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STARVING in the afternoons

During the past couple of weeks I have noticed that I am unusually hungry in the afternoons. Literally shaking from hunger. I normally have a protien, a veggie and a fruit for lunch and I have tried eating different types of lunch: more protien, more carbs, etc. but nothing is helping. (and it doesn't help that I become extremely irritable when this happens which is hard for coworkers...)

For example since lunch I have eaten an apple, a handful of baby carrots and 1/2 a power bar and I am STILL hungry.

Any suggestions?

Thu. Jun 15, 6:46pm

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When I am really hungry in the afternoon I usually go for string cheese and an apple. The cheese is the key though - if I just ate the apple I'd still be hungry. Sometimes only something with protein will do. Also make sure you drink something. For some reason I find hot drinks satisfy me more than cold so I may have a cup of hot tea if I am feeling hungry and sweetening it with splenda makes it seem more like a snack than a drink. Another substantial snack is Lite Laughing Cow cheese (1 triangle) mixed with 1 Tbsp of Trader Joe's Roasted Vegetable Tapenade and spread on 1 serving of whole wheat crackers. That is really filling and darn tasty (looks ugly though). If you stick to the serving size on all those items it comes in under 150 cals. I'm sure folks will have more but that's my 'hungry' snacks.

Thursday, June 15, 2006, 6:59 PM

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Water usually helps me A LOT with hunger pangs!

Thursday, June 15, 2006, 8:18 PM

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Peanut butter (PB) and celery-small amount of PB of course...........

Thursday, June 15, 2006, 8:37 PM

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I'd get my blood sugar checked if I were you. I've been hungry, and cramped from hunger, but shaking sounds more like a low blood sugar issue.

what are you eating for lunch, what is your workout routine? How much do you usually eat in a day?

Thursday, June 15, 2006, 9:01 PM

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What worked for me

EAting more protein. 2-4 oz. at every meal (including snacks). I started on this eating plan 2 weeks ago and after 2 days I wasn't hungry. And this from a girl who is ALWAYS hungry. I've actually had trouble finishing my meals for the past couple of days...AND I've upped my exercise considerably this week. Still no increase in appetite. It's amazing. I'm eating low fat, lower carb and higher protein and also NOT eating high glycemic foods. It's amazing.

Thursday, June 15, 2006, 9:21 PM

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I know that some on PT think this is eeeeeevil... but a couple of mugs of black coffee works like a charm for me.

Thursday, June 15, 2006, 9:29 PM

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Ok - let me start out by saying that if you are literally shaking from hunger, it is probalby time to see a doctor or nurse practitioner - make sure that there is nothing seriously wrong going on.

As to the topic of mid-afternoon hunger (or really hunger at any other time), I have a copule of thoughts. First of all, everyone's body is a little bit different. You may be following a plan to the letter, but that plan - whatever it is - may need to be tweaked a little bit so it works right for your body. So - suggestion number 1 is to experiment a little with slight alterations to your current plan and see if adding a little of this or that (and you will need to experiment with different thises and thats) will help you with your hunger issues without derailing your overall weight loss work.

Second, I will share with you my own experience with hunger (which may or may not be similar to your experiences). For most of my life, I have believed in low-fat diets and generally drank 1 % milk (never made it to skim), and consumed low-fat or no-fat cheese, had non-fat snacks like pretzels or whatever, etc. All of this left me hungry and made most diets unsustainable. Then, at the suggestion of some friends, I tried eating a HIGHER fat diet - contrary to everything I thought I should do. I switched to whole milk, put half and half in my coffee, etc. I am not saying that I started swallowing tubs of lard for breakfast or anything. I just added bits of higher fat foods back into my diet - whole milk, butter, etc. Adding a little bit of fat and a little bit of protein back into my diet has made me a lot less hungry overall. That, and cutting out added table sugar, has allowed me to consume many fewer calories and lose weight. I do not know why this has worked for me and I do not know if any of this might work for you, but I thought I'd share my experience.

Friday, June 16, 2006, 9:34 AM

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If you are hungry, you should eat. Eat real foods, carbs+protein+fat, not something that will go right through you. If you wait until you are shaking from hunger, that's too long... and some fruit and baby carrots are not going to fill you up at that point.

I have also found that a bigger breakfast helps me later in the day. For example, a 300 calorie breakfast left me hungry all day, but I thought I was "saving up" calories for later in the day because I would be famished around 4:30 PM. But a solid 500 calories, with fruit, veggie sausage patties, and a big bowl of whole grain oatmeal, actually makes me less hungry all day, and I typically don't even have an afternoon snack after lunch anymore.

Friday, June 16, 2006, 9:47 AM

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What is missing in your lunch is fat. Fat is the most filling type of food. Add some cheese, or peanut butter, or an egg, or a serving of almonds, etc. Or save one of these as an afternoon snack.

I know, it seems like so many calories for such a small portion of food, but I promise, if you cut out some carbs and replace them with some fat, for the same number of calories, you'll stay fuller for longer. Just give it a try for a few days!

Friday, June 16, 2006, 10:49 AM

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OP here
Thank you all so much for your suggestions. I honestly don't think it's a problem with my blood sugar (I'm 25 and in pretty good shape) but I will keep an eye on it and if diet doesn't help I will get it checked out.

I really like the idea of eating more for breakfast. I have been sticking with about 160-300 at breakfast so I will try that.
I also have increased my workout routine to 5 days a week without increasing my daily calorie intake (1100-1500)...
So another question: could my metabolism have increased since increasing my workout routine and maybe my body is just asking for more food? As a "reformed" crash dieter I have had a hard time getting used to eating small things throughout the day instead of just 3 meals... I always feel like I am eating too much!!

Friday, June 16, 2006, 12:06 PM

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