Weight Gain
Moderators: chrissy1988, autopilotfrank193, bierorama, nycgirl


How can you *make* yourself hungry enough to eat to gain?


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Hey

I'm having trouble with eating enough at the moment because I am seriously NOT hungry AT ALL... ever.

Is there something I can do to make myself feel hungry? It's really hard having to eat when I already feel completely full. The full feeling is from the moment I wake up and lasts all day, so it's not like I'm filling up with breakfast or anything.

I don't know if there is a way to help this but I thought it better to ask, just in case there is.

Thanks :)

35 Replies (last)

I find that if I do some physical activity then my brain kind of kicks in and I can feel hunger more. Also, if I drink coffee it always makes me hungry!

coffee is a bad idea.

if you don't feel hungry then just eat any way. it's like a dieter who DOES FEEL hungry and must restrict to lose weight. you HAVE TO EAT to gain, regardless of not feeling hungry. in time your appetite will return.

until then i suggest eating 4-6 tbsp of peanut butter per meal/snack or 1/2 cup nuts

1 slice bread/english muffin/muffin 

1 cup regular soy/2% milk

That's 700 calories and not filling in the slightest

 

for snack have nuts/hummus/avocado/trail mix/granola/ full fat yogurt

cook oatmeal in milk, use higher fat milk, regular bread, add olive oil to everything, add cheese and seeds when you can

Ohh ok. Thank you both for your ideas, I can't drink coffee anyway as it does funny things to my heart and I get palpitations.

What about drinks like Ensure? Would it be worth me finding out about getting them? I've considered it recently as an easy way to get more calories without having to stuff myself to the point of nausea, which is what has been happening lately.

Are they also a good idea or no?

ensure and boost drinks are both excellent for increasing calories until your appetite returns to normal. you can purchase them at any grocery store and even drugstores like CVS, walgreens, or rite aid. some taste delicious too! 

I wish it were that easy! As I'm in New Zealand I have to get a prescription from my doctor in order to get them. Yeah I know... way to make it complicated. I will ask her about them next time I see her, I think they may be a good solution!

:D Thanks chrissy

I never had that problem, not being hungry hehe, but physical activity does the trick for me. I'm always ravenous now that I'm running consistently, specially on long run days. Bring me the carbs!

for someone suffering from an ED exercise is not the safest or smartest way to increase appetite since essentially they'd be eating back the calories they burned while putting too much stress on their heart and body. therefore, they've gained nothing but put themselves in danger.

Other than exercise, you need to eat mechanically but try liquids as you say or just high calorie low bulk foods as much as possible. You should eventually start to get hungrier as your body wants more and gets those hunger cues x

I find variety is really important. Try weird things like splitting sandwiches, one half cheese and salad one half peanut butter, or something like that. Eating two smaller things always seems better than one big thing.

For me, I find the best time to do shakes, whether they be ensure, milo or fruit (or peanut butter!) is first thing in the morning and a half hour before bed. That way you have plenty of time through out the day for solids.

Best of luck!
Original Post by chrissy1988:

for someone suffering from an ED exercise is not the safest or smartest way to increase appetite since essentially they'd be eating back the calories they burned while putting too much stress on their heart and body. therefore, they've gained nothing but put themselves in danger.

Precisely. The OP is recovering from an eating disorder with a BMI below 16. Exercise is NOT advisable at this stage. I also second chrissy on eating even though you are not hungry. That is simply what has to be done. I did it, just forced myself, and eventually my hunger caught up. ED has essentially shrunken your stomach. You need to push past this by deliberately expanding it a bit. It won't enlarge to epic proportions, but you'll eventually be able to eat a normal amount without feeling like a stuffed pig. It takes time, but it's worth it. You really do need to push for it now though. I find that supplementing each meal with high-cal drinks is very beneficial. Have a milkshake or a fresh fruit/vege juice with your food. Good quality extra cals that aren't so hard to get down.

Original Post by ninafish:
I also second chrissy on eating even though you are not hungry. That is simply what has to be done. I did it, just forced myself, and eventually my hunger caught up. ED has essentially shrunken your stomach. You need to push past this by deliberately expanding it a bit.

Indeed this is true.  My ED doctor told me just this same thing, and also added that after years of starving myself my appetite centre in my brain has shut down, which is why I never feel hungry.

Regular eating, small and often, is the key - I have been told to eat by the clock and not by what my body is saying.  It is very hard, as you say, because when you have no appetite food is the last thing you think about.  I find it all too easy to involve myself in something like housework and forget all about eating.  But my ED doctor said that being consistent is vital in switching my appetite centre back on and getting it working again.

Good luck!

Ohh mannn..

So not what I wanted to hear! I know it's the truth, the truth is hard. I am SO over making myself feel nauseous from overeating (well not really overeating, my body just thinks it's being overfed due to hunger receptor issues) I don't know how much longer I can take it.

I know I know, push through it, be strong and all that. It's just that I've never been the type of person who can make myself do something I don't want to do, like ever, and it's really showing now no matter what I hear/read about my body being in danger... it still isn't breaking through to me. Gah! I want this to be OVER - NOW! 

double post

You say you have neveer been the kind of person that could make yourself do something you dont want to do, so, do you want to gain weight and recover form anorexia? Short term loss for Longterm gain my dear, the truth hurts, but it will set u free.

x

the solution to your problem: eat anyway. the point in your recovery is to gain weight, and to do that you have to eat. hungry or not. trust me, once you start eating a good amount, you will get hungry so easily. right now, i'm eating 2500 daily and i'm constantly hungry. all the time. my food goes down so quickly and because my metabolic rate has sped up so much, i'm just constantly hungry. it's so annoying! you've got to eat whether you're hungry or not at the end of the day, in order to gain weight. you can do it.

Original Post by missymoo10:

Ohh mannn..

So not what I wanted to hear! I know it's the truth, the truth is hard. I am SO over making myself feel nauseous from overeating (well not really overeating, my body just thinks it's being overfed due to hunger receptor issues) I don't know how much longer I can take it.

I know I know, push through it, be strong and all that. It's just that I've never been the type of person who can make myself do something I don't want to do, like ever, and it's really showing now no matter what I hear/read about my body being in danger... it still isn't breaking through to me. Gah! I want this to be OVER - NOW! 

I thiink something that you're missing in the responses people are giving you to this thread and many of the others that you've posted recently is that the struggle you're experiencing right now--having difficulty with WANTING to recover, WANTING to eat, etc.--is all PART of the disorder.  You seem to be operating under the assumption that this struggle is what makes you different and is a sign that you shouldn't recover.  The struggle is the disorder, my dear.  If any of this were easy, eating disorders would not exist.  The problem is not that you are struggling.  The problem is that you are interpreting this struggle as a sign that you are different in some way and somehow destined to have an ED for life.

So, the thing to do is to stop focusing on how much you don't want to recover.  And, as part of that, I would suggest that you stop posting threads about how much you don't want to do what needs to be done to recover.  I'm not trying to be harsh, but I don't think it's helpful for your recovery to engage in this thinking.  You need to shift your focus to the concrete behaviors that need to be done to get you well, regardless of what your mind says about it.  For the time being, your mind is not your friend so stop relying on it to tell you what to do.  No one here can change how hard this is going to be.  If you're secretly hoping for some kind of trick or secret that will make this easy, you're wasting your time.  Just do what needs to be done.  There is nothing different about your struggle and it won't get easier until you do what needs to be done to get your life back. 

Original Post by laura916:

Original Post by missymoo10:

Ohh mannn..

So not what I wanted to hear! I know it's the truth, the truth is hard. I am SO over making myself feel nauseous from overeating (well not really overeating, my body just thinks it's being overfed due to hunger receptor issues) I don't know how much longer I can take it.

I know I know, push through it, be strong and all that. It's just that I've never been the type of person who can make myself do something I don't want to do, like ever, and it's really showing now no matter what I hear/read about my body being in danger... it still isn't breaking through to me. Gah! I want this to be OVER - NOW! 

I thiink something that you're missing in the responses people are giving you to this thread and many of the others that you've posted recently is that the struggle you're experiencing right now--having difficulty with WANTING to recover, WANTING to eat, etc.--is all PART of the disorder.  You seem to be operating under the assumption that this struggle is what makes you different and is a sign that you shouldn't recover.  The struggle is the disorder, my dear.  If any of this were easy, eating disorders would not exist.  The problem is not that you are struggling.  The problem is that you are interpreting this struggle as a sign that you are different in some way and somehow destined to have an ED for life.

So, the thing to do is to stop focusing on how much you don't want to recover.  And, as part of that, I would suggest that you stop posting threads about how much you don't want to do what needs to be done to recover.  I'm not trying to be harsh, but I don't think it's helpful for your recovery to engage in this thinking.  You need to shift your focus to the concrete behaviors that need to be done to get you well, regardless of what your mind says about it.  For the time being, your mind is not your friend so stop relying on it to tell you what to do.  No one here can change how hard this is going to be.  If you're secretly hoping for some kind of trick or secret that will make this easy, you're wasting your time.  Just do what needs to be done.  There is nothing different about your struggle and it won't get easier until you do what needs to be done to get your life back. 

Agreed. Not to be harsh, but no one with this disorder ever WANTED to recover in the first place - that's the whole thing that makes anorexia so complex and difficult to 'cure.' And why it has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. It really is a case of doing it first, thinking about it later. And by later I mean when your body is in an adequate place to allow your mind to start to heal. 

The reason you're not hungry is because by starving yourself you have messed up your ventromedial hypothalamus which regulates hunger.  So for a period of time you'll have to eat whether you're hungry or not, until such time that your hypothalamus recovers and starts sending you appropriate signals again.

And please ignore the comments by people saying you should exercise to make yourself hungry.  They have obviously not twigged that you're a recovering anorexic.

Original Post by laura916:

I thiink something that you're missing in the responses people are giving you to this thread and many of the others that you've posted recently is that the struggle you're experiencing right now--having difficulty with WANTING to recover, WANTING to eat, etc.--is all PART of the disorder.  You seem to be operating under the assumption that this struggle is what makes you different and is a sign that you shouldn't recover.  The struggle is the disorder, my dear.  If any of this were easy, eating disorders would not exist.  The problem is not that you are struggling.  The problem is that you are interpreting this struggle as a sign that you are different in some way and somehow destined to have an ED for life.

 

I agree. Sorry OP, but you're kind of looking for excuses... And when given advice, you/ED come up with more excuses to counter with. Recovery isn't comfortable or fun for anybody.

Wow. Thanks you guys. Thank you SO much for reminding me how stupid I am to feel the way I do. I didn't think I was *different*, ok? In case you hadn't noticed, I was asking YOU ALL for help, because I know you are all doing well and I wanted to know how I could get the courage to be able to do it too.

So thank you for that, being harsh. Tough love has never worked for me, and sadly I can say with all honesty that it has made me almost burst into tears. And not in a "wow I have SO had a wake up call, I am wrong in thinking I am different! I should eat more because I am being annoying and asking questions for help repeatedly just to annoy everyone! Not because I am struggling and just waiting for something to 'click' so that I can be just like the people on this forum who I get a lot of inspiration from because they're always so nice and seem to be doing so well". No, nothing like that. It was all just a big plot to try and make myself seem special. You caught me.

So thanks again for that. I'm not coming back to this site, I'm giving up on recovery. I give up. I don't care anymore. The one place where I thought people actually cared about me has turned its back on me just like everything else. The time when I have been underweight has been the best of my life. As soon as I start recovery this goes and happens and reminds me that everything has been 10 times better when I have been skinny.

And don't try and say "ohh we do care, we were just giving you tough love" because none of that sounded anything like love. And don't try and say that I'm making a scene and trying to be different because I assure you, I am not. This is for real, I am doing this for me - not to prove anything to anyone else.

Thanks for giving up on me.

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