National Eating Disorders Association

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Extreme Hunger

I have been diagnosed with atypical anorexia (EDNOS) and I’ve had a restrictive eating disorder for only nine months
I’m one month into self-recovery and after giving myself unconditional permission to eat, my appetite has increased a lot.
I’m spending 95% if my day eating A LOT OF calories and massive amounts of food. It’s so time consuming and tiring and I’m not even hungry
I’m super bloated all the time but I never seem to feel full or satisfied. I cant stop thinking about food. My stomach hurts.
I never even get hungry and no amount or type of food seems to make me feel full and satisfied.
My blood sugar drops all the time after a big meal and I end up eating a lot of sugary stuff.
I don’t even feel hungry but I cannot stop eating. Its so frustrating. I’m gaining weight so rapidly. Help... no food tastes good or hits the spot. Now I feel like I have switched from atypical anorexia to binge eating disorder...
I’m also taking a medication and I don’t know if that’s what’s affecting me
I cant stop eating ughhhhh. It’s so hard. I also have night sweats.
I think I’m experiencing mental hunger instead of physical hunger because of my food thoughts. Whenever I ignore the mental hunger my body gets all shaky. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to binge but neither do I wanna restrict. I feel like I’m eating out of boredom...
it’s so unsatisfying and not enjoyable at all :(

Dear Journey24, we would like

Dear Journey24, we would like to inform you that we edited portions of your post to remove language that could be triggering to other users as well as mention of the name of a medication. You can review our community guidelines here. Thanks for your understanding and please continue to post! 

Aye this is very similar to

Aye this is very similar to what I’m going through this is the first time I’ve seen someone describe it and really understand. It’s like I’ve went from one extreme to the other just by trying to fix being restricted and I can’t stop. What I try to do and what works for a while is getting out of the house, going on walks, going out with friends, and not bringing any money for snacks n stuff. Another thing I’ve been trying to do is meal prep and keeping those containers separated from where I keep other food so I won’t be tempted. This has helped as I have balanced meals and no reason to go into the kitchen where I binge as all my balanced and planned food is somewhere else. It does get tough and rly hard though but you just gotta stay tuff. I don’t know if this will help but hopefully it does and remember that you are tough and can fight this.


Do you have a therapist? I think that would help you to be able to discern some of the underlying reasons for why you have the e.d., in the first place. Regardless, try to determine why you are feeling like eating before you begin a meal. Is it because you're bored? If so, find a hobby instead to occupy yourself. Is it because you're sad, mad, anxious, etc? Then find an appropriate way to express those emotions, either by journaling, talking with someone, or whatever works best for you. Try to have a large support system. People whom you can call for various occasions - I'll call x when I want to eat this sweet food, even though I know I'm not truly physically hungry. I'll call y when I am feeling such and such way and want to eat this certain food, because we can talk and go for a walk together. Etc. Have an action plan in place for every occasion you can imagine, for every situation you've recently encountered. And don't forget the NEDA hotline that is available to call or text during their hours. I really hope this helps. Keep us posted, as to your progress. Take care. Oh, and even though I don't know which med you're taking, due to guidelines, I do know there are some meds I've taken in the past that gave me an insatiable appetite. Mental, not physical. So I understand from where you're coming. Talk to the doc who prescribed it about this.

Been there, love!

And you’re right: it is extreme hunger.
In Anorexia/atypical anorexia recovery a “swing in the other direction” is a healthy response from your body to get it out of malnutrition. 9 months; 9 years, you’re body can’t tell the difference, it just knows how large of an energy deficit it’s in.
Also: 1 month isn’t a long time at all. I definitely spent 95% of my time eating 1 month. I went through stages craving all kinds of different foods and eating a lot of them. Mental hunger is your body saving energy by not producing physical hunger cues. They take a while to kick in. Gaining weight rapidly in anorexia/atypical anorexia recovery just means you’re getting better faster. I didn’t weigh myself, but felt my body change, and then it plateud after several months of unrestricted eating, which was exactly as you describe. I had night sweats too: this can be a result of hyper metabolism, which means your body is using extraordinary amounts of energy anyway, so of course you need to eat a lot!
In terms of getting binge eating disorder: the professional consensus is that bingeing is a result of restriction. Once you stop restricting, you stop bingeing. Look up Aaron Flores RD: he’s a specialist. Also, how are you supposed to have BED when you still have anorexia, atypical or otherwise?! Please, please, please give it more time, give yourself a year in recovery aka with unrestricted eating. I bet you anything your weight will start to plateau, your desire to eat everything will decrease, and you’ll feel a lot better. You have eliminated all restriction: the only way to get rid of a restrictive eating disorder. Check out Tabitha Farrars videos for that: I bet you’ll find them reassuring. In the same light, sure, talk to your doctor about your medication, although don’t prescriptions tend to impact predominantly physical hunger cues, not mental?
You’ve been so brave to let yourself eat unrestricted so far. It’s an incredible achievement. Give it time. Please let me know how you’re doing, and feel free to ask me anything. Like I said, I’ve been there.

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