Weight Gain
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Extreme hunger - I'm physically full but my mind keeps telling me it wants more

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I'm trying to recover from anorexia. I have a bmi of about 16.2-16.3 (124.5 pounds at 6 feet 1.5 inches, 19 years old, male). I cannot stop thinking about food. Even after just finishing a meal and being physically stuffed my mind keeps thinking about food and certain foods and it tells me that it wants more food and the majority, if not all the time, it's specific foods it tells me it wants (cravings). Its like im mentally hungry even if im physically full. I was wondering if anyone else experiences this and what do you do? Do you give in and let yourself have the food even though you're already physically full? Have you had any experiences like this, if so I could really use advice as to what to do.
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i am like that at the moment,i just give in to the cravings and eat them,because i know i want to gain weight so having a couple of chocolate bars is going to speed up the process then i may aswell:) xxxxxx
I don't want to gain too fast though. and its not that my mind craves just two chocolate bars. It's usually ALOT more
it's perfectly normal,your body is lacking chocolate because it hasnt had it for a while,i suggest have a bar a day and that should satisfy you also chocolate milk:) xxxx
I'm not craving chocolate? Where did you get the idea that I was? I'm talking about food in general. When I'm physically full after eating a decent amount my mind still says I want more food by thinking non stop about food. I don't know what to do about it. It's like tonight, I just finished a normal/decent sized dinner and my minds thinking about how I want to eat my yogurt and granola (one of my favorite snacks) I'm planning on having later for a snack right now even though I'm already physically full. And my mind also wants poptarts in addition to the yogurt and granola but I know I wont allow myself both. I still haven't been able to let myself have poptarts.
alright,sorry.i was just trying to help.But it is normal any ways i just leave it for a while and you are trying to gain weight so just wait a while or chew gum to take your mind off of eating!
Sorry, I didn't mean to sound snappy! I realized that may have come off that way the way I said that after I posted that reply. That doesn't make the thoughts go away though because my minds still thinking about those foods no matter what else I do
it's okay,i know.It's a horrible feeling:( i get like that too.But i think it's a thing that comes with eating disorder recoveries.Plan out when you are going to eat.That might help.I understand everything you are going through,stay strong<3
That's what I'm talking about though. I do plan out when and what I'm going to eat but right after eating I focus on he next time Im going to eat and what I'm going to eat and all the things I want to eat

Michael, I know you didn't answer my mail but I maybe just read what I wrote again? It applies to the situation you're in now, too. Just roll with what your body wants and eat if it wants to. I find this "uncomfortable" at times, too, but keep telling myself that - if I wanted to - I could easily change to my "old" ways of eating, too. Give it a try! We both want to be healthy again and our bodies try to push us in the right direction.

That's the thing though, my body tells me to stop because it's full but my brain wants me to keep going and continues to want more. So what should I do when I'm physically stuffed and not hungry but am still mentally hungry/can't stop thinking about food?

Your body is literally starving. It is afaid that you are going to restrict again so it is trying to get in as much energy and nutrition that it possibly can. I went through this phase too. My advice is to just listen to your body and give it what it craves at the moment. Your body is very smart and it knows what it needs to get better and repair itself. Chances are, your body wants the nutrients out of the food that it is craving. Almost everyone recovering from anorexia goes through this phase. Just keep being strong! :)

Also, are you eating consitently through the day (ie 3 meals, 3 snacks)? If you aren't that can also lead to more cravings, especially at night. Try to eat consistently through out the day and don't starve all day and then just eat everything in site at night. That might help too! :)

That doesn't answer my question though

Basically, you asked what you should do if your mind craves food even when you're physically full? Well, what everyone is trying to say is that you should JUST EAT THE FOOD YOU'RE CRAVING.

You're trying to gain weight aren't you? So what's the problem, even if you're full - you're craving it, you must want it, so just eat it and then you won't crave it anymore. It's not going to do you any harm.

One thing you should know about weight gain is that you are going to feel physically full all the time...not just full, stuffed. It would be worrying if you weren't feeling that way, so just eat what you've been craving even if you're not hungry.

Thank you the advice. One more question though, what if I'm not craving any foods in particular, but still constantly thinking about food? What should I do then?


You're definitely not alone in this, a lot of people go through it. Even people who don't have eating disorders, if you're interested you can google the "Minnesota Starvation Study".

In my experience the only way this goes away is with time, patience, and weight restoration. I was in exactly the same boat as you, and after eating to my heart's content for a few months, I just didn't crave/think about food as much. It just went away on its own. 

I don't know if it really helps, but just try to relax. Re-nourish your body, and don't freak out so much about the preciseness of the rate of weight-gain. :)

Original Post by michaelhill24:

Thank you the advice. One more question though, what if I'm not craving any foods in particular, but still constantly thinking about food? What should I do then?

I think, if you're not craving anything in particular, you should take it as an opportunity to eat something that you really love, haha. Just have whatever you like! Usually if you feel like you want to eat something, but your not craving any specific food, then it might be your bodies way of telling you you simply need to eat more in general.

Remember that in recovery from anorexia your body will try to get you to eat as much as it can in order to take in plenty of nutrition after you've been starving your body. I think that is what's happening to you now - don't ignore it, you might not crave anything specific, but just eat something else that you enjoy to get in a few extra calories :)

Aug 21 2012 17:43
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This may sound a bit funny but are you drinking enough water?

I ask because when I've just eaten a meal and I'm still thinking about food...even though I've just eaten... I have a glass of water and then wait 20 minutes.  If I'm still thinking about food then I eat otherwise I figure I was just dehydrated.

Sometimes the body uses the food trigger as a water trigger... if that makes any sense.

Ive had heaps of experience with it. It literary took over my life, in class I would be thinking about my next meal. I wasn't even hungry! I just had a mental craving for food! What worked for me is just stop thinking about and distract yourself! If your hungry and are craving something, go for it! Your hungry you wanna eat, completely normal but just try not to over stuff yourself because it sort of stays with you after you reach your heathy weight :) remember gain weight the healthy way!
The problem with that is since I'm recovering from an ED I cannot tell when The thoughts are because I'm actually hungry or otherwise. I don't know when I'm feeling actually hungry, I can't distinguish between the two.

It doesn't matter what type of hunger it is, physical or psychological. You need to feed both on the way to health. As long as you're still that much underweight, you can't eat too much. So just have what you're craving, just as everyone told you.

This constant thinking about food, what's the next meal, ohmygood I need to read some food blogs online to get recipe inspiration, ohmygood I need to obsessively do something food-related, how many hours do I have to wait until I can finally eat again - I've been there on recovery. You need to eat. To gain more. It WILL get better, trust me. At some point I had trouble studying because food was the only thing on my mind. It's your body's desperate hunt for nourishment. I had this really badly about 7 pounds "ago". Now I'm about the same BMI as you (but everyone recovers at a different weight) and it got significantly better; I only have these thoughts once a month or so instead of every.effing.hour.

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