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Hunger Inconsistencies--Normal?

samanthapleasesamanthaplease Member, Premium Posts: 4 Member Member, Premium Posts: 4 Member
Sorry if this is already on here, but I haven't found an answer in my searching.

I started a plan on here about a month ago, and it has been going great. I have only gone past my calorie goal a few times, and I'm finally starting to get the hang of macros and balancing the nutritional value of my food.

Up until the past couple of days, I have been feeling great with my calorie goal. I have been feeling satiated after each meal and snack, I haven't felt hungry at the end of the day (or full) at all. I even had about a week where I was under my calorie goal because I just wasn't hungry (that was about a week ago). Now, today and yesterday, I have been feeling extra hungry.

Is this normal to be way hungrier on some days/weeks than others? Am I just not balancing my meals right this week to be eating things that make me feel full? I have never been this successful with anything health-related, and I'd like to keep on the good path because I really do feel better and I'm seeing and feeling every result I have wanted out of this.

Some notes on changes/lack of changes:
*It is not the typical week of extra-hungry for me (I do keep track).
*My activity level has only increased by adding about 30 minutes of exercise per week.
*I have, every day this week, been drinking substantially more water. I have gone from an average of maybe a bottle or two of water per day to a couple liters per day.
*I have been sleeping way better, in every sense, this week.
edited January 14

Replies

  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 18,106 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,106 Member
    It's normal to have changes in appetite, but I'm also wondering how fast you've been losing weight, on average per week, so far.

    A month into it, or thereabouts, is where a bit over-aggressive weight loss rate can catch up with a person. It's common to have a sort of honeymoon period where everything feels good, then sort of hit a wall - can be appetite, fatigue, weakness, or other early warning symptoms. (Yes, happened to me - by accident, because MFP *underestimates* my calorie needs. That's rare, but it can happen.)

    This may not apply to you at all, but what you're describing is some of the signs that are common, with a loss rate faster than one's body wants to continue. As a rough rule of thumb, a loss rate of 0.5-1% of current bodyweight per week is about as fast as I'd want to see someone go, and even that can be too fast if closer than 50 pounds to goal weight, or in context of a very strenuous or stressful everyday life. (Good for you, getting the sleep in line: Undersleeping is an extra stressor we don't need to add to the physical stress from a calorie deficit, and whatever other physical or psychological stresses may be present from job, family, strenuous exercise, pandemic, health conditions, etc.)

    It could be a temporary phase, though.

    Hoping you're able to find a solution!
    edited January 14
  • springlering62springlering62 Member, Premium Posts: 2,154 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,154 Member
    Can you give us some more information?

    Your height, weight, activity level, goal weight and current calorie allotment.

    My initial thought would be that, like so many of us (not pointing fingers!), sometimes folks start so enthusiastically. I did.

    They see two pounds week loss calculation versus half a pound and are just so gung ho, they go for a higher rate of loss than they really need or ought.

    Most of us lose rather quickly during the first month, which can stimulate enthusiasm and expectations even further.

    Your body may simply be catching up with your enthusiasm and saying,”um, hello? Feed me!”

    The extra sleep is lovely, as is the exercise.

    You’ve got a good start!
  • samanthapleasesamanthaplease Member, Premium Posts: 4 Member Member, Premium Posts: 4 Member
    Thank you!

    5’4”, current weight 144.7 (150 when I started almost a month ago), goal weight 135 (by June), calorie allotment 1,200, low activity level (I walk a lot at work, but not as cardio, and I have started adding 20-30 minutes of exercise one or two times per week—exercise is the hard part for me).

    I did start really enthusiastically, and after a week without a plan I realized I bit off more than I could chew (har har). I started a plan for beginners and started making really small changes in my habits (they started me on lunch planning, then added snacks, then breakfast, and my final week is adding dinner—not adding as in that’s all I’m allowed to eat, adding as in planning healthy, balanced meals intelligently and with intent). I have done really well with it and I haven’t been hungry at all much past my calorie goal, but this past couple of days I just feel like I’m not getting enough.

    I did go through all of my diary since I started, and last week was really protein-heavy, with about an even split between fat and carbs, and I wonder if that’s why I was under my calorie goal without being hungry.

    Also I got the stomach flu last Monday so that was definitely a nutrition deprivation! I figured I would have recovered from that by now, though.
  • samanthapleasesamanthaplease Member, Premium Posts: 4 Member Member, Premium Posts: 4 Member
    AnnPT77, thank you!

    Other than getting the stomach flu last week, I have been down between 1-2 pounds per week since I started. I have been trying not to get too overzealous with getting results because that’s how I lose gusto and quit. Also I really just want to be healthy.

    Honeymoon period makes sense for sure. I also am not very good at balancing my food which is why I got on a plan to help me. I always just eat what I want when I want it (which has gotten me to need a change in the first place), so I haven’t really ever broken down my diet plate-by-plate.

    I really appreciate the math input, too! I’ll definitely be keeping track of percentage now, that will probably help keep me in line with my enthusiasm!
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 18,106 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,106 Member
    AnnPT77, thank you!

    Other than getting the stomach flu last week, I have been down between 1-2 pounds per week since I started. I have been trying not to get too overzealous with getting results because that’s how I lose gusto and quit. Also I really just want to be healthy.

    Honeymoon period makes sense for sure. I also am not very good at balancing my food which is why I got on a plan to help me. I always just eat what I want when I want it (which has gotten me to need a change in the first place), so I haven’t really ever broken down my diet plate-by-plate.

    I really appreciate the math input, too! I’ll definitely be keeping track of percentage now, that will probably help keep me in line with my enthusiasm!

    That would be a good idea. Losing 2 pounds a week is IMO more aggressive than I'd want to be, going from 144 to 135. Even one pound a week may be on the aggressive side. The fundamental problem is that theoretically we can only metabolize a certain amount of stored body fat per day per pound of fat we have, so a less-fat person can be better off with a slower rate to protect lean mass like muscle. Losing weight too slowly may be frustrating, but losing it too fast can increase health risks. I know which side of that I'd rather err on . . . and compliance is easier on the slow loss side, besides. Plus it's good practice for maintaining a healthy weight long term, since one relies on non-extreme strategies.

    Not that I'd necessarily recommend this to others, but I just spent about a year eating at a truly tiny deficit to go from mid/high 130s to mid-120s, (re-)losing a few vanity pounds in year 5 of maintenance. It was practically painless.

    Good luck!
  • wunderkindkingwunderkindking Member Posts: 39 Member Member Posts: 39 Member
    I'm going to second 2 pounds, and in many cases, even 1lb a week being aggressive. 2lbs a week is more like someone who has 50lbs to lose - and when I had 50 to lose I was fine with that kind of weight loss and not being hungry. 30lbs or so to go, I recalculated my calorie allotment to lose a pound or so a week. I'm now about 15 from goal and have changed my goals to losing .5lb a week.

    1200 is... not a lot. Even at 5'4" and sedentary. A hundred calories more or doing a 'zig-zag' plan where you eat 1200 3 days a week and 1500 the other 4 can help that 'starving to death' feeling. Yes it WILL slow your weight loss down but since you're effectively trying to lose 10lbs in 6 months, you MORE than have room to meet your (reasonable) goal and not be miserable.

  • springlering62springlering62 Member, Premium Posts: 2,154 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,154 Member
    Agree with everyone else. Bump your calories up and see how you feel. I think you’ll be a lot more comfortable, which will help establish long term maintenance.

    So many people reach their goal weight, treat it as a finish line, revert to old habits and gain most or all back.

    This has to be something you can do in the future , as a simple “don’t have to think about it, no hunger, no worries” habit, rather than perpetual penance.

    Slow down the loss and focus on the habits.

    You’ve done a simoly outstanding job. It’s clear you’ve put a lot of thought into this. I predict you are going to be one of the successful ones! 😘
  • samanthapleasesamanthaplease Member, Premium Posts: 4 Member Member, Premium Posts: 4 Member
    Wow thank you all so much! I feel a lot better about things and am definitely going to adjust!

    I’m totally new to fitness and health as far as my personal practices, and I am certain I’ll be back on here for more tips! Thank you all again, you are all amazing!
  • springlering62springlering62 Member, Premium Posts: 2,154 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,154 Member
    Wow thank you all so much! I feel a lot better about things and am definitely going to adjust!

    I’m totally new to fitness and health as far as my personal practices, and I am certain I’ll be back on here for more tips! Thank you all again, you are all amazing!

    We were all new at this, and I’m sincerely glad we’re able to pay it forward and help you.

    The great thing about MFP is it’s one of the few places you’ll find where people are actually pulling for one another!
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