Sunday, December 14, 2008

Still Hungry!!

Wow! Another day of being a bottomless pit! I don't know what's going on with me, but this is a real physical hunger and NOT the cravings/urges I usually have. Someone mentioned that it could be an ulcer; if this keeps up for more than a week, I will have to consider getting checked for that. No health insurance though, so I have to wait it out of possible. I'm not in any pain, I am just so hungry. I don't even care WHAT I eat. It's not like I am dying for a whole pizza or something; I just want to feel *full* for more than 20 minutes. I want to feel satisfied and not be thinking about putting something in my stomach all the time!

I am not one to get physically hungry more than every 3 hours, usually. If I do, I usually can stop the hunger with something really small... like 6 almonds. Or a string cheese, a glass of water, a cup of tea, or an orange. Not this time! This is Day 3 of serious bottomless-pitness.

Last night I was still starving in the evening so I boiled an entire head of cabbage, added a bit of butter and salt, and ate HALF the pan. It was very few calories but filled me up (finally). But yeah, I was hungry again by bedtime.

Today I have been more careful of my eating. I actually *planned* my food through lunchtime, with lots of fiber and protein and bulk to fill me up. So far:

Breakfast: large bowl of oatmeal with ground flax, cinnamon, vanilla, and pumpkin; cup of chai tea with milk; cup of mint green tea with agave nectar. Usually this breakfast keeps me filled until lunchtime!

By 10 I was famished. Drank lots of water and then had a huge bowl of cut-up fresh pineapple.

Starving again by 11. But I had a plan! Thanks to rodeogirl on the 3 Fat Chicks site, I planned a HUGE salad to fill me up. It was a great big bowl of romaine and baby spinach, with tomatoes, grated carrots, grated low fat cheddar, lots of peas, 4 oz of chicken breast, 2 thin slices of bacon, and a generous amount of sauteed mushrooms, all topped with 3 Tablespoon of light Blue Cheese dressing. It took me a long time to eat, and it got me to that *full* feeling by the end. Tons of protein and fiber and even some fat. I ended with a small cup of nonfat peppermint mocha.

Guess what, my stomach felt completely *empty* again by 1:00!! This is sooo unusual for me! I had a square of dark chocolate and a giant cup of water. Now it is almost 2 and my stomach is growling away. I don't even *care* about food right now, I just want this to stop!

Someone suggested a whey shake; I am going to scour the cabinets and see if I have any kind of protein shake powder on hand. Any other suggestions as to what might fill me up without a ton of calories? I have the other half of that cabbage here but I think my digestive system would be quite unhappy if I ate that much cabbage again so soon. I think I will go eat a dish of broccoli.

I am at 1000 calories for the day. I want to stay below 1600 if possible. Not sure what's for dinner. I'm not biking today, as this is my day off from exercise. I try to bike 6 days a week, and I succeeded this week!

Thankfully, my ravenous hunger did not cause a gain. Scale still says: 222.


Ellie said...

When that happens to me, it's almost ALWAYS PMS hormones. Usually it's about 5-7 days before things get started, and it lasts for 1 or 2 days. You're doing the right thing, eating bulk without calories. Fiber and protein with a bit of fat will help, and it WILL go away! Ain't hormones grand?

~TMcGee~ said...

Must be something in the air because for the last 2 days I have felt like I can consume a small country. :-)
On a more serious note though, perhaps you are just burning a ton of calories off through the stress and higher adrenaline you are experiencing?
Hopefully, the hunger monster will be put to rest this evening and you will wake up refreshed and not feel famished.
Thank you for your comment the other day, I appreciated it so much. I'm still rooting for you, Lyn. Keep your chin up, lady. :-)

Tony said...

Theres always a possibility that you aren't eating enough. Eating many small meals throughout the day has also helped me with hunger issues.

Ann W. said...

I sometimes have a similar problem (feeling hungry all the time), and learned that it was due to too much stomach acid. I've since learned to distinguish the feeling from hunger, but it still feels better after I eat, for about an hour at least.

If I take an over the counter acid reducer (I take a generic zantac, I think), the problem completely goes away.

purple_moonflower123 said...

Yeah, when I get like this it is usually hormonal (PMS or an increase in cortisol because of stress). You're doing the right thing by bulking up on fiber and protein, because they will make you fuller faster and longer.

Meg said...

Sounds hormonal to me, too. Sound like your doing an amazing job!

Kimberly said...

I have days like that too. They usually fall close to time of the month or when I am really stressing out about something. It is times like this when we really have to hunker down and focus on our goal. It is tough, but I know you can do it.

l said...

For me, small meals that are heavy on the protein and fat keep me filled up. For breakfast, I'd try 3 eggs cooked in butter (*real* eggs and *real* butter.)

Again, have protein for lunch in the salad, some olive oil drizzled all over it.

Up the protein at dinner too. With healthy fats. And full fat dairy.

This doesn't have to mean tons of calories, since usually when I eat like this, I eat less over all.

A few days of this and your body might recognize that it is full.

I agree that this might be from all the work your body is doing from being under stress.

Tina said...

I have those days all the time! No matter what I do, I am still hungry! A big salad helps as well as "watery" fruit like oranges or clemintines.

Barb said...

Don't rule out adrenaline +'re making some serious life changes these days.

elife said...

I wonder if you have GERD/heartburn. I've had it in the past and it didn't present (ok so I'm watching "House" as I type this!) as normal heartburn did - it was more of a gnawing in my stomach, which I thought was hunger. It can come on for a variety of reasons, and one of them is stress (being tense squeezes the stomach muscles, which forces acid up the esophagus).

What worked miraculously for me was prilosec - you can get it over the counter (the generic is omeprazole). Take first thing in the am on an empty stomach, then don't eat for 30 minutes. If this is the issue, you will start feeling better after a few days.

If this is the case, then there's long-term stuff you can do to keep it from happening, etc.,which I won't bored you with for now.

Hope you feel less hungry soon..

Anonymous said...

I have eaten non stop for two weeks now. It's more than just "still hungry". Food make us happy. There is nothing wrong with that. It's life. Don't be so hard on yourself. Also, tough times can bring on food cravings which help us deal. We don't just eat because we are hungry.

Lyn said...


Oh I understand eating for comfort and having cravings. I've dealt with that before. Today was different. This was definitely a stomach thing rather than a brain thing. If I was craving or eating for comfort, I wouldn't be eating 3 cups of boiled cabbage to make the hunger go away... I'd be at Sbarro's getting PIZZA instead!

Ellie~ yeah, this could be hormonal... it's about that time. I usually eat more calories before TOM but this hunger is crazy!

Tony~ been eating over 2000 calories/day so I think calories isn't the issue. I've gone weeks eating 1500-1600 and been fine.

I could be burning more from stress or something...

The 3 eggs in butter for breakfast sounds pretty good to me right now, and isn't any more calories than usual. So I may try that in the morning :)

Once Upon A Dieter said...

I'm definitely on the higher end of my hunger range. I don't know why some days are calm and others are ravenous, but they are.

I suggest going up to 1800 or even 2000 just until the hungry phase passes. That way you can calm down knowing you have leeway and eat wholesome stuff, then when your phase passes, you can go back to 1600.

The P

Ria said...

Sounds like you're making great choices . . . you can't go too far wrong if all the things you're eating are healthy! Glad to hear the scale is cooperating with you.

Ceres said...

I will agree with everyone else who said it's hormonal. It happens to me too, and it's related to my period, but stress could also be a trigger. Hang in there :-) You're doing great!

Annimal said...

I wonder if your innate survival mode is trying to "fatten up" before the period of starvation come?
Have you considered just being OK with being hungry instead of trying to fill up?
Hunger will pass. You won't die from it.

Bunny Trails said...

When this happens to me, it's usually that my metabolism has kicked in to overdrive and I lose like crazy. Just nibble on nuts, fruits, cheeses, veggies, etc every 2 hours and I bet you see a big loss! I also add Bob's Red Mill Flax Meal to stuff to help fill me up.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I think you DON'T have an ulcer because you would feel pain and discomfort and maybe black stools and horrible heartburn. I do think your never ending hunger is due to:

A)Stress. OMG, look at what your going thru!!

B) Not eating enough? Our appetites ebb and flow. Maybe you've gained muscle and need more protien and good fats to help your body?

C) You need to eat what you CRAVE!!! It's awesome that you are eating healthy but maybe you need to eat some thing that fulfills your hole. Pasta, pizza, onion rings...Sometimes we just need to fill the hole.

Rodeogirl said...

Thanks for the shout out it made me smile. :)

Keep us posted on what's going on and do try to see a doctor if it keeps up. I'm without health insurance at the moment and it is hard. I can go to our school clinic thankfully so that helps. My little sister is a doctor and I know she worked in some free or sliding fee clinics before - maybe there is something like that in your area?

Hanlie said...

You can't go wrong with lots of green and colored vegetables, raw and cooked. Some days I make a big fruit salad for lunch. You may also want to add some (a cup or can) cooked beans, lentils or chick peas to your salads. These foods are nutrient rich and low in calories, so you can eat lots of it and you will only benefit, physically and emotionally, from the huge supply of micro-nutrients.

This, along with oatmeal for breakfast, is how we eat every day. I don't even get hungry between meals anymore. According to scientists, true hunger is felt in the throat and mouth, not the belly. Here's a video that explains that:

Good luck, Lyn!

Anonymous said...

Dear Friend,

You are under a great deal of stress. I would think that most of it you internalize. This causes your metabolism to speed up. Just do the best you can. Try air popped popcorn and crunchy raw vegetables. Also keep something hot to drink in your hand at all times. It will pass in time. Praying for you.

MNSnowdrop said...

Ch-ch-ch-chia seeds:)

Soak the seeds according to directions, then mix in yogurt, juice, anything/etc...

I like Chia Fresca, soaked chia seeds in lemon water. Better than flax seeds, imho:) Plus, the fiber fills you up and the protein satisfies hunger.

Anonymous said...

I think it's really worth considering that you're just not eating enough. The subjects in the famous Keyes study ate 1,570 calories per day during their "semistarvation" period, but somehow, we get convinced that cutting our calories far lower is something we do "for our health."

somebodys mother said...

Do you take vitains everyday? If you do not, now may be a good time to start. Your hunger may be caused by using more of the nutrients you are ingesting because of the stress you are under. A good multivitamin might help.

H.H. said...

Just this morning I read an article in my Fitness magazine about different hormones, cortisol, leptin, ghrelin, and how they affect our bodies. I tried to find the article online to no avail, but, stress increases the production of these hormones. One of the side effects of this is increased appetite. Lack of sleep can also affect the increased production of these hormones. So, perhaps it is stress related. My initial thought is try to eat high volume, low calorie foods to quell the hunger. Since you are already doing this, my other suggestion is to try some de-stressing techniques (yoga, meditation, walks, hot bath, whatever works) and keep exercising everyday, as this was proven to decrease these hormone levels!

happyfunpants said...

Hey Lyn,

First of all, I so know what you're talking about. I can have cravings with the best of them, but the deep hungry that is insatiable is the worst.

I did have ulcers in college - and the best test is to eat some Tums. If the hunger goes away (in the same way it would if you had crackers - and maybe lasting longer) than you know that it might be an ulcer. Also, your poop might be different. You can check WebMD out for those affects. :)

But that deep hunger is something that I have from time to time...and I'm begging you to please listen to me. LOVE YOUR BODY. If you are feeling those hunger pangs, eat what it needs...which is not just something to tide it over. For me, it's protein. I'm not a huge protein eater...but when I get like that, my body is needing protein. I don't get those feelings often - probably only once or twice a year. But listen and love your body. In the same way that you are coaching yourself to not give into cravings all the time and to eat healthy foods (i.e. actually listening to your body), you need to do so now.

If you're hungry, eat. Eat filling foods. Eat protein. Make good food choices and that horrible hungry feeling WILL go away.

If it doesn't stop after a week, checking that out at the doctor is probably a good thing.

Gigi said...

I go through something like this every once in a while and used to fight it like crazy, feeling if I gave in to the hunger I'd never stop eating. It think hormones are responsible. What I do is give myself some extra fat and/or protein and avoid freaking out over it - it usually passes after a few days - and then I usually get back on track with little or no harm done.

Dottie said...

I too have to think it's stress's amazing the things stress can do to a body.

Candace said...

Take care of yourself. It sounds like there's a lot of stuff going on right now, and Christmas is stressful at the best of times, much less in the middle of a separation. I would suggest planning out your daily foods ahead of time and trying to stick as closely to that as possible. If there is one thing you could say, I would suggest "You are leaving. If you can't say anything nice please just don't say anything at all. I deserve that much." Being pleasant for the sake of the kids is really not too much to ask.

Stephanie said...

Hi Lyn - Sorry to hear of all of your current dramas but it sounds like you are handling things great. On the food front, I say eat more fat/protein. Try cutting out the fruit for a couple of days and concentrate on meats, veggies and healthy fats. Protein always helps but I find that FAT helps the most. best to you, girl.

Kelly said...

Just wanted to say I love your blog. We're all rootin' for ya.


Karyn said...

Lots of great advise, so I'll just say....hang in there, girl! This too, will pass.

You're doing super, BTW!

MizFit said...

air popped popcorn?
I love (braceyerself) airpopped spritzed with water and tossed with chocolate whey protein powder.