Weight Loss Support - How can I reduce my appetite?




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geoblewis
10-30-2012, 02:18 AM
I really want to cut back on how much I eat. I've been doing the low-carb, Paleo thing for some time. I added intermittent fasting to help reduce my overal daily calories. I can suceed with fasting, but still find I can eat a BIG meal afterwards. That rather negates the point of the fasting.

I've tried modifying by eating smaller meals throughout the day. I've increased fats. I ate more protein but found that increased my blood sugar (I'm a type 2 controlling with diet and exercise). I've increased my non-starchy vegetables. A lot!

But I'd really like to just eat less overall. I struggle to eat less than 1000 calories at an evening meal. I'm okay with 400 calories at breakfast, and about 800 calories at lunch. I'd like to keep my meals under 500 calories, but I am still experiencing hunger. And it doesn't matter if I've eaten regular meals or not.

I have read that my body is probably accustomed to overeating and maintaining higher blood sugar levels. And that dialing back how much I eat will take time to get used to lower, healthier blood sugar levels. But I've lost nearly 70 bs and still can't get my appetite under control. And it seems to be driven by my blood sugar levels.

Has anyone else had this issue and managed to work past it? I know some will suggest metformin and other similar drugs. I've tried them and they just make me feel worse overall and I have no life when I'm on them. Kinda defeats the purpose.


Robin41
10-30-2012, 12:44 PM
With your medical issues, this sounds like something you should ask a certified nutritionist or your doctor. If you're eating 2200+ calories a day and you're still extremely hungry, then something is going on that isn't easily cured on the internet.

I will say that having lost half my body weight, I can still eat a tremendous amount of food in one sitting if I were to let myself. The key is that I simply don't let myself, but, after years of eating whatever I wanted, my body did take some time to accept that.

geoblewis
10-30-2012, 01:28 PM
Thanks for sharing your experiences. It's valuable to me. Being patient with myself is the hardest thing!

I have spoken with a nutritionist and my doctor about this but their solutions haven't been helpful. I just need to figure out a way to white-knuckle through the times when I want to eat so much.

I had my breakfast just 3 hours ago. Almost 500 calories. I have felt hungry since breakfast ended. I may need a small snack to take me to lunch.


twinieten
10-30-2012, 01:43 PM
How hungry are you at the end of the day?

I'm famished at night too. The hours between 3 and dinner are really the hardest for me. It's quite annoying to say the least. I've just resolved myself to feeling hungry. The only "cure" I can see is to starve all day and then eat all of my calories between 3-8 PM. Which isn't realistic or healthy.

I've tried pills, and supplements. I've used shakes, moved calories around and really, there's just nothing. I'm hungry! As long as it's just tummy rumbling, and I'm not feeling weak or low blood sugary or I don't feel a headache coming on, I just deal with it.

I found breakfast to be useless. I'm not hungry in the morning. My hunger pattern didn't change if I ate breakfast early, late or not at all, so I just got rid of it. Save the calories for the time of day I need them the most. Now I'll have a little snack if lunch is still a ways away when the hunger hits, or I'll just wait until lunch if it's not that long of a wait.

I'll have a moderate lunch, eat something for a snack and then dinner..... if I'm really hungry later, I'll eat. I have to exercise the most control between 3 and 6, when it's just mind over matter.

I guess one thing you have to decide is, is it really hunger, is there a physical sensation (low blood sugar, shakes, etc) or is your stomach just grumbly?

As far as getting through the night... I have no suggestions. As long as your blood sugar isn't tanked, and your health isn't at risk, then besides revisiting medications that might help with blood sugar regulation, all I can say is have a hot beverage and resolve yourself to feeling hungry. And if you're really, really hungry, have a little bit of a snack.

I swear my on-off mechanism is broken. It's all about mind over matter.

toastedsmoke
10-30-2012, 01:50 PM
What do you eat? Many people find having a little more protein and a little less carb helps with breakfast. Personally, I find that when I don't drink enough with/after my meals, I FEEL hungrier whereas when I get my water or tea or coffee or whatever in, I tend to feel fuller. Try drinking a little more and see if that helps. It's really easy to confuse hunger and thirst.

If you're still feeling munchy even after drinking and trying to up your protein, try carrot sticks or celery sticks. You can use a couple of tablespoons of hummus as dip or people seem to get a full feeling from nut butter of some sort (I'm not much of a nut butter person). Make sure you are getting enough liquid in with your meals. If you're into that full feeling after eating like I am, it definitely helps.

kaplods
10-30-2012, 01:50 PM
I've not found "white-knucking" very helpful. Instead for me, gradual change worked much better. I ate when hungry, but looked for foods that had the most bulk for the fewest calories and the lowest GI/GL (essentially low-carb).

On high-carb, I still experience hunger so intense I call it "rabid hunger." There's been absolutely no solution for carb-triggered hunger. So if I eat high-carb foods I have to deal with it, but the less I deal with it the better (so eating low-carb works best).

If you need a small snack, then have a small snack - but make it a high fiber, high water, low-carb, low-calorie snack like raw veggies with or without a low-carb/low-cal dip.

It can be hard to find a low-cal/low-carb dip in the store (especially one that tastes decent) so I make my own. For example I'll look up an online recipe for Nuoc Cham (a viatnamese dipping sauce) and substitute Splenda for the sugar. I also make a sort of italian dressing with the same basic recipe, but using italian herbs instead of the fish sauce and leaving out the lime or using lemon instead (I still use the rice wine vinegar, because a good rice wine vinegar is mild enough that you don't miss the oil.

You can even add a little oil, because with a vinegar-based dip you don't use as much.

geoblewis
10-30-2012, 02:29 PM
I have never been a late-night eater. I am always hungry from about 3 - 9 pm. And breakfast doesn't interest me much. But since my new doc said I probably have adrenal fatigue (waiting for blood tests to confirm), I'm not allowed to fast more than 12 hours and I'm supposed to eat regularly. And I hate that! Makes me feel food obsessed.

I think my on-off switch is malfunctioning too.

So perhaps I need to rethink my meal timing in the late afternoon and into the evening. I go to work for the afternoon shift at 4:45 and then come home after working out, usually by 8. I have been maintaining calories control before work, but lose control with post-workout appetite. So saving some calories for after the workout is probably the best thing to do. And I will have to give up on intermittent fasting for now.

stimkovs
10-30-2012, 02:56 PM
im another sufferer of the broken "on-off" switch.

i find that my hunger is really worst when i know i'm done eating, and i have no more food around. so, my solution is i always have a snack on hand/in my purse etc. my recent trick is about 200 grams of fennel and a light babybell. under 150 cals, and it's your watery/fibery veg (fun fact: fennel is a component used in licorice, so it also tricks my mind) and the cheese is protein.

i'm actually not a huge fan of the fennel, so i usually wait until i absolutely have to dig into it until i do.

another good one is a grapefruit - i eat them like oranges. they are low GI, and stinky. which means i won't bust out my grapefruit in public until i absolutely have to- another fun fact, seems as though quite a few people aren't fond of the smell of oranges, so gotta be polite! especially on public transportation. lol

i also buy individual serve cottage cheese things (90 cals each). those are also sometimes found at the bottom of my purse...

i literally, am always hungry. i can probably eat the fridge, the kitchen sink, and the door handle in one sitting- 100 lbs later, controlling it is still hard, but if your personal preference- like mine is to just constantly be eating, a good solution is to eat a very high volume of very low calorie foods, constantly.

tricon7
10-30-2012, 04:31 PM
I find myself eating to keep my stomach from burning/rumbling due to lack of food, not to keep myself from being hungry - which is all the time, it seems. I could eat a Big Mac with an order of large fries at any time, day or night. But I have to just tune out that low-grade hunger that parks itself in the back of my mind and stay busy.

Eating 800 calories for lunch to me is a lot. I eat four times a day and that's over half my daily calorie budget. I can get by on half of that fine. Something like a turkey sandwich and a vege is about 350 calories. Throw in some fruit and you're still only at around 400. I also drink a lot during the day. When I'm hungry, I sip something. I have to go to the bathroom all the time because I'm drinking so much. :rolleyes:

To curb my hunger, I eat a ton of steamed broccoli, sprinkled with parmesian cheese and salt, along with eating those 100-cal. bags of Pop-Secret buttered popcorn (sprayed with butter-flavored Pam for good measure). They're not something I can gobble down with two bites like a candy bar (that have 2-3 times the calories).

Arctic Mama
10-30-2012, 04:55 PM
Another possible trick is for you to put off your morning meal as long as possible - essentially fast until lunchtime, so you can group your calories into your hungriest time. Or eat something like a fat bomb for breakfast, which has a fair bit of calories but really signals leptin strongly, and then load your calories later in the day. If that doesn't solve it, I'd work with a low-carb friendly doctor to see if something else is causing the issue, like possible thyroid issues beyond the normal mild hypothyroid caused by weight loss.

geoblewis
10-30-2012, 05:37 PM
Arctic - waiting on the blood tests to see if the thyroid and other hormonal issues are the culprit.

I just had lunch, 720 calories that consisted of brocolli slaw with raw sunflower seeds, chopped bacon, a few dried cranberries and a dressing of low-fat labneh and mayonnaise. Plus a little turkey. I took about 30 minutes to eat it. I'm about to drink some herbal spice tea. I still feel quite hungry. In fact, I feel hungrier now than before I started eating. Not cravings. Hunger. I'm trying to just sit with this, hoping that letting the food digest will get it into my blood stream in the next hour and my digestive system with shut up! I don't feel edgy or stressed. No emotional issues to make me want to snack. I feel genuinely hungry. I'm trying to distract myself with the hot tea and writing some html codes for a project I'm working on. If that doesn't work, I may take a nap.

I could eat a whole package of bacon right now...

So the slaw was higher in carbs than I normally do, but the hunger experience after lunch is not unusual for me. I would normally drink a lot of coffee with heavy cream to ride out the afternoon. But since my doctor now has me off coffee and cream, white knuckling it is going to have to do!

LockItUp
10-30-2012, 06:16 PM
I see from your ticker you've lost 67 pounds so far, that's quite a lot, congratulations! Have you been experiencing this hunger throughout all of your weight loss or is it more recent?

stimkovs
10-30-2012, 06:27 PM
Arctic - waiting on the blood tests to see if the thyroid and other hormonal issues are the culprit.

I just had lunch, 720 calories that consisted of brocolli slaw with raw sunflower seeds, chopped bacon, a few dried cranberries and a dressing of low-fat labneh and mayonnaise. Plus a little turkey. I took about 30 minutes to eat it. I'm about to drink some herbal spice tea. I still feel quite hungry. In fact, I feel hungrier now than before I started eating. Not cravings. Hunger. I'm trying to just sit with this, hoping that letting the food digest will get it into my blood stream in the next hour and my digestive system with shut up! I don't feel edgy or stressed. No emotional issues to make me want to snack. I feel genuinely hungry. I'm trying to distract myself with the hot tea and writing some html codes for a project I'm working on. If that doesn't work, I may take a nap.

I could eat a whole package of bacon right now...

So the slaw was higher in carbs than I normally do, but the hunger experience after lunch is not unusual for me. I would normally drink a lot of coffee with heavy cream to ride out the afternoon. But since my doctor now has me off coffee and cream, white knuckling it is going to have to do!

honestly? i'd be hungry from eating that too. dried calories are a sugar bomb, mayo is a bomb of itself, as well as bacon and the seeds.how big was the salad ? are you a salad person?

typically, if you were larger, like the rest of us at one point in your life, your stomach is still LARGE. you need a bigger quantity of food.

my salad trick: all possible veggies + calorie wise dressing. and a chicken breast. usually bangs in under 400 cal. and is literally a truckload of food.

other do you like fish? talapia, basa, are all high protein low call. you can literally eat 200 g of the fish, and a large sweet potato (12 oz) for about 700 cal. i bake in the oven with pam spray instead of oil.

or like, lets say, 5 oz stead and 500 g of steamed veg. same caloric bang, larger protein bang, larger volume.

while the salad you mentioned sounds delicious- i'd be ravenous after it as well.

Arctic Mama
10-30-2012, 07:05 PM
Arctic - waiting on the blood tests to see if the thyroid and other hormonal issues are the culprit.

I just had lunch, 720 calories that consisted of brocolli slaw with raw sunflower seeds, chopped bacon, a few dried cranberries and a dressing of low-fat labneh and mayonnaise. Plus a little turkey. I took about 30 minutes to eat it. I'm about to drink some herbal spice tea. I still feel quite hungry. In fact, I feel hungrier now than before I started eating. Not cravings. Hunger. I'm trying to just sit with this, hoping that letting the food digest will get it into my blood stream in the next hour and my digestive system with shut up! I don't feel edgy or stressed. No emotional issues to make me want to snack. I feel genuinely hungry. I'm trying to distract myself with the hot tea and writing some html codes for a project I'm working on. If that doesn't work, I may take a nap.

I could eat a whole package of bacon right now...

So the slaw was higher in carbs than I normally do, but the hunger experience after lunch is not unusual for me. I would normally drink a lot of coffee with heavy cream to ride out the afternoon. But since my doctor now has me off coffee and cream, white knuckling it is going to have to do!

That is pretty high in carbs, though I believe you when you say it's higher than your norm. I love dried cranberries for example, but my body reacts to them like skittles! So just be aware that not all carbs are created equal and some choices may impact your hunger more or less than others.

I was really hungry for lunch and just roasted and ate half a chicken with the skin. For about the same calories as your salad (my tally put the half chicken, it was small, at about 700) I had half an animal and am physiologically full (and psychologically satisfied). That sort of move may be smart for you, too. Less salads (I still had a nice salad and homemade herbal vinaigrette) but really bulky, satiating protein with a fair helping of flavor and fat.

HungryHungryHippo
10-30-2012, 07:23 PM
That's a tricky one. It's interesting that you can actually measure reactions in your body (blood sugar level). Honestly, two of the only things I've personally found that overcome hunger are keeping busy doing something I enjoy, and diet pills. (FWIW, the really effective pills are off the market, now, so this time I'm doing without them, although there are some new ones. Everything's a trade-off, so that's a call you'd have to make for yourself. 67 pounds on your own is really good. And on your own is always better, if that's possible.)

HungryHungryHippo
10-30-2012, 07:28 PM
Oh, actually, there is one more thing. Read that book The End of Overeating. It explains how, if you hold out the possibility that you might let yourself have more food, your body will stay hungry, but if you absolutely shut that door, by creating hard-and-fast rules, as in, I DON'T eat between meals, or I DON'T eat more calories than this, that your hunger will give up and move on.

geoblewis
10-30-2012, 07:52 PM
Well, I didn't make it that long. Just polished off two roasted turkey thighs. I feel full now.

I don't normally have any dried fruit, but I chose to add the last of a package that I found in the back of the spice cabinet. Not even half an ounce of them. Barely 6 gm of carb. Just wanted a little extra flavor in my salad. Less than 20 net carbs in the whole salad.

I can easily polish off half a roast chicken as well and feel quite satisfied. But what I'm shooting for is to manage my blood sugar better, keep eating lots of veggies and cut back on the quantity of protein. I have been eating close to 120 gm of protein a day. Really, I don't need that much! I pay for it every morning with blood sugar levels in the 120-140 range (as long as my carbs are really low). That's not healthy. My pancreas is not playing fair, but what's best for my body is to eat to keep my pancreas thriving. I really cannot keep eating such high protein. It's better for me to increase healthy fats and cut protein. I experience very little rise in my blood sugar when I eat healthy fats. I've taken a Tbs. of coconut oil in my morning coffee and watched my blood sugar drop. (Now I put it in my tea.) Mayonnaise (I make my own with olive oil) doesn't bother me at all.

Stimkovs, as I understand it, the stomach is a stretchy thing. It expands to fit whatever quantitiy we eat and then shrinks back when empty. I'm fine with small meals some parts of the day. But between 3 and 9, I can easily eat a super-sized combo fast food meal and consider going back for dessert. So greatful to be SO OVER FAST FOOD!

I may have to go with some sort of medical intervention at this point. If the new doctor can't discover anything thyroid and hormone driven, then I'll think about something like Byetta or Victoza injections. But the side effects freak me out.

geoblewis
10-30-2012, 07:56 PM
I very much appreciate being able to discuss this with you all today. I don't feel so alone in this any more, which is very comforting. I'll keep plugging along with this. Giving up is not an option (how's that for a hard and fast rule?) and I promise to keep moving forward and be her for all of you too.

Thanks! :hug:

EagleRiverDee
10-30-2012, 08:19 PM
Two things I've got:

One- I find if I start my meal with a broth based soup (I use Miso) then it really helps to help me feel full and satisfied.

Two- I remember complaining about being hungry to my doctor once, I said, "But when I do that, I get hungry!" and he said, "So? Is it going to kill you?" And it was a huge wake up call. We don't have to eat just because we feel hungry. We have to eat to nourish our bodies and make sure we have enough energy to maintain our daily activities. Just feeling hungry isn't necessarily a bad thing, unless you allow it to control you. I do take active steps not to get so hungry my blood sugar crashes but that's got more to do with meal spacing and the right ratios of carbs/protein/fat than my actual caloric consumption.

Arctic Mama
10-30-2012, 08:22 PM
If it is blood sugar control you're after, and you find too much protein spikes it, do veggies not do the same? Usually veggies are the worst culprit in a fruit-free, low carb diet. If not, focus on the very fibrous ones (obviously) with plenty of fat. Fat is satiating and filling, especially with veggies. I make sure my protein had a ton of fat with it, too. Salmon, rib eye, sardines and mayo, etc. even if my stomach isn't actually distended I *feel* satiated, because the fat triggers leptin responses like no other food. It is also the lowest metabolic impact when it comes to insulin response.

How much have you played around with this? Are you actually ketogenic every day? That could be the key for you, is that cravings and genuine hunger come back at a very low carb level, and so 70-ish percent of your calories from fat and under 20-25 net carbs per day, coming from nutrient dense plants, is going to do the trick. What say you?

Arctic Mama
10-30-2012, 08:22 PM
I very much appreciate being able to discuss this with you all today. I don't feel so alone in this any more, which is very comforting. I'll keep plugging along with this. Giving up is not an option (how's that for a hard and fast rule?) and I promise to keep moving forward and be her for all of you too.

Thanks! :hug:

That's my rule, too. Works like a charm, even when the details are like pulling teeth :carrot:

stimkovs
10-30-2012, 08:22 PM
Hey- so I didn't realize/skimmed over the blood sugar levels. I think at this point, you clearly know your bodies reaction, and are getting medical help with the things you're having issues with.

I think for some of us- lots of protein helps.

For you, that's obviously not the case. If all else is normal, I believe there is no magic solution and it's a trial and error situation. You will eventually figure out what works best for you.

For me, I tried cutting carbs- hard for a long time, and it brought out issues. Now that I have allowed them back into my daily routine, I am far less likely to binge on them, especially since I know they are included in my meal plan. (when I say carbs I really mean wheats/grains). Do I still have to be careful? Yes. Wheat and grain products are the only things in the world that I am unable to eyeball properly. I now weigh butter if i'm going to put some on a piece of toast... ha ha.

The stomach does shrink and expand in proportion- but I find that I have had a large stomach through the whole process. Again with the large quantities of non calorie dense foods..

Do not fret, you will figure it out!

freelancemomma
10-31-2012, 01:37 AM
But I've lost nearly 70 bs and still can't get my appetite under control.

I don't have diabetes, insulin resistance, or blood sugar issues, but I also have a very large appetite and could easily eat twice as much as the 2,000 daily calories I currently consume to maintain my weight after losing 55 pounds last year. I find I do best with evenly balanced meals of about 500 cals each, along with 500 cals of snacks throughout the day. Even so, I'm often mildly hungry and could eat SO much more if I let myself!

I don't have the answer to this appetite thing. When you do, will you let me know? ;)

Freelance

geoblewis
10-31-2012, 01:51 AM
Well, I ate that turkey around 3:30, then went to work and worked out for an hour (Pilates). I finally got home after 8. I felt just a little nagging hunger, so to help manage the morning blood sugar, I ate just an ounce of blue cheese and a small glass of Petite Petit (my favorote wine). I feel good now, not full at all, very relaxed and sleepy. I'm going to bed.

Tomorrow is another day. I'll work this out, eventually.