Weight Loss Support - Feeling Hungry After Eating?




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Bulanova
12-02-2011, 09:31 AM
Sometimes I notice I still feel hungry after eating!

Today, I had a large cup of yogurt and an apple for breakfast. I felt pretty darn full for about 30 minutes, then I noticed the "empty" feeling you get in your stomach when you haven't eaten in a while, only without the rumbling. I tried supplementing it with a couple of chicken strips for protein, but I still feel hungry. It's not every time I eat, just on occasion.

This is not the first time I've felt this way. Almost always after eating a whole baked chicken breast (pure protein!) I notice I get that same "empty" feeling half an hour afterwards. I can't seem to pin-point it to any particular food or type of food (besides the chicken breast which almost never fails) and I am careful to get a wide variety in my diet with each meal - carbs, proteins, fats, etc.

Does this happen to anyone else? Can anyone explain it or offer ways of curbing it? My only thought is perhaps it's gas pushing on the stomach that is creating a feeling of emptiness or air, in which case Gas-X or Beano might help. Any ideas about what might cause this or contribute to it would be helpful! And if anyone else has had this experience, I would be most interested to hear.

Thanks!


Esofia
12-02-2011, 10:36 AM
How about getting enough fibre?

NEMom
12-02-2011, 10:37 AM
I have this problem at night. I eat a good dinner, I get full and yet an hour later I feel the need to have a snack. Ugh, get sick of the nightly struggle with snacking.
One thing I would like to point out is that it is ok to feel hungry or slightly hungry. It is a feeling and will pass. Its almost like taking care of a baby that keeps crying. You change their diper, feed them, rock them, etc and yet the baby cries and as long as all their needs are taken care of it is OK to let them cry for a while. Just like feeling hungry, as long as you have eaten a healthy meal or snack, it is OK to feel hungry for a while. Does that make any sense???


Bulanova
12-02-2011, 10:41 AM
Definitely getting enough fiber. Nothing but whole grains, and lots of 'em.

It is okay to feel hungry, just incredibly annoying, frustrating, and distracting because there's no need for it. I'd like to stop it, if I can. It's one of the few times it is a definitely physical desire for more food rather than an emotional or mental desire for food.

rachaelm
12-02-2011, 10:41 AM
Yes, I do this too. I usually drink a glass of water, and the hunger passes.

I spent so many years eating without hunger signals, I'm actually enjoying the power I feel when I can ignore a growling tummy. Of course I'm not advocating not fueling my body, but just because my stomach growls, it does not mean I must eat.

BeachKitty
12-02-2011, 10:48 AM
I'm constantly struggling with this at night about an hour or 2 after dinner. It's just pure force of will that gets me through the night until morning. Then come morning I have to make myself eat breakfast cause I'm not hungry haha go figure.

As far as it being gas or something, you might be right. It could just be the disgestion process working. I wish I could help more. Filling up on water seems to work for me.

Beach Patrol
12-02-2011, 11:03 AM
I get that sometimes - and I've learned (for me) it's usually NOT "real hunger", it's "fake" hunger - & usually a glass of water with lemon silences it.

But if 20 minutes after that lemon water & I'm still feeling the hunger bug, I realize I haven't eaten enough, and I will have a light snack of protein/carb mix (such as a tbsp of peanut butter & half an apple.)

Emme
12-02-2011, 11:34 AM
I feel constantly hungry. Even when I'm eating. It's quite frustrating and maddening. I went to a gastroenterologist a few months ago and he looked at me like I was crazy...oh well. You are not alone! :)

free1
12-02-2011, 11:56 AM
Used to happen to me all the time. For weeks, I was starving all day (even though I was eating more). Someone told me to boost the protein earlier in the day beginning near breakfast which really helped (although it looks like you've already done this ). Also, have you increased your exercise routine/are you moving more? That may have an effect.

I started eating more "light" snacks- a tangerine, a few raisins, etc. I also will drink tea or a no-cal beverage, it helps.

carter
12-02-2011, 12:11 PM
I find that bulking up my meals with vegetables is the best way to keep myself feeling full. I like big meals - I like to eat a lot of food and feel full after I've eaten. So, I eat lots and lots of vegetables. And I mean lots. Raw, or sauteed, or steamed, or roasted - it doesn't really matter, as long as the foundation of my meal is a large pile of vegetables.

You say "Nothing but whole grains, and lots of 'em." To me, this is almost a non-sequitur, if you're talking about not feeling full enough. Grains are too calorie-dense to give me the kind of bulk and volume I like to have in my meals. I mean, I eat them from time to time - my usual lunch has whole-grain bread in it, and sometimes I eat 1/2 cup of brown rice with dinner. But that 1/2 cup of brown rice uses up 150 calories that I could instead spend on an enormous pile of delicious sauteed broccoli - which has lots of fiber and other nutrients, much more bulk to eat, and generally leaves me with a more satisfied feeling than a dainty little portion of brown rice.

That's what works for me - hope it's helpful.

Bulanova
12-02-2011, 12:24 PM
Thanks, Carter! I have always gagged on most vegetables. I can do corn, peas, green beans, spinach, asparagus (in moderation), and potatoes. That's about it. I have been really working hard at getting used to more and I recently developed an affinity for red onions. Still working. (I actually bought a bag of baby carrots today at the grocery store, I'm so proud!)

I was unclear when I said, "nothing but whole grains and lots of 'em." What I meant was, I'm getting a lot of fiber through whole grains, and the only grains that I do eat are whole - nothing processed.

Adding more vegetables is a good idea and I'm working on it, I just haven't been able to get used to enough yet to tell if it will help.

As always, I appreciate all the suggestions and ideas everyone has put forth.

Unna
12-02-2011, 12:53 PM
Yeah - you really have to learn to cook - particularly veggies in ways that you like eating them. Sometimes I practice volumetrics to get rid of the hunger pangs, other times I just practice discipline.

I find I am much more disciplined during the day. I can just eat a bit of fruit for breakfast, some salad for lunch, and say no to everything else (particularly if I am out and about the entire day). Then, I can comfortably answer all my hunger pangs in the evening. Even if I eat a good size breakfast and lunch, I still find I have huge hunger pangs in the evening- the same pangs I have when I eat a super frugal breakfast and lunch.

Other times discipline doesn't work, so I eat tons of cruciferous veggies. I particularly like roasting them. Eggs are also pretty low cal and filling.

In general, my hunger switch doesn't turn off very often. Unfortunately. I just see to it that I, somehow or other, make my 1700 or less calorie goal for the day. I absolutely despise drinking water when I feel a hunger pang. I'm not sure why. I think, as an overweight child, my mother always told me that and I always got angry b/c I wanted to eat, not drink.

Exercise does help take the hunger pangs away for awhile. Basically, when your blood starts circulating to other limbs, it leaves the stomach area and digestion, etc. slows down significantly (and the hunger pangs stop).

There are ways to make weight loss easier, but even at its easiest, weight loss is still hard!

GlamourGirl827
12-02-2011, 12:53 PM
I've had this problem forever. Mainly in the evening. Out of control hunger or need to snack. Since I cut out nearly all sugar in my diet,including reading labels and not eating foods that have added sugar , I no longer have an issue with it. Actually I often find myself under my daily calories by like 300 come like 8pm and end up eating just do I at least make about 1100 - 1200 cals a day. I don't eat fruit yet, but I plan to add it back in. I sound like an infomercial, but I'm just saying it worked for me! :)

kaplods
12-02-2011, 12:59 PM
I have to control carbohydrates fairly strictly to control hunger. On a high-carb diet, the more I eat, the hungrier I get. It's horrible to have abdominal pain from eating too much and still feel like I'm starving to death. How can that be "real" hunger, I thought.

Well, I learned that hunger isn't a simple mechanism. There isn't one hunger signal, there are numerous physiological events that the body and brain create to make hunger. Arbitrarily labeling some of them "fake" and some of them "real" doesn't make a lot of sense to me (especially since it's often a blame label - if you're fat you must be responding to fake hunger).

I did learn a lot about hunger, though in experimenting with different carbohydrate levels (after my doctor recommended that I try low-carb dieting for my insulin resistance, but warned that I shouldn't go too low, but admitting he had no idea what was too low).

I learned that on high-carb eating, I can be stuffed to the gills, and feel painfully sick and still feel compelled to eat. It's not just "wanting to eat," it's a drive as if I feel as if I will starve to death if I don't eat. From what I learned about insulin spikes, I learned this is absolutely normal in many people - and that the "brain hunger" of an insulin spike can be far more intense than "stomach hunger." I can tolerate even the worst stomach hunger (eating nothing for several days - I don't do that any more, but I did in high school and college), but I can't tolerate insulin-spike hunger. The drive to eat is too compelling.

From what I remember of going days without eating, "stomach" hunger only occurred the first one or two days, after that I didn't feel brain or stomach hunger. "Hunger" manifested itself as headaches, mood swings, irritability and even rage, weakness, light-headedness until I would pass out or get close to it (this is disordered eating, and I'm not recommending it, just illustrating how different hunger can be).

On very low-carb diets, such as Atkins Induction, I don't have brain or stomach hunger. I "forget to eat" which is a novel experience for someone who otherwise thinks of food 24/7. It's pretty much like the no-food hunger. My husband actually will notice my hunger signals before I do, because they're a milld headache and irritability (so to me, it doesn't seem that I'm hungry, it seems that hubby is becoming an insufferable jerk). The first sign I notice is a pounding headache (which I may not recognize as hunger) and then light-headedness and feeling as if I'm going to pass out and the moodiness has turned to rage (and at this stage I NEED FOOD NOW before I pass out or kill someone).

Finding the "just right" level of carbohydrates (and therefore hunger) has been a tremendous challenge for me. Knowing when and when not to ignore hunger, has also been a challenge. As has been, recognizing which hunger signals I can ignore, and which I can't, and which I need to prevent so that I never experience them (after all passing out isn't exactly something you want to do very often).

Now the hunger 30 minutes after a meal, is entirely safe to ignore, but I would recommend keeping a good food journal (not only what you're eating, but when you're eating, and when you're feeling hunger - and also symptoms you may not recognize as hunger, but could be - such as the headaches, irritability, even thoughts of food).

Experiment with different carb levels, different meal sizes and frequencies, different distraction techniques.... and write it all down so you can see what works, and what doesn't.

Mimzzy
12-02-2011, 01:45 PM
I have had this problem in the past but have learned to ignore it if I know I have eaten my daily amount in calories. What I found was it happened way more then I was not keep track of my water intake. Dehydration can be processed as a hungry feeling in the body, I would try drinking a class of water and waiting 15min to see if disappears.

JohnP
12-02-2011, 02:57 PM
One thing that intermittent fasting has done for me is helped sort out what is true hunger.

I won't eat today until around 3:00 PM and I'll start getting hungry around 2:00.

Having said that - I have an empty feeling in my stomach which feels like hunger. However, I know it is not hunger because I know what feeling hungry actually feels like.

Hard to explain.

Try not eating until noon and see how you feel. That is hunger.:D

DezziePS
12-02-2011, 09:41 PM
I think I know what you mean. It's like I feel like my stomach is about to growl, but usually doesn't actually growl. It's weird. And it happens randomly- even if I've eaten a good dinner or whatever. One thing that REALLY helped me last night was tea. I had a cup of Irish Breakfast tea (which I like because it seems to have a bolder tea flavor that a lot of other teas I have tried that to me were just too weak) with about a tablespoon of vanilla soymilk and a splenda packet.

I don't usually drink much hot tea, and a lot of people on here have said they use it to control snacky feelings, but I just didn't think that would be satisfying for me. But for some reason with just that little bit of milk in it and that sweet taste it really actually stopped whatever weird empty thing my stomach was doing. I didn't feel full, but I didn't feel starved, either.

One of the other things I really like is the no-sugar added Very Cherry Fruit Cocktail. It's only 30 calories for a half a cup, and a can of it is 3.5 servings- 115 calories. It feels like eating a LOT for that few calories (whether you eat just one serving or the whole can) and can really curb sweet cravings for me and make me feel full. It does have artificial sweetener in it (I think Splenda) which I know a lot of people on here avoid, so it might not be for you, but it has helped me a lot.

As much as I might try, I really just can not get into the baby carrots. They're boring and kind of gross to me. I LOVE grape or cherry tomatoes, though and can eat them by the hand full plain or with just a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Bulanova
12-02-2011, 10:42 PM
I think I know what you mean. It's like I feel like my stomach is about to growl, but usually doesn't actually growl. It's weird. And it happens randomly- even if I've eaten a good dinner or whatever.

That's exactly it. I hate hot teas as well, but when you mention adding splenda and a dash of milk, my interests piqued I admit. Sounds very worth a try, and I love flavorful, robust teas, so the Irish tea sounds right up my alley. Thanks so much for the suggestion, and so glad you can relate!

LisaTcan
12-02-2011, 11:31 PM
I don't really get hungry..but I want to eat. Especially at night after dinner, I save a lot of calories for the evening because I know I'll want to snack while I do school work.

Beach Patrol
12-03-2011, 09:44 AM
I learned that hunger isn't a simple mechanism. There isn't one hunger signal, there are numerous physiological events that the body and brain create to make hunger. Arbitrarily labeling some of them "fake" and some of them "real" doesn't make a lot of sense to me (especially since it's often a blame label - if you're fat you must be responding to fake hunger).

...I learned that on high-carb eating, I can be stuffed to the gills, and feel painfully sick and still feel compelled to eat. It's not just "wanting to eat," it's a drive as if I feel as if I will starve to death if I don't eat. From what I learned about insulin spikes, I learned this is absolutely normal in many people - and that the "brain hunger" of an insulin spike can be far more intense than "stomach hunger."

That's what I refer to as "real" vs "fake" hunger - the stomach vs brain hunger. Stomach hunger is real hunger - while brain hunger is just "thinking" you're hungry when you're really not.

I think that many, maybe most, obese or overweight people have gotten that way because they fail to recognize what is real hunger. FOOD IS FOR SUSTENANCE. That's what our bodies need in order to exist. And the body really doesn't need an over-abundance of food to exist. Too much food and the body will store it - as fat. Regardless of what kind of food it is (protein, carbs, fats, etc.)

While some people eat for different reasons, i.e. the boredom eater, the pain eater, the lonely eater, the social eater, the it's-so-delicious eater, etc. the only reason a human body needs food is to exist but in the modern world, it seems rare that's the reason why people actually eat. Therefore, for us obese or overweight people, we really must learn a way to stop all the unnecessary eating. Whichever diet works best for each individual, whatever techniques we use, the bottom line is that eating when you don't need to eat is what makes us fat.

Esofia
12-03-2011, 10:33 AM
Are you eating at regular hours? Eating on a strict schedule really helped me stop feeling hungry all the time. It helps train your body to know when to produce hunger signals correctly. If you're eating at random times, hunger and satiety signals can end up all over the place.

kaplods
12-03-2011, 11:30 AM
That's what I refer to as "real" vs "fake" hunger - the stomach vs brain hunger. Stomach hunger is real hunger - while brain hunger is just "thinking" you're hungry when you're really not.

I think that many, maybe most, obese or overweight people have gotten that way because they fail to recognize what is real hunger. FOOD IS FOR SUSTENANCE. That's what our bodies need in order to exist. And the body really doesn't need an over-abundance of food to exist. Too much food and the body will store it - as fat. Regardless of what kind of food it is (protein, carbs, fats, etc.)

While some people eat for different reasons, i.e. the boredom eater, the pain eater, the lonely eater, the social eater, the it's-so-delicious eater, etc. the only reason a human body needs food is to exist but in the modern world, it seems rare that's the reason why people actually eat



I assumed this too, but even animals eat for "brain hunger" not just "stomach hunger." In fact, for millions of years, there has been a survival advantage to eating whenever food was available. In fact, generally food was so scarce, that it was far more important to listen to "brain hunger" than to "stomach hunger," because if you could eat, even when your belly was painfully full - you survived where as your "no thank you, I'm full" peers could starve to death.

The ability to store fat has been a survival trait for millions of years, and now suddenly it's not. Putting on fat no longer has survival value, because the famines never come - but you don't change millions of years of evolution in a century or less.

Reading "The End of Overeating," and "Good Calories, Bad Calories" changed my life, because I saw for the first time that "brain hunger" was physiological, hormone-mediated, very-real hunger.
I learned that the "thought hungers" are indeed true and often (perhaps even usually) physiological hungers. I now know that it was hormones (real hormones, not thoughts. The thoughts weren't causing the hunger, hormones were causing the thoughts, the feelings, and the hunger).

This isn't about "fat people wanting food when their bodies don't need it."

I have spent most of my life dieting, and for most of that time, I was fighting the wrong enemy (my thoughts), when I should have been fighting the physiological hunger that I didn't recognize as physiological hunger, because I thought it was my head that was messed up, not my body.

Two things changed my life. Birth control, and low-carb dieting. Suddenly the "brain hunger" that was so intense, I call it "rabid hunger," is an occasional teeny, tiny, small voice rather than a huge, 24/7, screaming monster.

I learned that the insulin spike that carby foods can generate causes hunger - a hunger that is physiological in origin - and often far more powerful than stomach hunger.

Thin and formerly fat people do not naturally "only listen to stomach hunger." Hormone and brain-triggered hunger ARE real hunger whether you weight 80 lbs or 800.

Two of the best books that explain why non-stomache hunger is physiological "real" hunger (that people of all weights respond to) are The End of Overeating by David Kessler, and Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.

I didn't know to treat physiological hunger, you need a physiological strategy. Low-carb dieting turned the giant, rabid monster hunger into a day old kitten.

When I thought the hunger was psychological, I used psychological strategies, and they didn't work well. I either was in tenuous control, and absolutely miserable - not understanding why I couldn't get my mind off food, and why I couldn't stop feeling "fake hunger." Nor could I understand why this "fake" hunger was 1000 times stronger than "real" hunger. It made me believe that I was insane. I chose psychology and got a bachelors and masters degree in large part, to figure myself out, and to learn strategies to fix myself.

Then to discover that the "fake" hunger had physiological causes and I could have fixed it when I was 10 years old?

I feel like I've wasted such a huge portion of my life. If only I had known at 10, that high-glycemic carbs were responsible for 90% of my issues.

I thought I was fat because I was crazy, and I thought that for more than 30 years.

Turns out I was crazy, because of the carbs I was eating, and my hormones were messed up (which also may have been aggravated if not caused by the carbs).

Even by 12, I had noticed the hormonal connection, telling my doctor that just to maintain my weight, I had to spend most of the month compensating for PMS/TOM hunger that I couldn't control. Even at 12, my doctor suggested that birth control could help most of the symptoms, but that weight gain was a likely result (and when weighing potential weight loss against potential weight gain - I was too afraid of the gain to risk it).




We do a great discredit to people by labeling non-stomach hunger as "imaginary" or "false" hunger. It's physiological, and it's real, and it needs to be treated as real. I could have saved myself decades of inner turmoil and mental torture if I had known that there were physiological ways to combat this physiological hunger - if I had only even suspected that it wasn't "all in my head."

Bulanova
12-03-2011, 11:47 AM
Thank you so much for writing that, Kaplods. Very well written and I agree with you completely. Whether it's "real" or "fake" is essentially useless to me right now anyway as the signals are still there and are still annoying me, whyever they might surface. So instead of debating whether or not I'm really hungry (I already know I can't be), I'd rather stick on topic and discuss possible reasons for feeling it and what I can do to combat it - which you did lead into in your reply regarding carbs.

The question now becomes what constitutes low carb? At what point is it considered "low"? How many grams per day can I have at maximum and still be considered to be on a low carb plan? I have noticed that low-carbing does reduce desire to eat and for sweets, but the plan I was on before was far, far too restrictive which is why I could not stick to it. I would like a realistic, healthy low-carb plan that still allows me to eat things like fruit and such.

Thanks to everyone who has indicated possible causes and solutions.

Esofia
12-03-2011, 12:17 PM
You'll probably need to find that out for yourself, I don't think it's universal. I've gone from being ravenously hungry all the time to being rarely hungry except at mealtimes without restricting carbs, although I do eat a diet with wholegrains and minimal sugar. Complex carbs are actually an essential part of keeping my blood sugar level, and there's been some research on this in relation to PMDD and blood sugar levels. Incidentally, do you have PMS or PMDD? Either way, my point is that it's complicated and variable, you can't just take what one person reports and assume that it will work for you as well. You're better off trying a variety of approaches, making no assumptions beforehand, and hopefully sooner or later you will find one that clicks for you.

Timing seemed to be key for me, so I definitely recommend playing with that. Again, this one varies: some people need to eat every few hours, some people do best on Intermittent Fasting, and some people find that it makes no difference whatsoever. Sleep can also be connected to hunger (and eating patterns to sleep!), so that's worth checking out as well. I don't think I'd have had a chance of losing weight back in the days when I still had untreated Non-24 Sleep-Wake Disorder and completely chaotic routines. I found successful treatment for the N24 a few years ago (look up darkness therapy), but I was so used to chaotic routines, and bear in mind here that I'm housebound and often bedbound with a fatigue-based illness, that they continued to be chaotic. I was now sleeping normal hours but eating completely randomly, and didn't realise that I was eating too much because I literally couldn't remember when and what I'd eaten.

My hunger disappeared when I was temporarily placed on low-dose amitriptyline (which is odd, for most people it does the opposite if anything) and I seized the opportunity to start dieting. At that point I naturally fell into a pattern of mealtimes at regular hours, and my hunger signals stayed stable even when I came off the amitriptyline a month later.

I also reckon some of it was from overeating: I can't offhand remember how this works, but I think I've read that eating too much can actually trigger excess hunger.

Thighs Be Gone
12-03-2011, 12:38 PM
I would like to encourage you to Google the term, "Glycemic Index." I didn't discover it until I was well into my weightloss but I sure wish I had known about it sooner!

kaplods
12-03-2011, 12:46 PM
Thank you so much for writing that, Kaplods. Very well written and I agree with you completely. Whether it's "real" or "fake" is essentially useless to me right now anyway as the signals are still there and are still annoying me, whyever they might surface. So instead of debating whether or not I'm really hungry (I already know I can't be), I'd rather stick on topic and discuss possible reasons for feeling it and what I can do to combat it - which you did lead into in your reply regarding carbs.

The question now becomes what constitutes low carb? At what point is it considered "low"? How many grams per day can I have at maximum and still be considered to be on a low carb plan? I have noticed that low-carbing does reduce desire to eat and for sweets, but the plan I was on before was far, far too restrictive which is why I could not stick to it. I would like a realistic, healthy low-carb plan that still allows me to eat things like fruit and such.


My recommendation would be to not worry about "what constitutes" or "what is considred" low-carb, because what you call it isn't important at all.

A lot of people tell me that I'm not on low-carb, because I eat fruit and grains - just not as much as I used to (much, much less than I used to).

Definitions of low-carb vary - so much that if you ingest more than 10g of carbs per day, SOMEONE will tell you that you're not "really" on low-carb (which is as pointless a debate, as to which hungers are "real")

Controlling physiological hunger, as Esofia pointed out, isn't always about carbs. It CAN be about carbs, but it isn't always. Also, it may be about the type of carbs, rather than carbs in general. Or, it could be about something else entirely.

Some researchers believe (and have some evidence to support the belief) that there actually may be genes that control which foods (or flavors) we're most likely to overeat. So some people may do best on a low-fat diet, and others may do best on a low-carb diet, or a high-fiber diet (or some combination). Only relatively recently have researchers stopped looking for the best diet for everyone, and have started looking at which diets are best for whom. Unfortunately the science isn't able to tell us that yet, so we're mostly left with trial and error.


So, you really have to be patient with yourself, and be willing to experiment (though it's hard to know how much time to give each experiment, I'd recommend several months at the very least, because it's too easy jump to conclusions when you're looking for patterns).


A lot of people do very well just by restricting or eliminating processed carbs, or by increasing fiber (from fruits, veggies, and whole grains). Others do well by using the glycemic-index.

I also believe that the diet that works best today, may not be best forever, so not only do you have to experiment, you may have to continue to experiment.

JohnP
12-03-2011, 01:20 PM
Kaplods can you help me understand how insulin spikes drive hunger?

Simple sugars can cause later blood sugar crashes which drives hunger but beyond that I would be curious to see what you mean. You can spike insulin with out a lot of simple sugars.

By the way - I think it is important when ever anyone mentions Taubes to point out that for all the good he has done he is wrong about calories. If anyone would like to pay for me to eat 5,000 calories a day of prime grade beef drenched in butter and herbs I'll be happy to prove him wrong.

kaplods
12-03-2011, 08:50 PM
Kaplods can you help me understand how insulin spikes drive hunger?

Nope. I can't explain it at all. I'm just passing on what I've experienced, read, and have been told by doctors and diabetes educators.

In response to your question I searched for online articles explaining how insulin causes hunger, but all I really found were statements that it did - not how it did so. Common statements where things like: high levels of circulating insulin can cause extreme hunger and cravings. Unusual or extreme hunger is also listed as a side effect of injectable insulin (in fact on many diabetic pages, insulin-using diabetics have even noted that some types or brands of insulin have caused them far more hunger than others).

It seems to be fairly well-established as a potential side-effect of insulin (whether as an injectable, or the insulin your own body produces), so I'm sure any physician, dietitian, or diabetic educator could explain it.

I know when my husband was prescribed insulin, it was one of the first things the diabetic educator warned us about - that insulin therapy can cause intense hunger, and cravings for carbohydrates in particular, and that my husband would have to be very dilligent about avoiding eating in respoonse to the insulin-triggered hunger, if he experienced it.



She also showed us diagrams that illustrated the sugar - insulin - hunger - cravings - sugar cycle that she said applied to both my husband (insulin-using type II diabetic) and me (at the time insulin-resistant).

She told us that insulin is a "growth hormone" and that one of it's purposes was to regulate (and cause) hunger.

I've heard this phrased very similarly from other doctors we've had, and also on television, and in books I've read on the topic of diabetes, autoimmune disease, paleo and reduced carb diets and similar subjects. However, I have no idea "how" insulin does so, but I don't know a lot about how any of the hormones do what they do.

From my own experience, low-carb eating cuts my hunger so drastically, that it's almost miraculous. And my "rabid hunger" does seem to follow the exact pattern that the diabetic educator predicted. Eating high-carb foods, triggers insulin release, which triggers more hunger (at least in insulin resistant folks).

Now that I say that I remember that the diabetic counselor actually had two diagrams. The first being how a non-insulin resistant person responds to the release of carbohydrates, and how a diabetic or insulin resistant person responds to carbohydrates (so it very well may be that insulin does not trigger hunger - or at least not to the same degree - than it does for folks with insulin resistance or type II diabetes).


I don't know. I just know that if I eat concentrated carbohydrates, I can't seem to stop eating because of what I call "rabid hunger." It literally feels as if I cannot stop myself from eating. It's the craziest damned thing I've ever experienced (and this "rabid hunger" was a constant companion for most of my life. As a child, almost nightly I would go to bed so hungry that I couldn't sleep, and my parents would tell me that "I couldn't really be hungry.")

If I had only known that "rabid hunger" could be tamed simply by avoiding processed carbs, and being careful with more complex carbs, I would have had a very different childhood and a very different life.

I can't explain what that hunger was like. And I can't explain what a wonder it is to be able to control it (even though I don't have "good control" yet, it's so far from my experience on higher carb eating, that I can't even begin to explain it).

I'm not always perfect or even good about compliance with my low-carb eating, and yet I'be been able to avoid eating to the point of pain in so very long, that I can't remember when. It's almost inconceivable to me (because it used to be an almost daily event).

Justwant2Bhealthy
12-03-2011, 11:12 PM
KAPLODS ~ I've experienced the same thing as you. As you know, my (raging) hormones were screwed up since at least 10 years of age (as I've explained to you before). I was also put on Metformin to help regulate (or balance) my hormones and blood sugar levels, and I experienced what I called "RAVENOUS Hunger" (similar to your Rabid Hunger). :lol:

I am on a lower carb (whole foods) plan too (portion/calorie based); and find on the days I have a lower carb dinner/day, that I feel more satiated -- and, that "RAVENOUS" hunger disappears. I have to eat some complex carbs, or my blood sugar levels dip down too low, but I eat very little (if any) sugar or simple carbs now.

I used to think that there are at least two (2) kinds of systems: carb burners and protein burners. My husband, who is 120 lbs soaking wet, can eat all the carbs (and other foods) he wants, and burns them off like crazy. IF he gains 5-10 lbs over the winter, as soon as he gets on his bike in the spring, off they come.

Whereas, I am a protein burner (IMHO), and do better with lower carbs. I do eat some whole grain carbs (but limit them), along with some fruit, veggies & salad. I eat meat, but leaner meat (there's fat in all meat, but I remove the skin and cut off all visible fat). It is working for me ... :D

A friend of mine (who is diabetic with lots of hormone issues too) said that she felt like her BRAIN was screaming at her to eat all the time. I told her that I think it probably is ... she is now doing much better.

I think that is why some people can lose weight on a higher carb vegetarian diet, and others do better on a lower or low carb plan. I think we each need to find out what our bodies like better; and what can help curb that "RAVENOUS" or Rabid hunger that some of us experience.


OP ~ I must eat regularly and not skip any meals to keep my sugars balanced and hunger pangs at bay. I also like to eat salad, veggies, fruit, and soup to feel full too. Hope this all helps you in some way. :)

JohnP
12-04-2011, 12:02 AM
Alright - thought I would check. I've heard the same thing as well but was curious if you knew how the mechanism worked.

kaplods
12-04-2011, 02:12 AM
I have to admit that detailed chemistry and physiology has never been my strong suite. Not only did I have to take physiology, embryonology, and chemistry courses to get my degrees, at least one third of my psychology classes also included biology, biochemistry, and brain physiology components, and I even had to teach much of it when I was teaching entry-level college courses - and I still can't explain most of what I've learned, because I forgot it the minute I didn't need it any more (I even had to re-study those subjects before teaching them).

For example, I remember the mnemonic acronym for the cranial nerves (On Old Olympus' Towering Top, A Finn And German Viewed Some Hops), but I only can ever remember the Olfactory nerve, the Occular nerve, the Trigeminal nerve and the Vagus nerve.

I can understand a lot of the medical terminology, and can read medical journal articles without too much trouble, but remembering it or understanding it well enough to explain it.... not so much.

What I do find astonishing is that there are some rather significant ways in which people can differ on even basic physiological processes though.

I saw an extreme example on a television show about the genetic factors in both obesity and slimness. Featured on the show was a little boy who doctors believed had a genetic condition similar to the dogs and cows shown on this page:

http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/offbeat-news/mutated-cows-ripped/2780

The conditon makes it easier for him to build muscle and very difficult for him to store fat.

In the program, they discussed the possibility of developing a drug that could mimic this disorder as a means for treating muscle wasting diseases and obesity by producing the myostatin deficiency that results in the extraordinary muscle development.

There is another genetic condition and other illnesses that prevent a person from gaining fat. They can eat 20,000 calories a day, and still not be able to gain weight.

Even though these conditions (at least those in the extremes) are incredibly rare, it's still amazing to me that they exist at all... that there can be so much variability in the metabolic process from one person to another.

jendiet
12-04-2011, 02:44 AM
what kaplods described as "insulin hunger" is what you people who experience hunger 2 hours after eating are experiencing. You have an insulin spike which is driving down your blood sugar, causing real hunger, and it becomes a spike. If you are frequently experiencing this, you may be or be becoming insulin resistant. The best thing to do in that case is to stop eating carbs except at ONE meal that lasts ONE hour. If you extend it past one hour, you will get another insulin spike leading to more hunger.

There is alot more physiology, but people have learned to cope with this by doing

a)intermittent fasting. ONLY eat within a certain 5-7 hr time frame. Clinically proven to resensitize your body to insulin with little carb restrictions (you naturally want less).
b)some form of low carb with an induction period (sensitizes your body to insulin during the NO CARB period.)
c)carbohydrate addicts diet. works around the insulin issue.

for those with this problem, it is impossible to eat small amounts of carb snacks (meals) 6x day. The drive to eat overpowers. It is also impossible to eat low carb if you have a severe addiction.

Insulin resistance works like this:
1 gram of carb eaten by a normal person = 1 g insulin to uptake sugar into cells.
1 gram of carb in ABNORMAL person = 10 g insulin to uptake sugar into cells.

you are hungry because the sugar (energy) is there but it is USELESS to you because your body will not uptake it into the cells for energy. Only way to overcome is by resensitizing your body to insulin--if you are not already severely diabetic.

kaplods
12-05-2011, 08:48 PM
I just started re-reading the book "Living the Low Carb Life," and it explains insulin's role in hunger and weight gain very well. It's also well annotated, so you can go directly to the original sources the author is quoting or using as source material.