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Help with 'hunger'

(11 Posts)
LikeTheStuffYouHangUp Sun 19-May-13 14:17:49

For 15 years I have had various eating disorders. I am currently dealing with the issues that surround these and he causes for them.

I've decided things need to change and in the past have been on several structures diets to help, but the diets all go the same way. I stick for a few days before binging on crap, starving my self for a few weeks and feeling I need to start again.

I'm desperate not to let this happen again, but don't know how to deal with the hunger.

When I starve myself I feel no hunger, it's not an issue, when I binge I also don't feel hunger, it's just when I eat normally.

I'm trying to stick to around 1900ish calories a day, so far today I ate a bacon and scrambled egg roll for breakfast, a salad for lunch and some seeds 30 minutes later as I was hungry. Now I'm sat here thinking I need food. I want food, what can I eat?

I've also drank over a litre in water so it's not thirst.
Anyone have any tips or should I healthily give into the hunger. I'm scared of binging.

LikeTheStuffYouHangUp Sun 19-May-13 14:20:03

I've just checked and I've had 900 calories today, and have done hardly anything (bad cfs day) so I shouldn't be particularly hungry surely?

LikeTheStuffYouHangUp Sun 19-May-13 14:57:06

Just bumping up?

SEWannabe Sun 19-May-13 15:15:51

Hi LikeTheStuffYouHangup,
I am in recovery from various ED's that i had for 15 years, so i hope i can be of help.

Have you had some kind of therapy to address your issues around food? EDs are actually nothing to do with food, but is just a learnt coping mechanism (I am sure you know that already, but doesn't hurt to see it again).

The feeling of hunger is not your enemy. I felt for ages that it was, as I thought it was what caused my binges, but nothing could be further from the truth. It's natural to be hungry if your body hasn't got enough fuel. But hungry isn't the same as craving something.

If you are stepping away from 'dieting', this should include stepping away from counting calories. You can eat a few mars bars and have consumed 900 calories (not what i am saying you are doing, just an example), so it's perfectly possible to be hungry at 900 calories.

What more important that calories are vitamins and minerals. Are you getting enough carbs, protein, healthy fats? Are you eating regularly (3x a day, plus snacks)?

If your GP is aware of your eating issues, have you been referred to see a dietician?

Sorry-lots of questions, but it'll help with answers.

LikeTheStuffYouHangUp Sun 19-May-13 15:23:10

I'm having therapy to deal with childhood issues.

Sorry I know I shouldn't be counting calories but its more to keep track of what I'm eating. When I binge I often don't even realise completely that I'm doing it and just keep eating.

So keeping track of what I'm eating helps me know that I'm eating healthily and not binging, if that makes sense?

I've eaten 2 meals and snacks today and am still feeling hungry.

I feel like such a failure, like I've screwed up my life and am going to teach my dds bad habits through what I do.

LikeTheStuffYouHangUp Sun 19-May-13 15:24:25

Gp doesn't know of issues, but maybe that's not a bad idea. What would a dietitian do?

Tigglettchic Sun 19-May-13 15:30:30

Have u tried a support group or something like slimming world. I know it may sound counter productive as you have had EDs but it may help with a healthy diet and regular eating??

Other than thst, try foods that are low gi as the will keep u fuller for longer.

Hope this helps?

SEWannabe Sun 19-May-13 15:31:55

You have not screwed up your life whatsoever, you are trying to change it. If you were screwing your life up, you wouldn't be trying to seek help.

You dont need to apologise for counting calories, you just need to be aware that calorie counting just leads to illusion of control/loss of control /binging/purging, none of which are good for you.

The size of your meals is important too. 2 meals and 2 snacks doesn't really give an indication of if you are eating enough. At the very start of recovery, a 'meal' might be half a sandwich, and a snack might be 2 almonds (again, not saying this is good/bad/anything..just an example). You need to be realistic in determining if you are eating enough (as in, are your portion sizes appropriate).

eslteacher Sun 19-May-13 21:28:54

I hesitated to post anything, as it does seem like you have complex issues, and I am in no way an expert. Just wondering if you are sure that what you are feeling is hunger, and not just a feeling that's a byproduct of thinking about food a lot and being aware of trying not to eat too much / too little. I recently started a very relaxed 'diet' and at times I think I'm hungry but then I start to question whether it's really hunger or if it's just a kind of consciousness that I shouldn't be snacking, which makes me want to snack, which then seems like hunger. I don't think it's often exactly the same feeling as true hunger though, for me.

I don't know if any of these ideas would be relevant to you, but if you think maybe you're not hungry per se, just thinking about food, you could try: painting your nails, doing some exercise, playing an online game, preparing healthy meals and freezing them for future days...anything to give your mind something else to focus on.

I also sometimes chew gum (I like the Hollywood sugar free fruit flavour ones) if I feel I'm in danger of randomly shoving biscuits/crisps/crap in my mouth.

I'd say though that if you are really hungry you should eat something, but then I realise you have issues with worrying this would turn into a binge, so I don't know what to say re: that.

You are NOT a screw up though, you cannot blame yourself for things that happened to you in your childhood. You are doing your best to overcome these issues, which is all you can do, no-one can just click their fingers and 'get over' their issues, it takes time. Go easy on yourself and use all the help and resources out there for you.

LikeTheStuffYouHangUp Mon 20-May-13 14:22:47

Thank you all.
River, I've often wondered if its hunger I'm feeling or just the thought of food, thinking about it constantly, worried about what I've eaten, what I will be eating or what I'm not going to eat.

Good tip about chewing gum, I have a couple of packets in my car so I will put them in my kitchen.

I think my meal sizes are normalish. I serve myself the same as dh, although I don't necessarily eat that much I eat most of it (I think!)

I need to speak to the dr about contraception, so I will talk to the dr about this too and see if I can get a dietitian referral for help too.

Thank you so much everyone.

Reastie Fri 24-May-13 18:24:56

Hi like I also hesitated about posting because of the amount of 'stuff' behind your eating. I also have issues around eating and get very hungry like you, even though theoretically I should have eaten enough to sustain me it doesn't always. I've gradually cut down on my intake so it's not a huge shock to my body. I also need to eat often. I went to an NHS weight loss program and the lady there was obsessed with me eating 3 meals a day and no snacks, but I've always worked better and lost weight better with more gradual grazing. I often spread my lunch in 2 sittings to make it seem like more. I have a low kcal hot choc after lunch to get a sugar fix. I eat alot of vegetables to bulk out my diet.

I also spent alot of time thinking and worrying about what I'm eating/when I'm eating/if I've had too much or not enough/when I can next eat and it is hard. Sometimes I find I think I'm hungry but really it's just anxiety that I might be be hungry or about when I'll next be able to eat.

Sorry, that;s not much help is it, but I do feel you need to gradually make changes to make it sustainable. Try exercising regularly if you can or if you aren't already as that really helps with my appetite and not eating so much (although it feels like it should have the opposite effect, it doesn't). Strangely what also helped me is training myself to wait an hour or 2 after waking up before I have my breakfast. it's like my body gets used to the hungry feeling so it's easier to press through hunger as I'm used to it in the morning. That sounds odd doesn't it!

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