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Do you actually get less hungry when you're smaller?

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Old 02-09-2012, 04:56 PM   #1
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Default Do you actually get less hungry when you're smaller?

I know that the body's calorie needs (to maintain) are higher if you're 150 pounds versus 125 pounds. My question is, for those of you who've lost weight...do you actually feel less hungry now that you're smaller?

Right now, i can lose weight eating 2000 calories a day, but eventually i'll probably have to go down to 1700. I can't even imagine going lower than that on a regular basis. But i wonder if I will feel different when i weigh 140?
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:00 PM   #2
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No, I get starving to death hungry, all the time.
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:57 PM   #3
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I wouldn't say I feel less hungry because I was never truly hungry when I was 40lbs heavier.However I now eat more nutritious foods and I need less to feel satisfied.I rely on a constant supply of 0% Fage greek yogurt, fruit,cut-up veggies and lots of water/green tea for my "I could eat the world" moments.
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:29 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, I've been even hungrier since I lost weight. Oddly enough, when I was averaging 1400 calories per day while intentionally losing (from 6/2011 - 10/2011), I was rarely hungry. Now that I can eat 2100-2200 calories a day to maintain, I often feel as if I'm starving. I'm really glad that my maintenance calories are so high!

In all seriousness, though, I've found that my hunger level often has more to do with how satisfying my meal is rather than the specific number of calories it is. When I eat something that I truly want and that is really good, I don't go looking for anything else. For instance, the other night, I had some delicious organic chicken, broiled w/ peppers, onions, etc. I made my own fajitas. They were so delicious that I wasn't hungry for the rest of the night---even though those fajitas were not nearly as many calories as I often eat for dinner.

Don't worry too much about this now, though. One method I've heard of and like is to just choose a reasonable calorie level you can live with (e.g., 1700, 1800, etc.) and eat that that level to see where it takes you, weight-wise. When I initially chose my goal weight, it was partially based on the fact that I knew I would not be able to eat less than 1800 calories a day and still be satisfied.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:14 PM   #5
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No, I still get really hungry, and more often now for good reason, either after a bout of intense exercise or because I'm not snacking all day long.

I do plan around my hunger better and I have a clearer awareness of my hunger. When I'm hungry, I'm very aware that I'm in a vulnerable state, and that I need to take care of myself, or I will make not-so-good choices and eat things that I otherwise wouldn't.

I've become so used to this that I've noticed how different my mother is. She doesn't plan ahead, just gets hungry, then goes rummaging, and may eat several random consecutive things. I never, ever, EVER do that anymore.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:21 PM   #6
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I find that I'm MUCH less hungry. I don't attribute it to my size I attribute it to habits I've picked up and maintained for so long. Being physically hungry doesn't bother me like it used to. I just kind of roll with it. I have learned that it's OK to not feel stuffed to the gills all. the. time. and being a little hungry sometimes is not going to kill me.

I was worried in the beginning too but I've found it to be a nonissue. Maybe it's because I do IF? I don't know... I'm rarely hungry unless TOM is about to rear her ugly head and that's not 'real' hunger it's emotional hunger.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:37 PM   #7
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^^^^
What she's saying. I have changed my habits of eating a lot for the past 2 years. I recently took on more protein in my diet and it completely kills my appetite for a while. I end up eating less in the day and I STRUGGLE to eat more when I know I need to!
Also, there was a moment in time when I was basically starving myself and got to 124 pounds. It was a low point of my life, but it taught me that a little hunger is actually okay (versus when I HATED being hungry and went for all the bad things to quiet it). I'm not condoning starving yourself, I'm just saying what I learned, lol.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:41 PM   #8
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Ok, so what i'm hearing is that the answer is no, your appetite does not decrease when you're smaller in size, but you get used to the hunger and can manage it. I guess i can deal with that...and as one of you said, worry about it when i get there.

It seems kinda unfair though! I guess physical hunger doesn't correlate to the body's calorie needs then?????
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:43 PM   #9
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I happen to think that what most of us identify with the feeling of hunger is not hunger at all...
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:47 PM   #10
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<<It seems kinda unfair though! I guess physical hunger doesn't correlate to the body's calorie needs then?????>>

Yeah, I've also wondered about this. Perhaps we actually ARE physically less hungry when we weigh/need less, but our neural circuits have been conditioned to want more food.

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Old 02-09-2012, 07:50 PM   #11
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<<One method I've heard of and like is to just choose a reasonable calorie level you can live with (e.g., 1700, 1800, etc.) and eat that that level to see where it takes you, weight-wise. >>

I like this idea, though it's a bit scary. Right now I find I can live quite comfortably (i.e., without undue hunger) on about 2,000 calories a day, so I'm thinking of seeing where this takes me. I suspect I'll be able to either maintain my current weight (145 lbs) or a slightly higher weight on this amount, as long as I keep exercising fairly regularly.

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Old 02-09-2012, 07:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freelancemomma View Post
<<It seems kinda unfair though! I guess physical hunger doesn't correlate to the body's calorie needs then?????>>

Yeah, I've also wondered about this. Perhaps we actually ARE physically less hungry when we weigh/need less, but our neural circuits have been conditioned to want more food.

F.
Yeah, that's what i kinda think. I think for me, all the overeating has caused my body and brain to have no idea what true hunger is...or to just be messed up in that regard.
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ValRock View Post
I happen to think that what most of us identify with the feeling of hunger is not hunger at all...
I agree. I know that oftentimes when I say, "I'm hungry," what I actually mean is "I'm bored," "That food looks really good," "That tasted great---I want more!" etc.

I teach at a college, and I find that on the days when I have a full class schedule, I can effortlessly eat fewer calories without even thinking about it. For example, last night I sort of went on a food bender (stress related), and I consumed about 1600 calories (counting dinner). Since I start my day's calorie counting with dinner, I knew I only had about 500-600 calories left for the next day's breakfast and dinner. I actually ended up skipping breakfast because I had morning classes and I was full from the night before. Yet if I had been home, I would probably had eaten breakfast anyway (although late) because I had nothing better to do rather than because I was actually hungry.
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freelancemomma View Post
<<One method I've heard of and like is to just choose a reasonable calorie level you can live with (e.g., 1700, 1800, etc.) and eat that that level to see where it takes you, weight-wise. >>

I like this idea, though it's a bit scary. Right now I find I can live quite comfortably (i.e., without undue hunger) on about 2,000 calories a day, so I'm thinking of seeing where this takes me. I suspect I'll be able to either maintain my current weight (145 lbs) or a slightly higher weight on this amount, as long as I keep exercising fairly regularly.

Freelance
I believe it's definitely possible. Even though I would have denied it in the past, I think I'm able to eat so many calories because of my activity level. I'm short (5 ft 3), 43 years old, and 134 according to my weigh-in last Tuesday, so I would never have guessed I could eat even 2000 calories much less 2100-2200, but I can. I do one hour of intentional exercise 6 days a week, but I also move a lot---chores, errands, etc.

If you (and the OP) are interested, there's a book that someone here recommended to me entitled Calorie Queens. It's written by a mother and daughter who lost about 100 lbs. each. They started the process by figuring out how many maintenance calories were needed for their goal weight and then just started eating at that calorie level. This is a different approach than most people have taken---i.e., start at a lower calorie level and increase calories at maintenance. Their approach makes sense, though, because it really helps you keep in mind from the start that the habits you're adopting are for life.
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:29 AM   #15
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I actually have to disagree... I feel WAY less hungry than I did before. I think a big part of that for me, though, is that I cut out sugar/artificial sweeteners and white flour while adding in more fruits/veggies/meat. I think sugar was driving up my hunger levels to insane levels and clearing that out of my system has done me a world of good.

I've also worked on timing my meals (regular times with snacks in between) and that seems to help too. Throughout my weight loss journey if I felt hungry something was wrong and I changed things. Now, granted, I'm still losing so I'm not sure if that's part of the difference or not (I've heard that sometimes after you start maintenance you feel hungrier?) but I've also always lost very slowly so my calorie deficit can't be too far away from my maintenance levels.

I really don't know what it is. I could be the sugar/white flour thing, it could be the slow weight loss, it could be the timed snacks, it could be the increase of protein/veggies or my chosen type of exercise too (weight lifting and swimming). Most likely it's some sort of combination of all of them. I'm not someone who deals remotely well with hungry (I get headaches, dizzy etc) so I know it's not remotely realistic to be on a plan that leaves me hungry. Now, it could be a difference in definition of hunger like others said up thread. Even at my highest I didn't regularly stuff myself completely (with the exception of with chocolate). I think my issue was more that I was eating so many sweets and they are so high calorie (and increased my hunger levels) that that was a bigger reason for my being obese then overeating on other foods. I think what I'm trying to say is that even at my highest my definition of "full" was different than someone who had problems with portion sizes in general, and not with one specific food type (sugar).
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