extreme hunger

The brain does weird things when you deprive it of food.

And I don’t mean just calorically. Even if you’re eating 2000, 3000 calories a day in recovery, if they’re all safe, you’re still going to be obsessed with food and what you “can’t” have.

(AKA a friendly reminder to challenge yourself today.)

Being really hungry scares me so much but I should just accept my body needs the nutrients and enjoy eating what I want.
I always think, “yeah, I need to gain weight NOW, but if I keep indulging my hunger I’ll gain too much.” But you know what? I have a huge appetite because my body needs all that food. Once I’m at a healthier point, I won’t be as hungry! I just have to let go off my fear and JUST DO IT.

holdingcoldhands-deactivated201  asked:

Hi Amalie! I was just wondering how you split up your calories/meals in recovery? Thanks so much!

Hi! In recovery I ate like more or less like this;

Breakfast 08:00; 600-700 calories
Most oftenly; oats w/topping (my favorite was/is chia seeds and berries), bread, cripsbreads, fruits (both fresh and dried, often 1 apple and some dried figs) and chococoffee with milk and chocolate covered nuts. Yes, often all of these in one meal.

Snack 11.30; 500-600 calories
Most oftenly; nutrition drink or ½ liter full fat milk, nuts (yoghurt nuts or almonds) and banana OR a smoothie of bananas, pb, chocolate powder, milk, chia seeds,

Lunch 14.30; 600 calories
Here I varied more, but it was often cereal w/raisins and milk (obviously), bread, crispbreads, nuts, fruits (often mango or grapes), some dark chocolate, a glass of full fat milk or smoothie etc.

Dinner around 17-00-17.30; 600 calories
In most cases ½ plate with rice/pasta/potatoes, ¼ vegetables, ¼ proteins (seafood, Quorn vegetarian ”meat”, beans, chickpeas etc) and some sauce or dressing on the side, often ketchup, quark, butter or soy sauce. After dinner I usually had a snack of hot chocolate w/milk and some dried figs/a microwaved banana with cinnamon.

Supper around 20.00-21.00; 600 calories
Lots of rice cakes with all kinds of spreads (avocado, butter, salmon, pb, macerel, jam etc), dates, 1-2 eggs, fruits. 

= 3000 calories

I ate like this because it was simple and fit with my schedule. Sometimes I ate 700 calories for breakfast and 500 calories for snack, for example, but always 3000 in total. Oh, and obviously no exercise, I stayed mostly sedentary.

I planned all my meals the day before, but they were usually pretty much the same. I needed a very strict and detailed plan here because I was underweight and my main priority was to gain weight because so many of my symptoms, especially the extreme rigidity and obsessive behavior, were side effects of being underweight and undernourished. I was scared that I would make it a habit to be so obsessive around my meals, but I gradually got less rigid and obsessive the more I ate and gained. 

In the beginning I weighed everything, even cucumber. Awkward but true. I gradually stopped weighing and counting down to every single digit. For example, one week my goal was to stop weighing vegetables. Then I stopped weighing oats, and measured it by tbsp or dl instead. Then I stopped weighing bread etc.

So when did I stop eating after a 3000 calorie meal plan, and how? My psychologist wanted me to keep on eating this way until I reached bmi 20, and then gradually start eating after hunger cues. She said that a bmi of 20 or above made the risk of a relapse lower. Just like so many in recovery I had this little period where I though I could maintain bmi 17-18 and be ”healthy”. Yeah right. At that bmi I was still obsessed with food and body, I was extremely rigid and disordered in every way. No period and no wish to do anything besides analyzing my body and counting macros. It was hard to let go of my ED, and I kind of wanted to choose a ”lifestyle” where I could stay obsessed with food and body. I was actually close falling into the *scary music* .. Fitness trap!!!! Luckily I was surronded by a psychologist and family members who convinced me to recover. This could have gone so wrong, as society sees orthorexia and fitness as healthy. 

I gradually started eating after hunger cues at bmi 19. Risky indeed, but I was so close to mentally recovered as possible and my period was back. I did not made a goal of ”cutting down my intake”. I started to eat one meal on hunger cues, for example I followed my 3000 plan except for lunch, where I ate xxx calories. Then I did this with more and more meals, and suddenly I ate freely. It was amazing! Such a relief. What happened to my weight? I gained around 2 kg by eating after hunger cues, and then the gain stopped. I dont weight myself anymore, but I see that my weight is pretty much the same as half a year ago. If I had started eating after hunger cues early in recovery, I would probably not have recovered (I did not have much appetite) unless I got hit by extreme hunger.

A common mistake is that people think that when they are recovered they have to stop eating 3000 calories. Some days I eat way more than 3000 calories, and that is ok. That is normal. We are not machines who need exactly xxxx calories a day. If I sit on my ass all day I tend to eat less than if I move around a lot, not because I think ”gosh I dont need much food today, I dont move”, but because my body does not crave as much food as if I was active because I dont need it. And lets not forget my ovulation-extreme hunger! 2 weeks before my period (though my impression is that some get it right before- or during their period) I get extreme hunger that lasts for 1-3 days. It is scary, but I follow it because I know my body needs extra energy then. The EH passes. Everytime. My body does not magically change. My body is smart and I will listen to it.

Now I probably answered more than you asked for, but we get so many questions about when and how to eat after hunger cues etc, that I decided to write a longer post about it.

- Amalie

“My dietitian had explained it to me that your hunger is controlled by multiple mechanisms. Some of these are: your blood sugars, something to do with your ghrelin, the physical sensation of feeling full and very importantly how much fat you have on your bones (to put it bluntly)
If your body is underweight from its set point - be it by a kilo or ten- your body will be telling you that you are hungry because you don’t have enough "meat on your bones”, no matter how physically full you are. She promises me that it settles when you get to your set point and it’s just a matter of getting there.“

Elise, recovery group member

anonymous asked:

At what point does "extreme hunger" turn into "binging?"

It doesn’t.
A restrictive eating disorder does not magically become a binge eating disorder. RED and BED are two separate illnesses who are not related to each other - just like diabetes and celiac disease are two completely different things.
Extreme hunger - which is a natural biological reaction to starvation - goes away by itself when it is no longer needed. Yes, needed. Hunger cues normalize when our health normalizes.

- Øygunn

Recovery reflections - 1 liter, 1/2 hour

This morning I was rather busy; so busy that my 1 glass of water and 2 cups of chocoffee (coffee with hot chocolate and milk) got reduced to one small cup of chocoffee. I also did not have time to prepare my usual fruit bowl that I have on the side, which is high in water.

My busyness was a result of time pressure to deliver my final essay on time. The essay had to be delivered at the university, so I had to ride my bicycle there in a hurry. I arrived, tired and sweaty, and so freaking thirsty. I was in a hurry there too, so I thought I should not ‘waste’ time buying something to drink. I live a 10-15 minute bicycle ride from the university, so I thought “I’ll be home soon anyways”. Well, I ended up staying a bit longer than expected due to some technical problems. 

When I came home, my first thought was I NEED SOMETHING TO DRINK NOW! I drank and drank, and suddenly I had drunk 1 liter in ½ hour. I usually need far less than 1 liter to satisfy my thirst, but I was just really goddamn thirsty because I had too little to drink earlier, and not to mention I had been riding my bicycle for 20-30 minutes in total, so I was sweaty too.

1 liter is “officially” half the recommended daily water intake. In other words, I just had half the recommended daily water intake in ½ hour. I obviously did not worry about this, because I knew why I was thirsty, and that I would not keep on drinking myself to death (though it at some point felt like my thirst was impossible to satisfy). I knew that when I was no longer dehydrated my body would stop giving me these DRIIIINK!-signals.

The point with this story is that when you are undernourished, it is completely natural that you get so-called “extreme hunger”, which makes you eat, eat and eat; you never feel satisfied, you just want the food inside you NOW, and food is all you can think about. You might eat way more than normal very fast, even without enjoying the food.

I was dehydrated for a few hours. You have been undernourished for.. how long? 

- Amalie

Intuitive Eating And ED Recovery

“When you have a restrictive past you will find it very hard to eat after your hunger cues. You will get there for sure, but it will take time. And most likely you will experience extreme hunger (Read this: „Extreme Hunger That Feels Like Bingeing“) and in intuitive eating this is considered „overeating“ which it is NOT. In recovery it is so so important to respond to your extreme hunger and eat unrestrictivly. For somebody following a intuitive eating extreme hunger WILL freak them out since in their book it is not normal. They see this extreme hunger as bingeing in a bad sense and encourage you to take it as a “learning experience” so it will not happen again. But this really sends a very wrong message to somebody who has an eating disorder.

When i started my recovery with intuitive eating i also experienced extreme hunger and i was so scared and confused. I didn’t know that it is actually normal and it will pass as long as i always eat when i want. Extreme hunger will feel like you are bingeing, but it is just your bodies response to previous starvation no matter how short or long period you have dieted.

So after i red about the MinnieMaud recovery guidelines and that we actually need to eat 2500-3000 calories minimum in recovery and respond to your extreme hunger, i finally recovered. (Read here: „Counting Calories And How Much You need“). This was the missing link for me in intuitive eating and kept me on „trying to not eat too much“ a semi-recovered state. When i finally ate the recommended amounts without guilt and responded to extreme hunger the extreme hunger started to actually fade away and my hunger cues normalized. My body finally got what it wanted and needed so much.

What’s wrong with “eat when hungry and stop when full” in recovery

The other thing with intuitive eating is that for somebody who comes from a very restricted dieting and anorexia their „intuitive eating“ can get them to only 1200 calories before they feel totally full. And in intuitive eating it is considered normal to „eat when hungry, and stop when full“, BUT in ED recovery and recovery from extreme dieting you need A LOT of calories to recover your organs and body. You don’t need just energy for everyday tasks, you need EXTRA energy to recover all the damage dieting or ED has done to your body. You need extra calories to normalize your hunger cues so your body can trust you and not store excess fat in case of next famine. You need extra more calories to fully recover your metabolism what had been suppressed when you diet.

In recovery from eating disorders your body don’t trust you and you can’t completely trust your bodies signals, because they are mixed up because of your past restriction. Your hunger cues are not normal yet, so you can’t just overnight „eat when hungry and stop when full“. I know that intuitive eating doesn’t say it will be an overnight process, but it just misses the very important parts of the ED recovery and what is necessary for you to know and do to fully recover.”

anonymous asked:

I never want to look at my weight ever again I just want to be free no weighing or calorie counting or restricting. Just free. Living. I know this isn't "Minnie maud" but if I just let go is that enough? Will my body naturally become the health it should be? *eats donut, goes partying*

If it only was that easy. No calorie counting may work for some, but for many it will lead to restriction. No weighing may work for some (many), whilst for others it will lead to not enough weight gain as you can’t measure progress. A person with an eating disorder will often feel that they eat enough (or too much) and weight enough (or too much), despite being underweight and restricting. With this, your body will not be healthy. You need a certain amount of calories to repair your body, and you need to reach a weight that is healthy for your body.

Recovery is about letting go, but it is also about temporarily using control to beat the control. Some manage to completely let go as they naturally feel like eating lets say 3000, or experience extreme hunger and recover that way, and then it all calms down and they are recovered. Of course they struggle at times, but they let go. An example of this is B, read her story here. For me, that would not have worked, I needed a more strict and controlled recovery to gain and eat enough. That does not mean I am sicker or healthier than her. I knew her when she was at her worst, and she was very, very ill, yet she managed to let go. We are all different.

- Amalie

anonymous asked:

It feels like i'm just eating and eating for the last few days (I think it's THE) I ate a whole jar of pb in 2 days by myself and now my mom refuses to buy it and tells me to eat more ''healthy'' I would buy it by myself but the first store is too far away , I also tried to explain it to her but she still says no I would show her your eatopia but she doesn't understand english (I'm from Spain) and just tells me I'm making things up what can I do I feel so lost?

Hi muffin!

It sounds to me like you might be experiencing extreme hunger, which is 100% completely normal (and necessary) in recovery. Also, when you are in real recovery and eating 3000+, sometimes it really does feel like we are just eating all this time! But that’s exactly what our body’s need, nourishment and healing. Those two jars of PB were everything your body needed and more. Your mom needs to understand that, but if she just can’t, you have to do your own thing angel, without letting her restrict you. If she refuses to buy you food, you have to put it into very simple terms for her, like: “I am in recovery, and I need FOOD. Telling me to eat more ‘healthy’ does not help me.”

Read this about extreme hunger, it might help! I hope your mom comes to understand that this is YOUR recovery, and she has to fully support you, not trigger you.
- Brie

anonymous asked:

Could anyone of you share your experience with extreme hunger? I want to feel normal and not like I'm overeating hehe:)

I mostly experienced extreme hunger the three first months. It has occurred a few times later too, but rarely. My extreme hunger went something like this:
- Craving high-carb, high-fat, processed foods, such as pizza, burgers, gravy, pasta, candy, chocolate, ice cream, crisps, rice, fish, steak, nuts, butter, cheese, etc.
- Often eating a huge dinner to try to prevent EH, just to become desperately hungry fifteen minutes later and need another dinner portion.
- Carrying snacks around in my purse at all times.
- Being food obsessed.
- Not handling meals that I would need to spend time and effort to prepare.
- Always buying as high-calorie drinks as possible, to make sure to get those calories inside of me.
- Feeling hungry but full, feeling full but hungry, feeling confused about hunger in general, sometimes just eating to find out if it would make me feel better (it usually did).
- After 2-3 months, I craved salad again for the first time. Yes, craved.
- I gradually started craving a variety of foods; the food cravings above turned into cravings for salmon, eggs, chicken, broccoli, apples, wok, bread, yoghurt, cereal, juice, etc. (Of course the occasional fast food craving would appear, too, but not as often as in early recovery.)
- I gradually became less hungry. Now I actually need to remind myself to eat sometimes. (I was used to being extremely hungry, and this made it harder to recognize normal hunger.) I am absolutely not restricting, but I am happy to announce that food takes up 1% of my time, if not less. I just eat when I need food, and spend my mental capacity on things I am truly passionate about. It feels great.

I hope this helped, please let me know if you want to know more.

- Øygunn

anonymous asked:

(Part 1) - First of all I would just like to thank you all for running this amazing blog, I have only recently discovered it but it made me realise how sick I am and how important it was to start recovery! I'm still in very early stages of recovery (I only started just over a week ago) and I am trying to gradually increase my calorie intake,but I keep feeling very concerned because in allowing myself to eat I've noticed that I get extreme hunger specifically on a night or when I'm in the house

Continuation; ”..for most of the day. The reason I’m worried is because I can’t distinguish whether I’m just boredom eating or if I’m actually hungry. Is it normal to get such severe hunger so early on? Will it eventually stop!? I’ll admit it makes me feel like I’m out of control & greedy but I know I need to get past this in order to get better. Thank you so much again!!! You are all so wonderful and inspiring, without this blog I would still be in denial about my condition. Much love to you guys!”

So happy to hear that you value our page, and has decided to take the plunge to recover. This question is a couple of weeks old now as it is from when we had our ask box open, so I hope you are still in recovery.

Extreme hunger early on is common. You should not be worried, actually you should be happy as it shows your body knows what it is doing, and work high-gear on repairing you. Yay for that! Another thing that is common and that you should not be worried about, is the sensation of eating out of boredom. Hungry but not hungry describes it well. Extreme hunger will in many cases manifest itself as eating without being physically hungry at all. Your stomach may feel like bursting, and you may be disgusted by food, but you still have this drive to eat, eat and eat. It is a survival mechanism. You are not greedy or out of control, you are human. Don’t analyze your extreme hunger too much, just eat. When you are recovered, you’ll not feel the same urges.

- Amalie