confused. I agree with the others that what once worked as a meal plan may need to be changed which is why a dietician is helpful in assessing your bodies needs. It is very difficult for those in recovery to "read" their body correctly or accurately. What may have worked once may no longer. You very well may be hungry and your body is trying to tell you that. For me the rigidity kept me bound to the eating disorder. I know the fear of overdoing it is scary. But true freedom comes when we allow ourselves some breathing room. To experiment a little. Scary I know. But you may find it freeing.

I hope you are able to take all this in, what the others have said and what you know also. We are here for you.