Hunger & Appetite

“Lose 20 pounds in one month without being hungry.” How many claims like that have you heard? The message many of us have picked up over the years is that success at weight management depends on somehow losing weight without being hungry.

Weight Cycling

The reason for this is simple. Many addicts, especially eating addicts, have been cycling for years, between bingeing on high-fat foods, thereby gaining weight, then going on very restrictive diets, which told their bodies that there was a famine outside. When the body produced hunger and feelings of panic, this became a good excuse for breaking the diet. Then the cycle started all over.

Don’t restrict carbs The first suggestion to avoid problems with physical hunger, then, is almost too simple: don’t ever restrict your carbohydrate intake enough to produce hunger much before time to eat another moderate meal. In fact, while you could gain weight with very excessive carbohydrates, you should never try to lose weight by cutting back on carbohydrates, unless that intake was excessive to begin with.

If you feel hungry more than an hour or two before the next regular mealtime, you should check to see if you are eating enough carbohydrates. If you are sure you are, then you might see if something you are eating is causing cravings that. you are interpreting as hunger.

Eating addicts probably cannot rely on hunger or lack of hunger to tell them when to eat, how much to eat, or when to stop eating. The addiction can cause hunger feelings, or you may have hormone or other biochemical functions somewhat out of adjustment, and you may just be hungry for no reason.

Look at other aspects We must then leave the physical aspect of the Program and look at the emotional, mental, and spiritual. If you have a hunger or appetite, you don’t have to eat! The addiction tries hard to make a link between hunger and binge, but there simply is no direct link there. If you believe there is a direct link, then you will have no mental defense against a binge, your emotions probably will start running wild, and you may not have the spiritual contact to calm all that down.

Coping with Eating Addiction

If you are fighting hunger, then, you can look at your carbohydrate intake and sensitive foods, but now:

  • Make contact with your Higher Power or Program, and (if possible) someone else in recovery. This will give you guidance to put the hunger in perspective.
  • Share your fear, anger, or other feelings with both your Higher Power and the other person. This will help you deal with the emotional aspects.
  • Realize that hunger does not have any direct link with bingeing, or even eating between meals. This will get your mental aspects into line.
  • Remember that the next meal will come along eventually, and you will feel so much better that you waited for it. Abstinence tastes great, doesn’t it?

Hunger & appetite, see also: Abstinence, Affirmations, Allergies, Behavior, Celebrations, Craving, Diet mentality, Eating addiction, Eating plans, Moderation, Prayer & meditation, Program, Relapse & prevention, Sabotage of recovery, Sanity, Sponsorship, Stress & strain, Tools of recovery, Visualizations.

Updated 6 Sep 2015


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Addictionary 2 by Jan & Judy Wilson

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