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Old 04-29-2015, 05:30 AM   #1
Power34
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Thoughts on hunger

Hey guys,

lately I've been thinking much about why we get hungry when we're all keto-adapted and burning fat for fuel.
There's so much calories stored as fat in our bodies we could go days or even weeks without food. Not comfortably surely, but nonetheless.

I'm watching my body very closely because I want to understand what it is in my life or food choices that's making me hungry.

I don't believe that my body really needs fuel as often as I get hungry.
Hunger isn't as nagging or cruel anymore than in pre-ketogenic days but still it occurs and the body demands food. Today f.i. I had a beautiful breakfast of bacon and scrambled eggs, 2 cups of coffee with a tsp of butter and coconut-oil each.
Now, 6hrs and almost 40oz of water later my stomach is rrrrrrrumbling.

This surely means the food is gone from the stomach now. So is hunger only a signal of the stomach that it would be ready for more? Or does it mean sth else? Like, the body needs a (or a number of) certain element(s) of nutrition for homeostasis or sth.

I know I shouldn't have to count calories on a LCHF diet but I don't seem to lose weight unless I take care not to eat too much. And although being hungry now on an LCHF diet isn't as frequent as on a HC-diet, it does happen and it's not very much more comfortable than in earlier times.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the subjects and maybe someone else wants to share their insights into hunger and its origin....

x x x
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:56 AM   #2
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Curious to hear the responses as well. I'm approaching my 1-year milestone and am struggling with hunger myself.
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:10 AM   #3
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:16 AM   #4
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Here are my thoughts off the top of my head. As someone who can pack away a very large meal, I do think part of it has to do with an empty stomach. In the post I've been on some very restrictive diets, and I've noticed that if I try to eat a lot, I can't, during those times.

I've also noticed that I can train myself out of feeling hungry on less food. Last time I was good on lc, I decided to switch from several meat and cheese roll ups to a small protein shake and a fat bomb for breakfast. The first two days I felt some hunger pains within a couple hours, but with in the week, my body had adjusted.

My first go round with low carb was Atkins DANDR and one of the rules was to not go more than 6 hours without eating. I'll have to dig out my book to see if he gave a reason why. He was big on not letting yourself feel too hungry. I'm vaguely remembering something to do with hormones and blood sugar levels. Even in someone with healthy blood sugars, a slight drop several hours after eating, can signal hunger pains.

I'm deff interested in what others have to say.
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:55 AM   #5
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Ok im NEW so please be patient with me..
Yesterday was the first time I deviated from the reg foods I consume, Went to a Chinese place and ate about 1/2 cup of green beens with chicken in it, and it tasted a tad sweet.. I have been starving ever since! This whole time ive been on plan I have to remind my self to make sure I eat enough calories so I don't lose weight the wrong way. So perhaps a change in diet for even a meal may trigger hunger? Just my thoughts from my experience yesterday.
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Old 04-29-2015, 12:52 PM   #6
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Have u tried to only eat hard boiled eggs and butter?

Eggs give the most satiety. The protein in egg is the highest quality to make u feel full the longest.

You are allowed to eat almost 20 hard boiled eggs.
Chicken and meat don't give as much satiety as hard boiled eggs.

I'm sorry you experience a lot of hunger. This doesn't sound good as the reason
I'm doing this keto thing is to reduce hunger pangs.
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Power34 View Post
Hey guys,

lately I've been thinking much about why we get hungry when we're all keto-adapted and burning fat for fuel.
There's so much calories stored as fat in our bodies we could go days or even weeks without food. Not comfortably surely, but nonetheless.

I'm watching my body very closely because I want to understand what it is in my life or food choices that's making me hungry.

I don't believe that my body really needs fuel as often as I get hungry.
Hunger isn't as nagging or cruel anymore than in pre-ketogenic days but still it occurs and the body demands food. Today f.i. I had a beautiful breakfast of bacon and scrambled eggs, 2 cups of coffee with a tsp of butter and coconut-oil each.
Now, 6hrs and almost 40oz of water later my stomach is rrrrrrrumbling.

This surely means the food is gone from the stomach now. So is hunger only a signal of the stomach that it would be ready for more? Or does it mean sth else? Like, the body needs a (or a number of) certain element(s) of nutrition for homeostasis or sth.

I know I shouldn't have to count calories on a LCHF diet but I don't seem to lose weight unless I take care not to eat too much. And although being hungry now on an LCHF diet isn't as frequent as on a HC-diet, it does happen and it's not very much more comfortable than in earlier times.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the subjects and maybe someone else wants to share their insights into hunger and its origin....

x x x
Maybe if we start to think about hunger in a positive way. When we get hungry the body starts to use stored fuel in the form of fat. This is a good thing. We don't necessarily need to eat when we are hungry. It is good for us not to eat all the time.
Carolyn
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:18 PM   #8
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@sterlinggirl: I'm sure that one meal high in carbs can trigger hunger, or more hunger or earlier than usual. I try to eat very low carb because I believe I'm extremely carb-sensitive.

@groove: I haven't tried eating 20 eggs in one day yet. I love eggs but I can't imagine eating only eggs all day. For a while I regularly ate 2 eggs for breakfast but after a couple of days I couldn't swallow them anymore. They just wouldn't go down... I don't need much variety but that was too little...

@Carolyn: Sounds good! I can definitely see something positive in hunger. My problem though is that hunger makes me irritable and cranky really soon. The sensation of hunger by itself wouldn't be a problem. Its implications on my psyche, resilience and stress resistance are problematic though... Can't think positive about shouting down my DS or any clients or co-workers...
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:11 AM   #9
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Eating carbs is supposed to trigger hunger for other foods. In late fall when carb-laden fruits were abundant we would be preparing for winter when pretty much nothing is abundant. Being outside, active, and gaining weight meant that the fat you did put on would be high in fat-soluble nutrients (vitamin D a good example). Then we invented stores and supermarkets, never ending fall season.

I've managed 2 or 3 in an omelet before, but 10 would put me off eggs for a very long time. 20? Hard to even imagine.

There was a thread a few months ago regarding a few specific genetic markers to look for that can lead to low or no tolerance for LCHF. I'll look for it later, need bed soon.
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:13 AM   #10
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Would love to know the answer. I do think some bodies have a difficult time accessing stored fat. Think - zucker rats but not due to genetics. Metabolic damage, poor diet over years, gut biome, antibiotics, gut biome.....?
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Old 05-01-2015, 06:12 AM   #11
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6 hours seems like a good stretch to me, power.

What would happen if you had only one cup of coffee for breakfast, and had that second cup 6 hours later when you get the rumbling?
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Old 05-01-2015, 06:18 AM   #12
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I experienced hunger on LCHF too. It's a serious bummer.

I had to get more volume to stave off hunger - more veggies and overall a bit less fat. I do think calories matter and I sometimes check to see where I am.

I'm not sure what will work for you, but you're not alone.
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Old 05-01-2015, 06:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clackley View Post
Would love to know the answer. I do think some bodies have a difficult time accessing stored fat. Think - zucker rats but not due to genetics. Metabolic damage, poor diet over years, gut biome, antibiotics, gut biome.....?
Possibly onto something there.
I'm hungry very frequently on a low-carb diet. But then, I have been that way since birth. The difference here with NK is that the hunger is more tolerable. And on-plan foods temper cravings and the intensity of the hunger. So I can successfully ignore the feeling when I know that I've had enough, but the crossed-wires don't get the message.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if all of those contribute in each of us to varying degrees, clackley.
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Old 05-02-2015, 12:29 PM   #14
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In my experience, many carbs tend to trigger cravings. Carbs don't trigger real hunger.

I like that I experience real hunger now. It is very different than what I used to call hunger. Now, when I am hungry, it is appropriate.

I read somewhere, a long time ago, that stomach "growling" is food being digested, not an empty stomach in need of food. No idea if that is true but I do know I am not necessarily hungry when my stomach growls. I know it never occurs to me to eat because of it.
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Old 05-03-2015, 05:15 PM   #15
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There's a great deal of information and understanding about insulin and insulin resistance, but there's another lesser understood, but very important, metabolic hormone called leptin. Leptin resistance is often an issue in hunger regulation in people who have dieted and gained and lost weight over the years.

This Leptin Resistance Article was my introduction to the phenomenon, and the 10-minute video down the page was very enlightening.

So there are things you can do to reset your leptin. Some of them are included in the above article. I've just begun my research into this, so don't have a lot to say at this point. But suffice it to say, I think it's an area worthy of study.
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:47 AM   #16
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Interesting article. I've long suspected I'm leptin resistant. My weightloss is really slow (at a standstill again at the moment) and I'm experiencing some thyroid issues; at least some symptoms. As for all the tests I've been through: I'm fine according to the numbers, LOL!

As for hunger: I do get hungry on LCHF, it's just not that urgent anymore. If I feel hungry and it's just not a suitable moment to eat something, usually a cup of tea or a glass of water will soothe the rumbling until I do have an opportunity to eat. I try to eat two to three nourishing meals a day, usually skipping breakfast, and I feel fine until about noonish. I know now how to recognise real hunger versus boredom hunger, and I feel better for not snacking randomly because my brain tells me to eat, even though my body doesn't need food all of the time!

About eggs: I had intended to eat ground beef yesterday but ended up replacing that with 4 hardboiled eggs instead: I ate half and felt satisfied. (I also drank a cup of bone broth and had a salad, so enough to eat, LOL) I think eggs really satisfy nicely, especially if they are hardboiled and you add butter to them.
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:07 AM   #17
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Mimosa,

A friend of mine has hypothyroid issues and takes thyroid supplement. She told me she read a deficiency in iodine could be the cause of the problem. She's looking into taking an iodine supplement called Nascent Iodine, but until she decides whether that's safe for her, she is increasing her iodine-rich food intake.

150 mg is the minimum daily requirement of iodine.

Food sources of iodine:
sea vegetables, kelp is the highest at 1 T 2000 mg
cranberries, 4 oz 400 mg
yogurt, 1 c 90 mg
navy beans, 1/2 c 32 mg
strawberries, 1 c 13 mg
potatoes with skin, 1 med 60 mg
Himalayan pink crystal salt, 1 gram 500 mg
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Old 05-06-2015, 07:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimosa23 View Post

As for hunger: I do get hungry on LCHF, it's just not that urgent anymore.
Exactly how it worked for me when I did this the first time. Hungry moderated down until never feeling the "OMG!!1! Eat EVERYTHING NOW!!1!".

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSojourn View Post

150 mg is the minimum daily requirement of iodine.

Food sources of iodine:
sea vegetables, kelp is the highest at 1 T 2000 mg
cranberries, 4 oz 400 mg
yogurt, 1 c 90 mg
navy beans, 1/2 c 32 mg
strawberries, 1 c 13 mg
potatoes with skin, 1 med 60 mg
Himalayan pink crystal salt, 1 gram 500 mg
I buy packages of nori sheets and shred into food as it is cooking. Have yet to construct anything that can use it as a wrapper.

Of that list I have yogurt and Himalayan salt on hand. The scale I have won't do 1 gram increments though. Any ideas on "equivalent measure"? I've got dried cranberries too, but have to mix them in something else I am prone to eating the entire bag. Can't recall ever seeing fresh cranberries locally.
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:09 AM   #19
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Yes, I think taking iodine is one of the things I need to start doing regularly. I occasionally take kelp (150 iu; i.e 100% RDA) but tend to forget. I do use plenty of celtic sea salt and himalayan salt and eat plenty of seafood. But yes, I need to start being consistent. One of the recommendations my naturopath gave me is to take double the dose of kelp daily for at least three months. I keep forgetting!
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:46 AM   #20
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Anyone ever try taking a MCT cap or Coconut Oil cap when first feeling hunger? It works for me....now anyway.
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:09 AM   #21
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I agree with the posters who said that hunger is there but just not that urgent. I know I'm in the "sweet spot" of low-carbing when hunger becomes a gentleman who taps me politely on the shoulder and says "You know, when it's convenient for you, I could eat..."

As opposed to when I'm not doing low-carb, and hunger is a monster that screams and throws a tantrum and rushes around shoving any kind of food in my mouth until I'm into a full-on binge and can't remember how it started.

I MUCH prefer hunger when I'm in the low-carb sweet spot.
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Old 05-13-2015, 04:11 PM   #22
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I really think that the urgent "hunger" is usually a craving, not hunger. More caused by addictive foods we used to eat.

That urge to eat can also be caused by nutritional deficiencies, too.
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Old 05-13-2015, 11:16 PM   #23
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I am doing fat fast right now. I rarely experience hunger on FF. Fat with little protein and carb is very filling.

I drink 64 ounces of de-fat clear bone broth for my bone health. Then I just eat butter mostly. When I eat Macadamia nuts, I want to eat more than hunger demands. If I buy cream cheese, I could be tempted to eat the whole 8 ounces in a sitting. So I don't buy delicious food and I don't make fancy dishes. Just butter mostly. And a little coconut butter.

I think hunger sometimes is thirst actually. Sometimes it may be a desire to eat delicious food items that are calling from the fridge.
And of course everyone knows carbs create high insulin and thus hard-to-control-hunger.
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Old 05-14-2015, 12:19 AM   #24
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Quote:
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That urge to eat can also be caused by nutritional deficiencies, too.
I agree.
I tested this theory once after an exhausting workout. I felt I could eat everything in my kitchen although I didn't feel "real" hunger. I just felt the need to eat...
But instead of giving in to grazing I took a magnesium and potassium supplement, a pinch of sea salt and drank a large glass of water.
After 5 minutes - no more hunger or craving or anything.

I only wish this would work every time. It doesn't though. Maybe because my body doesn't always need just magnesium, sodium and potassium when it sends out craving signals.
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:48 AM   #25
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I think "head" Hunger is the worst.. I'm never hungry till some one else starts eating or cooking here at work, then I am CRAZY about trying to find some thing, any thing to put in my mouth!!
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:11 AM   #26
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I think there are two types of hunger--psychological (I really want that treat) and physiological (my body needs fuel). The trick is knowing the difference.

I experience hunger very differently on low carb. No more "FEED ME NOW OR SOMEONE'S GONNA DIE" Which was my life when riding the insulin roller coaster. Now I rarely feel hunger but when when I do I really need to eat. I try to wait until I'm truly hungry, which is why I sometimes don't eat lunch until about 3 pm. And I can often skip breakfast.

When I'm hungry for a particular food it's most often psychological hunger, not physiological. I distract and stall myself to see if I can get the idea out of my system instead of giving in to it. At night sometimes I'll just go to bed if all else fails.

All that said, I think we ignore physiological hunger at our peril. When we are truly physiologically hungry, our body is telling us something and we need to pay attention. Physiological hunger ignored, at least in my case, can lead to binging and a feeling that I just can't eat enough to fill a bottomless pit. It's counterproductive to go beyond my physiological hunger, and it's hard to meet your body's nutrient requirements if you routinely undereat.



I've heard the theory that many obese people are undernourished. They overeat (junk food) because their bodies are desperately trying to bring in enough nutrients their bodies need, to no avail. And I agree that if I'm not eating enough nutrient dense foods my body will push me to seek more food.

Try this experiment. One time when you are hungry eat your favorite low carb snack and see how long it satisfies you. Next time you're that hungry try an equal volume of something very nutrient dense (eg cooked chicken livers). How long did the livers keep hunger at bay? ��. (I know some people's appetite will be turned off by the thought of liver--there's a great way to test if it's physiological or not--if you're willing to eat liver...

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Old 05-23-2015, 04:51 AM   #27
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I, too, think there is a difference between appetite and real hunger. And that some physiological hunger is produced by the composition of the food, and how much we eat.

For me, too much food at one time, stimulates too much insulin production, which creates a sudden lower blood sugar and causes hunger, as well as unpleasant sensations. Too much food at one time, and too much protein, esp. meat or fish. Dr. Emily Deans wrote about this mechanism, a couple of years ago, at her blog, Evolutionary Psychiatry. There is an older thread here at LCF that addresses this dilemma.

I solved this dilemma by eating tiny meals, evenly spaced. I limit protein, and avoid trigger foods, additives, the usual culprits. I know that the insulin spurt that comes at the end of the meal, or shortly thereafter, and which causes a craving for more food, esp. carbs, can be ignored, -- because I have just eaten real food, nourishing, from the best sources I can afford to buy, and the best ratios of P, F, C that I know of. So, I ignore it, or if it is strong, then I have a little gelatin made with vinegar and sea salt, and a bit of yoghurt which has been incubated long enough to be nicely sour. That vinegar and salty sour taste just calms that insulin spurt right down. (Vinegar is similar to ketones!)


Grass-fed/pastured meat, cream, and butter made a great difference for me. More satiety, satisfaction, greater sense of well-being and, it seems to me, my body composition is improving by avoiding grain-fed, factory-farm meat and cream.

Dr. Richard Mackarness wrote in one of his books that it is important to have that 20% Protein and 80% Fat, give or take, on every forkful.


My food plan, in content, amounts and timing, might seem restrictive to some, but it helps me a great deal and I keep it faithfully. That line in the sand about my food plan gives me peace of mind about what will happen after I put the food into my mouth.

Last edited by Auntie Em; 05-23-2015 at 04:56 AM.. Reason: corrected some errors, added info
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Old 05-25-2015, 01:21 PM   #28
andreathecook
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I eat celery if I am hungry.
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