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Why Eat When I'm Not Hungry?


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I am on my second Whole30 and doing it with a group, many of whom are first time Whole30'ers.   One of the biggest deviations from the plan is that members of my group do not see the point in eating a meal at mealtime if they are not hungry.  So, basically, they are skipping meals.   I've pointed out that they are not sticking to the plan and posted the "build your plate" graphic, but I am getting a lot of pushback and a lot of "whys."  

I realized that I don't have a very succinct answer.

Can you please help me formulate one?

I can't stand it when people don't stick to a program and then say "oh, it didn't work for me."  I just want to do what I can to prevent that from happening with my group.\

Also, I think that people are still in the "less food is better" or "I'm tougher than you if I can exist on less food"


Thank you!

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Good work on leading a whole group of people! It's great that you're encouraging people through the process. I'm definitely a newbie and don't have the most knowledge but there are a couple things I've read that might help. Hopefully a moderator will provide you with even more resources and ideas though :) 

One thing is to look at the timing of each meal because that helps to balance hormones. The first meal should be eaten within an hour of waking up because that sets the tone for the rest of the day. Without breakfast (or meal one) it throws off your hormones and can mess with your hunger cues for other meals. 

The second thing is if you drink coffee before you eat it can make you feel full. It's an appetite suppressant so I've seen suggestions to consume it after you've eaten. 

And the last idea is to maybe have a veggie challenge. If they can shift their mentality from "existing on less food" to eating a ton of vegetables it might be fun. I'm certainly no expert but hopefully you're able to form something useful from it all. Good luck with everything!! 

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Depending on where folks come from before their Whole30, their hunger signals should not be trusted and they should be eating at least the template minimum every 4-5 hours, 3 times per day whether they feel like it or not.

Some reasons for lack of hunger are the imbalanced hormones but also a higher quantity of fat and protein than they may be used to, both of which are highly satiating. They could be having more veggies than normal which is more volume and can cause them to miss hunger signals. They may be drinking tonnes of water which fills the stomach also. 

Also, maybe nothing sounds good. For people who are used to eating pastries for breakfast and pasta for lunch and pizza for dinner, maybe chicken and brocoli and ghee sounds bland and painful and they would just rather not eat because they aren't hungery for that

So basically there are tonnes of reasons a person may not be hungry at mealtimes in the beginning but the template minimum, 3 times each day is the minimum amount of food that an adult human needs to eat each day for basic human function.

Does that help?

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Just throwing this out there- but is your group veering into competitive "who can do it better" territory (and equating "better," with less?) If so, maybe use an explanation that appeals to their competitive instinct? Both AmberRayAnn and LadyShanny point out that a lack of hunger may be associated with improper hormones- so maybe use that to explain that hunger (especially at appropriate meal times) is actually a sign of a successful Whoke30? They may then equate hunger and eating properly with success. Just a thought.

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