When I first started refeeding my body with an adequate amount of nutrition (3000 calories a day), I felt extremely full a lot of the time. However, there were times whether between meals or right before a meal that I felt STARVING. It was a feeling of if I didn’t get food soon I would get really irritable, shaky, and the not-so-attractive hangry. I remember the feeling all to well.
It happened more so when I was out shopping or doing errands I would be begging my mom to go get some food. Extreme hunger is not something to be scared or ashamed of. When people go through this, they may end up eating anywhere from 3500-6000 calories a day. It is in fact a normal phase in recovery. Some people never experience it, others it may happen a lot of times. This is another sign to show that we are all so very different and have different needs.
When your body has been restricted for so long, it goes into a “survival mode“. It slows basic biological functions and takes energy from your tissues, brain, bones, muscles, and organs just to survive. It is SO important to honor those hunger cues and EAT. Don’t ignore the hunger because you are afraid of “gaining weight” or “losing control”. Your body is giving you a clear sign that it’s trying to get back to it’s optimal weight and repair some damage. Studies have shown that no matter how much you decide to eat to recover, your body will eventually want to get to it’s “set point” in order for it to function properly. Sure you can choose to gain weight on a little amount. The downside to this is you’ll be stuck with a very slow metabolism 😦
Feeding the extreme hunger is NOT A BINGE. There is a huge difference between eating because your body needs it and with eating a days worth of food to the point of no return. You will not develop a binge eating disorder by listening to your body. It’s all part of the tough mental and physical parts of recovering, but this is what needs to happen in order to fully heal. You will eventually start feeling more content after meals and the strong cravings go down the longer you maintain a healthy recovery amount.
Trust me when I say that I was terrified too. I thought I was never going to stop eating and keep gaining and gaining. It’s a totally irrational side of the disorder that is trying to play games with you.
Secondly, let’s say your extreme hunger has calmed down and you are eating around 2,800-3,500 calories a day, and you are still gaining. Once you reach your natural weight; your optimum setpoint, you will stop gaining, and you will maintain on the same amount of calories. If you are experiencing extreme hunger, trust that your body knows what it’s doing and let it do what it needs to do.
I’m not a professional or a doctor, I am just sharing what I know through experience and from my own research. I hope this topic cleared up any questions you may have had but if not you can email me at: