Weight Loss Support - Hungry!




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augeremt
01-27-2013, 01:02 AM
I use myfitnesspal and it has suggested a 1330 calorie limit for me to lose 1.5 lbs a week, which I've been trying to stick with and have been fairly successful at it. Even though I've met all the carb, protein, and fiber goals daily for the past week, I'm still starving and have absolutely no idea what to do about it.

How do you ladies survive on such little sustenance?

I thought about doing a "cheat day", except instead of cheating with ice cream and beer I'd make myself a larger dinner so at least it'd be healthy cheating. But I have a feeling this would be a temporary fix and not something I could do long-term and still lose weight.

On that note, this whole hunger thing wouldn't be too bad if I was losing weight, but I've stalled for the last week. I've only lost about five pounds total and I'm already plateauing, it seems. It's so frustrating when I've been so good about food and have made sure to exercise at least 5 days a week, but to see absolutely no change on the scale. I know I shouldn't be focusing on the numbers, but I like to see results to keep motivated and tell myself that putting down the ice cream or forgoing a beer was worth it. When nothing changes, it feels like I'm sacrificing and struggling in vain.

Any help?


Candeka
01-27-2013, 01:32 AM
Honestly, I think you need to eat more. Generally, the only people who should be eating 1330 calories are very short, light weight people or those in the last few pounds of their journey. I've heard before that myfitnesspal as some type of auto set thing that makes the calories really low for everyone. If you are eating to little, your body will not want to let go of the extra weight.

At your current weight and height, I dont see why you couldn't lose on 1600-1900.

HungryHungryHippo
01-27-2013, 03:24 AM
Here are all the tips I know:

Emphasize protein. It stays in your stomach being digested longer than carbs.
Don't eat anything TOO delicious, just for the sake of it--those are the things that make you crave more. Eat to fuel your body, with healthy fruits, veggies, protein, lowfat dairy and whole grains.
Don't skip meals, or wait too long to eat. It's easier to keep feeling content than to pull yourself back, once you get too hungry.
Likewise, get enough sleep.
Figure out what the right amount for you to eat is, and the right things, and make hard-and-fast guidelines. Once your hunger gremlin realizes eating outside of plan just isn't an option, it will quiet down. (Studies showed smokers craved cigarettes less when smoking just wasn't an option--like on a plane.)

And when all else fails, and you really just need to put a little more in your mouth, I try pickles, carrots, tea, diet soda, Crystal Lite, iced tea, hot flavored tea, 25 calorie hot chocolate, sugar-free hard candy (9 calories), or sugar-free Jell-O.

Good luck!


Newlyn
01-27-2013, 04:10 AM
I stalled at a low calorie level too and I've also heard that My Fitness Pal sets very low calories for everyone. I started following TDEE -20% (total daily energy expenditure). If you search Google for TDEE you'll find a calculator. It takes your exercise amount into account so you don't eat back any exercise calories.

I got to increase my calories from 1300 to 1900 and I've lost 4 pounds in the past couple of weeks after only losing 7 lbs in the previous 15 weeks (not a bad rate previously but at my weight, it's pretty slow). I'm on another weight loss group and everyone is seeing results without following any low carb, low fat, or major exercise plan. Everyone is eating healthily, not junk, but it's a much more workable calorie amount. Seems huge in fact, but it's working so far.

If you're hungry you need to try something else or it won't be sustainable and you'll just be miserable.

Misti in Seattle
01-27-2013, 06:43 AM
I agree too that you should eat more. My doctor told me that I would stall if I ate too few calories. LOL of course I am stalling now too anyway but I know it will pick back up again plus I am eating well and have learned to love all my fresh fruits and veggies... am never hungry and most of the cravings have gone, and my health has improved dramatically. I think plateaus are just part of it, frustrating as they are. Those are the times when it is hard not to give up.

Perhaps some do lose more on the extremely low calorie diets but I want something I can live with. You did not mention what types of foods you are eating but my own recommendation would be to add more fresh fruits and veggies. I am convinced no one ever got fat from eating too many veggies. :)

Hang in there!!! You can do this! And congrats on your 14 pound loss!!!

marigrace
01-27-2013, 06:58 AM
This is REALLY WORKING for me: Drastically reducing carbs ( 25 g) for a few days and then adding back only super healthy ones 5 g or so per week.
I was eating about 1600 calories and was still ravenous....too much fruit and bread. Right now I am around 1300 calories without effort and don't get hungry.
I'm using sparkpeople to track because it allows you to modify macro nutrient ratios.
Hope this helps.:hug:

sacha
01-27-2013, 07:02 AM
I *don't* at 1300! Ouch! I started at 2000 at 145 and still slowly losing (I am nursing, so 1500 equivalent) at only 5'5.

MFP has great food information but I don't like their target calories/macronutrients.

The problem with doing something so extreme at 1300 is exactly where you are at now - constantly hungry, probably grumpy about it, and when you stall, you have nowhere to go.

Slow and steady. You said you wanted sustainable, so I'd really up the calories.

emurph
01-27-2013, 08:01 AM
Do you know what your BMR is? I would guess it's more than 1300 calories. You need to eat at or above your BMR and that should help some.

I eat roughly 1300 calories a day, but I am 5ft tall and less than 10lbs from the high end of my healthy weight range. I am hungry close to mealtime, but not all day long anymore.

I eat fat and protein with every meal and snack and find it helps immensely. If I have to go over my calories a tiny bit because I want peanut butter on my celery for a snack, then I do it and don't think twice about it.

RavenWolf
01-27-2013, 08:21 AM
I start each meal with drinking 16 ounces of water. If I "feel" hungry, I drink water and it usually curbs it.

I use My Fitness Pal and it has me at 1200 calories a day to lose 2 pounds a week. I do 30 minutes of exercise which adds about 300 calories so I end up eating more like 1400 to 1500 a day. But I get my exercise in 7 days a week.

I have been doing this for 25 days straight. (The end of today will be 26!) I am consistently losing.

What are you eating to get your proteins? I have read that carbs can make you hungry and I'm doing really low carb, so maybe that is why I'm not hungry?

My snacks include bananas, yogurt (Light and Fit), and tuna.

Kale is great for curbing hunger and is full of nutrients but it is an acquired taste. I love it and make a lot of my salads with it.

Good luck!

augeremt
01-27-2013, 03:41 PM
Thanks for all these responses!

I do believe that 1330 is way too low for me to sustain and I have found 1500-1600 to be much more manageable. As in, I never feel hungry at those levels (unless I waste the calories on crap food) and don't feel deprived either, which is key to keeping up with the plan long-term.

However, I've noticed I only really lose weight when I stick to ~1300 and not much comes off when I'm at 1500-1600 (across all my attempts at weight-loss, not just this one). My BMR is ~1900 and I have a very sedentary job with long hours so there's not much room to increase that burn besides scheduled exercising which I've been doing a fair amount of lately.

I've tried to make it a point to bike to work and on errands instead of driving everywhere because we've had pretty nice weather lately and I live in a very bike-friendly town. Also, most places are close enough to my house that it takes 5-10 minutes longer to bike than to drive so it's not that big of a difference time-wise. And I honestly do love biking. This would be a way to increase burned calories (not including planned exercise) and allow me to up my intake to prevent the hunger pains I've been feeling lately.

With regards to MFP estimates...
To lose 1.5 lbs a week I need to have a 750 calorie deficit a day so the 1330 estimate from MFP is accurate...if I were to do absolutely no exercise at all. Since I have been exercising fairly regularly I can technically eat more to keep that deficit, which is the "calories gained" feature on MFP. However, like I mentioned earlier, I haven't been successful at losing when I go that high. But maybe like Newlyn said, I need to up my calories to lose weight. I'll try this and I'll see how it goes.

augeremt
01-27-2013, 03:43 PM
Here are all the tips I know:

Emphasize protein. It stays in your stomach being digested longer than carbs.

I never thought to emphasize protein. I've been eating a fair share of it and definitely enough for my weight, but haven't made it a priority. Instead, I've mostly been working on my fiber because that's been my biggest problem generally. I always get enough protein, but the fiber intake is definitely lacking.

Don't skip meals, or wait too long to eat. It's easier to keep feeling content than to pull yourself back, once you get too hungry.
Likewise, get enough sleep.

Now that you mention it, I think this may be the greatest factor driving my discomfort and hunger lately. I've been waiting until I get really hungry before eating something (not on purpose, it's just what I've noticed lately). So I've just focused on the hunger as a driving force and often end up making/eating less filling foods because they're quicker to make.

A couple of weeks ago I didn't have this hunger problem even though I was eating about the same amount of food. And now that I think about it, I was eating planned meals instead of leftovers on the fly. I need to get back to that.

Eureka!

And when all else fails, and you really just need to put a little more in your mouth, I try pickles, carrots, tea, diet soda, Crystal Lite, iced tea, hot flavored tea, 25 calorie hot chocolate, sugar-free hard candy (9 calories), or sugar-free Jell-O.

And I like your suggestions for the little bites. I've been obsessed with the mini peppers that Costco carries so those have been my go-to things. But your ideas give me more variety when the pepper obsession eventually ends.

augeremt
01-27-2013, 03:49 PM
I stalled at a low calorie level too and I've also heard that My Fitness Pal sets very low calories for everyone. I started following TDEE -20% (total daily energy expenditure). If you search Google for TDEE you'll find a calculator. It takes your exercise amount into account so you don't eat back any exercise calories.

I got to increase my calories from 1300 to 1900 and I've lost 4 pounds in the past couple of weeks after only losing 7 lbs in the previous 15 weeks (not a bad rate previously but at my weight, it's pretty slow).

I found a good TDEE calculator and I'll try it out as a way to get a more accurate read on my calories. It'll be interesting to see just how many calories I really burn instead of just having BMR approximations without taking into account daily things. Then I'll adjust my food allowance accordingly.

Thanks for this suggestion!

augeremt
01-27-2013, 04:27 PM
I agree too that you should eat more. My doctor told me that I would stall if I ate too few calories. LOL of course I am stalling now too anyway but I know it will pick back up again plus I am eating well and have learned to love all my fresh fruits and veggies... am never hungry and most of the cravings have gone, and my health has improved dramatically. I think plateaus are just part of it, frustrating as they are. Those are the times when it is hard not to give up.

Perhaps some do lose more on the extremely low calorie diets but I want something I can live with. You did not mention what types of foods you are eating but my own recommendation would be to add more fresh fruits and veggies. I am convinced no one ever got fat from eating too many veggies. :)

Hang in there!!! You can do this! And congrats on your 14 pound loss!!!

Thanks for the encouragement! I will definitely add more veggies to my diet because I haven't been as good about that as I should. I've never had a problem with the fruit department for some reason...probably the sugar in them.

As for plateaus, looks like I spoke too soon. I'm down again today so maybe it was just one of those times when you lose nothing for a couple of weeks and then go down significantly the next week. I know it shouldn't but this does validate my efforts at weight loss. I like to see progress.

I did forget to mention my foods so here is a sample from last week:
Breakfast - Muesli and milk
Lunch - Dense dark bread (I can't remember what it's called now but it's not the regular floofy bread) with either meat or Boursin cheese, tomatoes, broccoli, and cucumbers
Dinner - Stuffed bell peppers with mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes
Snacks - Grapes, apples, or mini bell peppers (see previous post)
Guilty pleasure - Either some chocolate or a small candy (anything under ~50 calories)

Granted, this was my best day. And one which was planned so I didn't wait until I was starving to finally eat, which is probably why it was so satisfying. I'm going to try to keep doing that because it seems to work the best.

augeremt
01-27-2013, 04:30 PM
This is REALLY WORKING for me: Drastically reducing carbs ( 25 g) for a few days and then adding back only super healthy ones 5 g or so per week.
I was eating about 1600 calories and was still ravenous....too much fruit and bread. Right now I am around 1300 calories without effort and don't get hungry.
I'm using sparkpeople to track because it allows you to modify macro nutrient ratios.
Hope this helps.:hug:

Hmm...not a bad way to get more bang for your buck. I generally don't like severely restricting an entire nutrient or food group (except the obvious junk food) but cutting down on carbs will probably help even if it's not this drastic. I'll definitely give it a shot.

Thanks!

BeachBreeze2010
01-27-2013, 10:58 PM
Was last week your first week? Remember that exercise causes your muscles to hold water, especially when it's new to you.

Also, measure, measure, measure.

And - I second what was said above. There's no reason to be hungry. Eat foods that will fill you up. My lunch today - spinach and kale salad with avocado and lime dressing, chopped cucumbers, green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and olives. 300 calories later and I'm stuffed! I think you need to eat more, but not necessarily more calories.

Sounds like you're on the right track. Keep exercising and keep eating healthy!

freelancemomma
01-27-2013, 11:17 PM
First of all, one week does not a stall make. Most people define a plateau as the scale not moving for 5 or 6 weeks. Second, I agree with those who suggest you eat more. Aiming for 1 pound per week -- which would allow you to eat about 1,600 cals -- seems more reasonable to me.

HTH Freelance

shcirerf
01-27-2013, 11:27 PM
A lifestyle change that works for you, that will allow you to lose and then maintain, is a practice in patience, and tracking, and feedback.

KittyKatFan
01-28-2013, 12:16 AM
If you are physically hungry, as evidenced by gurgling stomach, light-headedness, etc then your body is telling you that you are not eating enough.

Try upping your calories a bit until you can get through the day feeling comfortable. Not stuffed or overly full, but comfortable.

augeremt
01-28-2013, 02:37 AM
Was last week your first week? Remember that exercise causes your muscles to hold water, especially when it's new to you.

Also, measure, measure, measure.

And - I second what was said above. There's no reason to be hungry. Eat foods that will fill you up. My lunch today - spinach and kale salad with avocado and lime dressing, chopped cucumbers, green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and olives. 300 calories later and I'm stuffed! I think you need to eat more, but not necessarily more calories.

Sounds like you're on the right track. Keep exercising and keep eating healthy!

Last week wasn't my first week. I've been exercising for a while but have only recently begun making sure I'm under a certain calorie number. Previously I had focused on not snacking on junk food all the time. The calorie counting is the new step. Some of the weight that wouldn't budge was most likely water weight because I had a big whoosh today.

You are correct about eating more good food (less calorie-dense stuff). Now that I look over my food log, I see the difference that makes. The week before last I was much better about my meals, either cooking/making most of them or having legitimate leftovers. Last week I was really busy (and somewhat lazy) so I ate processed stuff from the freezer and relied on bars for meals. So although the two weeks had pretty similar calorie counts, the healthy week left me much more satisfied for longer.

Thank you for the encouragement! This is why I love this site!

augeremt
01-28-2013, 02:38 AM
Do you know what your BMR is? I would guess it's more than 1300 calories. You need to eat at or above your BMR and that should help some.

I eat roughly 1300 calories a day, but I am 5ft tall and less than 10lbs from the high end of my healthy weight range. I am hungry close to mealtime, but not all day long anymore.

I eat fat and protein with every meal and snack and find it helps immensely. If I have to go over my calories a tiny bit because I want peanut butter on my celery for a snack, then I do it and don't think twice about it.

My BMR is ~1900, so yeah, it's a lot more than 1300. I have a sedentary job with lots of hours so I don't add too much to it, which is why I need to use the little free time I have to get some burn to be able to eat more.

I've been trying to get better about snacking on crap and substituting good foods. I will keep the fat and protein in mind when I choose the next snack.

krampus
01-28-2013, 12:31 PM
I did forget to mention my foods so here is a sample from last week:
Breakfast - Muesli and milk
Lunch - Dense dark bread (I can't remember what it's called now but it's not the regular floofy bread) with either meat or Boursin cheese, tomatoes, broccoli, and cucumbers
Dinner - Stuffed bell peppers with mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes
Snacks - Grapes, apples, or mini bell peppers (see previous post)
Guilty pleasure - Either some chocolate or a small candy (anything under ~50 calories)



I see almost no fat or protein - what if you replaced the muesli with eggs (with their yolks) and turkey sausage, made your lunch a salad, and added a big portion of meat with dinner?

Munchy
01-28-2013, 01:01 PM
To deal with hunger, I choose whatever I really like to eat and bulk it up with non starchy vegetables. It really works. I almost never do "veggies on the side" but incorporate them right into my dishes. After doing this for years, I don't even think twice about it.

For example, yesterday I really wanted tortellini. I boiled one weighed portion of spinach tortellini (210 cals), then sauteed half of an onion (30 cals) and half of a green pepper (30 cals) and threw in a handful of spinach (5 cals) at the end. I took the veggies and mixed them with the tortellini, then mixed tomato sauce (100 cals) into it. If I had mushrooms, I would have added them in too.

The entire bowl was about 375 calories and I had to eat it in two portions because it was so big and heavy.

Every meal I eat is just like the above meal. If you take your favorite foods and just imagine what vegetables could mix in either without being detected or by complementing the flavors, then you'll find you may not be so hungry anymore. It takes a little practice, but becomes second nature quickly.

Thistleberry
01-28-2013, 07:54 PM
I see almost no fat or protein - what if you replaced the muesli with eggs (with their yolks) and turkey sausage, made your lunch a salad, and added a big portion of meat with dinner?

This is my take as well and I whole-heartedly second krampus' suggestions. A 1 egg + 2 egg white omelet with lots of veg, some turkey sausage, and a little bit of cheese is in my breakfast rotation and I find it very filling. You could also try half a cup of greek yogurt as one of your snacks or as a guilty pleasure. (I get plain and add in coffee syrups for flavor. Nummy!)

Renwomin
01-28-2013, 08:47 PM
To deal with hunger, I choose whatever I really like to eat and bulk it up with non starchy vegetables. It really works. I almost never do "veggies on the side" but incorporate them right into my dishes. After doing this for years, I don't even think twice about it.

...........

Every meal I eat is just like the above meal. If you take your favorite foods and just imagine what vegetables could mix in either without being detected or by complementing the flavors, then you'll find you may not be so hungry anymore. It takes a little practice, but becomes second nature quickly.

This is exactly what I was going to suggest. Vegetables have really low calories and provide a lot of volume and nutrition to dishes. If you are eating 1300 calories of junk it definitely is going to leave you hungry. I've found some of the best tasting swaps involve substituting half of something for veggies some examples:

*spaghetti and spaghetti squash
*linguine and zucchini ribbons
*mashed cauliflower and potatoes

I've also found that everything adds up and sometimes you can cut half the calories for an item if you use the right thing. For instance there are some really delicious high fiber wraps and tortillas with half the calories as regular. Spaghetti sauces with 50 calories a serving instead of 80. Laughing cow cheese spread at only 35 calories a wedge. Flat breads, diet bread, or lettuce instead of regular bread. Egg beaters or egg whites instead of regular eggs. I'm always on the hunt for good swaps.

Couple of things already mentioned but I wanted to reiterate that studies have shown that protein will stay with you longer than carbohydrates or fat. I've also read another study that indicated that eating soup made people feel full longer and eat less at meals if used as an appetizer. This worked even better than just drinking water with meals.

I'd also suggest planning for a low calorie day but always listen to your body. What has worked well for me in the past was to start out the day planning to have three good meals with no snacks. Some days that was enough and I was fine. Others I would get hungry in the afternoon and/or evening and I would eat a really good low calorie snack or low calorie dessert (skinny cow ice cream sandwich, frozen fruit bar). Also on the nights I'm really hungry I eat a bigger meal than normal but still with good, low calorie ingredients. Some people vary their calories per day to keep their body guessing and this is a more spontaneous way for me to do that.

augeremt
01-30-2013, 05:03 AM
Wow! Thanks for this explosion of food ideas. You guys and gals have been amazing with your suggestions and I will definitely incorporate them into my days.

As for the hunger, it's mostly gone. I've been eating between 1500 and 1600 calories a day lately and that's helped significantly. Having the time and the desire to cook more often has also made a huge impact because for some reason I feel a lot more satisfied when I've cooked my meal than if I were to buy it as take-out, even if it is just leftovers. And it's not due to snacking while cooking, I promise!

augeremt
01-30-2013, 05:05 AM
To deal with hunger, I choose whatever I really like to eat and bulk it up with non starchy vegetables. It really works. I almost never do "veggies on the side" but incorporate them right into my dishes. After doing this for years, I don't even think twice about it.

For example, yesterday I really wanted tortellini. I boiled one weighed portion of spinach tortellini (210 cals), then sauteed half of an onion (30 cals) and half of a green pepper (30 cals) and threw in a handful of spinach (5 cals) at the end. I took the veggies and mixed them with the tortellini, then mixed tomato sauce (100 cals) into it. If I had mushrooms, I would have added them in too.

The entire bowl was about 375 calories and I had to eat it in two portions because it was so big and heavy.

Every meal I eat is just like the above meal. If you take your favorite foods and just imagine what vegetables could mix in either without being detected or by complementing the flavors, then you'll find you may not be so hungry anymore. It takes a little practice, but becomes second nature quickly.

This is exactly how I have tomorrow's gnocchi planned. I know, I know...gnocchi isn't all that nutritious. But I've been craving it for a while and adding a whole bunch of veggies without making it the central focus of the meal is my way of making it work.

I'm glad to see I'm on the right track, or at least getting there.

augeremt
01-30-2013, 05:08 AM
I see almost no fat or protein - what if you replaced the muesli with eggs (with their yolks) and turkey sausage, made your lunch a salad, and added a big portion of meat with dinner?

This is my take as well and I whole-heartedly second krampus' suggestions. A 1 egg + 2 egg white omelet with lots of veg, some turkey sausage, and a little bit of cheese is in my breakfast rotation and I find it very filling. You could also try half a cup of greek yogurt as one of your snacks or as a guilty pleasure. (I get plain and add in coffee syrups for flavor. Nummy!)

You are both correct in saying I'm low on protein so I've upped that aspect, mostly for dinners but in other meals as well. I really don't like eggs, so although that would be an easy fix for breakfast it just doesn't work for me. With the newly added meat for dinner I've been getting my protein up quite a bit, which has helped. Apparently getting all my protein from dairy is not nearly enough. Who knew?

augeremt
01-30-2013, 05:15 AM
Couple of things already mentioned but I wanted to reiterate that studies have shown that protein will stay with you longer than carbohydrates or fat. I've also read another study that indicated that eating soup made people feel full longer and eat less at meals if used as an appetizer. This worked even better than just drinking water with meals.

I entirely agree with this because soups fill me up a lot more than I would expect. Even low-calorie soups keep me satisfied for a really long time. It's pretty awesome and they're definitely my go-to lunch these days.

AlmostMe
01-30-2013, 05:37 AM
There is so much wonderful food that you can eat on between 1500 and 1800 a day, but you have to avoid junk and really enjoy the food you eat. Stir fries are delicious and for myself if I load them up with ginger and garlic I don't need much calorific sauce.

I also use my crockpot a lot. I make really flavourful stews with tons of veggies and fresh herbs (sooo yummy).

I logged my details at MFP and it had me on some kind of crazy calorie restriction, like 1200 cals a day. It just doesn't make sense at my weight and with my level of activity. I'd be starving. My BMR is just under 1800. My gut instinct is that you shouldn't be eating much less than your BMR and maybe a little more if you're really active.