So, when I first started eating more and exercising less, I did a lot of research on Your Eatopia and other sources so I knew what to expect. One thing I kept coming across was the idea of ‘Extreme Hunger‘. Considering that I wasn’t coming from a place of extreme restriction or from being extremely underweight, I didn’t think that I would experience it at all.
So, imagine my surprise when it hit me a few weeks ago. I was sitting at the computer and it was time for me to eat a morning snack. So I got up, went to the fridge, and grabbed a piece of banana bread. I sat back down, ate it…and didn’t feel satisfied.
So I went back for another.
And then, I felt satisfied…only to be hungry again for lunch 90 minutes later.
After a period of restriction, your body is in desperate need of energy. Not only is your body trying to restore you back to your optimal weight, your body is trying to repair a LOT of damage. I wasn’t coming from a disordered place, but I hadn’t been eating enough for my body to properly fuel my exercise level. Combine that with anorexia in my past…yup, my body had some big repairs to do.
Robyn had a great post about this a few weeks ago that differentiated between binge eating and hunger. I think it’s easy to confuse the two, and it’s why a lot of people feel like they’ve developed Binge Eating Disorder or an addiction to food or to sugar. It makes sense – the best I could describe the sensation was feeling ’empty’…I wasn’t necessarily hungry or starving, but there was some sort of void. Like I was hungry, but I wasn’t hungry – but I knew I needed to eat.
My experiences with it was actually pretty mild compared to a lot of others. I’ve read accounts of people who would experience extreme hunger to the point of eating 6000-10000 calories per day, every day, for months at a time. Mine was/(is?) considerably more mild – it happened on and off, about twice a week for 2-3 weeks (and nowhere near 6000 calories), then it seemed to taper off. I haven’t noticed it in the last week or so, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone – it could come back.
But, the important thing is this situation is to LISTEN to your body. Your body is begging for food for a reason – it needs adequate nutrition in order to repair the damage that restriction does to your organs, bones, cognitive abilities, metabolism and hormones.`
And of course, do not try to ‘make up’ after experiences of extreme hunger. Do NOT restrict, do NOT ‘burn it off’…your body needed that extra energy and it’s going to a good place. So trying to expend that extra energy is not a good idea at all.
Having the knowledge that I did, even though it caught me off guard, I was able to recognize EH for what it was and respond to it properly, and like I was told would happen…it tapered off. So, if this is happening to you, trust that your body knows what it’s doing and listen to it’s signals.
Have a good one!
<— Anyone ever experience a sensation like this?
<— Any thoughts on this?