If You Aren't Hungry, Should You Eat Anyway to Meet Your Calorie Requirements?

TossaBeanBag
TossaBeanBag Posts: 458 Member
edited October 2014 in Health and Weight Loss
I am eating a lot of protein - more than I have in my life per day. I am trying to meet percentage of calories in protein, carbs, and fats. Some days, I do not feel like eating more, like today, and I am shy of my calorie requirements set by my nutritionist. Some days, I feel like I need a hundred more calories than the requirements.

I think listening to your body and not eating if you are seriously not hungry is okay; but, is it? Is it better to always meet the calorie requirements of the day?
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Replies

  • girlviernes
    girlviernes Posts: 2,402 Member
    I vary quite a lot, as low as 1500 and as high as 2100. Most typically I eat 1800. This is based mostly on schedule and whether or not I am home. I think I may have to tighten up as I get closer to my goal weight, I'm still about 80 lbs away.
  • lemonlionheart
    lemonlionheart Posts: 580 Member
    If I'm genuinely not hungry, I don't force myself. I figure I could use those extra calories for a treat or an extra glass of wine or two on the weekend :)
  • PrizePopple
    PrizePopple Posts: 3,133 Member
    That depends on what your requirements are set at. I generally try not to eat below BMR as that is the caloric need for my body if I did nothing but lay in bed all day. Since I don't lay in bed all day I try and eat as close to my caloric goal as possible without dropping below BMR. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I go over my goal. If it's balancing out over the week I don't sweat it too much.
  • TossaBeanBag
    TossaBeanBag Posts: 458 Member
    edited October 2014
    That depends on what your requirements are set at. I generally try not to eat below BMR as that is the caloric need for my body if I did nothing but lay in bed all day. Since I don't lay in bed all day I try and eat as close to my caloric goal as possible without dropping below BMR. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I go over my goal. If it's balancing out over the week I don't sweat it too much.

    Why not eat below BMR? I am set at 600 below BMR, and I finished 800 below BMR, today. I am still gaining muscle (not a lot but a little) and burning fat. I am not a little guy, and I think my BMR is 2600. I shoot for 2000 calories. Am I going to go into starvation mode until I get it back to 2000?
  • ana3067
    ana3067 Posts: 5,624 Member
    It's about weekly average. However, it's much easier (for me) to simply eat to my goal daily than try to make up for lost calories another day. Plenty of people on VLCD have said htey never feel hungry.. signals are clearly not always ideal to listen to in regards to knowing whether you've consumed enough food.

    Eat your goal. If you aren't hungry, eat a spoon of peanut butter because it will not fill you up.
  • ana3067
    ana3067 Posts: 5,624 Member
    jbach2 wrote: »
    That depends on what your requirements are set at. I generally try not to eat below BMR as that is the caloric need for my body if I did nothing but lay in bed all day. Since I don't lay in bed all day I try and eat as close to my caloric goal as possible without dropping below BMR. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I go over my goal. If it's balancing out over the week I don't sweat it too much.

    Why not eat below BMR? I am set at 600 below BMR, and I finished 800 below BMR, today. I am still gaining muscle (not a lot but a little) and burning fat. I am not a little guy, and I think my BMR is 2600. I shoot for 2000 calories. Am I going to go into starvation mode until I get it back to 2000?

    because your basal metabolic rate is what you should meet to experience optimal bodily function and performance. Just... calculate your energy needs and base your deficit off of your TDEE if you included exercise into the equation, or based off of your NEAT if you did not include exercise. And then eat back exercise cals in the latter situation.
  • Kalikel
    Kalikel Posts: 9,626 Member
    Everyone does it differently.

    I eat to my hunger. The idea of shoving stuff down my throat on Monday and going to bed hungry on Wednesday...it makes no sense to me.

    Unless you are recovering from an ED, I see no reason to force-feed yourself. But it is a decision only YOU can make for yourself. Try whatever you want. If it doesn't work out for you, switch it up! Nothing is carved in stone and this isn't life and death. Have some fun with it. :)
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,372 Member
    If I'm not hungry (like that ever happens), I just eat less... no doubt I'll make up for it a couple days later!
  • Nope - I never force myself to eat when I'm not hungry and I never deprive myself either. Balance & moderation were the key to my success.

    Plus - the daily caloric intake is really a guideline not a mandate.

    So if you are making healthy eating choices and because of those healthy eating choices you are staying satisfied longer then let it be imho.
  • SingRunTing
    SingRunTing Posts: 2,604 Member
    If I have a lot of calories left, I have ice cream. I certainly don't have to "force feed" myself ice cream.
  • Liftng4Lis
    Liftng4Lis Posts: 15,150 Member
    edited October 2014
    jbach2 wrote: »
    That depends on what your requirements are set at. I generally try not to eat below BMR as that is the caloric need for my body if I did nothing but lay in bed all day. Since I don't lay in bed all day I try and eat as close to my caloric goal as possible without dropping below BMR. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I go over my goal. If it's balancing out over the week I don't sweat it too much.

    Why not eat below BMR? I am set at 600 below BMR, and I finished 800 below BMR, today. I am still gaining muscle (not a lot but a little) and burning fat. I am not a little guy, and I think my BMR is 2600. I shoot for 2000 calories. Am I going to go into starvation mode until I get it back to 2000?

    Are you sure you're not confusing your TDEE with your BMR?? What are your stats?
    Starvation mode doesn't exist.
  • asdowe13
    asdowe13 Posts: 1,951 Member
    jbach2 wrote: »
    That depends on what your requirements are set at. I generally try not to eat below BMR as that is the caloric need for my body if I did nothing but lay in bed all day. Since I don't lay in bed all day I try and eat as close to my caloric goal as possible without dropping below BMR. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I go over my goal. If it's balancing out over the week I don't sweat it too much.

    Why not eat below BMR? I am set at 600 below BMR, and I finished 800 below BMR, today. I am still gaining muscle (not a lot but a little) and burning fat. I am not a little guy, and I think my BMR is 2600. I shoot for 2000 calories. Am I going to go into starvation mode until I get it back to 2000?

    Sorry but you are not gaining muscle while on a deficit.
  • stepher1123
    stepher1123 Posts: 4
    edited October 2014
    Its true, you should eat your calories. If you are working out and you dont, the next day youll have cravings. You should also fight hard through those days that you feel your calorie intake isnt enough because those are the days youre going to lose weight. Truthfullly, I find it really helpful to get some exercise when I feel that angry hungry feeling.

    And yeah, starvation mode only really happens when you are extremely low weight. Kill it, guy.
  • WalkingAlong
    WalkingAlong Posts: 4,926 Member
    Concern yourself with the averages, not some midnight-resetting total. Your body doesn't reset at midnight like MFP. Listen to your body, not an app.

    There is no reason to eat only above your BMR estimate unless you have no excess body fat to lose.
  • 2lhasas
    2lhasas Posts: 18 Member
    No one should ever be encouraged to eat when they aren't hungry. That's how we got ourselves into this big, fat mess to begin with. Listen to your body. I follow a Low GI diet and cutting carbs definitely decreases my appetite. Instead of eating when you aren't hungry, look at the meals you are eating. Maybe you could add some nuts to that salad. There are plenty of healthy food options that can add calories to your day.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    If you are eating about what you plan to throughout the week, but more on some days and less on others, I wouldn't worry a bit, and if eating to hunger works for you keep at it. I don't force myself to eat when not hungry, although I also don't wait to eat until I feel hungry--I eat according to a schedule and tend to find my hunger responds to that. That's just what works for me.

    Where I would worry is if you have a low goal to start (say, 1200) and are frequently below, especially if by 100 calories or more. If it isn't really averaging out, but is in essence a way you are convincing yourself to eat less than intended. Sometimes the mind plays these games at the beginning or it's a result of being overly restrictive with carbs and especially fat.
  • newhealthykim
    newhealthykim Posts: 192 Member
    Personally, if I'm more than 100 calories below my BMR, and I know I have counted things accurately that day (no eating out and weighing everything), then I will have something. I typically make it a drink though. Either cranberry juice or chocolate milk. I love both and I rarely drink them anymore, so I'm okay with that. If I have been eating out or had a few bites of something I didn't log, then I don't worry about it.
  • NoelFigart1
    NoelFigart1 Posts: 1,276 Member
    No need to force yourself to eat if you are not hungry.

    Honestly? My calories vary between 1300 and 1800 most days, and average out to 1600 (my target is 1710). I figure over time is better than exact each day.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,876 Member
    edited October 2014
    It depends. Pretty much any anorexic is going to claim not to be hungry....and in fact, probably aren't hungry even though they're only eating like 500 - 800 calories per day...in that case, pretty frackin' unhealthy. When people diet, after a time, hunger sensations and hunger pangs go away...because the hormones that control those ques get all jacked up...so many people who eat at dangerously low energy intakes can indeed claim not to be hungry...but again, not healthy and not a good indicator of anything.

    There are a lot of people on MFP who have some seriously disordered thinking about food and fitness at best and full on ED at worst....so I'm pretty hesitant to suggest only eating when you're "hungry"...a lot of people don't actually know because they've jacked their systems up.

    I pretty much eat when I'm hungry...but I eat around 2800 - 3000 calories per day, so no worries there.
  • hartmamp
    hartmamp Posts: 80 Member
    I don't - because that rarely happens. Ha!