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 Post subject: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:03 am 
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Over the past year or so, I am constantly hungry. I have to eat every 3 hours, or there is hell to pay. Meaning not only am I an angry hungry person, but I can't think, my hands shake, I get weak and dizzy... I thought that when you turned 30 your metabolism slowed down! And it's not like I'm losing weight or anything, but I'm not gaining any either, really. I exercise on and off, but nothing extreme. I maybe run or do pilates 3-4 days a week. I feel like my diet is pretty good. I eat lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, and plenty of protein. I do need to drink more water, probably. But...why is this happening? Not only is it annoying because I have to be prepared with food constantly in case the hunger strikes, but it's expensive! It's like I'm feeding a growing teenager, which I most definitely am not.

Could there be something going on with my thyroid? I know you're probably going to tell me to go to the doctor, but I feel otherwise fine, my energy levels are fine, my skin looks fine...and I don't have insurance, so just going to the doctor is not really an option unless I have an emergency. I don't qualify for a medical card, and we don't have free clinics. I'm just curious as to what you think it might be. Or if I'm just totally normal, but crazy hungry, and that's my life now.

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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:06 am 
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Could you be anemic? When my anemia gets really bad, this happens to me. But, I usually need to graze rather than eat big meals, though I'm fine if I don't eat all day until early afternoon. Food (even light food) in the morning usually makes me ill.

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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:12 am 
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I get nauseous in the mornings as well. I guess I could be. I don't supplement for iron, because I read this article that said most vegans and vegetarians get enough and that overdoing iron can be just as bad as not having enough. I feel like my portions are pretty big, but maybe not. For example, this is what I ate before 11am today:

8am - half a fresh pineapple

10am - bowl of salad, about 3 cups

10:45am - about a cup and a half of pasta with chick'n strips

And now I'm finally full-ish. I will definitely be hungry again in about 2 hours though. Maybe I'll start my iron supplement back up and see if that helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:18 am 
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Have you looked into hypoglycemia? That's what I have and I experience most of the symptoms you are describing. I manage it with small protein rich meals every 3-4 hours.

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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:25 am 
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You don't have to take insulin or anything for it? And yeah, I really need to eat every 3 hours, max. I'll work on adding even more protein (I feel like I eat so much already!). Bah. Bodies are dumb (but fascinating and awesome, too). Should I keep a food journal for a bit? I have shied away from that because I had an eating disorder when I was younger and kept one for unhealthy reasons. But maybe it would help in this situation, just for a week or something, to see if I'm getting all the nutrients/protein I need. I don't feel like my eating has changed over the past 5 years (been your basic eat whatever I feel like whenever I feel like vegan during that whole time), though.

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:42 am 
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I'd be hungry if all I ate was pineapple and salad and a little pasta! I need to start my day with oatmeal or another cereal grain or else I'm a bitchface.

On another note, the thread title makes me think of that kd lang song.

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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:59 am 
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I don't know the song! I eat light in the mornings because I get nauseous if I eat something heavy before 10am. If I wake up later (on the weekend, say), I eat something more substantial. I dunno, maybe it's just all in my head, but I feel like even when I eat a big lunch I get hungry just a couple hours later. Like yesterday, I ate a HUGE salad (6 cups?) and a falafel sandwich. I felt really full afterwards. 3 hours later, I'm crippled by hunger pangs. I dunno, maybe that isn't that weird. Maybe I just need more healthy snack options for the in between times.

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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:01 am 
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Yeah, that doesn't seem like much food to me. I'm quite active, but I'm also small, and I eat a LOT more than that. Here's a sample, if you're interested:

Breakfast: Oatmeal (1 cup cooked) + 1-2 tbsp almond butter + fruit.
Snack: 1/4 - 1/2 cup trail mix
Snack: Green smoothie (spinach, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries + Vega recovery protein)
Lunch: 1 1/2 - 2 cups roasted veggies (sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, leeks) + 4 pieces baked tofu
Snack: Soy yogurt + cantaloupe + hemp seeds
First Dinner: BBQ tofu (1 cup), brown rice (1 cup), brussel sprouts (1 1/2 cups) + beer
Second Dinner: Tofu tacos (sauteed onions and peppers, taco tofu, kale, guacamole, salsa)

That's not counting the stuff I ate while riding my bike.

If I don't eat at least that much, I start losing weight, and I get cranky, and my athletic performance suffers. I also notice that while adjusting protein levels helps me with recovery from workouts, it doesn't affect my energy level much. What you're describing sounds like you're not getting enough complex carbs, which will help to stabilize your energy levels throughout the day. I bet you'd feel a lot better if you added some oatmeal or cereal or whole grain toast to your breakfast.

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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:07 am 
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If you're prone to hypoglycemic episodes, you should not eat fruit on an empty stomach. You're basically asking for a blood sugar crash! A green smoothie made with soy milk (or protein powder or whatever) is a good alternative because you have the extra fiber and protein to balance out the sugars, but you still get the fruit.

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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:09 am 
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Constant Cravings by kd lang. good tune.


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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:10 am 
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I think you should try higher protein in the morning. If I don't eat breakfast tacos I get hungry so quickly. I think the beans are what does it for me. I have the same problem with morning nausea and I am hungry all the time too! Maybe we have the same issue!

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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:32 am 
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Thanks for the input, everyone! I never thought about fruit giving me a sugar crash! The other things I tend to eat for breakfast are muffins or Luna bars, all of which also contain tons of sugar. Oops. And yay, I can eat even more! Haha. I love food. Just not constant hunger.

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

55k usd is like 4 cad or whatever equivalent in beavers you use on the island - joshua


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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:39 am 
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It sounds like hypoglycemia to me, too. If you like fruit for breakfast, a glass of soy milk or a tablespoon of peanut butter would round it out with protein and fat.


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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:40 am 
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What about a smoothie with added oatmeal and almond or peanut butter?

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

55k usd is like 4 cad or whatever equivalent in beavers you use on the island - joshua


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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:53 am 
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I almost feel like the fruit and the salad don't even count. If your salad is mostly greens it's so few calories and so little protein that it's not going to satisfy your hunger. To me, the first time you've really eaten anything substantial is the pasta with chick'n. I'd be ravenous. If you can do muffins first thing in the morning, how about making some substantial whole grain muffins and reduce the sugar a bit? And add some legumes to your salad for protein and iron? I feel like that would carry you a bit better. I usually eat two breakfasts, a pretty substantial lunch, an afternoon snack and a big-ish dinner (though sometimes I do two smaller dinners, like jordan, if I have an evening workout... food before and after.)

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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 12:19 pm 
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Yes, I agree that doesn't sound like enough of the right food for breakfast. Some people don't like breakfast, so that's fine, but if you're up and about maybe it would be worth it to try cooking a fuller breakfast. I'm in a similar position, too, with the pains an hour after eating fruit in the morning. Even eating home fries for breakfast along with some beans or tempeh bacon I have to be careful to make the protein and whatever greens I'm having a larger portion that the potatoes or I get headaches and am hungry within a couple of hours.

Here's what I would do:
Start with a protein-rich, complex carb breakfast (you can even do a smoothie, despite it being mostly fruit, but add some protein powder. I do tempeh bacon, homefries or whole grain waffle + a fruit and a green)
Have a protein-rich snack handy. I am usually pretty low on iron so I like to do some pumpkin seeds.
Same story with lunch. Don't forget healthy fats like flaxseed oil or avocado that prevent you from getting too hungry too soon.

If you haven't been to a doc recently, it might be a good idea to have Iron levels tested and ask about the hypoglycemia.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 12:22 pm 
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If you suspect you might be anemic, you should get bloodwork done. Really everyone should probably get some bloodwork done even if they have no reason to suspect it.

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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 3:08 pm 
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I'd also be starving if I ate what you wrote. I don't exercise very much but I'm very active at work (lots of walking) and I get low blood sugar easily. I can't eat much in the morning either so I usually start with a cup of tea to wake me up and then while I'm driving to work I eat breakfast.

10 am: smoothie (fruit/soy milk/flax seeds) or a giant whole grain muffin (I try to get in 400 cal for breakfast). If I only have fruit I'm hungry 30 min later.

12 pm: fruit or veggies snack, basically to keep my stomach from growling.

1:30 : big salad (like 4 cups) with some type of legume thrown in. Or leftovers from the last night's dinner. If there's no protein to fill me up, it's like I didn't even have lunch

4 pm: fruit, nuts, or some other light snack

Then I get crazy busy/hangry and don't eat for many hours until --
10-11 pm: huge dinner. Usually something with lots of legumes, veggies, and whole grains (like something from AFR)

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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 3:18 pm 
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the pineapple and salad are like eating nothing. plus a sugar crash. you need to add fat and/or protein to feel fuller longer. even though your lunch of pasta and chikn sounds fairly substantial, if your body was starving when you fed it that it will burn through it pretty quickly.

Edit: Oops Sorry to be a broken record. I see that everyone above me said the same thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 8:46 pm 
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I think everyone has covered what the issues probably are. But I just wanted to add this little bit.

Before I was diagnosed as fibro/cfs I went through a period where my appetite spiked crazily. I had an active job and I regularly had to eat throughout the day, but my body went totally nuts. Omni at the time, a typical day was two yogurts, two large sandwiches, a few pieces of fruit, 3 granola bars, and it wasn't uncommon for me to need other snacks also. This was 7 am-3pm. When I'd get home at 3:30 I'd need a large snack (sometimes meal sized, often two sandwiches or half a box of crackers) and then a big dinner. And then there was evening snacking, of course.

The only thing the doctors and I could figure was that my body was trying to gain more energy through food because I was perpetually exhausted.

So if your eating that you didn't describe looks anything like mine during that time, then you should be worried. If you change your diet and you are getting hungrier, it's totally doctor time.

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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:48 pm 
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I'm one of those people who wake up STARVING and have to eat something substantial in the morning or I feel like shiitake and am constantly hungry the whole rest of the day. If I just ate fruit for breakfast I'd be miserable!

The most filling breakfast I've found is oat bran + peanut butter (or peanut flour) + banana. I like smoothies too, but I have to add a lot of protein powder or tofu, otherwise it's basically pointless. Same goes for salads; must have beans/tofu and/or grains to make them substantial.

But anyway, even when I eat well, I still get hungry every 2-3 hours. I think that's pretty normal? I eat breakfast at 7, snack at 10, lunch at 12, snack between 2 and 3, and dinner whenever I get home (generally between 6:30 and 7:30, depending on whether I get to the gym after work).


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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 8:02 am 
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Wow, I honestly had no idea that fruit for breakfast was no good! It's kind of the breakfast I settled on since I get a tad nauseous in the mornings and it's light, but it sounds as if it's really forking up the rest of my day! Thanks for all of your advice, when I do my meal planning this week, I'll definitely be making some changes. I guess I felt like since my portions of the fruit and salad were large, they were enough, but you're right about there not being any protein in my morning routine. I don't have a lot of time in the mornings to make breakfast, so maybe it would be good for me to make a big batch of something I can eat throughout the week. I usually make a batch of baked tofu or falafel to throw onto my salad, but I powered through the falafel earlier than I expected this past week. So many things to think about!

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 10:02 am 
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I usd to be super nauseas in the morning, but my dietician told me that you can totally teach your body to be hungry in the mornings! She basically told me to force myself to eat a little soy yogurt and a granola bar every morning, or to sip on a big smoothie with some protein powder in it, until my body got used to the calories in the morning. Now I am super hungry every morning, and can easily munch down a big breakfast + a huge coffee!


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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 10:11 am 
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I just discovered the So Delicious almond greek style yogurt, and it's pretty rad. I liked the coconut one okay, but it didn't really have any protein. The almond one has 6g, which isn't a tonne, but it's something. If you were to have something like that (add a tbsp of hempseeds and some fruit perhaps), you'd probably be good to go.

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 Post subject: Re: Constant hunger.
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 11:14 am 
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ashley wrote:
I'm one of those people who wake up STARVING and have to eat something substantial in the morning or I feel like shiitake and am constantly hungry the whole rest of the day. If I just ate fruit for breakfast I'd be miserable!

The most filling breakfast I've found is oat bran + peanut butter (or peanut flour) + banana.


This is me and literally what I had for breakfast this morning. I also throw a little granola on top for crunch, but I try to be very light with it because I don't need the calories.

Maybe yogurt with a sprinkle if granola and nuts, allularpunk? Or a parfait! C'est parfait! LOL (sorry).

I know this may be contentious, but isn't there a recipe for vegan cottage cheese? I used to love cottage cheese and pineapple (I know a lot of people are grossed out by that, though. Sorry for suggesting if you are one of them.)

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