I am 16 years old and have lost 80 pounds. When I can’t stop eating, I’m afraid of gaining weight back.

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I am 16 years old. In the past 8 months, I have lost 80 lbs. and now weigh about 146. I’ve used your Healthy Body Calculator and it said that I have a daily allowance of 2500 calories.

That is all fine. Here is my problem. There are times when I can’t stop eating. I’m afraid of gaining all my weight back and this is tearing me apart. Every time I tell myself I tomorrow it won’t happen, but it does. Mostly it happens when I’m alone or bored and usually, it’s things like cereal or apples or vegetables that I eat. I do not eat any desserts or sweets. But when I start eating cereal or apples, I can’t stop. I don’t even know if I’m hungry or not anymore, but it’s making me very worried. I’ve already gained 6 pounds in about a week because of it.

I don’t eat a lot of fat and try to keep under my daily allowance, but I can’t control myself anymore. My mom says it’s because I’m underweight and my body is just hungry, but I don’t know anymore. I just want to find some middle ground and be normal again. I don’t know what to do and I’m scared. Please help!

You didn’t say how tall you are, but at 146 you should be around 5’7″. If you are taller than that, you are underweight. You will continue to grow tho till 18 and need additional calories for growth.

Why did you lose 80 pounds? Did the weight loss occur because of illness or do you participate in a sport? This is a tremendous amount of weight to lose for an adolescent male who is still growing and usually not recommended except under medical supervision for extreme obesity.

Your issues are in your head, not your mouth or stomach. I would highly recommend that you contact a psychologist to talk to about what is going on. The foods you are eating are not typical binge foods that bulimics eat, but definitely a symptom of something that needs to be faced. Binging usually occurs when a person is alone. Your inability to determine hunger and fullness while eating when you are not hungry is symptomatic that something needs to be dealt with. The foods you are eating (cereal, vegetables, and apples) can contain a lot of fiber, which produces a lot of stool. So before you develop a problem because of this, go talk to a therapist, especially one who deals with food issues.

If you feel comfortable talking to one of your parents, please talk to them. You could start with your school counselor who could recommend a therapist for you to talk to. Do any of your friends know that sometimes you can’t stop eating? If you trust a friend, ask them to go with you to see a therapist if you can’t talk to one of your parents. This is not a big problem… yet and your willingness to acknowledge that you need help is a big plus.