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Monday, 19 January 2009

The Hunger Paradox

After eating 2000 calories yesterday I am back to 1400 and feeling rather hungry. I always wonder about hunger.

On one hand, I believe there is a certain amount of low level hunger that must be endured to lose fat. You are in an energy deficit so your body (that primal ape) is telling you that it needs more food. In my mind, hunger signals that the body is searching for some fuel and is going to have to burn up those unsightly fat stores when I refuse to give in. Filling up with high fibre vegetables and drinking lots of water helps me manage the hunger, but 'empty' calories are still just that. My body isn't crying out for volume, it is crying out for calories.

But on the other hand, am I doing it wrong and is it possible to be in a calorie deficit and not feel hungry? I suppose going super low carb brings about this effect. The downside is that your energy deficit in now expressed by not having any energy to do anything. An effect that is just as annoying as being hungry.

It is worse for me the day after carb loading because I have re-ignited both my metabolism and my reliance on carbohydrates for energy . I am a metabolic furnace and the limited amount of food I consume on a carb down day is a rude shock to the system.

It is also worse on a cardio day ... something about one hour of sweating on the treadmill or spin bike makes me insatiable.

So the question remains - where is the point where you endure the uncomfortableness of hunger in order to see fat loss? When do you just listen to the loud voice of the ape and eat more because you obviously need it?



  1. I'm calling u as soon as I finish my icecream!

  2. I just remembered you're an hour ahead. U still up? Prank my mobile if yes.

  3. I have no idea, Katie. Sometimes I feel like a wimp and think to myself 'the feeling won't kill me, just suck it up', other times, yep I need to feed the ape. But as I'm attempting to lose weight I can't be feeding that ape too often!

  4. This is a TOUGH one b/c I feel like you....I know that being hungry is often a sign of a high metabolism and an increase in your body utilizing nutrients. On the other hand, you don't want to starve yourself and put yourself in a position where your body eats muscle. I think it is a balance. But finding that balance is really tough. Have you thought about increasing your calories a bit to see how your body adjusts?

    Just a thought.

    Wish I could help more. :)