National Eating Disorders Association

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Bingeing and Extreme Hunger

For the past two-three weeks I have been battling extreme hunger. I have struggled with anorexia nervosa for half a year or so and I have been through episodes of extreme hunger before (about beginning of May/end of June of this year) but I've never experienced being at an average caloric surplus over a whole week - let alone two weeks straight. I feel stuck in a limbo of pseudo-recovery because I want to get rid of this illness but I'm deathly scared of fat gain which is what's holding me back from honouring my hunger and thus leads to bigger "binges" the next day. I'm very scared that I am developing binge eating disorder, but I do feel physically hungry so I'm very confused. Do people with BED experience real physical hunger or are bingeing episodes for them more like uncontrollable compulsions? I usually find that I can make decisions as to what I will or won't eat (e.g. put something back in the fridge/pantry instead of eating it) during a binge, and I don't really experience any kind of "blacking out" when I eat excessively. I also have body dysmorphia and I have noticed that some parts of my body (under my jaw/chin especially) have gotten bigger but I can't tell if it's water retention or actual fat. I don't have anyone in my life to put me even a little at ease so I feel trapped and unable to cope with the violent cycles of restricting, getting extremely hungry, and bingeing. Overeating also triggers my depression and so I lose the motivation to get work done and to compensate for the food I ate through exercise like I normally would have (the latter may be a good thing, I suppose). I'm not sure whether I even articulated anything at all with this but I just don't know what to do. I feel like I'm just endlessly expanding and I'll never stop eating because I'll never not feel hungry. Thoughts?


Dear, welcome to the forums! We wanted to let you know that your post has been edited to comply with NEDA’s community guidelines to remove mentions of caloric amounts We’re sorry to hear you’ve been feeling trapped in a negative cycle. The NEDA Helpline may be able to help out with finding resources or reaching out to a professional to guide you with approaching your concerns. The Helpline can be reached at 800.931.2237 M-TH 9-9 EST and F 9-5 EST. We hope it can be of help to you!


Hi I hear that you are suffering. Recovery can definitely be difficult but it's definitely worth it! Is there anyone, anyone at all you can reach out to? A friend, a sibling, a parent, even your doctor to talk to. I'm sure someone will want to help you out? Neda has some excellent resources on their site as well. Another thought, will you look back in ten years and care about how your chin looks? Does it matter more than your quality of life? Just something to think about. Solider on beautiful, keep me updated! If there is anything I can help with let me know!



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