National Eating Disorders Association

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hunger/fullness & apetite during recovery??

hi! i'm a young man in recovery, i went to a clinic for a couple months & have been out for a while now-- i like to think i'm doing fairly well. i eat according to my cues and do my best to treat my body in the ways that it needs, but i've got some concerns about a pretty recent post-treatment development.

as a preface, i have a history with all kinds of disordered behaviour, a big component of it being restriction. assuming those reading are familiar with restriction and the side effects of it, they would know about the stomach shrinkage, consequently leading to smaller portions.

i wanna state again- i haven't deliberately engaged in ED behaviour in a while, but i feel like i've accidentally shrank my stomach somehow. i don't know if it's playing in part to the fact that i don't have a regular sleep schedule, or if it's stress or something else? but i haven't been experiencing regular hunger cues for what seems like the last 2 months. when i go out to eat with friends or even cook a big meal at home, i can't eat as much as i want and it's been concerning me.

soon i'm going to be seeing my therapist & psychiatrist and i'm really worried that they'll think im lying to them somehow.

I would suggest

Talking about your concerns with your providers, as I am not a professional. I honestly don't know how to answer your question, even though I am currently struggling with major restricting. I'm sorry if I can't offer more help.


Hi, and welcome to the forums! I'm happy that you feel you're doing very well, and want to congratulate you on your recovery so far :) Learning to eat according to our body's cues is such an important step, but one of the most difficult ones!

I'm not a medical professional, but to my knowledge, eating disorders/restriction don't permanently shrink the stomach...however, when I am very stressed, I find that I have much less of an appetite. So you're right, it could be something like stress or lack of sleep! Do you find yourself stressed quite often? What about your circumstances has changed in the past two months that might've affected your hunger as a consequence? You don't have to share, but just some things to think about. But I do agree with Savedbygrace, it's probably best to ask a professional.

Best of luck, I hope that helped. Don't hesitate to reach out to us whenever you need, we're here for you!



I'm sorry you are having a hard time. I hope you will be ok soon.

something similar happened to me!

Because we have restricted for so long, our metabolisms slowed down dramatically. Now that we are trying to listen to our hunger cues and eat normally, our digestive system may not be able to keep up with the all the food we are hungry for, making us feel full quickly. Do you experience any nausea or other digestive issues? I found that eating small portions more frequently helps, as well as eating easy to digest, processed foods.
I am no professional either, but from reading around I wonder if you could be experiencing gastroparesis.

Hey actualdog, were you able

Hey actualdog, were you able to talk with your therapist/psychiatrist yet? Recovering hunger and fullness cues is a difficult process and it can definitely be frustrating. I'm hoping you've been doing okay with it. There's a lot of information out there about what happens to our bodies during ED recovery, but every body is unique; what's true for some people might not be true for others, so I've definitely found it beneficial to talk with someone who is trained.