What Is Extreme Hunger & What Is The Difference Between Extreme Hunger & Binge Eating?Jun 21, 2022
Not sure whether you’re dealing with extreme hunger or binge eating? This article will help you find out.
WHAT IS EXTREME HUNGER
Extreme hunger is characterized by a feeling of having an insatiable appetite. You’re hungry more often than you’re ever been - even after you’ve just eaten you may still feel hungry. Those experiencing extreme hunger often report eating huge amounts of calories in a day - I’ve heard of figures like 7,000+ from clients. Yet they may not feel ‘full’ or satisfied. It's like you're constantly hungry no matter how much you eat!
Extreme hunger is most often experienced by those who have had a past with anorexia or chronic under-eating. It usually starts to happen once they lift restrictions and begin to refuel their body. It’s almost like your body is like, ‘YES! Finally food is coming! Let’s get as much in as we can!’. As scary as it can feel, extreme hunger is a good thing - it’s your body trying to heal and replenish.
HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM BINGE EATING
As mentioned above, you may eat when feeling extreme hunger and not feel full afterwards (even though you ate a substantial amount of food). This doesn’t happen when binge eating. Usually, when you binge, the first several bites are delicious and fill you up - yet you continue to eat far past fullness to the point of feeling physically unwell.
Clients that I’ve worked with who experienced extreme hunger also reported it feeling much less out-of-control than binge eating. It was simply eating A LOT of food but because they genuinely felt hungry.
Extreme hunger is really characterised by just that - HUNGER. Your body will feel physically hungry. You’ll feel those hunger pangs and other signs of physical hunger. Whereas some forms of binge eating can come down to emotions - not even anything to do with hunger.
YOU MIGHT BE DEALING WITH BOTH
You may be confused as to whether you’re binge eating or dealing with extreme hunger because you could be experiencing a mix! For example, half the time you have be experiencing extreme hunger - and the other half you’re bingeing, perhaps because you’re facing fear foods and still feeling slightly out-of-control with them / early in the process of normalising those foods. Or maybe your binge eating is down to emotional suppression i.e. using food to numb out emotions.
Hopefully, this article will help you identify when it is extreme hunger. Remember - extreme hunger is ok, and even a good thing! It’s your body making up for potentially years of under-eating. So we don’t want to fight this or try to stop it. The bingeing, on the other hand, you could work to minimise or stop completely. I’d recommend learning the various reasons why you may be bingeing with this free masterclass.
HOW TO GET THROUGH EXTREME HUNGER
The way out is through when it comes to extreme hunger! I know it may be annoying to hear, and even scary, but it’s what your body needs. Your body is literally giving you these intense signals of physical hunger asking for what it needs. This is your time to honour what your body needs after years of ignoring and silencing it.
To reassure you further, extreme hunger will not last forever. You won’t be eating that much food forever, your hunger will eventually go back to a ‘normal’ level.
It will only do that if you persevere and keep honouring the hunger by eating.
If you freak out and start ignoring it or trying to lose weight/restrict - I can guarantee that your healing journey will take steps backwards.
So the best thing you can do is face the fear and push through.
For even further reassurance: extreme hunger doesn’t even always last that long! I’ve worked with a client who had a serious history of anorexia with many hospitalisations. When we worked through her extreme hunger together, it lasted about 4 weeks! After that, she was feeling way better!
The more you listen to the extreme hunger, instead of ignoring it, the quicker it'll pass.
It’s always helpful to hear directly from those who have experienced what you’re experiencing, so I highly recommend listening to this podcast episode with a past client. She talks about her time moving through extreme hunger and gives some inspiring advice!
Start your food and body healing journey with the FREE masterclass
"Why You're Still Binge-Eating & How To Stop"