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gaining weight but still hungry.

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so i'm recovering from anorexia and taking in the recommended 2500 calories or so and gaining weight.  but, i'm embarrassed to admit, i'm still always hungry.  like, really hungry.  it's ridiculous.  i even wake up in the night, RAVISHED, and needing to eat something.  what does this mean? 

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It's fantastic that you're hitting your calorie target, but remember that 2,500 is a minimum. Plenty of weight-gainers need up to 4,000+ calories daily to gain weight. The more you eat now, the better your metabolism will recover. Restricting anorexics often have very high calorie needs during recovery.

What it means? Eating 2,500 calories daily has woken up your metabolism and your body has suddenly realised how starving it is! The best thing to do? Eat when you're hungry. Try 3,000-3,500 per day if you're not in danger of refeeding syndrome. Or better yet, try not counting at all (hard, I know, but it IS doable).

i suppose i hesitate because i'm already gaining... i don't want to gain any faster than i already am.  plus it's so hard for me to psychologically accept eating  thank you for your response!  i'm going to have to read it over and over.  

You're welcome Smile If you were to increase your calories, you might bump your weight up a bit but then you may just find your metabolism adjusts and you gain weight at around the same weight as before. Remember you're not just eating for today, you're also eating to make up for all the restricting in your past, to replenish the depleted nutrient stores in your bones and organs.

i would be delighted if my metabolism caught up with a higher intake!  in fact, i was quite surprised that i have been able to gain as fast as i have (my body's been starved for close to 15 years now, and my bmi was ridiculously low when i started refeeding) seeing as how the most severe anorexics usually need the highest calories to gain.  i am trying to believe that my metabolism is catching up...otherwise i wouldn't be this hungry, right?  it's weird, though...i have had some gastric distress, but really i've never had the consistent discomfort that many experience during refeeding.  i still always feel like i could eat more... :(  i actually still feel like i'm starving (in the literal sense).  it freaks me out to think about people living normal lives, consuming 1200-1500 calories because still not a minute of the day goes by that i'm not thinking about food or hunger or when i will eat or not eat.  is it possible that there will be permanent malfunction in the hardwiring of my brain? 

i really want to fully restore my metabolic function, which usually requires overfeeding following starvation.  

another issue that i have is that i do keep track of my calories (i don't think i'd get even close to enough otherwise)...but i have a habit of overestimating.  i feel like i probably overestimate my intake by several hundred each day. somehow it's the only way i feel at all "safe" or okay with's my little form of denial.  plus, i absolutely HATE that i still wake up and eat during the night (wherein i make up for those several hundred calories...). i thought when i increased my intake this habit would go away. it makes me feel so crazy and weird.   just more hurdles i'll have to overcome, i suppose.

anyway. thank you for listening and offering your logic and support. the reassurance is very, very helpful.



What might help with midnight snacking is keeping a water bottle and a granola bar near your bed so you'll drink water, and if you still feel hungry eat the granola bar. Usually when you feel hungry at night, it's actually thirst but we confuse the feeling for hunger.

When you had a eating disorder you probably forgot how hunger felt, since you suppressed that feeling. Well now that you are eating healthy you are feeling hunger so it might be a little overwhelming. Eventually the feeling of constantly thinking of food will go away, don't you worry about that.

I do want to commend, applaud, the fact that you are trying to live a healthier life. You will get there, it might take a step at a time, but you will get there.

Yeah i do the same thing with the overestimating, i cant trust myself anymore so i make sure i get the calories in and at least most of them in the morning, like today i had a easy 800 cal breakfast and it made things run smoother through the night, and the midnight snacking has annoyed me too. I think ima do that with the granola and water stuff sounds like a good idea:)

oh my gosh! thank goodness i saw this feed.  Last night I woke up at 2 am and was ready to gnaw off my arm i was so hungry.  i had something and then when I woke up at 615 was hungry again, but super embarassed at my "lack of control." I wrote about it on my blog today, and was doing really well at reframing earlier and now am having trouble.  I feel like my body is expanding at an exponential rate while my mind just cant keep up. It can be so frustrating sometimes.  Thanks for listening.

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I know this post is years old but I would love to know if the person who started the thread recovered and if the hunger and binging did stop?
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I know this post is years old but I would love to know if the person who started the thread recovered and if the hunger and binging did stop?
9 Replies