More threads by hungrygirl

I am a 19 year old very athletic college girl. Mostly because of all the sports I do I eat an incredible amount of food. (around 6500 calories a day) Sometimes when I am with other people I find this awkward. If we eat lunch at noon, I'll be quit hungry by 3:00 or 4:00 at the latest. It leads to the standard questions I am so tired of, "Oh my God how can you still be hungry?" etc. Of course this is worse with people I don't know as well. More embarrassing is staying over at other people's places. I feel funny eatting more than twice what my host does and then being hungry later when no one else is. I'm usually very hungry for breakfast and once, before I realized, it I ate most everything in my friend's kitchen. She kept offering me things like a slice of pizza, some crab salid, etc. until there was nothing left. I feel awkward in those situations but I also find it awkward to tell people I have really big appetite, and I sometimes need snacks, and I eat a lot for breakfast etc. This never bothered my when I was living at home but now I does. I would like any advice on how to handle situations like this smoothly.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
This sounds pretty normal for someone who is very active in athletics. My guess is if you were to simply give people some idea of how active you are, most would not be surprised at the fact that you have a healthy appetite. Indeed, some of those comments may well be motivated by envy - many people find they need to restrict how much they eat to avoid gaining weight.


The fact is you are burning it and not storing it, so there's nothing to be embarrassed about.

However it's understandable that when you might be among strangers, who are not aware of your strenuous athletic activity, might not understand.

When people with unusual behaviors need to be among strangers, and when it is felt that the behaviour might attract attention, the best way to diffuse any reactions would be to take a pro active approach.

When you sit down at the lunch table, you could say right off " you may be surprised at my calorie intake, but I am in an athletic training program for.......fill in the blanks"

We have found this approach to work especially well for families who travel with Children with Tourette Syndrome, where their behaviour might be interpreted as disruptive,

However you may be surprised how understanding and compassionate total strangers will be when they are told ahead of time what to expect.

Of course your food requirements are not disruptive, but I believe the dynamics of taking a pro active approach in the situation you described will work wonders, and will likely be a great conversation starter.

You may also want to carry some pictures of yourself doing your athletic activity, which would enhance your later conversation.

Do you think this type of approach would work for you?
I sometimes do use the direct approach as you describe. In the past I fell into a pattern of trying to cover for myself. I would tell people that I didn't eat breakfast or sometimes act suprised at my appetite and say something like "gee, I don't know why I so hungry!". A good friend told me receintly that she finds that sort of annoying. For some reason I feel uncomfortable telling people about my appetite. For one thing it does start conversations and I get the tired old list of questions about how much do I eat?, do I eat this much ever day?, how can I eat so much? etc. It tends to focus people on my appetite and make them think it is a good topic for conversation. Sometimes I don't mind discussing it but often I am just tired of it. Staying over at a friends house can still be embarrassing to me even with a good friend. Once my friend and I were going to study saturday morning together so I stayed over at her place. There was supposed to be a pizza party in her building but that never actually happened so we ate at her place. She wasn't intending for us to eat there and I wasn't really full after dinner. By midnight I had the serious munchies and finished off the eggs, sausage, salad and breakfast cereal. It is disconcerting to feel hunger comming on at a bad time. As you said most people are very understanding and she was happy to feed me. In fact, at midnight when I told her I was REAL hungry she was laughing about it and said she was just waiting to here it. It is better with good friends but I still sometimes feel like I am imposing on them. Of course I took her to breakfast the next morning

Thank you for your posts.


I fell into a pattern of trying to cover for myself

I would suggest that in the long run, this doesn't work, because whenever one tells an untruth, particularly to a group of people, remembering which people were told which story becomes an unmanageable and anxiety provoking affair.

Let's face it, there's nothing to cover's not like you rob banks in your spare time:) .

However I can see that the obsession with some people with being slim, and the extension of being slim means eating very little may make you feel you are going against the accepted practices of your friends.

But there's a good and sensible reason for it, in the same way as if you had a medical condition or religious requirement necessitating a special diet.

I experience migraine attacks, and based on several years of keeping logs have a pretty good idea of the triggers.

Some of my triggers include alcoholic beverages, marinated or cured meats, and highly spiced or flavored foods.

In social situations, in groups of people, I order the foods I know will not trigger and when drinks are offered, I choose non alcoholic beverages. If someone looks surprised, I merely say "migraines" and usually there are no follow ups. But often, someone will be interested in learning more about the subject, so we chat about it and then move on.

My point is that it is perfectly natural for people to be interested in what other people do, and this forms the basis of friendly conversation.

You may wish to privately practice a number of responses to situations such as these, to be better prepared when it happens.

Keep us posted on your progress :goodjob:
I'm sort of the same way. I can eat a big dinner and 15 mins later I can eat again. I wouldn't say I eat twice as much as other people but I have more snacks and never really stay full long.


As long as you're not obese, or gaining weight rapidly, you're burning off the extra caloric intake through your athletic activities. This is not a problem.

You might respond to comments about your appetite with: "Yeah! Aren't I lucky? I can eat as much as I like, as often as I like, and never gain weight!" :D


You might respond to comments about your appetite with: "Yeah! Aren't I lucky? I can eat as much as I like, as often as I like, and never gain weight!" :D

I really liked this response TL. :) It would definitely be something that I think would work for you HG. I guess my response would be pretty much like David already said and that would be to comment that due to your "whatever sport" training that your body needs to consume the calories in order to stay healthy and in top condition. Really other than that explanation it is really nobody's business.
You might respond to comments about your appetite with: "Yeah! Aren't I lucky? I can eat as much as I like, as often as I like, and never gain weight!" :D

This is probably the best way to handle the situation, mainly because as david said, the comments probably arn't meant to be hurtful, and could be an expression of envy.

The problem with feeling like your eating all of your friends food could be solved by taking food with you when you go over. Perhaps some energy or protien bars that are really filling, or something like that.

I wouldn't worry about it on the whole though - I must admit that I have carelessly said the same, "Wow - you eat loooads" to my friends without actually thinking about the consequences. With me, it was always said with envy at their high well maintained physique. From one that wishes that she could eat more than she does, I'd say just enjoy your appitite. Food is a wonderful thing. :)
Originally Posted by ThatLady View Post
You might respond to comments about your appetite with: "Yeah! Aren't I lucky? I can eat as much as I like, as often as I like, and never gain weight!"

This is probably the best way to handle the situation, mainly because as david said, the comments probably arn't meant to be hurtful, and could be an expression of envy.

This sort of thing can work if my friends are teasing me about eating a lot. That happens sometimes and usually it doesn't bother me much. What actually bothers me more is when people ask me to many questions or try to give me advice. What bothers me most and what I sometime find embarrassing is when my appetite becomes the center of attention, especially if people make too big a deal out of it somehow.

It is not too often I get in a really embarrassing situation but it happened last weekend. My roommate, Lori, and I decided to spend the weekend at her parent's vacation house in Truckee. We went up friday night and I took groceries for both of us. Saturday morning the rest of Lori's family surprized us by showing up. Her mom sort of took over the kitchen so of course Lori told her in front of everyone that I have a "really huge appetite". We had baked salmon and they gave me two helpings which finished it off. They thought I ate a lot but it was actually less than I would usually want. Dinner went about the same. Fortunately in the afternoon I was able to quietly eat a frozen dinner I brought. After dinner we played cards and then played monopoly. By 9:00 I was hungry and hoping for a time to quietly have a snack. The house is very open and you can't get anything from the kitchen without everyone noticing. By 10:30 I was very hungry so I suggested we have a snack. Lori's mom said there were fruit slices, carrots, etc. or if I was really hungry there was a frozen dinner in the freezer. I told her I already ate it that afternoon and she was like "Oh my god!! are you really hungry? - do you just want a snack? - should I make you a sandwich?" We all went to the kitchen and her mom started making a sandwich, her dad got me some leftover meatloaf and salad from dinner. Everyone was asking me if I was hungry and if I wanted some of this-or-that. Her mom gave me the sandwich and when I was about half done she says "Are you still hungry? I mean do you want another one?" Meanwhile Lori's little brother is staring at me saying "Wow! you ate 3 dinners! are you just always hungry?" This to me was a very embarrassing situation. I was quite hungry actually and makes me feel a bit like a freak for everyone to make such a big deal out of a slice of meatloaf and some salad. It makes me embarrassed to tell people what I want to eat. I tried to talk to everyone so as not to be rude. I'm like "I'm still a little hungry - another sandwich would be nice - of course I'm not always hungry but I usually eat something at bedtime - does anyone mind if I finish the meatloaf?" It made my feel very awkward even if I tried not to show it much.

I know none of them were being mean in any way. In fact it is almost embarrassing how much they were trying to help me. I know my stomach is a lttle abnormal and I would 10x prefer just to snack by myself when I need to rather than to make a scene.
hmm... I'm sorry that this was so embarrasing for you.

They probably didn't mean to put you in that situation, and were just generally surprised and unable to hide it. Probably phrases like, "I'm really embarrassed..." may help them to understand that standing around gawking isn't the best way for them to deal with it. :eek:

Or perhaps when everyone jumps up to help get you food, making jokes and telling them that you can get it, etc may help ease your tension.

It really is a difficult situation, because you didn't know that they would be there and so you couldn't prepare. I feel bad for you because, because you are dealing with other peoples reactions (which you won't be able to change) the only thing that you are able to do is hide it from people, which is really annoying. Unless you are able to find some way of not letting it affect you.

Perhaps trying some lines like, "I KNOW!! I'm a MEDICAL marvel!!" and making jokes about it will help you. because not only will others relax and laugh, you may be able to alter how you think about it too.
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