Do you need to feel hungry to lose weight?

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Does weight loss have to be uncomfortable? In my experience so far the answer is YES. I am losing 2 pounds a week consistently eating 1200 -1400 calories a day (5'3" female with 50 pounds to lose) and I don't "workout" - but have been getting at least 10,000 steps a day with my fitbit.

The problem is, I am hungry very often. Some days I feel like I'm hungry all of the time, some days its easier. I discuss this with my friend who is also losing weight, and the only conclusion I reach is that you have to suffer a bit to get the weight off. When I feel hungry, I assume my body is going into its stored fat (and carbs and muscle yes) and using that for fuel. I don't have room for any snacks between meals if I want to stay in my calorie goal range. If I were to eat whenever I'm hungry, I don't think I would still lose weight. So do any of you actually lose weight without that nagging hungry feeling as your companion?
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Replies

  • IsaackGMOON
    IsaackGMOON Posts: 3,358 Member
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    Simple answer; No.

  • whmscll
    whmscll Posts: 2,254 Member
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    Yes and no. I tolerate mild hunger pangs for an hour or two if I know I'm going to be eating soon or if I'm going to bed. Anything more than mild is a distraction, though, and then I'll have a small snack. I'm never uncomfortable. I take care never to get too hungry because then I cannot wait to eat and Scarf whatever is at hand instead if something that fits in my calorie allowance.
  • Jgasmic
    Jgasmic Posts: 219 Member
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    If you lowered your goal to 1 or 1.5 pounds a week you would have an extra 250-500 calories a day and probably wouldn't feel as hungry since you'd have calories for snacks. I know it's tempting to lose it as quickly as possible, but it's important to do it in a way that is sustainable to you.
  • TimothyFish
    TimothyFish Posts: 4,925 Member
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    When you're losing 2 pounds a week, hunger is to be expected. But you could lose at a much lower rate and not even notice the hunger.
  • ASKyle
    ASKyle Posts: 1,475 Member
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    No.

    Try eating foods with more volume to fill you up.
  • North44
    North44 Posts: 359 Member
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    I'm hungry sometimes, but not all the time. It's not too bad. I eat 1220 but eat all my exercise calories so end up eating 1500-1600 a day. I'm losing a pound a week or a bit more. I would be too hungry on only 1220 a day. I find I go over on days I don't exercise at all, which is rare. Hasn't affected my weight loss much tho.
  • NobodyPutsAmyInTheCorner
    NobodyPutsAmyInTheCorner Posts: 1,018 Member
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    I started off at 1200 calories to lose 2lb a week. Hated feeling hungry all the time so decided my well being was more important than shifting weight at a rapid pace. I reduced my goal to 1lb a week and with an extra 280 calories a day to play with I was a much happier bunny.
  • ACyclingAdmin
    ACyclingAdmin Posts: 444 Member
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    No, but yes you will need to feel hungry at first. There is a HUGE difference between belly hunger and head hunger. Once you start figuring that out you'll know the difference and will eat when you're actually hungry and not just snack craving.

    It's not good to ignore actual hunger for calories your body needs to survive. If you absolutely have to have a snack, eat the most nutritious choice available, research foods with higher water / nutrition content as they will usually have less calories and end up being way more filling. Find things that are filling that aren't calorie dense like broccoli, smoked salmon on some spinach and a bit of capers etc...
  • Athijade
    Athijade Posts: 3,255 Member
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    I refuse to be hungry while losing weight (except for the obvious hunger before I eat my next meal lol). I do that by eating higher in fats which seem to keep me full longer and by not eating at too drastic of a deficit. I think I am set at 1.5lbs a week. If I wanted to do 2 lbs a week (doable at my size) I know I would be hungry and miserable! So at 1600ish calories it seems to be just right.
  • AMTaylor1980
    AMTaylor1980 Posts: 12 Member
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    Hunger is your body's way of begging for food to avoid eating it's own reserves, not a sign it's actually doing it.
  • Verabrown94
    Verabrown94 Posts: 20 Member
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    Drink lots of water and eat lots of fruit and veggies to fill you up as a snack. Helps me out since I'm not eating as much trying to lose weight. Just try that and see if it helps
  • ketorach
    ketorach Posts: 430 Member
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    I eat a lot of dietary fat and moderate protein. I rarely feel hungry. Losing weight.
  • Queenmunchy
    Queenmunchy Posts: 3,380 Member
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    ASKyle wrote: »
    No.

    Try eating foods with more volume to fill you up.

    This. I eat pretty large egg/vegetable breakfasts, soups, stews, chili, etc all made with plenty of vegetables, salads, stir fries, noodled vegetables, etc. Big meals, low calories, no hunger.
  • CoachJen71
    CoachJen71 Posts: 1,200 Member
    edited June 2015
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    Some days are worse than others for me. We have very similar stats and goals. Lately I have been eating smaller amounts more often, drinking lots of water, and chewing lots of gum. Check my diary on my profile if you like. Word of warning, I do eat treat meals, so my weekly cals are higher than yours.
  • ketorach
    ketorach Posts: 430 Member
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    CoachJen71 wrote: »
    Some days are worse than others for me. We have very similar stats and goals. Lately I have been eating smaller amounts more often, drinking lots of water, and chewing lots of gum. This is my diary, if you want to peek. Word of warning, I do eat treat meals, so my weekly cals are higher than yours.
    That link goes to my personal diary (it's a generic link, not specific to you). I was looking at it thinking, "Hey, she had maple breakfast sausage for breakfast, too!" Lol.

    Click on CoachJen71's name and then you can click on her diary.


  • enterdanger
    enterdanger Posts: 2,447 Member
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    No, but yes you will need to feel hungry at first. There is a HUGE difference between belly hunger and head hunger. Once you start figuring that out you'll know the difference and will eat when you're actually hungry and not just snack craving.

    It's not good to ignore actual hunger for calories your body needs to survive. If you absolutely have to have a snack, eat the most nutritious choice available, research foods with higher water / nutrition content as they will usually have less calories and end up being way more filling. Find things that are filling that aren't calorie dense like broccoli, smoked salmon on some spinach and a bit of capers etc...

    This, but with the "head hunger" sometimes there is just a difference between feeling full and feeling not hungry. Don't know if this makes sense but I totally confuse being full and being not hungry. I'm used to feeling stuffed and satiated. Now I'm trying to get used to being not hungry which really isn't the same. It gets better around a month in.

  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,981 Member
    edited June 2015
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    I've set my goal for losing 1 pound per week and am not getting ravenously hungry. (I will get a little hungry right before a meal.)

    Maybe reduce your goal and make sure you are getting plenty of protein and fiber, and enough fat.

    http://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/fuller/understanding-satiety-feeling-full-after-a-meal.html

    ...Tips on how to feel fuller

    So how can we best try to enhance these feelings of fullness to help us control how much we eat? Here are some top tips for helping you feel fuller:
    • Foods high in protein seem to make us feel fuller than foods high in fat or carbohydrate, so including some protein at every meal should help keep you satisfied. Foods high in protein include meats such as chicken, ham or beef, fish, eggs, beans and pulses.
    • If you are watching your weight, opt for lower fat versions, using leaner cuts of meat, cutting off visible fat and avoiding the skin on poultry as this will help reduce the energy density of the diet, which can help to enhance satiety (see below).
    • Foods that are high in fibre may also enhance feelings of fullness so try to include plenty of high-fibre foods in the diet such as wholegrain bread and cereals, beans and pulses and fruit and vegetables.
    • Alcohol seems to stimulate appetite in the short-term and therefore drinking alcohol is likely to encourage us to eat more. Alcoholic beverages can make you forget about your intentions to eat healthily by making you lose your inhibitions. Alcoholic drinks are also calorific, so you should cut down on alcohol consumption if you are trying to control your weight.
    • The ‘energy density’ of food has a strong influence on feelings of fullness or satiety. Energy density is the amount of energy (or calories) per gram of food. Lower energy density foods provide less energy per gram of food so you can eat more of them without consuming too many calories. Low energy density foods include fruit and vegetables, foods with lots of water added when cooking such as soups and stews, and lower fat foods. Click here for more information on energy density.
  • Ladybird1103
    Ladybird1103 Posts: 36 Member
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    Thanks all. Will try setting weight loss goal to 1 pound and see how that feels for a week or two.

    I find myself looking at thin women and wondering "are you hungry ALL of the time???" Haha I might just start asking them.
  • DeguelloTex
    DeguelloTex Posts: 6,652 Member
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    I find it hard to believe that one can eat at even a moderate deficit and not have your body respond with hunger signals to one degree or another, but maybe some people can manage it.

    For that matter, I've noticed myself being much hungrier on my current intake than I was on one 600 calories a day lower.
  • try2again
    try2again Posts: 3,562 Member
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    I'm at 233 right now, and as much as I'd like to get the weight off faster, I know I wouldn't be able to tolerate the constant hunger on top of the everyday stresses of life. My goal is set at 1.5/week and that leaves me room to drop down further as the weight comes off. Making myself miserable would not be sustainable :)