Why am I so hungry????


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It's 7:45 here and I have already eaten twice today. I started the morning off with ground turkey mixed with apples and spices, plus a sweet potato and coconut flakes. Also had some coffee. I was still starving two hours later so I had some more sweet potato and a handful of cashews. I had been eating eggs in the morning but was so hungry for the last 9 days that I've been following the program that I decided to try something else. I find that I am still spending most of my days hungry even though I am eating large meals with lots of protein, veggies and fats. I am significantly overweight (5' 10" and 250 pounds). I am somewhat active because I stay home with my 4 kids. Most days are spent on my feet doing housework and chasing after my 18 month old. I also run in the treadmill a few times a week. I am really trying to break the habit of eating all throughout the day. I am trying to eat a lot at each meal so that I can avoid being hungry between meals and break the habit of snacking. Please help!

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Hiya,  have you ever looked at recognising the difference hunger, cravings and thirst in yourself before now?  Quite often we have become so used to giving ourselves food as and when we want it that we start to misunderstand our body signals for other things.  Being thirsty is often misinterpreted as being hungry and you will read in many sources that drinking a glass of water and then leaving it 20 minutes before you eat will usually help you realise in the long term that thirst feels quite different to true hunger.

 

Broth is very filling so would it be worth trying a cup of broth with each meal?

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I am drinking seltzer now and it is helping. I have heard that thirst can be mistaken for hunger. That may be part of why I hungry but I do think I am also just hungry. That is a great suggestion about the broth. I made some broth last weekend so I will defrost it and start adding it to my meals. Thanks for the response!!

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Also, by any chance are you nursing?  If so, 4 meals a day might work out better for you.

The point about hydration is a good one. We recommend 1/2 an ounce of water per pound of body weight daily, so in your case, you want to aim for 125 oz of water daily. Seltzer counts in this tally.

If you are hungry between meals (litmus test: you could eat something bland like steamed fish and broccoli), the recommended snack is a mini meal of protein, vegetables and fat. Nuts are a fat source on a Whole30.

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Something else you might want to experiment with is saving your starchy vegetables and fruits for your later meals. I find if I have too much of this in the AM I'm hungrier all day. Your mileage may vary but it is worth a try. I am 5'4" and I eat 4 eggs scrambled with kale for my first meal almost every morning.

 

If you want more feedback you could give us more specific details about your meals for the past few days including how the portions relate to the size of your palm. Also how are you sleeping? 

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Hmm, I'm wondering if you're eating enough? That might be why you're still hungry? Are you sure you're eating 1-2 palmfuls of protein? You're probably familiar with the eating template but maybe a visual presentation would help? So I'm including some pics of a typical breakfast, lunch, dinner for me (there was still another serving of salad to be eaten for my chicken drumstick + salad lunch...so don't let that plate throw you off. I looove my salad lunches :)). You should be eating 2-3 cups of vegetables (or filling up the rest of your plate with vegetables) at every meal. It's very easy to underestimate the amount of vegetables in a meal (especially if you're having salad). ps. Some limited fruit can be added as well. pps. Don't forget the fat (avocado, olive oil etc.) with every meal! It will help with satiation.

 

16095769883_5528af04df_q.jpgwhole30bfast by salsaquan, , on Flickr

 

 

16529595689_80f44f6377_q.jpgwhole30dinner by salsaquan, on Flickr

 

16508440977_0934f84245_q.jpgwhole30lunch by salsaquan, on Flickr

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Thanks for the pics and suggestions. I think the idea of removing the starchy vegetable from my breakfast is a good one. And the pictures are helpful! I have serious doubts every time I eat about the quantity. I feel as though I am overeating but then I feel hungry a little while later. Today has definitely been the worst as far as hunger. I am pretty miserable today between the hunger and the doubts about whether I am doing this right and If the program will work for me. I am not going to give up but the thoughts are there:(

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I agree that you may not be eating enough in your meals.  I'm on day 18 now and am *still* kind of taken aback with the quantity of food I'm eating at each meal--but they do hold me 5-6 hours, so I think it's right.  ;)

 

I usually eat 3 eggs for breakfast plus some additional protein (pulled pork or something), an additional 2.5 cup container of veggies (about half of that usually being starch), plus a piece of fruit.  That will hold me from about 7:30 AM until 1:00 PM.  Lunch, for example, yesterday I had two entire bell peppers stuffed with shredded chicken and topped with avocado, a 2.5 cup container of Brussels sprouts/potatoes, and 2 mandarins.

 

If you're eating enough at your meals and are still legitimately hungry, eat another meal.

 

It's hard to get out of the typical "dieting" mindset of smaller portions, etc.  One of my favorite parts of this plan so far has been how much I'm really free to eat.  I love not having to be hungry to be healthy.

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LOVE this.  It should go on our list of things to print on t-shirts!   :)

 

Aw, thanks.  :)  Seriously, that has probably been the most life-changing piece of this for me, every time I've ever tried to "make good choices" before, I end up just spending all my time waiting to eat because even when I do, I'm still hungry.  All the time.  And while I am missing some things that I can't have, I continually am just bowled over by how much delicious, nourishing food I *am* eating.  I come from a long background of both disordered eating and also "diets" like Atkins, Weight Watchers, etc, and eating full dinner plates 3 times a day?  And still feeling so WELL, and being able to put on pants I couldn't 2 weeks ago?

 

Yeah, I'll take this.  :-D

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Thanks for the pics and suggestions. I think the idea of removing the starchy vegetable from my breakfast is a good one. And the pictures are helpful! I have serious doubts every time I eat about the quantity. I feel as though I am overeating but then I feel hungry a little while later. Today has definitely been the worst as far as hunger. I am pretty miserable today between the hunger and the doubts about whether I am doing this right and If the program will work for me. I am not going to give up but the thoughts are there:(

Can you post a couple of days' worth of meals here? Maybe we can help you sort it out.

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This was my meal plan yesterday:

Breakfast: chicken breast, sweet potato, saluted greens (leftovers from night before)

Snack: had a few pepper strips and cashews. Yesterday I was out all morning with my kids and had to have a snack to tide me over.

Lunch: ground turkey in tomatoe sauce and sweet potato

Dinner: Raspberries, chicken thigh and drumstick, sweet potato, sauted greens and Brussel sprouts.

I drank lots of herbal tea last night because my cravings for sugar we're high. I am so thankful that the tea satisfied me.

I would love to hear your thoughts! Thanks!

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It looks to me like you could stand to have more veggies in all your meals in addition to your starches.  And if what you're eating isn't holding you, definitely increase your portions based on the template--an additional serving of protein, added fat, etc. 

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It looks to me like you could stand to have more veggies in all your meals in addition to your starches.  And if what you're eating isn't holding you, definitely increase your portions based on the template--an additional serving of protein, added fat, etc. 

I agree with this and would also note that you list no fat in your meals. Lack of fat will definitely contribute to hunger. At each meal we want you to eat a minimum of 1-2 thumb-size portions of fat, not counting the cooking oil.

 

For on-the go, can't-eat-on-time foods to carry around, you might try hard boiled eggs, cans of sardines, pouches of compliant tuna or salmon - things that include a protein and a fat. That's what we want you to do for mini-meals between your full meals.

 

Does this help?

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All of your replies were very helpful! After working out today I had a mini meal of ground turkey, sweet potato and a small handful of cashews. I was put for a few hours after that and got home at around 3 and are lunch. I ate 4 eggs with mushrooms and shallots, a sweet potato and an avocado. I finally went over 4 hours now without feeling hungry. I just made a Thai chicken loaded with veggies, roasted Brussel sprouts and roasted butternut squash. I haven't eaten it yet and will probably wait until I feel hungry. I fed my kids lentil soup earlier. I am continuing to go to my easy standbys to feeds kids and husband. I need to work on finding more recipes that are easy and can be eaten by the whole family. Cooking a meal just for me is not worth it.

Thanks to all who replied and offered suggestions!!!

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This has been helpful to read. I hope you are feeling fuller for longer.

Im on day 5 and starving, a lot. I had dinner 2 hours ago and feel like i didnt eat. But I demolished roast beef, kumara (sweet potato) carrots, red cabbage, bell peppers onion and pumpkin. So starving. Urgh.

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This has been helpful to read. I hope you are feeling fuller for longer.

Im on day 5 and starving, a lot. I had dinner 2 hours ago and feel like i didnt eat. But I demolished roast beef, kumara (sweet potato) carrots, red cabbage, bell peppers onion and pumpkin. So starving. Urgh.

Debszie, if you are truly hungry, eat again, protein, fat and veggies. We don't abide by "starving a lot". Depending on what sort of intake you had previously, your body could be begging for the nutrients of real, whole foods.

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I wanted to come back here and give you an update. Today I am perfectly satisfied with even less food than I ate yesterday. What's different? My cycle. Yesterday was the last day of my period and today I am experiencing no hunger. This is the same cycle I would go through before whole 30. Is this something that improves with Whole 30?

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I wanted to come back here and give you an update. Today I am perfectly satisfied with even less food than I ate yesterday. What's different? My cycle. Yesterday was the last day of my period and today I am experiencing no hunger. This is the same cycle I would go through before whole 30. Is this something that improves with Whole 30?

What improves with Whole30 is that we begin to realize that our bodies need MUCH more food before/during our periods, and we willingly and happily give ourselves the food we need. We've been told over and over that we're weak and we're craving and we have to gut it out (and then give in to advertisers who want us to stuff ourselves with chocolate). Well, it turns out, we really really, really need to eat before our periods. I eat six full meals several days before my period. And I'm teeeeeeeeeeeny.

 

So one of the big things that changes with Whole30 is that we finally learn what our hunger cues really are. It's fantastic. :wub:

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^ What she said.   :)

 

Many folks here say have MORE starchy carbs when you feel hungrier around that time of the month.  I have found what I need is just MORE.  More food, period.  When you are feeling that way -- go with it.  As you have discovered, you will wake up one day and be back to "normal", and then you really don't have to think about it again for another month or so.

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