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RobH 06-30-2003 01:42 PM

unusually large appetite
I have an extremely large appetite, so large it is almost abnormal. I am 6'1" and about 205 pounds. I am not gaining or losing weight. I remember having a large appetite since high school and my mom says I did even before that. I have seen several doctors about it but none was able to find a cause other than to say that I must have a "high metabolism". I eat anywhere from 7000 to 10,000 calories a day. I know that is a large amount, but I am not a compulsive over-eater. I really get hungry for that amount. I can eat less for a while but I get very very hungry. It is sometimes awkward and even embarrassing. When I stay over at a friends house for example, I don't want to just eat, eat, eat them out of food but slipping out for a bite to eat can also be awkward. I want to know if there is a possible cause for this which could have been overlooked. I would like to know if anyone has heard of another case like me. Also, is there anything to do about it? I would also like to know exactly what is meant by "fast metabolism". I know you proccess food faster, but where is the energy actually going?
Thank you for anything you can tell me.

[This message has been edited by RobH (edited 06-30-2003).]

chopstix_gal 07-09-2003 11:31 AM

wow, you are really lucky or maybe have a health issue? but my guess is that if you had a health issue, you would be experiencing some kind of negative side effects which u are not.

personally i think if u can eat that much and don't have a health risk, then go ahead. however, i'd still be careful when choosing foods (not too fatty, sodium, etc).

if you want to curb your apetite anyway, drink a lot of water, eat more whole foods (unprocessed), stay away from white flour products, eat protein. protein does a lot for apetite control.

i have a huge apetite too, for a female :)

Janette* 07-09-2003 05:43 PM

Have you had your thyroid checked out by a doctor? Thyroid irregularities can affect your metabolism.

RobH 07-10-2003 07:22 PM

Thanks for responding,
I don't know if I have a health issue or not actually. I feel normal except for having a larger than normal appetite. My Mother took me to see the doctor about it around the time I turned 15. In high school it didn't bother me to much even though it annoyed my family sometimes. My Mom used to say we needed two refrigerators, one for me, one for the rest of the family. I also talked to a doctor about it in college. I have been checked for hyperthyroidism, paracites, and diabetes. People suggested to me that I have an eating disorder or just no self control, but I don't think I have a physcological problem. In college I sometimes tried to eat the same amount as one of my friends but it turned out I just needed to eat more than they did. By the way, chopstix_gal, other people have told me I'm really lucky but some tell me I should see a doctor! I do feel lucky somewhat but it's sometimes embarrassing to have to eat so much and to be hungry when no one else is. Eating protein works by the way, I often snack on beef jerky and it can allow me to go a lot longer before I get really hungry. I have talked to several doctors about this with no real results. I would like to find any way to really reduce my appetite - not just delay it.

englishkiwi 07-11-2003 01:38 AM

Good god! that is a lot to eat, it must cost your mum and dad a fortune to keep you going!! I must admit, you do need to sort this problem out as it will end up costing you a lot of money (if you think about it)... try eating loads of hot cereals, esp. porridge.... if you eat 2 big bowls that will fill you up - are you eating enough fibre?? My bf can eat what he likes too and never gain weight, but often he is hungry cos he just eats biscuits and crap that don't have fibre or nutrients... please post a sample menu plan

chopstix_gal 07-11-2003 10:52 AM

yeah posting a sample menu is a good idea

-if you want to reduce your apetite, eat less sugar. sugar causes a chemical reaction (insulin) in your body that makes you crave more foods.

-if you eat carbs that take longer to digest, you will stay fuller for a longer period of time, for example eating a candy bar vs. a bowl of oatmeal. oatmeal has less cals, but will make you fuller

- eat more fiber. i.e. brown rice has more fiber than white rice. if you eat the same amount , u will be more full with the brown.

-too much fat is not a good thing but it helps you feel full and slows down digestion. I would not go beyond ~30% of your total cals.

Hamer 07-11-2003 08:42 PM

I would also recommend eating as much fiber as you can. Aim for 5-10 grams at least per meal. It will really fill you up. beans, whole wheat bread, peas and lots of other things. apples have about 5 grams I think. The only thing is, when you eat fiber, you need to drink at least 1 glass of water with it or you can get bloated.

RobH 07-17-2003 08:19 AM

thank you for responding,
Here is what I ate yesterday: breakfast, 2 omlettes, a bowl of grape nuts cerial, 2 hot link sausages, a slice of pizza, some broccoli and mashed potatos, an apple and an orange. sometime in the morning I ate 2 apples and 4 hard boiled eggs. lunch, we went to sizzler I had steak-and-all-you-can-eat-shrimp, a bowl of seafood chowder, and 2 plates of salid, in the afternoon I ate some oreo cookies and half a tuna sandwich from a gas station. dinner, beef casserole and a variety of vegetables and a slice of blueberry pie. Just before bed I ate another slice of pie and 2 deviled eggs. This is pretty typical. The only exercise I got was about an hour of weight lifting. I eat more on days when I have a real work-out. Also, if I miss some meals or don't get enough I sometimes get so hungry I can eat a huge meal at one time. I have eaten a large pizza with breadsticks and salid all by myself on occasion.

chopstix_gal 07-17-2003 10:22 AM

yum, sounds good. i haven't had pie in a looooonn time!

i added up your food and estimated your serving sizes. you probably ate about 5k calories and that's on the liberal side (so actual is probably less). why did u estimate 10k cals?

you are a big guy at 205 (x 15), probably 3k calories just for maintenance since you work out regularly. plus u burn even more calories when u do weight training.

RobH 07-17-2003 12:02 PM

I'll admit I don't really know how to add up the calories. I don't think I eat any less than I did in college and at that time the doctor had me keep a record of everything I ate for three days. He estimated 8000 cal/day from that. He also did some computations based on my weight and activity etc. and said that I should eat about 5500 cal/day. He said that those computations are approximate and I also might have an unusually fast metabolism so nothing seemed wrong. The fact is I amost always eat a lot more than anyone else. Usually I have a good sized snack in the afternoon. I didn't yesterday so for dinner I was quite hungry and didn't leave any left overs for breakfast. Sometimes I eat more than the rest of the family (mom, dad, 1 sister). Maybe it is not as big a deal as I think it is but my friends and family always seem to think I eat an incredible amount. Thanks very much for your comments.

nville1 07-17-2003 03:30 PM

Sounds like with all the food intake, you have stretched out your stomach. If you continually eat to capacity and beyond, the stomach actually stretches and loses tone. Then, when it gets just the tiniest bit less full, it sends hunger signals to your brain.

You can retrain it yourself by eating MUCH less than you normally do, and bearing with the hunger pangs for a couple of days. Your stomach will relatively quickly shrink back down and start to regain tone. Then, you will feel fuller with less food. Also, SLOW DOWN WHEN EATING. Don't shovel the food in.

However, if after the first few days you go right back to stuffing yourself, it will stretch right back out.

People who have had gastric bypass surgery, occasionally sneak in enough food to stretch what remains of their stomachs back out. Then they regain some of the weight.

Try it and see what happens. My hubby was also an enormous eater, and a dietician told us that this was what was happening. He went on a medically supervised 3 day fast, and then started small meals.
If he eats slowly now, he starts to feel full quite quickly.

This way you are eating may not be a problem for you now, but someday you will age and your metabolism will slow down, and you will gain tremendous amounts of weight. Or your cholesterol will someday start to skyrocket. Fix this now, and you will thank yourself later.

hunter44 07-17-2003 04:52 PM

carb cravings, not uncommon for those who eat an American diet. Try low processed carb / whole foods approach and that should solve the problem.

chopstix_gal 07-18-2003 01:58 PM

nville1 brings up good points too.

-don't load your plate up and feel like you should eat everything on it. just get a portion of each item u want to eat. if you are still hungry, then eat accordingly.

-you should eat slower. usually it takes awhile for you to realize how full you are and by that time, u have over eaten.

-drink water w/ your meals

it might take a little getting used to but your stomach will shrink like s/he mentioned.

good luck

RobH 08-18-2003 12:32 AM

Thankyou to everyone who posted with advice. I think my stomach may be stretched out some like n*****1 says, but I have friends who can eat more than me in a sitting. They just don't get hungry again in 4 hours. For the last three days I have been on a road trip with my friends. I took this opertunity to try a "stomach shrinking" by eating only as much (or only a little more) as my friends did. I was hungry after every meal so I had snacks, but never too much at once. I kept it up for 2 days until this morning when I was absolutely ravinous. We ate at Denny's and after one breakfast I was as hungry as before so I ordered another. While we waited for it my friends tried to fill me up with their leftovers. Embarrassingly, after the second breakfast I was still quite hungry but we left anyway. I had 2 sandwiches for a snack about 3 hours later and lunch about 3 hours after that. I have tried to eat less before with similar results. I don't know what to tell people when they ask why I eat so much - except that I am just hungry. If I just have a streched out stomach then it is a matter of self control, but I do get very very hungry. I am not fat or anything and it feels like I need to eat more than most people. I don't know if I should be worried about it or not actually. In any case, thanks, everyone, for your advice.

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