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Why am I so hungry?!

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mixedemotions posted 4/1/2014 21:49 PM

Lately it seems like I can't get full!

Today I had:

Breakfast - a mix of Kashi autumn wheat and muesli with flax milk

Lunch - organic peanut butter and agave syrup on whole grain bread and an apple

Snack - shredded wheat and raisins with soy milk

Dinner - a salad from Panera (mixed greens, chicken, walnuts, onions, apple chips) and whole grain bread

Sometimes I can't even finish the salad in one sitting, but today I downed it and afterwards was still so incredibly hungry it felt like I hadn't eaten a thing. I waited a while, drank some water, was still hungry so I had berries and a fiber muffin top thing...and I'm still not full.

Normally I'm of the eat when you're hungry, don't when you're not camp and it's served me well but I'm worried my body's sending me the wrong signals this time...I also put on a few pounds over vacation and don't want to add to it!

I started birth control about 2 months ago, could that have something to do with it?

norabird posted 4/1/2014 22:43 PM

Maybe add in some cheat meals/days for yourself? This would be a relatively light eating day for me. I've gotten better about having more of those, but I find I need to have some meals or periods of time during the week where I stop monitoring and just listen to what I'm craving and eat with my body instead of my brain (if that makes sense). A few extra snacks or heartier meals won't set you back that much. After all they just found that those who drink whole milk weigh less than those who drink reduced fat...I think our bodies sometimes just need to be indulged! (And it's more fun that way too )

Lucky2HaveMe posted 4/2/2014 07:46 AM

Try adding more protein. Protein takes longer to digest and will help you feel full.

rachelc posted 4/2/2014 07:56 AM

I was just going to write more protein too.
or slow carbs.

tushnurse posted 4/2/2014 08:09 AM

Way too many carbs. INcrease your protein, and decrease your carbs.

Think of a graph, when you eat things like the Kashi, bread, apple, syrup, shredded wheat they are primarily carbs so it causes your blood sugar to go up quickly, and just as quickly as it goes up it comes down. This is what triggers your hunger response, the message to your brain that you need to eat again. This is a normal function that goes way back to caveman days, where we needed the message to eat, so we didn't starve to death. Everyone's hunger point is different, and if you have overindulged that number tends to climb (like on vacation).

By increasing protein you keep your blood sugar at a much more even keel instead of spiking up and down, you get small upticks, and drops much more slowly.

Yes the BC pills could be telling you that you are hungry, and you may find there are points in your cycle where it's worse than others. If you increase the proteins and decrease the carbs, and you still find yourself wanting to clean out your pantry, talk to your Dr about it. Some are worse than others for causing that hunger trigger.

mixedemotions posted 4/2/2014 09:35 AM

So there's not enough protein in the chicken, walnuts and peanut butter? I was thinking between that and the fiber in the fruit and bread that I should be full, that's what was weird to me. The night before I had an entire can of beans and was still hungry too.

The blood sugar spike makes a lot of sense, thanks Tushnurse! That fits how wonky my energy level has been (wide awake in the morning, then so sleepy a few hours later) I was thinking since they were healthy carbs that I should be ok but saying it now I realize that doesn't make a lot of sense.

So I'll look for lower carb fruits and veggies to swap in? And more protein. Thanks everyone!

And Nora - I would totally agree with you on the indulging, except that I did quite a bit of that on vacay...oops! On a normal week I I usually have a few heartier meals thrown in here and my weekly trip to Bojangles with my friend...mmmm!

Lucky2HaveMe posted 4/2/2014 10:20 AM

So there's not enough protein in the chicken, walnuts and peanut butter

Guessing you use a small amount of p-butter. I love the Panera salads, but the chicken & walnuts are not enough protein by themselves. Strive for a protein at every meal. Your only protein before dinner is a smudge of peanut butter. Not enough from my experience.

gutfeeling posted 4/2/2014 13:33 PM

You are eating high glycemic index foods that will chemically trigger hunger!

Try this meal plan instead:

Breakfast: 2 eggs and 2 pieces of canadian bacon with a whole milk latte (small)

Snack: String Cheese *whole fat.

Lunch: Any green veggie plus a chicken sausage.

Snack: 15 Almonds

Dinner: (Fish if you like it, if not, grassfed beef) and mixed vegetables with olive oil. If you need dessert, I would do strawberries, a sprinkle of pure cacoa poweder and whipped real cream (no sugar).

My hunger levels decreased SO much when I started focusing on healthy fats and protein.

MissesJai posted 4/2/2014 13:39 PM

not enough protein, too many carbs.

circe posted 4/3/2014 13:19 PM

Or it could just be one of those weird times your body can't get enough food into it! If this is the way you normally eat (and I think it sounds like a healthy diet, personally - I see a totally fine amount of protein in that day's food you listed) then it's probably not that you're suddenly responding badly to the whole grains, fruits and vegetables and nuts and protein that you're eating. Sometimes your body just has those "can't fill up" days. I have those days sometimes, and I eat ONLY meat and vegetables and nuts. So a cry for protein is certainly not the only explanation.

When this happens to me I find eating half an avocado helps immensely. All the fat in it triggers that satiation feeling, but it's not bad for you!

solus sto posted 4/3/2014 13:52 PM

With a diet that carb heavy, you'll want to not only bump up protein, but also good-quality fats. Balance is really important.

FaithFool posted 4/3/2014 14:51 PM

I don't eat cereal in the morning it makes me ravenous, so does oatmeal.

The first thing I have after I get up is a brazil nut. One nut has all the selenium you need. I keep them in the fridge.

Then a pot of good organic black coffee from the French press, dense sprouted whole grain toast slathered with peanut butter and some jam. Heavy on the nut butter.

Banana or a boiled egg with mayo for a snack midmorning.

Lunch : Cup of homemade veggie blender soup (potato, squash, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, black beans, miso paste, veggie boullion, what have you...). If you have soup on the go it's easy to whiz up and have a cup or two before a meal. It's delicious and quite filling. Skip the bread or crackers. Buy a thermos, it's easy and cheap.

Whole grain chapati slathered with avocado and homemade hummus, a sprinkling of greens and a bit of good salad dressing.

Thermos of green tea (no sweeteners). Orange and apple with trail mix (walnuts, peanuts, almonds, cranberries, dried pineapple, a few chocolate chips for the sweet tooth) get me through until suppertime.

My blood sugar never falls and I'm rarely hungry, carry a small bag of trail mix at all times just in case.

Raw nuts are a great for fat and protein, as are avocadoes. I love avocadoes to death.

itainteasy posted 4/4/2014 10:39 AM

Could you be close to your period?

I get RAVENOUS when I'm a week out from mine....and even when I'm on it, I can't seem to eat enough.


mixedemotions posted 4/4/2014 11:22 AM

Wow thank you so much everyone! This is SO helpful. I love the meal ideas, that's given me a lot to go off of and I looked a few more things up. I'm going to go very low carb, high protein and good fats for a few weeks and see how I feel, then work on finding a good balance.

Itainteasy - Yes! I'm exactly a week from my period. I was way irregular until I got back on birth control pills so I wasn't really able to track it much. I forgot how it makes me hungry too! And

hahaha! Are you in my head? Get outta my thoughts

Here are some meals I found/came up with, in case anyone else is looking for ideas:

Organic, grass-fed roast beef rolled up with hummus and lettuce/tomato/onions. Mmmm!

Grass-fed burger patties with green beans (or other steamed veggies - broccoli, spinach, etc.)

Chicken smothered in salsa with veggies

Chicken boiled in broth with cabbage and carrots

Chicken or steak with homemade guacamole (avocado, tomato, onion, jalapeņo, lime juice, cilantro)

And I keep getting the suggestion to take a probiotic, but they're really expensive and I'm on a tight budget these days, so I'd heard you can get the same effects through brown rice miso paste and learned that miso soup can double as a filler between or before meals! So I have miso paste and tofu and the plan is to have a bowl either for lunch or before dinner most nights!

Also I found some great frozen fruit for pretty cheap, so I'm going to have that and eggs or peanut butter for breakfast.

Between meals I'll be having mixed nuts, hard boiled eggs, veggies with hummus or peanut butter, and definitely avocados!

I'm so excited, I bet I'll be feeling great very soon! Thanks for all the help!

FaithFool posted 4/4/2014 11:28 AM

Miso paste is a terrific way to beef up a veggie soup without any meat. It adds texture and flavour to just about anything. I use it all the time. It's my secret weapon.

That and putting heaps of salad into the bowl first, then whatever I'm having on top.

I put apples and pomegranate seeds into salad, gives it crunch and sweetness, and the avocado makes it creamy. So good, it goes with just about any hot food you put on top of it.

idkam posted 4/6/2014 14:49 PM

Good suggestions

dense sprouted whole grain toast

Faith; is this Ezekiel 4:9 bread or what?

tushnurse posted 4/6/2014 15:48 PM

A great quick high protein on the run breakfast is a cup of Greek yogurt with a cup of frozen berries and half a banana throw it in the blender and into a cup and on your way. Lots of protein a bit sweet and super healthy. Plus you get the probiotics in the yogurt.

Lucky2HaveMe posted 4/6/2014 16:48 PM

Here is a recent thread on the probiotics topic:

FaithFool posted 4/6/2014 16:57 PM

I get my bread from a local hipster bakery, it's amazing.

I tried Ezekiel and thought it was pretty blah. Wound up feeding it to the ducks.

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