Weight Loss Support - OVERWHELMING hunger!

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02-20-2008, 05:53 PM
I'm not sure if you guys are all used to this feeling, but a lot of times I'll go on a diet with great balances in the morning: an energy-packed 300 calorie breakfast, a 300 calorie lunch, and by the time I get home around 4:00, I'm absolutely famished. The ache of not eating must accumulate throughout the day, and when I walk in the door I'm ready to eat anything in sight.

I realize that this is my weakness in dieting; that crucial space when I am free to do whatever I please and my hunger usually will override anything else.

How can I satisfy hunger so that I don't feel this way at night? Is there any type of low-cal, filling food that can really help? Or should I do something to my meal planning? I am trying to consume 1,200 calories daily.



02-20-2008, 06:02 PM
Can you give us an idea of what you're normally eating? Knowing how much protein, etc. you're getting at each meal can make a difference in the advice given! :)

Also, think about incorporating a mid-afternoon snack into your plan if you know that you'll be that starving when you get home.

I usually eat an apple and some cheese (60 cals for the apple and 50 cals for the string cheese or 110 cals for an ounce of sharp cheddar) around 3:30 in the afternoon (I don't leave my office until after 5).


02-20-2008, 06:03 PM
Between 4-4:30pm I try to have a snack (I tend to binge later on days I don't! :rolleyes:) - current favourite is 1/4 cup of Kashi Go Lean with 1/4 cup raw blueberries and 1/4 cup of yogurt. 101 calories, very satisfying, tasty crunchy and filling!

02-20-2008, 06:06 PM
Snacks, snacks, snacks!

If you've eaten 600 calories by dinner, and you make that dinner 400 calories, you have 200 calories to spend on snacks...one in the late afternoon, with plenty of protein and fiber, should help a lot. Maybe a light yogurt with some high-fiber cereal would pack enough a punch to hold you over until dinner?

Also make sure you're getting plenty of protein and fiber...both help to keep you full.

02-20-2008, 06:11 PM
600 calories before dinner isn't very much - I plan for THREE snacks in the afternoon! I'm usually hungry by dinner, but not famished :)

02-20-2008, 06:16 PM
I am also trying for about 1200 per day so I'll give you a menu example

B(7am)- Cottage cheese and fruit
S(10am)- String cheese or granola bar
L(noon)- Lean cuisine or something similar
S(3-4pm)- strong cheese, yogurt or granola bar before gym if I feel I need it
D (5-6pm)- Chicken or fish and veggies
S- Skinny cow ice cream or a popsicle if I want it

My big thing is protein first thing in the morning. It sets how I feel for the day. I get pretty hungry sometimes but I try and put in a good snack. Hope this helps.

02-20-2008, 06:50 PM
Hey! I agree with other's who've posted-- it's unrealistic to expect that on 600 calories for 8 hours or more, you won't feel famished. I've had two meals and two snacks so far today, for 800 calories, and I'm READY for dinner! :drool:

btw, why 1200? How much do you weigh, and how old are you? It could be that you could still lose weight while eating more.


02-20-2008, 06:55 PM
I agree with the protein idea. I try to keep turkey and cheese slices on hand for mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. Be careful with the cheese (can pack in the calories) - have your deli slice it thin. Also look for low-sodium deli meats. Drink lots of water. Good luck!

02-20-2008, 06:57 PM
Jayell is right.

02-20-2008, 08:34 PM
wow! i just posted a few hours ago and all this motivation! thanks so much, guys! i'm aiming for 1200, i currently am 5'7" and 158 lbs. im 17. but getting ready for swimsuit season! im sure you all can relate! :-)

so protein and fiber are best?
what foods does everyone recommend for being "filling"?
im sick of eating like popcorn and things like that, but feeling like i'm eating air, if you know what i mean?

thanks so much for all the help, everyone! this site is incredible!

thank you!!! i feel like this is doable now! im so excited!!!

02-20-2008, 08:37 PM
Since you are young, you could probably get away with eating 1300-1400 calories a day at your current weight, and still lose.

This could really help you with the "hungries". Teenagers are still growing in many aspects, and your calorie level might need tweaking a bit-especially if you are exercising.

02-20-2008, 09:30 PM
Agreeing with the above posters: PLANNED SNACKS!

Protein & Fiber are great things!

I usually try to head hunger off at the pass by eating a piece or two of reduced fat cheese (decent amount of protein). Like Mini-Babybel Light, or a yogurt, with a serving of Melba Snacks. Just enough to keep me satisfied until I can make myself a good dinner.

The other thing you might want to check out is adding 1 or 2 hundred calories. As Aphil points out, you're still young enough to be growing (in a healthy sort of way!!!).

02-21-2008, 12:00 AM
I find that hot foods help satiate my hunger better than cold foods, but its different for a lot of people. I know it's hard to find good snacks in between meals, but I would opt for mini meals instead of 3 full meals!

02-21-2008, 12:07 AM
I'm not quite sure about my calorie goals. I mean, I don't want to wimp out on my goals here, I feel like giving myself 1400 cals a day is a bit much, but then again, if I really cut myself short, it's discouraging. How do you guys find your calorie intake?

02-21-2008, 12:28 AM
1400 is only 200 calories above the recommended minimum. Any lower than 1200 and you risk causing your metabolism to slow waaaay down and stall your weight loss significantly because your body starts to hoard nutrients.

FWIW, I'm at 172 now (down from 237) and I average between 1300 and 1500 calories a day. At that rate, I lose at a nice steady pace.


02-21-2008, 03:34 AM
Low-cal, filling food that can help >> Pack your meals with vegetables. Don't hesitate to include some for breakfast as well (the breakfast police hasn't issued an arrest against me yet for doing that, I swear ;)). You can pile a lot before reaching only 100 cals, after all. And, as others have said, healthy snacks. You'll probably have to do it the trail & error way for some time, to see what works for you (apples for instance are a no-no for me because they actually make me hungry) but once you've found filling snacks, they'll help a lot (as another example: 100g of cottage cheese + some raspberries work perfect in my case, better than any pre-packaged '100 cals snack').

As for the 1200 calories: really, it depends on your height and weight. If you're, say, 5'9 and 250 lbs, you'll be starving on 1200. If you're my height and weight, 1200 of well-planned foods can do. In between, well... trial and error. :)

02-21-2008, 03:45 AM
I find that hot foods help satiate my hunger better than cold foods, but its different for a lot of people. I know it's hard to find good snacks in between meals, but I would opt for mini meals instead of 3 full meals!

I definitely agree with the warm vs cold foods. I swear by the cup a soups. They fill me up great, make me warm, and they are around 120 kcal for a big mug. Cold little bites like cheese just make me crave more.

02-21-2008, 07:38 AM
Interesting, veggies for breakfast? haha. I'll have to try that! :-)

As for calorie goals; so 1,200 is an absolute minimum? Would you recommend more like, 1,300 or 1,400? I'm 5'7"/158/17yrs., and I try to go running twice a week, but it's very difficult...I live up north and right now my temperature reads 19 degrees! eek!

Thank you so much, this site is incredible! All this advice is amazing!

02-21-2008, 07:48 AM
Hey! :wave:

IMO, definitely between 1300 and 1400. And, if you increase your exercise (say, run three days a week, or do some exercise DVDs, etc.) then you might be able to lose weight eating up to 1500. You'll have to do trial and error to see what works. :yes: Weight loss at your weight can sometimes be slower than for someone with more to lose, so be patient and stick with your plan.

1200 per day is the lower limit for any long-term plan, unless a person is under medical supervision. An occasional day that comes in below 1200 probably wont hurt anything--but you do want to give your body enough fuel and nutrition to keep your metabolism working efficiently.


02-21-2008, 07:56 AM
It's your body, so it'll take some trial and error to find what works best.

But, perhaps for 2 or 3 weeks you ahould try adding 200 calories (maybe even as that early afternoon snack)? Test the results and see if things are going well. 1,200 calories is generally considered the bare minimum for even the tiniest of women. You seem a slight bit taller than average, so 1,200 (especially since you're 17) is a bit low IMO.

Also, while it's cold outside, don't forget that there are exercise videos and even movements that you can do inside your house, even in your own room if you don't want anyone watching. Put on some muzak, and move around a little, if nothing else. Might be a tad cheesy, but I've done it for fun before :lol:

PS - I also like the suggestion of warm foods. During the winter, especially. Soooo filling!

02-21-2008, 08:07 AM
Yes, warm foods help me alot. I have a cup of stewed tomatoes for a snack and I am good for a long time.

02-21-2008, 08:27 AM
Well yes, I do eat veggies at breakfast. After all, I come from a family where I was taught that eating Nutella on bread and hot cocoa for dinner was okay because it was cheaper than meat, so I've pretty much lost my ability to recognize what is deemed "correct" in that regard. :rolleyes:

1300-1400 sounds good. Besides, you may have to use the 1200 B-plan later on for the nasty 'last five pounds' that annoy so many people. And if you lose on 1400, why get lower and run the risk of feeling hungry all day long on 1200 or worse. :)

02-21-2008, 09:54 AM
You're young and you're tall. Try 1500 to 1600 calories a day and increasing exercise.

I also have that 4 pm hunger time. A string cheese or hard boiled egg, plus a cup's worth of fruits and or vegetables tide me over until dinner.

I'm glad you are trying to do this with health in mind. :-)

Hat Trick
02-21-2008, 10:21 AM
Veggies for breakfast rock! I love a one-egg-two-white omlette (ok, it really looks like mush but hey . . .) I do some leftover broccoli or asparagus or my fav -- cut up about 12 slices zucchini, sprinkle w/onion powder and cracked black pepper. Cook in pan w/non stick spray stuff, flip, add some mushrooms, cook a bit then add the eggs w/about 1/2 oz. american cheese. About 150 cals and yummy. Have a piece of whole wheat bread w/a smear of pbutter and 1/2 banana -- good to go till lunch. I'd die if I could only eat 1200 cals a day. I just get too hungry on it then pig out. So I figure eat more good stuff even if it means losing slower. I'm aiming for 1400 - 1700, trying to zig-zag every other day or so. Tryin' :D They say to eat 5-6 smaller meals a day (divide your total days cals by 5 or 6). Its just a guideline. If you combine protein - lean protein, pbutter, nuts, cottage cheese, etc. w/good carbs like fruit, whole grains, etc. and some good fats (fat helps satiate and lasts longer) you'll be less hungry. It takes your body longer to break down the protein and fiber and it doesn't spike your blood sugar. Popcorn for a snack is fine - except not if that's all your snack is. All carbs, no protein. Eat a cheese stick (80 cals) w/popcorn and see if that sticks longer. I love apples and pbutter. Ooo, lf cottage cheese, some chopped apple, some raisins and chopped walnuts (not a lot mind you) thrown in. Mix in some cinnamon - I had this yesterday and the cinnamon kind of fell in; um, too much cinnamom is hot :eek: . Makes a good lunch or snack. Rib sticking. :D Whole wheat wraps are a fav too. You can cook up some veggies (onions, peppers) the night b/4 (add some taco seasoning mixed w/water for some added flavor) and take them to work in a container. Heat them up w/some perdue shortcuts chicken in the microwave, sprinkle on some sharp shredded cheddar, maybe some lf sourcream. Or you could do some refried beans (yeah, yeah read the label) and wrap 'em up w/the shredded cheese and such. Good stuff. 'K, that's my 2 cents. :)

02-21-2008, 10:57 AM
Hey there!

When I was your age, I would eat about 1800 calories a day and up my exercise to an hour to an hour and a half a day. I'd usually lose about 10-15 pounds a month. You have the advantage of a young metabolism on your side, so IMO you should work on speeding it up (via exercise) and only cut a few hundred calories.

02-21-2008, 12:12 PM
Samick, everyone is completely right: you should start out higher and see how you go. I'd start with 1500 at a minimum and work on increasing your exercise. But even without exercise you should be able to lose at 1500. My very strong feeling is that it best to eat as many calories as you possibly can while sustaining a reasonable rate of loss. This means that if you can lose 1-2lb a week eating 1600 calories, then there is absolutely no reason to eat 1200 and be hungry and miserable. Additionally, there is an element of trial and error in all this. If I were you, I would eat between 1500-1600 for 2 weeks and then get on the scale to see how you've done. Depending on how much/little you lose, you can stay at that calorie level, decrease or even increase your calories. And, in the interim, you can work on being more active as well.

The important thing to remember is that losing weight and counting calories isn't a form of punishment. You don't have to suffer 'on principle' in order to lose weight. You're not cheating yourself by eating a reasonable number of healthy calories and it's not a sign of some deep lack of will-power. Weight loss is about embracing a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, about adopting a new and healthy approach to food, and about treating your body with respect. Punishment and suffering have no role to play. :)

02-21-2008, 12:34 PM
Try adding an ounce of nuts in the afternoon. They are a good source of protien and actually some fiber also. They seem to hold my hungier off.

02-21-2008, 05:21 PM
The important thing to remember is that losing weight and counting calories isn't a form of punishment. You don't have to suffer 'on principle' in order to lose weight. You're not cheating yourself by eating a reasonable number of healthy calories and it's not a sign of some deep lack of will-power. Weight loss is about embracing a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, about adopting a new and healthy approach to food, and about treating your body with respect. Punishment and suffering have no role to play. :)

Aw thanks, that's inspiring. That's true, sometimes I take on the "no pain, no gain" (well, "no pain, no loss" lol) mentality and end up really overdoing it. Thanks for the insight!

I think it will be much easier if I work on upgrading my breakfasts, I had a 400 calorie breakfast today and only a cup of yogurt and some crackers for lunch and I'm not very hungry at all!

I guess it really is the most important meal of the day!

02-22-2008, 08:07 AM
Good for you! :)

It is going to be a really, really good thing for you-to realize at your age that you can lose weight successfully, and keep it off, through a moderate diet and moderate exercise.

It took a lot of people here years of starvation and overexercising, followed by falling off the wagon with both (gaining back weight) to finally figure it out.

It is a really wonderful thing when it finally clicks-to know that starving and exercising 4 hours a day isn't a long term liveable lifestyle, and that moderation is the way to go for long term success. :)

02-22-2008, 10:20 AM
You have gotten great advice here. I eat 3 meals and 3 snacks per day and still manage to stay at a good level for me to continue to lose. Eating small amounts every couple of hours also keeps the metabolism going. I have one of the progresso Light (0 points on WW about 120 calories) or a bowl of home made veggie soup mid morning most days. It sure helps and is low calorie. You would be amazed at how much food you can eat for low calorie content. Just make sure you are getting appropriate amounts of protein and fiber.

There is just no reason to go hungry while taking the weight off and you will be forming wonderful habits that will serve you well in the future! :)

02-22-2008, 10:34 PM
Don't try to cut your calories back too much. Even if you're eating around 1400-1500, as long as you are spreading it out consistently throughout the day instead of binging on one huge meal at night, you should still lose.

I always grab a handful of mixed nuts before I get really, really hungry in the afternoon, and it is amazing how much it keeps me going until dinner. That time of day is my weakness, too. I can eat healthy all day and then around 5 or 6, I just feel like giving up and eating whatever I can. The key for me is having a snack before I get that hungry.