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Old 12-02-2011, 09:31 AM   #1
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Default Feeling Hungry After Eating?

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.

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Old 12-02-2011, 10:36 AM   #2
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How about getting enough fibre?
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:37 AM   #3
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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???
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:41 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:41 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:48 AM   #6
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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.

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Old 12-02-2011, 11:03 AM   #7
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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.)

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Old 12-02-2011, 11:34 AM   #8
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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!
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Old 12-02-2011, 11:56 AM   #9
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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.

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Old 12-02-2011, 12:11 PM   #10
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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.
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Last edited by carter; 12-02-2011 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:24 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:53 PM   #12
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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!

Last edited by Unna; 12-02-2011 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:53 PM   #13
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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!

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Old 12-02-2011, 12:59 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:45 PM   #15
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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.
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