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I'm full but i can't stop thinking about food

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I am in some desperate need of help. I used to be really cautious about my calories, but 3 months ago, I decided to gain some weight so that MAYBE.... I would stop thinking about food! I have already gained 10 pounds, from 107 to 117 now and I ha e a problem with eating

Even though I'm literally stuffed, I'm still thinking about what I can eat after my parents leave the kitchen. I tried to become more normal by buying some paints and drawing pencils, and starting new hobbies, but none of them seem to surpass my BURNING desire to think about what I can eat. I currently eat about 2300 calories in total per day.


200 calorie drink
150 multi grain bread
1 egg
2 cups of fruit
1/2 a grapefruit
1 cup of milk


2 whole wheat bread slices
4 oz. chicken (or other meat)


1 PBJ sandwich
1/2 a banana
3 handful of nuts


1/2 cup of brown rice
4 oz. of meat (salmon, chicken, steak, turkey, all)
1 cup of veggies
1 cup of fruit




Help me! I'm only 5' 4" and 117 pounds. I'm not overweight, but 2300 calories per day is WAYYYY too much and I'm still thinking about food after I finish everything that I've listed above. Please someone, help me find a way to stop.

Any success stories out there?

8 Replies (last)

are you recently recovering from an ED or a long diet? are you exercising a lot? these things can cause us to fixate on food more than the average person. i have the same problem. i want to eat even when i'm not physically hungry. it kinda sucks but it's my reality so i've learned to live with it. i'd love to hear what others say.

your food choices seem very healthy throughout the day.

are you young? 2300 calories is not waaay too much for a teenager or active  person in general.  are you feeling deprieved of treats? maybe let yourself have a cookie or piece of candy to satisfy any "forbidden" food obsessions.  also it sounds like your food has become a "regime".  if you like thinking about food, try taking the time to prepare something different, maybe even indulgent, from your usual food routine.  taste some more variety of spices, flavors and don't be afraid to include a bit of savory ingredients.  keep it fresh, natural, unprocessed, ect...if you're afraid of "junky" stuff.  making more complex dishes makes the complusion to count calories harder.  just focus on enjoying each bite and having a reasonable portion.

maybe cut out calorie drinks if you really think you need to cut back.

stopping counting sounds scary at first, but if you eat relatively healthy, get some movement, you CAN stop obsessing and NOT become obese at the same time.  counting calories didn't work for me because i'm too much of a perfectionist and it became my outlet for ignoring other stressful things in life.  don't be afraid to be imperfect!  don't run away from other issues in the back of your mind. 

i haven't been able to stick to any exercise regime since i started working more hours, i stopped counting and weighing and beating myself up for eating an icecream scoop and miracles of miracles, my clothes all fit the same and when i did finally weigh myself, i hadn't gained. 


Thanks you guys.

I exercise, but about 20 minutes a day of jogging. So MAYBE 2300 is okay... but that's for people who have a labor job, work out for like an hour, and are constantly up and running. I'm not at all living that type of lifestyle. Still a student here.

Take for exampe this week. Every day (since it was finals this week), I ate approximately 3000 calories. And the sad thing is, 1000 of those calories came after dinner. I couldn't stop thinking about taking another handful of nuts, and eventually I ended up eating 600 calories of nuts and 400 calories of chocolate.

A while back, I thought I might be depriving myself, so I bought myself some junk food. like candy and graham crackers and stuff. UNFORTUNATELY, I can never control myself. The day I bought the graham crackers, I finished the entire box clean, all 13 servings. I was so devastated... but I couldn't stop. I was full, but it was just so good! Gosh, anyone have this problem too?

I have a similar problem.  I'm a bit of an over-eater, I suppose.  I eat even when I'm not hungry, and I'm not sure why. 

My weight fluctuates (maybe from water weight? sodium? over-eating? haha) from around 117 to 123lbs.  I try and usually do stay under 120 though.  I am a 19 year old student and stand at about 5'4".

I often think about food.  I think about all the different combinations of foods I can eat and then crave them all upon thinking about them.  I try to tap into that creative cook thinking and save the ideas for later, or control the portion by eating less than a serving of each thing.

Ever since I began to fast as a form of meditation, I have looked at eating in a different light.  Also, I attempt to meditate while eating (eat while meditating?) -- eating very slowly and mindfully as I experience the texture, flavors, and scent of what I'm consuming. 

I don't know if I helped at all, but at least you know you aren't alone. :)

I think you may have cut back too much in the past - as you say you used to be really cautious about your calories.  Your diet looks and sounds perfectly healthy, but because you may have restricted yourself too much before, you now have a skewed perception that you are eating way too much.  You are not, from the sounds of it.  Do your 2300 calories include your late night snacking?

If I were you, I would figure out what you need to maintain your weight (as you are at a perfectly healthy place right now), and spread those numbers out evenly throughout the day, including an indulgent late-night snack that will keep you satisfied before bed.  From the sounds of it, if you can't stop thinking about food, you may be feeling deprived by the foods you are currently eating, although you say you feel "stuffed."  So I don't see why you couldn't add one or two of the things you crave, in smaller portions, throughout your day (say 1 oz tortilla chips with lunch, or 1/2 cup ice cream after dinner...) Maybe you can have something with more bulk earlier (perhaps lunch, or a big salad with dinner) so you can have a good, full-fat snack in the evening?  Just make sure you are eating the calories you REALLY NEED to maintain your weight - if you undereat then you will most certainly set yourself up to overeat later (our bodies are amazing like that!) 

Also, you don't mention how physically active you are.  If you don't do this already, maybe you can go for a walk, participate in a sport...That will help to make it all balance out (calories in, calories out) and you will be doing something good for your body. 

Last, on your question of what to do to not think about food so much, I would probably suggest get out of the house - go somewhere.  You can volunteer (helping others always takes the focus off of you and your issues and brings things back into perspective) or visit a friend, call someone you haven't talked to in a while to catch up.  If you are religious, help at your church, or sign up to assist at a local recreation center (they need lots of help in the summer, typically)..

Best of luck to you! 

Thanks cc31!
And yes, about half of the calories are always from late night snacking and the calories are mostly coming from chocolate and nuts (really dense caloric foods). The problem is that once I get started with a little bit of sugar, I just keep wanting more and I keep thinking about it until I actually go get it. (I can't just throw it out because it's my mom's Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips for baking cookies in bulk)

So to maintain, I think I need to eat around 2000-2300 (because that's how much I eventually binge to). Spreading that out... let's see how about four 500 calorie meals?

When I used to restrict, it wasn't THAT bad. I would eat about 1600 calories... but I'd never make it out a few days without doing 3000 calorie chocolate binges.

Four 500 calorie meals sounds good to me, if you think that structure will work for you.  Even 6 with breakfast at 400, a snack at 250, lunch at 400, a snack at 250, dinner at 500, and after dinner snack at 250 would work.  It really all depends on your lifestyle.  For me, since I usually work out during lunchtime, I find that if I have a filling breakfast, then break up my lunch into two pieces (have one before working out around 11, and one after, around 2:00) then I can have an early dinner and a snack with my cup of tea around 8:30.  I am always satisfied, have enough energy to support vigorous workouts, and am perfectly healthy (just had a physical!).  Again, it takes a bit of playing around.  Just make sure you stay within the range you need to maintain your weight and support your activities, then spread it out during the day in ways that works with your schedule, and remember to add a treat so you will be less tempted to go overboard.... Oh, and if you DO go overboard, don't beat yourself up!  Just start fresh the next day!  Good luck!!

Bingeing is a result of starvation or under eating.  The govt. did a study a while back called "The Minnesota Starvation Study."  The gist of it is they deprived these men of food, until they lost a significant amount of food, and then, when they started eating again, they often binged.  Also, once they were back to their normal weight, many continued to over eat.  But, after a while, they weight evened up to where it was originally.  

The point of that was that what you're going through is normal.  I agree that more, smaller meals is the way to go.  Make sure you have a balanced diet, with plenty of healthy fats.  At night, when you usually binge, is there anyone else you could go to for support?  Maybe you could watch a movie, or read a book.  You could go for a walk, or take a class at night.  

8 Replies