After losing weight, I find myself hungrier than before

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I notice that as I’ve lost weight, it’s gotten harder to stay under my calorie goals. I remember this happening on previous weight loss journeys, but yesterday read an article that shed some light: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-lose-weight-brain-body-effects-2017-10

Anyway, a month or two ago I was having no problem sticking to my goals— even going under them most days. I was eating around 1200 calories a day (goal was 1500) and feeling satisfied. Now I’m struggling with cravings. Solely cravings for junk food. Anyone have any advice who’s gotten past this?

I’m also busy with work, which makes cooking meals kind of annoying (but I can make it a priority).

(A solution I’d come up with for snacking cravings had been to keep a supply of Fudgesicles and string cheese on hand— both delicious and relatively low-cal, and they take a while to eat. But it’s not a panacea..)
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Replies

  • JillianRumrill
    JillianRumrill Posts: 335 Member
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    Sounds like you're eating because you're tired and/or stressed. What I do is when I've been working hard but I feel logie, I'll drink a mug of flavored black tea or green tea- no milk/sugar. It's zero cal and it gives me the caffeine kick I need (I don't drink coffee).
  • krist3ng
    krist3ng Posts: 259 Member
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    Francl27 wrote: »
    Hunger and cravings are not the same thing.

    But yes, when you end up restricting too much (1200 is too low for most women), you typically end up craving what you've been avoiding, that's why so many people gain the weight back...

    Eat to your goal.

    I think I wasn’t clear. I was feeling full on around 1200 calories a day, easily— some days I’d even eat extra just to hit my goal of 1200. Now, after losing around 23 pounds (over the course of 6 months or so), I’m not feeling full on 1300-1600 calories a day. And I hadn’t been avoiding junk food anyway (I can’t, lol), or depriving myself of what I want.

    I guess what you’re saying is I should just eat all my calories and not worry about it so much.. that sounds kinda nice actually
  • krist3ng
    krist3ng Posts: 259 Member
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    davidylin wrote: »
    Feeling hungrier than before after losing weight is a fairly well studied effect. The answer is hormones. For a period of time after you lose significant fat reserves, your hormone production will alter itself to make you try to replenish that fat.

    If you hold it down, stay accountable to your intake, and be responsible with what you eat, this too, should pass.


    That makes sense! I’m sure every body is different, but does anyone have any anecdotal information on how long it usually takes for the hormones to even themselves out?


  • nowine4me
    nowine4me Posts: 3,985 Member
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    I’ve experienced the same. I cut out some foods (like protein bars) and replaced them with high fiber fruits and veggies that fill me up more.
  • davidylin
    davidylin Posts: 228 Member
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    krist3ng wrote: »
    davidylin wrote: »
    Feeling hungrier than before after losing weight is a fairly well studied effect. The answer is hormones. For a period of time after you lose significant fat reserves, your hormone production will alter itself to make you try to replenish that fat.

    If you hold it down, stay accountable to your intake, and be responsible with what you eat, this too, should pass.


    That makes sense! I’m sure every body is different, but does anyone have any anecdotal information on how long it usually takes for the hormones to even themselves out?


    For me, I don't know if it's a quieting of hormones or some other process, but I seem to reset to "normal" pretty quickly after I get busy with other things in life.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,371 Member
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    davidylin wrote: »
    Feeling hungrier than before after losing weight is a fairly well studied effect. The answer is hormones. For a period of time after you lose significant fat reserves, your hormone production will alter itself to make you try to replenish that fat.

    If you hold it down, stay accountable to your intake, and be responsible with what you eat, this too, should pass.

    That didn't pass for me! 3 years and counting... When I was losing, I was satisfied easily on 1700 calories, now there's just no way for me to eat that little, for example (and I have to force myself to be active so I can afford to eat more).
  • Biker_SuzCO
    Biker_SuzCO Posts: 54 Member
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    I am experiencing the same thing. I lost about 20 pounds over a year and I’m now starving most of the time. I have allowed myself to eat at or above maintenance for a few weeks (still ideally want to lose 5 pounds) and it has helped. Haven’t gained and my appetite has gone back down a bit now. I am going to try to push through and lose the last few! Also I’ve cut back my training due to a cold...not having “runger” is helping.
  • davidylin
    davidylin Posts: 228 Member
    edited October 2017
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    Francl27 wrote: »
    davidylin wrote: »
    Feeling hungrier than before after losing weight is a fairly well studied effect. The answer is hormones. For a period of time after you lose significant fat reserves, your hormone production will alter itself to make you try to replenish that fat.

    If you hold it down, stay accountable to your intake, and be responsible with what you eat, this too, should pass.

    That didn't pass for me! 3 years and counting... When I was losing, I was satisfied easily on 1700 calories, now there's just no way for me to eat that little, for example (and I have to force myself to be active so I can afford to eat more).
    You may want to try changing what you eat, rather than the calorie count. Oh, and you should bring that up with your doctor at your next visit.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,371 Member
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    davidylin wrote: »
    Francl27 wrote: »
    davidylin wrote: »
    Feeling hungrier than before after losing weight is a fairly well studied effect. The answer is hormones. For a period of time after you lose significant fat reserves, your hormone production will alter itself to make you try to replenish that fat.

    If you hold it down, stay accountable to your intake, and be responsible with what you eat, this too, should pass.

    That didn't pass for me! 3 years and counting... When I was losing, I was satisfied easily on 1700 calories, now there's just no way for me to eat that little, for example (and I have to force myself to be active so I can afford to eat more).
    You may want to try changing what you eat, rather than the calorie count. Oh, and you should bring that up with your doctor at your next visit.

    Again though, it comes back to being hungrier than before, if you have to change your diet as you lose weight to avoid being hungry.
  • davidylin
    davidylin Posts: 228 Member
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    Nony_Mouse wrote: »
    davidylin wrote: »
    Feeling hungrier than before after losing weight is a fairly well studied effect. The answer is hormones. For a period of time after you lose significant fat reserves, your hormone production will alter itself to make you try to replenish that fat.

    If you hold it down, stay accountable to your intake, and be responsible with what you eat, this too, should pass.

    No, actually, white knuckling through it is not the answer.
    Actually, multiple studies have demonstrated that a partial recovery in hormone changes have occurred in various study populations within time periods less than 12 months after the initial weight loss. One can indeed 'white knuckle' through the changes over time.

    I think what you meant to say is that 'white knuckling is not the only answer,' to which I would agree, but I have not encountered any studies that would indicate what those other solutions might be.
  • Nony_Mouse
    Nony_Mouse Posts: 5,646 Member
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    davidylin wrote: »
    Nony_Mouse wrote: »
    davidylin wrote: »
    Feeling hungrier than before after losing weight is a fairly well studied effect. The answer is hormones. For a period of time after you lose significant fat reserves, your hormone production will alter itself to make you try to replenish that fat.

    If you hold it down, stay accountable to your intake, and be responsible with what you eat, this too, should pass.

    No, actually, white knuckling through it is not the answer.
    Actually, multiple studies have demonstrated that a partial recovery in hormone changes have occurred in various study populations within time periods less than 12 months after the initial weight loss. One can indeed 'white knuckle' through the changes over time.

    I think what you meant to say is that 'white knuckling is not the only answer,' to which I would agree, but I have not encountered any studies that would indicate what those other solutions might be.

    Yes, but that's after. I'm talking about during weight loss.

    Regular diet breaks. There's an entire 500 post and counting thread about them in this forum, with a heap of links.
  • davidylin
    davidylin Posts: 228 Member
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    So, OP and I were discussing after weight loss if that helps our conversation make more sense. I don't have too much of an opinion for while people are dieting because, in my experience it's just such an individual experience.
  • Nony_Mouse
    Nony_Mouse Posts: 5,646 Member
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    davidylin wrote: »
    So, OP and I were discussing after weight loss if that helps our conversation make more sense. I don't have too much of an opinion for while people are dieting because, in my experience it's just such an individual experience.

    From her posts, it would appear she's still in the process of losing weight.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,894 Member
    edited October 2017
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    Nony_Mouse wrote: »
    davidylin wrote: »
    Nony_Mouse wrote: »
    davidylin wrote: »
    Feeling hungrier than before after losing weight is a fairly well studied effect. The answer is hormones. For a period of time after you lose significant fat reserves, your hormone production will alter itself to make you try to replenish that fat.

    If you hold it down, stay accountable to your intake, and be responsible with what you eat, this too, should pass.

    No, actually, white knuckling through it is not the answer.
    Actually, multiple studies have demonstrated that a partial recovery in hormone changes have occurred in various study populations within time periods less than 12 months after the initial weight loss. One can indeed 'white knuckle' through the changes over time.

    I think what you meant to say is that 'white knuckling is not the only answer,' to which I would agree, but I have not encountered any studies that would indicate what those other solutions might be.

    Yes, but that's after. I'm talking about during weight loss.

    Regular diet breaks. There's an entire 500 post and counting thread about them in this forum, with a heap of links.

    @Nony_Mouse I am a more with @davidylin on this.

    Post diet adaptation does tend to resolve quite well if you regain all the weight + 10%.
    That would probably be counter-productive to your goals; certainly it would be to mine!

    Short of that the options I've found in my reading are:

    --allow for a very very slow rate of weight increase at 'maintenance' for a period of 6 months to a year. [A bit of a dangerous game, at least for me.]
    (an interesting (POTENTIAL) sub option of the above is that adaptations (MAY) persist while initial muscle mass is below starting muscle mass, hence strength training at maintenance/during a period of slow regain might help) [sounds good; but I don't seem willing to do the work!]
    --keep at it at a maintenance level and hope for the best (aka "white-knuckle it long enough and it shall pass") [This is the option I seem to have gravitated to due to my individual make-up, though I am definitely trying my best to avoid any white-knuckles ;-)]

    Hence my obsession from the beginning with minimising any adaptations during the weight loss phase!

    And yes, re-feeds and diet breaks do enter into that discussion!