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Always hungry in bulimia recovery

Hi Shaye,

I'm in recovery from bulimia at the moment (go me!), but I'm finding that I'm ALWAYS hungry. However much I eat, I never feel satisfied!

Breakfast today: an apple, an orange, two slices of watermelon, two cups of tea, eight crisp bread things, two handfuls of almonds, and four falafels... HOW AM I NOT EXPLODING?? And WHY do I feel like I could still eat more? Sure, I'm slim, but I'm not underweight... I don't over-exercise... I try to eat foods that are high in fibre... I guess bulimia must have stretched my stomach!

Did you experience this when you were in recovery? If so, how did you deal with it? Any advice??

Thank you!


Shaye Says

Hi there!

GO YOU! It's so awesome that you have started on this exciting journey! There are so many wonderful experiences waiting for you on the other side :)

During bulimia recovery you generally get 3 situations....

1) When you can't seem to get full

2) When you can't even eat an almond without feeling like your going to pop

3) When you're lucky and feel absolutely fine!

I fell into category two... I had terrible bloating and a shot metabolism... I felt extremely full for the first month of my recovery - then it gradually began to improve.

You're obviously experiencing the other end of the scale...

There could be a few reasons for this...

The first - which I think could possibly be yours - is that you're not eating enough fat. Fat doesn't necessarily mean you need to stack up on the chips and dip... You can get healthy fats which help to increase your levels of fullness and satiety (satiety meaning 'just right') Perhaps try to add even more nuts into your meals, avocados, some cheese and some sort of meat - perhaps chicken? If you're a vegetarian, scratch the meat and bulk up on vegetable fats.

I know that now when I eat a meal without enough fat - within 30 minutes I'm back in the pantry... with my tummy rumbling. I need fat in every single meal... And that's common with most people.

Don't get nervous about your hunger - hunger is natural and it's a part of recovery learning how to satisfy it...

Eat your meals really slowly, putting your knife and fork down after each bite... this will allow your body time to register food. Try not to eat in front of the TV or while at the computer... Eat in a calm and relaxing place where you can enjoy your meal. If you're still hungry after your meal, wait 30 minutes, drink a glass of water (To make sure your hungry not thirsty) and, if 30 minutes later your still hungry, eat again (in the same relaxing, calm way) If you are truly hungry, allow yourself to eat.

It can take a while to regain the intuitive eating that you used to have before bulimia set in... but in time you'll learn how to listen to your body to figure out exactly what it needs.

You're doing superbly so far - give yourself a high five - because if I was with you right now I'd give you one :) You deserve it!

Stay strong and remember to be kind to yourself :)


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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community

The Bulimia Recovery Program