Calorie concerns

(Will) #1

First of all I sure appreciate all the information and advice that this community has to offer. So far I’m doing very well with keeping carbs down, usually under 10g per day. I do have a question about getting enough calories, the past 3-4 days after I eat my first meal I find myself not getting hungry at all. I’ve been in 2 meals a day since starting due to my long work schedule that seems to work great for me. Should I force myself to eat that 2nd meal even though I’m not hungry. Yesterday my first meal was around 1000 calories and I couldn’t make myself eat anything else. Again I’m not feeling hungry at all so I’m not sure if that’s a common thing or not.


No. don’t force when not hungry.

not sure how long on plan, but we change and adapt and flip our appetites and this is all normal. It is common as we heal a sick body and our nutrition is feeding and repairing the body but…

you follow one rule, eat when hungry, don’t eat when not and you are good and helping your body into its healing.

Key thing, even if ‘you feel not hungry’ IF YOU cook 1 burger and can’t eat a bite of it, yea you aren’t hungry LOL but if you cook 1 burger and think you are not gonna eat 1 bite and INHALE that thing like there is no tomorrow, then you know you require it for your body.

Just use common sense and smarts now and follow the body but don’t let it trick you into thinking you really are not hungry, so that little bit of putting a burger in front of you at the next meal time shows you a ton of info about you. Not hungry don’t eat it, but you might be surprised while not hungry you inhale that thing down which is a good thing :slight_smile:

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #3

This graphic from Virta might help. Presuming you’re consistently in ketosis, with ‘fat loss’ some of your daily energy comes from your plate and some from your body’s fat stores. Depending how much body fat you have to work with, the ratios will vary accordingly. When you have a lot of excess fat, your metabolism will access it more readily (left side of the graphic). As time passes and your stored fat dimishes, your metabolism will use it more slowly (moving to the right of the grahic). It is important to keep in mind that at no time during this process should you feel persistent hunger. Passing hunger before a meal is OK, but not persistent hunger.

As @Fangs says: when you’re hungry eat, when not don’t. The only caveat I would add is that losing about 1-2 pounds per week is doable, sustainable and safe. That’s a realistic long-term goal. Trying to lose more runs the very real risk of slowing your metabolism. If that happens you open a can of problems that are very difficult to fix. Also keep in mind that over time the rate of loss will slow naturally as per the graphic. When it starts to slow it’s important not to panic about it. Your metabolism is smarter than you think. You may not end up where you had hoped and wished for, but you will end up better and healthier. Best wishes.

PS: I should mention that some folks don’t have normal/ordinary hunger and satiety signalling. I happen to be one of them. I felt hunger and satiety eating SAD, but since starting keto not so much any more. If that’s also you, then you have to pay close attention to your weight. Since you’re trying to lose excess fat, I suggest you eat enough that your weekly loss does not exceed 1-2 pounds. Over time that will decrease as you approach your ultimate maintenance weight.

Too Little Calories Too little Physical improvement

I allowed my lack of hunger to have me not eat enough for an extended perooid of time. My gift was a severely lowered RMR which was verified with testing. Took me a little over a year of reverse dieting to fix it. Its a call you need to make. I now give zero credit to “eat only when you’re hungry”.


Undereating, starving is bad, it messes with your metabolism. If you can’t get enough energy from your food AND body fat, that’s bad and some people simply don’t notice this as they don’t get hungry or get other urges (sometimes I don’t get hungry but I do get weak and dizzy so I know I should eat).
But a single day or two is fine. I think all of us have some low-cal days.

I dislike forced eating, I just plan better if I keep undereating (though my body responds to that with a bigger hunger soon anyway. but it can be overpowered and unconvenient so I like to act earlier). I use less satiating or rather easier to eat items. I drink some my calories… I couldn’t eat enough if I ate leaner meat and eggs only so I don’t do that (and I like fat more than that anyway). Or if I do that (mostly as it don’t works completely), I add something very dense or again, drink some of my calories. But it’s easier to plan well than eating 500-1000 kcal extra when I already got satiated (it may or may not work, it depends. meat often gives a stop sign for many of us, I can only wait and eat an hour later, without any hunger and appetite but those aren’t needed for a meal).

I do these with my current OMAD. I would eat more than enough if I allowed night eating but I don’t want to do that. I should eat a big meal and it may involve certain tricks on some days. But it’s doable without any force, at least for me. But hopefully you have options as well.


yea this is often overlooked cause we all want instant goal and all lbs lost immediately :wink:, who doesn’t so that mindset of ‘a lifestyle eating plan for long term’ results is key too so it is great you mentioned this.

It is long term that wins all this all the time :slight_smile:

(Will) #7

Thanks to you all. I’m going to take some of your advice if this continues today. I will be making myself something to eat and try a bite or 2 and see if I might be hungrier than I think I am.



If it helps, try adding calories dense foods.

For example, adding just 2 spoons of olive oil increases your calories by 240 without impacting your blood glucose. A large handful of macadamia nuts is another 300 calories.

Perhaps incorporate such calorie dense foods into your one meal so that you are not undereating.


just a note…best foods to test anything is meat protein! Put that meat protein first at all times and forget about the extra crap that doesn’t give the nutrients that good ol’ meat protein provides at all times,


Yeah, I would think 1000 kcal doesn’t necessarily contains all the protein and other nutrients we need so I would rather add some nutritious fatty protein if possible. Too much fat (in percentage of calories or volume) may cause nausea and I could eat the least on the unsustainably fatty short fat/egg fasts. If the fat is too high percentage, I can’t bring myself to eat over 1000 kcal. And I LOVE fat. But only with some nice protein :slight_smile:
I think about adding some extra pure fat in cases when one can’t bring themselves to eat more protein but they have a very high energy need… Of course, it’s individual and occasionally adding mere fat may be the only okay option but I would think about changing my food choices if I started to add extra fat to my otherwise very low-cal days regularly.
But it’s quite important what the one in question is able to stomach (I would choose almost any meat over olive oil myself :smiley: if I can’t eat solids anymore, yolks and butter and cream in my coffee).

(Robin) #11

I will go ahead and fix food when I need it, even thought I am NOT hungry. BUT…. Once I start in, I chow down like I’m starving. But I know I will stall in weight loss if I don’t eat enough so I try to keep an eye on that. It’s just plain weird to have to remind yourself to eat.

Another freaky experience is having actual honest-to-god hunger pangs! We forget what REAL hunger feels like… the kind where your body says feed me. Now. Your body. Not your head. It’s a trip!


Meanwhile I need to eat little to lose fat (I never eat too little, I get hungry then, often after midnight…) - but to eat little, I need tricks to eat much enough for a 23+ hour satiation…

Yes, it happens. So if one suspects or even knows they needs more food (1000 kcal is probably not enough for anyone with some even remotely normal body), try some even without hunger, maybe the body will welcome the food! (Mine does it without need, it’s super easy for me to overeat if I just have too many meals. Maybe not with the perfect food choices but me and perfection don’t mix.)

Oh my hunger was perfectly healthy (just sometimes annoying) on high-carb (I ate when I got hungry… Isn’t that the normal? there are extra cases, sure but I got hungry often enough on high-carb and ate a ton so I don’t think I ate without a real, strong, insistent hunger under normal circumstances. Mom never cared if I didn’t come to eat because of lack of hunger - it was rare though -, I ate when I wanted. I was kinda lucky, too bad I didn’t meet low-carb earlier). Now it’s WAY tinier, softer, comes rarely and sometimes not at all for several days (it depends how and when I eat though). It’s fine but I miss it if it doesn’t come for too long :slight_smile:

But hunger is when the body says it… If only my mind says it, it’s appetite or compulsion, not hunger. They are very very different feelings and all have different types. Maybe “mind hunger” is a different type for people? I don’t have that thing.
Maybe the OP has mind satiation with a starving body? How can that thing blocked? I heard about several people who underate on keto (some even knew it’s bad but couldn’t help it, they got seriously underweight so had to quite keto to stay alive), it’s some very odd body behaviour in my eyes. Shouldn’t the body tell us if it’s starving? Mine (silently) screams bloody murder if I just want a calorie deficit without being borderline obese (I can’t go fattier, I am unable to eat much enough for that to happen) or using very serious tricks.

Sorry, it’s such a fascinating topic, our inner workings :smiley: Body and mind.

(Will) #13

Things seem to be a bit better. I tried making myself something to eat for my 2nd meal. After a couple of bites it seemed to trigger something that caused me to feel the need for another meal. I’m guessing this will get better as my body heals. I sure appreciate all the helpful comments

(Bob M) #14

That assumes one can eat a “handful” of nuts. :smiley: More like “bag” for me.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #15

Depends on your definition of ‘handful’ or the size of your hand. 100 grams of macadamia nuts contains 718 calories.

(Will) #16

I have to avoid nuts altogether. If I have even one it will most likely lead to me going way overboard. Nuts are a big weakness for me so definitely off limits

(Bob M) #17

What I mean is there’s no such thing as a “handful” of nuts for me. It’s most/all of the bag.

That’s why I haven’t eaten nuts in…a long time (years?). It’s like beer, it takes me a long time to remember when it happened last, and then it’s usually a mistake (someone brings beer/I find nuts).

Same with bacon. Same with bacon-wrapped chorizo/other sausage stuffed peppers. Things I can eat and eat and eat and eat…AFTER eating a complete meal.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #18

I could eat 100 grams of macadamias easily, and do so maybe 3-4 times per month. I could eat 125 grams and maybe even 150 grams - but I could not eat 200 grams. Even at 100 grams I start to feel like ‘that’s enough’ and I don’t enjoy eating much more. I will say also that I never eat macs by themselves but always with bacon bits/crumbles to keep my fat/protein ratio in line. I’ve never had the experience of not being able to stop eating/drinking - anything. So I really can’t relate to that.


Me too. It’s an occasional treat and I try to buy 1 small pack of nuts (like 50g) at a time.

But any other calorie dense foods will do the trick. The easiest for me is just adding 1-2 spoons of olive oil (or butter if you prefer) to your meal or coffee. I like olive oil because there is no temptation to over eat it. A bit of bacon or some avocado could also do the trick although bacon can be addictive too.

The point is making a conscious effort not to under-eat by adding in things that pack a punch in calories without adding bulk to your meal (if, as you say, feeling full easily and lacking appetite is an issue).

(Tim Cee) #20

Eat your target intake in one meal instead of two?