Having trouble with appetite/eating

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    Having trouble with appetite/eating

    Hello! Hope all the bees are having a good week!

    I am having a LOT of trouble consuming more than 1000 calories a day. I have a history of anorexia, I will admit it, but I am far from 'thin' anymore and have been honestly really good for probably 10 years. I've recently (since March) been getting really into getting healthy. The more into it I get, the more I forget to eat. It's not even intentional - before, everything was so intentional in the calorie restriction. I workout at least 30 minutes a day 6 days a week (sometimes 7) and have a decently active job. I just don't feel hungry anymore, and can't finish an entire meal like I used to. I'm not feeling hunger pains, and I even went to see my doctor and showed her my meal plan and she was floored that I'm not feeling hungry? I don't really know what to do - I want to get to at least 1500 calories a day but my body just isn't feeling hungry and it's like it refusing me my ability to eat everything on my plate??

    Has anyone experienced this before? I'm trying really hard to eat more. I don't want a repeat of my past by any means.

    #2
    With everything that happened to you lately I'm not that surprised, are you saying still someone for your ED ? Otherwise it might be a good idea to do it.

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      #3
      Hmm, normally it's a matter of your habits, in my opinion. Being so active doesn't necessarily mean you will be eating a lot, if your body has already adapted to your existing eating and training/activities pattern. Therefore you might consider working out more, increasing intensity, etc.

      But another thing is, your appetite can be low after intensive exercise, or long session cardio workouts. Do you do strength training? If not you might want to try it out for sometime, maybe 2 weeks, or a month. Increasing your muscle mass should increase your appetite.

      These are my experience. Also, are you eating 3 meals a day and on time? If not, you might want to start doing that and see.

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        #4
        Did your doctor suggest any tests to rule out medical causes? There can be a lot of physical causes of appetite loss that are worth checking for. Stress, anxiety and depression can be causes too if you have any of that going on in your life.

        When I don't have an appetite I find distraction one of the best ways to eat. Watching TV, reading a book, anything that I can concentrate on other the food helps. It also helps to have food that I don't need to pay too much attention to as I'm eating, so everything already cut up or food I can eat with my hands. Is eating smaller meals more frequently an option? Or small snacks in between meals?

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          #5
          Another question, are you sure you are not overworking ? I say that because when I do really intense workouts that are at the upper limit for my body (crossfit, doing runs 1h and longer), I have no appetite for a few hours afterwards - and I know it is a sign my body shunts more energy toward muscle build+repair and less / not enough toward keeping the GI tract active (think of sympathic system in physiology : it is time to "fight or flight" so your body focuses on increasing heart rate , blood supply to muscles and brain, but no time to pee or poo or digest).

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            #6
            I don't know much about eating disorders, but I wonder if you're restricting yourself too much on what you eat. You wrote that you try to be healthy (which is great) but some people equal eating healthy with eating things they don't really enjoy. Are there still things you enjoy eating? If yes, do you eat them or try to abstain because they're "unhealthy"? If it's the latter, maybe introduce those things back into your mealplan. If it's the first, try to find something you enjoy, or that you've never tried but are curious about. You know, trying to trick your brain into getting some new feelings in conjunction with food that are more than "just eating".

            Another idea: would it be feasible to ignore your mealplan for a few days, ignore calories, macros and all that stuff and try a more relaxed attitude towards food?

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              #7
              So, first order of business, really, is for you to find a doctor that has specialization in eating disorders and their treatment or at least a therapist.

              From there, you need to work through not just your food triggers, but also anything that triggers you feeling hungry (or not hungry as the case might be). It might be a good idea to keep a personal diary of sorts so that even if it takes some time, you might learn that really long or difficult shifts cause your appetite to lessen or that certain kinds of exercise might make you hungrier.

              I would also suggest that you select three times for the day to eat and eat consistently at those times even if you aren't feeling particularly hungry. In theory, you might be able to teach your body to expect to be fed at (for example) 9 am, 1 pm, and 5 pm every day and so you might start to experience hunger cues around those times again. It's not perfect, but it's at least a stepping stone. Notably, these meals don't have to be big - if you just want something small for breakfast, you can always make a meal bigger later. If you want a huge breakfast and make meals on the later part of the day more snack like, that's fine too as long as you hit your calorie goals.

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