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TOPIC: Perpetual Hunger?

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January 17, 2013 10:40 AM
Before any of you tell me to go see a doctor: I will be scheduling an appointment soon and mentioning this to mine when I go. I just figured I'd ask around, see if anyone is dealing with something similar in the mean time, because it's getting annoying (and it's been going on for a good long while).

I'm just always hungry. Whether I eat a pound of food or just a normal sized portion, it's just always there. Especially at lunch time. I'll have food, go for a walk, and 30 mins later it's like I haven't had a single bite of anything. I thought it was some sort of stomach acid thing, so I tried finishing my meals with TUMS, but no dice. If however I have something sweet afterwards (small cup of unsweetened apple sauce, for example), it doesn't feel half as bad.

I typically eat 5-6 times a day: breakfast when I get up in the AM, snack around 10am, lunch around 12pm, snack around 2pm, dinner around 5pm, bed-time snack around 8pm (otherwise I wake up at like 2am because I'm starving.) I've recently tried to switch the last 2 for an even fuller effect at night cuz my sleep pattern is so easy to disrupt. (My journal is open, you can verify that)

I guess I could eat more, but from experience, if I eat back my exercise calories, I don't lose.

I usually take a multi vitamin and fish oil (although I ran out and need to stock up) first thing when I get up. I drink over a gallon of water a day (I don't even log all my water...).

Funnily enough, if I scarf down a bunch of unhealthy, starchy food, or a handful of pastries, I feel a little more full. Like, my stomach settles. Whereas If I have a crap load of chicken and veggies, for example, I have a hard time finishing my plate cuz it's so big, but 30 mins to an hour later my body cries for me to eat again.

I guess some of this is due to a chemical reaction in brain or some crazy voodoo like that. If I have tea, or a form of caffeine, the hunger is a lot less present. It seems the more tired I am the worse it gets. But I'm doing my very best not to get all dependent on caffeine all over again. I prefer not having to load up on pills (I HATE coffee, trying to avoid carb-loaded e-drinks, not a fan of diet stuff) to get that energy going in the morning.

So, what am I missing? What could I do, change, take, eat, drink... to make this hunger go away? *snacks on almonds*
January 17, 2013 10:42 AM
Are you getting enough water?
  34519824
January 17, 2013 10:55 AM
QUOTE:

I drink over a gallon of water a day (I don't even log all my water...).


I guess with the wall of text that was easy to miss... but if I need to drink more water I'm gonna have to get my computer chair exchanged for a toilet seat -_-'
January 17, 2013 11:13 AM
Hmm. Could be any number of things. First, how long have you been feeling this way? I often find when I first enter a calorie deficit I feel so hungry it think I might go nuts, but after about 3 days it gets manageable. Second, what kind of exercise are you doing? If you're doing muscle building exercises you'll be burning calories at rest, and MFP doesn't track that. Third, I find that when I eat a lot of simple carbs I get more hungry - I see a ton of fruit in your diary, and not that that's a bad thing by any means, but all the sugar may be increasing your appetite. And last thing I can think of is fiber - are you getting enough? Maybe add that to the macros you're tracking - it can help you feel more full.

Oh, and very lastly, are you sure it's real hunger? Or are you just bored?
Hope you figure it out. Being hungry all the time sucks.
  21357827
January 17, 2013 11:30 AM
sounds like you may have a parasite. :/
  4203215
January 17, 2013 11:32 AM
Have you been this way thru ALL of your weight loss? Or is it kinda new? If it's new, I'd say your "metabolism is ramping up."

"Hunger" could be a lot of different things. There's a lot of different "hunger" signals the body gives us. Processed foods and TONS of simple carbs messes up our hunger signals. Here's some different kinds of hunger (if I recall my nutrition classes correctly).

Lack of "hand-mouth" satisfaction
Lack of "chewing/swallowing" satisfaction
Low blood sugar
Empty stomach
Empty intestines
Lack of sleep
High insulin
High thyroid

Which hunger are you experiencing? Without consuming TONS more calories, you can fight these in different ways, depending on your preferences.
January 17, 2013 11:36 AM
If you are hungry you should eat food.
January 17, 2013 11:45 AM
I would reduce the amount of fruits and look at getting more whole grains as I find they fill me up more.
January 17, 2013 11:50 AM
It's been going on for a long, long while. Some days are worse than others. Sometimes I get into this black hole state where it seems like nothing ever satisfies my hunger, really. Then I have a cheat day of sorts eventually because I cave in and it's not as bad for a couple days. Pretty sure it's real hunger. I've done fasts before (up to 36 hours), and I know sometimes I "feel" like reaching for food but am not really hungry. This is near stomach-growling painful...

I average around 30g of fiber a day. So I don't think that's a problem.

I do eat a lot of fruits. I'm not a huge fan of vegetables, and I really have no idea what other types of snacks I could be having. I can't have cottage cheese without them, for sure... Protein shakes are boring and not chewing makes me feel hungrier. I guess peanut butter toast or some granola bars are the next best thing. And veggies. Guess I'll try to go a couple days with less fruits. Can't hurt.
January 17, 2013 12:04 PM
QUOTE:

It's been going on for a long, long while. Some days are worse than others. Sometimes I get into this black hole state where it seems like nothing ever satisfies my hunger, really. Then I have a cheat day of sorts eventually because I cave in and it's not as bad for a couple days. Pretty sure it's real hunger.


I looked at a couple day's worth of your food. (1) I wonder if maybe you should just eat more calories. I know it seems counterintuitive, but you could try it at least for a while. Just another 200 calories per day spread out might be all you need. (2) Most fruit spikes your blood sugar (and then crashes it later). Maybe you should also focus on the GI of foods. Now that you've lost weight, you might be hypoglycemic.
January 17, 2013 12:35 PM
Your fat intake seems lows, some days you are way under what is recommended - try to spread your macros and calories out better through the day, breakfast can have a massive effect on hunger and cravings for the rest of the day. Satiety is conferred by a combination of enough overall calories, protein, fibre, water and fats. Different fibres/ sources have different properties. Could your hormones and monthly fluctuations be playing a role? Or the seasons?

IMO go back to basics, calculate your TDEE and aim to lose a sensible amount of weight, even if that is only half a pound a week. Base your day around nine servings of non starchy vegetables (not stuff like potatoes or corn) and low sugar fruits (berries, red/ black currants, grapefruit, rhubarb), if you have other fruits limit your serving size and/ or number so you limit your sugars. Three servings of reduced fat dairy a day (cottage cheese is low in calcium so don't rely on this), protein and healthy fats at every meal and snack, plenty of mineral and fibre rich foods (nuts, seeds, beans, lentils), oily fish regularly.

The big one .... cut the refined/ sugary/ processed crap back to 10% of daily calories, that means banana bread, cereal bars, maple syrup, breakfast cereals, tortillas, chocolates, flavoured yoghurt, muffins, jam, candy peanuts. These will send your blood glucose peaking and troughing all day, triggering cravings and hunger. Caffeine can also mess with blood sugar and appetite via adrenaline. Consider making your own snacks with cocoa powder, nuts, seeds, unsweetened pumpkin, xylitol or stevia, jumbo oats or barley flakes, block creamed coconut, plain Greek yohurt but do try to get used to consuming less sugary/ sweet stuff. This will give you more calories for the micronutrient rich foods you are lacking.

There are tons of ways to make vegetables more pleasant or tolerable - soups, smoothies (mixed berries are a strong flavour), tomato and veggie pasta sauce, South or East Asian coconut curries, stir fries, top with nuts or cheese, stews/ casseroles, homemade vegetable chips, vegetable sticks dipped in sour cream/ guacamole, tomato salsa, red lentils and grated carrot in long cooked Bolognese sauce.

Is your back issue definitely true sciatica and not piriformis syndrome? Sometimes these are misdiagnosed or can coexist. You might find a fitness professional/ physiotherapist to do you a full posture assessment and teach you self myofascial release (self massage/ releasing knots or trigger points) with a foam roller. Painful but can be very effective - almost everyone has imbalances because we spend so much time in the same scrunched seated position (desk, car, sofa). Occasionally nutrient deficiencies/ imbalances may be playing a role, magnesium intake is key for me (piriformis syndrome/ restless legs).
Edited by Firefox7275 On January 17, 2013 12:38 PM
January 17, 2013 1:34 PM
QUOTE:

Your fat intake seems lows, some days you are way under what is recommended - try to spread your macros and calories out better through the day, breakfast can have a massive effect on hunger and cravings for the rest of the day. Satiety is conferred by a combination of enough overall calories, protein, fibre, water and fats. Different fibres/ sources have different properties. Could your hormones and monthly fluctuations be playing a role? Or the seasons?

IMO go back to basics, calculate your TDEE and aim to lose a sensible amount of weight, even if that is only half a pound a week. Base your day around nine servings of non starchy vegetables (not stuff like potatoes or corn) and low sugar fruits (berries, red/ black currants, grapefruit, rhubarb), if you have other fruits limit your serving size and/ or number so you limit your sugars. Three servings of reduced fat dairy a day (cottage cheese is low in calcium so don't rely on this), protein and healthy fats at every meal and snack, plenty of mineral and fibre rich foods (nuts, seeds, beans, lentils), oily fish regularly.

The big one .... cut the refined/ sugary/ processed crap back to 10% of daily calories, that means banana bread, cereal bars, maple syrup, breakfast cereals, tortillas, chocolates, flavoured yoghurt, muffins, jam, candy peanuts. These will send your blood glucose peaking and troughing all day, triggering cravings and hunger. Caffeine can also mess with blood sugar and appetite via adrenaline. Consider making your own snacks with cocoa powder, nuts, seeds, unsweetened pumpkin, xylitol or stevia, jumbo oats or barley flakes, block creamed coconut, plain Greek yohurt but do try to get used to consuming less sugary/ sweet stuff. This will give you more calories for the micronutrient rich foods you are lacking.

There are tons of ways to make vegetables more pleasant or tolerable - soups, smoothies (mixed berries are a strong flavour), tomato and veggie pasta sauce, South or East Asian coconut curries, stir fries, top with nuts or cheese, stews/ casseroles, homemade vegetable chips, vegetable sticks dipped in sour cream/ guacamole, tomato salsa, red lentils and grated carrot in long cooked Bolognese sauce.

Is your back issue definitely true sciatica and not piriformis syndrome? Sometimes these are misdiagnosed or can coexist. You might find a fitness professional/ physiotherapist to do you a full posture assessment and teach you self myofascial release (self massage/ releasing knots or trigger points) with a foam roller. Painful but can be very effective - almost everyone has imbalances because we spend so much time in the same scrunched seated position (desk, car, sofa). Occasionally nutrient deficiencies/ imbalances may be playing a role, magnesium intake is key for me (piriformis syndrome/ restless legs).


Thanks for the in-debt answer. Just to clarify: the lower back issues was caused by being overweight and not exercising. I haven't had any problem with it in months, I just forgot to update that part of my profile.

I'm currently set to lose a pound a week. I've done a lot of playing around with the calories and I know I wasn't losing eating much more than I am now.

My cutting back sugary foods is still a work in progress. I'm a really picky eater though so I have to get used to stuff, some of it I just can't eat in the "plain" version because I gag. I don't have nearly enough time to prepare homemade versions of foods that are otherwise heavily processed. I at least try to pick the healthier versions I can find of everything. I HAVE been having a bad week and some, probably due to that box of chocolates that haunted me last week and struggling with the flu. Usually the chocolate and breakfast cereals find their way on my menu just once every other day lol.

It just seems no matter what I do it always comes back. Guess I just gotta keep trying to eat better.
Edited by krokador On January 17, 2013 2:28 PM
January 17, 2013 5:25 PM
QUOTE:

My cutting back sugary foods is still a work in progress. I'm a really picky eater though so I have to get used to stuff, some of it I just can't eat in the "plain" version because I gag. I don't have nearly enough time to prepare homemade versions of foods that are otherwise heavily processed. I at least try to pick the healthier versions I can find of everything. I HAVE been having a bad week and some, probably due to that box of chocolates that haunted me last week and struggling with the flu. Usually the chocolate and breakfast cereals find their way on my menu just once every other day lol.

It just seems no matter what I do it always comes back. Guess I just gotta keep trying to eat better.


Don't understand why you think food has to be either plain and healthy OR tasty. Buy a crock pot/ slow cooker you can throw a healthy meal together in five minutes. Also consider a stick blender with it's own lidded beaker with which you can make soups and smoothies. Make as much as possible in bulk, no need to cook from scratch every day. It doesn't take long to make a batch of flapjacks.

Flavour your food with balsamic or other vinegars, lemon or lime juice, creamed coconut, dry South Asian or Mexican spice blends, jars of Thai herbs/ spices, mediterranean herbs, chilli, garlic, red wine, olive tapenade, basil pesto, low salt vegetable bouillon, black pepper, no added salt yeast extract, cocoa, tomato paste, frozen mixed berries, xylitol or stevia. Until you massively cut back on the sugar you likely will struggle with hunger and cravings there really is no way around that fact. Aside from all its other 'lovely' effects sugar suppresses immune function so could be responsible for your influenza.

Instead of sweetened yoghurt have plain Greek but add fresh, frozen or no added sugar dried fruits plus some nuts or seeds. Instead of sugary cereal have Grape Nuts, low sugar granola or oats soaked in milk or yoghurt, again flavour with fresh or frozen fruit, dried fruit plus nuts or seeds. Have a little xylitol or stevia if you need more sweetness but try to wean down..
January 17, 2013 6:44 PM
I get this after I exercise. I asked my pharmacist if there was anything that I could take to offset that signal in the brain, she had no solutions other than PhenPhen and ali (eww!). I just bought this hydroxycut sprinkles from the grocer yesterday. Two days from now I will know whether it works when the ravenous hunger from the steroid shot kicks in. btw, when I am famished, I try a can of tuna first.. protein keeps my tummy busy.
Edited by sartu On January 17, 2013 6:47 PM
January 18, 2013 5:36 AM
I do have a crock pot and use it from time to time. Throwing together meals isn't much of a problem, it's the snacks that tend to be more complicated. I just can't eat meat and veggies 5 times a day. I mean, I could. But I definitely don't want to. I did it for a week before the holidays and had no life whatsoever, nor did food even suond appealing after a while. It's a lot of setup and prep and I need some kind of diversity otherwise I KNOW I'm going to leave the food aside and go buy a high sugar, processed piece of crap just for a change.

I WILL try to reduce the amount of sugar I have in a day. See if it changes anything. I'm not a huge fan of eating tuna by itself, but I guess I could keep a stash of the flavored ones for hunger emergency while at work, on top of the almonds. It'll probably make me think twice about wanting to eat, considering... xD
Edited by krokador On January 18, 2013 5:38 AM
January 18, 2013 5:44 AM
I found that if I eat those many tiny meals per day, I seem to be always thinking about food and making myself hungry. Now I eat twice a day (perhaps adding a snack in the EARLY evening) and feel much better throughout the day.

I found that I used to confuse thirst with hunger. (What a surprise that was!)

Research is showing that foods made with flour (most is made from dwarf wheat) actually stimulates hunger. It's very addictive in that way. People don't know that there are receptors that tell your body that you are hungry when you are not - just like marijuana does.

I found that my low-carb diet (absent any sugars or starchy food like bread, pasta, rice, etc.) has eliminated hunger altogether.

Perhaps you're on the wrong diet?
  33655903
January 18, 2013 5:53 AM
Welcome to team never full
January 18, 2013 5:56 AM
are you on any meds?
January 18, 2013 6:08 AM
Well I noticed that you eat less than 1600 calories a day. That sounds like a reason to be hungry. Also, it looks like you are getting very close to your goal. If you have less than 20 pounds to lose, then you should decrease your deficit anyway and just be patient. It will take longer to lose a pound, but those last few pounds are usually the hardest to lose.

I eat 1900 calories a day and still have to make sure I get enough protein and fiber to prevent hunger. When I have eaten less then 1600, I get weak and dizzy.

ETA: And you are a 25 year old young man. It's hard to imagine that your TDEE is that low at your age. If your doctor says there is no medical reason, then try eating at your TDEE for a couple of weeks, then do a 10% cut and be patient.
Edited by WendyTerry420 On January 18, 2013 6:12 AM
  25631519
January 18, 2013 6:26 AM
For the foods that are filling for you (sugary foods as you said) figure out what part makes them filling and try incorporating that into your diet.

I've found for me that peanut butter and dairy helps keep me full for a long period of time. As such I have lots of dairy and will have some PB or nutella when I'm really famished.

Also consider altering your meal timing so that you are eating more around when it's bad.

I can go to sleep on an empty stomach, so if I'm having issues with the calorie count I'm at I'll cut out dinner and just go to bed instead. (I'm doing the opposite now and basically only eating dinner but I'm doing ok with my calories so it's alright.
January 18, 2013 6:33 AM
QUOTE:

Welcome to team never full


There's complimentary cucumber and water in the back.

OP: Try taking a 1-2 week diet break.
January 18, 2013 6:37 AM
It might be a hormonal imbalance of some sort. I am crazy insatiably hungry the week before my period. I know you don't have periods, but men and women have all the same hormones... just in different proportions. Also, it could be psychological, a symptom of depression or stress eating. Also, you might not have enough fat in your diet. I find high fat foods (rather than high carb foods as you were mentioning) can sometimes kick that crazy hunger down.
January 18, 2013 11:34 AM
QUOTE:

Well I noticed that you eat less than 1600 calories a day. That sounds like a reason to be hungry. Also, it looks like you are getting very close to your goal. If you have less than 20 pounds to lose, then you should decrease your deficit anyway and just be patient. It will take longer to lose a pound, but those last few pounds are usually the hardest to lose.

I eat 1900 calories a day and still have to make sure I get enough protein and fiber to prevent hunger. When I have eaten less then 1600, I get weak and dizzy.

ETA: And you are a 25 year old young man. It's hard to imagine that your TDEE is that low at your age. If your doctor says there is no medical reason, then try eating at your TDEE for a couple of weeks, then do a 10% cut and be patient.


Um, does my profile not specify that I'm female? O_o I only WISH I could eat like a guy... Seriously. And forget it on the week of my period I just want to eat everything in sight haha.

My goal is set to something that I would call "reevaluation goal" and not my terminal goal. Not that only weight matters, but at 5'6" I don't think 180lbs is an end to the struggle. I wish cucumber was in season and not 3$ each right now. Fresh fruits (especially berries) get so expensive during winter :(

I'm not on any meds. Was checked for Diabetes and hypothyroidism a few times in the past couple years and everything always comes back clean. I lost 50lbs in 2 years which I don't think is that crazy, and technically I'm not starving. Just can't get the hunger signal in my brain to shut off. My energy levels are fine, even better now that I practically ruled out caffeine.

I actually haven't had any issues today, but that might be due to my breakfast making me feel a little ugh. Dem eggs :|

You guys did give me a good idea: I'll start taking notes of when exactly the hunger strikes after meals. Maybe I can pinpoint what causes it and what helps. MOAR LOGGING!
Edited by krokador On January 18, 2013 11:34 AM
January 18, 2013 11:41 AM
i think this happens with more frequent meals-at least it does in my case. but also it happens to me when i dont get enough fats. if i have a nice amount of peanut butter (2tbsp.) on something it usually works better for me.
  29018481
January 18, 2013 11:42 AM
You may be diabetic. Common symptoms include polyphagia polydipsia and polyuria: excessive hunger, thirst and urination. I'm glad you are seeing a doctor. Best of luck to you!
  32988334

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