Sorry for the weird title, I could not find a better way to phrase it. Also not the best in english, but I will try my best.

About me: 23 years old Male 178~ cm 82kg 20%+ bodyfat

Just a quick history about me, since that will be very relevant to my question, I will make it quick as possible, I promise:

-Overweight from childhood until age 16, where I was at 120kg

-Lost 50kg from age 16 to 17, via horrible starvation (literally eating around 300-500 calories, almost no protein)

-Could not maintain of course, but wanted to get leaner

-Continued to try so with the extreme approach, having no idea of anything. Ended up binge eating and getting psychological issues because of it.

-Cared about nothing and went full 'self destruction' mode

-Went from 70kg to 140kg from age 17-19, mostly started with creating the habit to binge (by dieting that extreme) + psychological feeling completely defeated

-Stayed at that weigh from age 19 to age 20

-Realized that this was no way to live, went with an extreme diet again from age 21 to age 22, all was going well until I hit around 90kg

-There the extreme approach was just not working again and I developed binge eating once again, which ended in a horrible cycle of extreme restriction and then binge eating

-Still managed to get down to 75kg, by continued extreme dieting. By that time I was using PSMF, so it was more 'smart', still had a lot of binges, but I got down that lean and was reasonably lean (something like 15-17%). I reached the 75kg around 6 months ago.

-From there on I could not maintain once again of course and kept on yoyo-dieting, now I'm up to 82kg. 8 weeks ago I upped calories and went with a smaller deficit(500-1000 maybe), still could not really maintain that. Was frustrated and went with PSMF again after 4 weeks at a smaller deficit + overeating. Did that for 2 weeks, realized I just could not do this anymore, and it was getting me nowhere. That was 4 weeks ago.

-4 Weeks ago I upped calories to around maintenance, the first 2 weeks I was actually under it I think. For the last 2 weeks, I have been eating several days over maintenance (think 2000-3000 calories over) and some days just around it. I just could not take the hunger anymore. This is going on until today, and I'm afraid I have done some serious damage to my hormones, appetite etc. by my history. I still have the urge to overeat on most days, even though I have been in a 14,000 calorie surplus in the last 2 weeks.

Now the question and the Issues: How can I recover my metabolism without getting fat again? So I can smartly set up an approach to get to a healthy bodyfat.

My goal is clearly to get to a healthy bodyfat, but as of right now, my hunger still seems elevated, and I have to honestly say, this is really overwhelming and scary to me.

I has GREATLY improved in the last 2 weeks, I have better well-being, not cold all the time, actually feel like I'm alive and I don't have the urge to have anything like those 10,000 calorie binges anymore, BUT at the same time, I was in a surplus of around 14,000 calories in the last 2 weeks. I'm far from 'recovered' I think, but gained noticeable fat. Was at 78kg 4 weeks ago, now at around 82kg, water was gained too, but fat also, no doubt. I'm afraid I will have to get more fat to recover properly, but this thought does seem not right to me, since I'm already at a unhealthy bodyfat and I frankly don't want to get fatter, since that can't be good (physiological and of coursy psychological too)

So, I was thinking to recover my hormones to a healthy baseline and then continue to diet, this time smartly, with a very small deficit, refeeds, breaks etc. I count calories too, have been doing so for the last 3 years almost. Lifting for around 1 year now.

How would you guys go into this? What do you think about my case?

I don't expect anyone to have read what I just wrote, it got much longer than I wanted, and I can totally understand if you don't feel like taking the time to read all this.

I'm very grateful for anyone that is willing to help here, since I feel very alone on this and overwhelmed right now, because it does cause me quite a bit of stress I have to admit.

Thank you!

  • I have a similar ongoing story, I hope things go well for you. You are definitely not alone with this problem. Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 22:52
  • 1
    This question was marginally on topic 10 years ago when it was asked. Since then the charter of the site has changed, and these types of straight nutrition questions are no longer on topic.
    – JohnP
    Commented Feb 7 at 13:58

3 Answers 3


As you have experienced, going to extremes does not end well and can be very dangerous to your body (not to mention your mind and spirit). Luckily for you, you very clearly have the desire to get better, all you need is a healthy and sustainable framework for you to follow.

Step 1: Set Your Expectations

The first step in losing fat and getting healthy is setting proper expectations. You are not going to become skinny overnight, and in fact you don't want to have that kind of drastic change. Willpower is a finite resource, and as you've seen if you try doing too much at once you lose your willpower and end up accomplishing nothing.

Sustainability should be your core focus to prevent your "yoyo-dieting" and ensure you adhere to your new lifestyle.

Step 2: Eat Healthy

When approaching food don't think in terms of diet but rather lifestyle. To be healthy you must live healthy. A key concept to understand when "dieting" is that it is significantly harder to overeat healthy food in comparison to junk food. A banana and apple will fill you up and give you nutrition while a soda will be empty calories that do nothing to quench your hunger. Simply by virtue of eating healthier foods it will be harder for you to overeat.

Stick to the staples like fruits, veggies, dairy, lean meats, fish, and other good stuff like nuts. Also, drinking lots of water can help manage hunger.

You want make sure you always have healthy food around so you don't have an excuse to eat unhealthy. Keep some food in your car like nuts, water, canned food, or protein powder; these will help hold you over if you ever get a hankering for fast food while out of the house.

If you can count calories that's great (I never have the willpower to track that). Track your calories consumed and compare that against your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) to see whether you are actually eating more or less than you should be. Again, try doing something small (like 100-200 calories under) until you are adjusted to the new routine and feel comfortable going beyond that (but again, always be conservative so don't go too far below).

Step 3: Exercise

Start small and try to do just one healthy activity each day. Even something as small as just one pushup or a few jumping jacks. The goal here is trying to get you accustomed to physical exercise as part of a daily routine.

If you can do your current workout alongside your diet, then by all means do that, but at a minimum you want to at least do something small each day, no excuses.

Step 4: Motivate Yourself

You will want to have some measures in place to give you motivation and willpower as you embark on your journey. Reward yourself for sticking to your program. Set (realistic/sustainable) goals and try to reach them. Find a person in your life who can hold you accountable to your actions, and maybe even join you in your new program.


  • If you eat healthy and exercise, good things will happen.
  • This is your new lifestyle, so be sustainable.
  • Start small so you don't overwhelm your body trying to do too much at once.
  • Keep up motivation through goal-setting, rewards, and having accountability.

Anyone experiencing this please get your glucose checked for (type 2 insulin resistant) diabetes. When you are diabetic you may have the symptoms of low glucose even if hkucose is in normal to hihh range (ie 100 is low for you and makes you violently hungry,swesty, shaking etc). It can make you physically crave food even when not hungry. You can literally get a physical almost opiate like "rush" from eating a piece of bread. It won't be psychological, more like a physical addiction to carbs. Like a child's "sugar rush".

Diabetes can make you get fat in order to prevent acute sugar poisoning ie body needs to get the excess glucose out of your blood and into storage so you dont go into a coma. Obviously obesity is more dangerous long term. Diabetes is largely genetic too so if you have multiple relatives you are likely to get it from even the slightest deviation from a healthy diet. We know much more about it now it's not just a 1 to 1 response to bad habits. With certain genetic factors, you basically have to be "perfect" to not get it, so it's not neccessarily your fault, but if you have it you want to make the best decisions you can from here.

Other signs are constant thirst, frequent urination (another glucose shedding attempt). If you have it You want to be diagnosed ASAP. This person kept expressing sorry about hormones but no one has mentioned getting those checked. If you are physically ill and don't know it, no diet plan is gonna work.

Long term high glucose causes your blood to become too thick to get through the long thin capillaries to feed the nerves in your feet, kidneys and eyes. This is why diabetics wind up with foot ulcers thst won't heal and amputation, kidney disease, blindness. You can experience neuropathy within a few years even on treatment. Please anyone with a story like OP, see a Dr.


My dear friend, it sounds like you are suffering from bulimia. Even if you are not, you will need to steer up your mind. Breaking habits require a lot of self discipline, which will be near impossible when you're already weak from your other psychological issues. This is not criticism, it's just how things are, and when the mind isn't well, neither is the body, and a body that isn't well won't function as it should.

You should look into a dieting program that involves mental training; where they help you build yourself and deal with why you're so weak to food.

There are a lot of small tips to treat hunger or "hunger" as it isn't actual hunger you feel when you've already eaten yet still crave more, but they will be useless if you don't have the mental strength, which is why I recommend one of those dieting programs with mental training.

  • Eat a varied diet

Malnutrition happen even if your calorie count is right if you don't eat all the things you need, and malnutrition will not only make you prone to storing more fat, it'll make you ill.

  • Don't starve yourself

Starvation may seem to work since you lose weight fast, but as you've also begun to realize, it does damage to your body. Not only will you eat the fats under your skin; you will eat the fats in your brain. It makes you malnourished as there are a lot of nutrients we can't store and need to consume daily, and when you finally do start eating, your body will store everything it can to not die when that starvation happens again. (Your body is assuming it will).

  • To lose excess body-fat there's no substitute for physical exercise.
  • Work with the reasons behind why you binge eat
  • Make yourself unable to binge

Don't buy things to binge, shop for your daily needs every day if you must.

Pointers on coming back to eating from heavy starvation

Setting your psychological issues aside, when you have been starving yourself it is a natural reaction to binge and "fill up the reserves". Even if you eat normally for a +-0 effect on your weight, you will still gain weight. You have to accept that fact and wait it out. After about a month you can on top of eating normally begin to do some kind of exercise for at least 30 min/day. You need to increase the exercise, not decrease the food intake if you eat normally.

Taking your psychological issues into account, you have to remember that it's not the end of the world when you have an episode. Just keep at your dietary plan and exercise routine and remember to praise yourself whenever you resist temptation or just for being strong enough to have gone another day without binging. You can't make excuses for yourself, but you can praise yourself for what you do well.

General tips to conquer the "huger"

  • A tablespoon full of honey a day is a thing I use myself. Honey is a superfood and is very nutritious, but it also makes you feel more stuffed and not as hungry. But it only works if you follow the following point as well:
  • Cut out the sugar. Read the labels of your food and try to eliminate all foods with added sugars. Ketchup is a less known sugar bomb, all white breads are sugary and a lot of darker ones too; read the labels if you still want to eat bread. No candy, no sweets, no nothing with added sugars.
  • Drink more water. A lot of times, the feeling of "hunger" is directly related to thirst. Drinking a lot of water is important and it should be your beverage of choice if you want to lose weight. Water also helps to fill up the stomach, neutralizing the stomach acids that may also make you feel "hungry" because your belly is empty.
  • Snack on whole-grains and fiber rich foods. Oatmeal especially takes a while to digest and will make your stomach busy, if you suffer from feeling of the stomach being empty. You don't need to eat a lot of it, and it will keep your belly running until the next meal. Possibly, you'll even want to eat less during that meal.
  • Don't eat with your eyes. "Eating with your eyes" is an expression for when you use your eyes or your perceived hunger to fill up your plate. Your meal shouldn't exceed the size or one and a half of your fist. (Unless you're having a salad or soup). Take small portions and have seconds instead of getting one big plateful.
  • Eat slowly. It is estimated that it takes about 15-25 minutes for the belly to actually register that you've had enough. Chewing your food properly will stimulate your brain and make it easier on your digestive system to absorb the nutrients.

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