Have you ever heard anyone say to you the following;
With that said, let’s move on. These assumptions or thoughts about people struggling with Anorexia are untrue. It is not true the people who have Anorexia simply “don’t like food.” On the same note, they don’t restrict what they eat because they’re simply “not hungry.”
A person with Anorexia does eat, but what they do is restrict their calories well-below the amount that they need to really survive optimally. This does not mean they don’t like food or are not hungry, this is a conscious decision on behalf of their Eating Disorder, see BATTLE: Eating Disorder Self vs. Healthy Self.
This is where the answer to the question “do Anorexics get hungry” gets a bit complicated. What tends to happen in Anorexia, not always, but often, is that their body will eventually lose hunger cues. Hunger cues is that feeling within your body that tells your brain it’s hungry. To put it bluntly, it’s because you kind of messed your body up a bit with the Anorexic behaviors. Your body stops functioning the way it’s designed to. In this sense, they may not feel hunger often. Watch How to Know When You’re Hungry.
Now to address the idea that “Anorexics don’t like food;”
A person with Anorexia starts to develop fear foods and deems these foods as “forbidden.” What tends to happen is this list grows until there’s very little that’s “acceptable to eat.” Typical fear foods include the foods that are traditionally deemed as “unhealthy.” Perhaps cookies, ice cream, pizza, pasta etc.
They may associate these foods with gaining weight and of course this is an intense fear for someone struggling with Anorexia.
Another fear typically is that the person will lose control if they eat a fear food. Typically, these fear foods are foods that this person once loved and giving into eating this food at all, may lead to overeating and possibly binging on it.
Anorexia will look different from person to person, but these are some typical ways you’ll see it. Consider checking out this video on what Anorexia actually is; What It’s Like to Struggle with Anorexia.
I hope you found this post helpful! If you know anyone else who could benefit from reading this, please share with them. If you have any questions, concerns or requests for future posts, please leave a comment or message me privately.
I wish you wellness and awareness on your journey to finding your State of Balance!
Binge And Restrict Cycle
Eating Disorder Specialist
Healthy Self Vs. Eating Disorder