Eating...causes hunger?

(Bob M) #1

I’ve been testing Fire in a Bottle’s saturated fat intake theory (higher intake of saturated fat = less hunger, though he combines sat fat and “starch”, which I’m not) and also his SCD1 theory (SCD1 inhibitors should cause less hunger). I find what he says to be true, at least in part.

What’s happening to me is that I’ll eat high saturated fat and/or take an SCD1 inhibitor, and I will get a reduction (sometimes, massive) in hunger…unless I eat.

For instance, this past Saturday, I was not hungry at dinnertime. But my wife wanted to order dinner (take out) at a restaurant. I thought, well I can order dinner, and if I don’t eat it, I’ll just keep it for tomorrow. We had soup (lobster bisque), which I thought would be what I ate. I had ordered a (small) steak + shrimp + sausage dinner. …And I ate it all. Even though I initially was not hungry. Once food hits my stomach, I get hungry.

And this has happened to me many, many times. I cannot tell you how many times I’m not hungry at dinner, but I eat because the family is eating. For me, eating causes hunger, which leads to more eating. At some point, I’ll be “full” and stop eating.

What about you? Does eating cause hunger?

(Vic) #2

Absolutely it does.

But its not the same kind of hunger.

Hunger feeling before eating has the purpose to make you eat and provide energy to your body.

Hunger while eating is not the same. Its a feeling that drives you to keep eating untill full.

Both feeling we call hunger but if you pay close attention, the feelings are not the same.
One does not drive the other. One can be hungry before eating and when starting to eat the other hunger doesn’t come, you will not eat a lot then.
Or the other way around like you notest.

So its not real hunger while eating, its the signals telling you how much your digestive system can handle. Give in to it and a feeling of satiation should follow.


(Doug) #3

Bob, perhaps a “waking up” of cells in the stomach, which produce ghrelin (“the hunger hormone”)?

I’ve had it happen - not really hungry but my wife makes something and I eat a little and then I’m eating a lot. Ghrelin has powerful actions - it hits the amygdala, part of the limbic system or “old brain” - deep, serious effects, hard to deny.

In a ‘perfect world’ or perhaps just an overly-simplified one, my idea is of blood sugar falling or the body otherwise needing food, so the stomach, via the ghrelin-producing cells, says to the brain, “Hey, send some stuff down here.”

But we are complex and have varied genetics and histories/experiences, so things aren’t “ideal,” uniform, or steady-state. Any type of positive feedback loop could cause what you describe - if food itself is resulting in more ghrelin, then hunger will persist until something else (physical fullness of the stomach?) clamps down on the ghrelin production.

Time does make a difference for me. If it takes 3 units for me to really get ‘full,’ then eating 2, or sometimes even just 1, and then waiting for 20 minutes or so, will have hunger falling off. This usually doesn’t happen for any good reason, more likely that I was going to get another bowl or plate when the current TV show ended…

(Edith) #4

I have noticed the same thing which is why I avoid snacking. A snack will turn into a meal.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #5

It does make some evolutionary sense. There’s food now and there may not be food tomorrow, the day after, the week after, the month after… Eat as much as you can while you can.


I’ve just wrote about it yesterday in a thread. I only can have a really bad hunger if I eat before. Well-fasted hunger is way cuter and it takes a lot of time for me to have a proper hunger without eating.

But if I start to eat (even if I was satiated before… not only not hungry, satiated), there is no stop until I eat a decent sized meal (except if I already ate a ton on that day, I do have some vague food limit where my appetite turns off and even goes into negative and I can’t eat when I have that even if I am very hungry).

My SO is the same regarding this. A small meal just makes us hungrier. So we don’t start to eat even if we are hungry unless we know we have a proper amount of proper food (I am not that great when hungry so I got myself in trouble sometimes. I am very careful now and I have 2.5 kg roasted pork in my fridge now because of that. today I will be safe and even tomorrow).

My craziest thing is the following: eating a BIG very low-carb meal so I should be satiated for a long time. And it happens if I stop here. But in extreme cases I don’t do it… If I eat a very carby (and typically fatty) dessert or something at that point, I easily may become quite hungry, it’s worse than my well-fasted hunger. So I need to eat a lot of fatty protein again (as almost nothing else works).
My body always did this, carbs behave like things with negative calories (maybe excessive amounts balance it out), some fats act like no calories and I need a big amount of calories from fat and protein (after I balanced out the carbs) to be satiated. I actually can write a formula that usually works, it’s quite crazy.
So even avoiding carbs, I rarely can do small meals. It happens sometimes but I get hungry in an hour. (Very confused body states don’t count, drastic woe changes can be surreal for a short while.) That’s quite annoying, having many tiny meals. I can avoid that if I wait for a proper need for fuel and my food choices matter too.

That’s about my first, most important (and ideally only) meal.
Let’s say I didn’t eat my daily energy need for my first meal…
It doesn’t matter if I don’t get hungry for a day or I do… If I chill satisfied and satiated in the evening or at night and I happen to fancy food and take a bite… I am doomed to have a not very small meal. Maybe 600 kcal is enough if I use my top satiating food I never can eat much from… Maybe it will be 1000+. Add carbs and 2000 is possible. But I could have zero without any problem if I wasn’t such an idiot with a midnight eating habit at that time…

I know I am no calorie meter but my body thinks it is (a very messed up one) and the calorie numbers gave some information about my mealsizes.

This hunger after eating is true hunger for me, most of the time. It definitely feels like that. I know my zillion different hungers and other eating urges pretty well I think and those two feels the same. If I focus my body to figure out if I really need fuel to have energy, the answer is practically always negative (I have enough reserves to go without eating for long) so that doesn’t help. And it doesn’t matter anyway, strong demanding hunger after eating is horrible, I MUST eat more and avoid that or if I already have it, feel better again.

Oh and it’s most powerful at night and I have the biggest problems with control there unless I have some (preferably a lot) really great food to battle my very formidable hunger. But I still can’t win, just lose less epically. Night isn’t eating time for me (except maybe if I have my single meal there but it probably should be earlier. I never tried super late OMAD yet).

(GINA ) #7

That’s why the little snacks before meals are called appetizers.


I’m glad it’s not just me.

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #9

This is the phenomenon of the appetizer. As long as you stop when satisfied, there’s no harm done.


It surely feels waking up something… A small but very agressive gremlin :smiley:

I don’t care about stomach hunger, I ignore that. My stomach state has nothing to do with my needs or real hunger. It’s even odd to me to think it would have (it’s for me, it’s fine others to be totally different). My stomach needs about 2 liters to get full, I surely don’t use this capacity most of the time (I can’t, even, my body likes its odd calorie formula and gives signs accordingly). And I don’t even have stomach hunger in the first 20-26, sometimes 48 hours after my meals… So it’s some strange, insignificant thing that doesn’t even trigger eating, fortunately. Too many other things do it…

Right now I have “stomach hunger” or “old mealtime hunger” (I can’t tell those 2 apart) as it’s 3pm (I typically had my first meal there since many years but I shift it now as it’s not ideal anymore), more than 20 hours after my meal. I am not hungry, don’t need fuel, have less than zero appetite… So I obviously don’t eat and it’s fine as it’s not an annoying “hunger”.

It’s new but I have this now! In the past, a hunger just became stronger hunger but now it can go away, even when I ate less than normal.
But I can expect hunger earlier in that case (like, in 3 hours instead of 20-26, that’s very typical, maybe 1 hours instead of 3)… Not good for me.

I wonder if it’s normal to feel kind of satiated (often after a few bites. I even can reach the state “I can’t eat more without being a bit forceful” if I use satiating meat) and 10-20 minutes later hungry? I very often have that since I tried carnivore - but never when I get properly hungry, I think. It never happened in my carbier years, no matter what.
Sometimes it’s pretty hard for me to figure out when I should stop eating. I just take a guess if I don’t get the very convenient instant stop feeling (meats tend to give that, nice but they are way too satiating sometimes… eating is hard). My body is predictable but there are too many factors for me to predict its behavior myself all the time… It matters what and how much I ate 3 days ago… Just eating a bit later may work for others, never for me.

(Doug) #11

I have known dogs (and Dougs) like this.

(Ketopia Court Jester) #12

Giggle, snort.

Who’s a good boy?


It is the same for me. I am not sure that I like it. It really feels like I can seriously overeat every time I start eating… there is no “eating till you are satisfied” which some people talk about because binge feels quite possible once eating has commenced… The interesting thing is that when I manage to stop I will feel full but only maybe an hour or two after stopping eating.

(Cheryl Meyers) #14

Yes, I have this too – for me, it is like emotional eating, where the action is a comfort that I can’t seem to get enough of. Carbs (especially salty or sweet snacks) trigger it in my case, so I avoid them as much as I can. I found some 100% cheese baked bars recently on iherb, and they hit the snack spot, but I don’t seem to feel the need to eat more than one serving (2-bar pack). The high protein and fat content is probably why.


That’s quite alarming… I haven’t that, at least. I have some food intake limit (I still can massively overeat but it’s only 1.5 times my energy need per day in average… 2 times for a single day) and good food choices makes it disappear right away. Extreme low-carb already does a lot but some items are still problematic if I want to lose fat, not just avoid overeating. I probably technically could eat a bit beyond my energy need on carnivore (as carbs are my problem, this woe helps the most) but I would need to choose very stupidly (or smartly if I wanted to bulk).

So I would tweak my woe until this problem disappears if that is possible. Food choices matter very, very much! Possibly timing too. Maybe waiting until hunger is a bad idea and results in binge, who knows? I had times when waiting until dinner resulted in too big meals (I don’t call it a binge, I was hungry and simply ate until it stopped), I was so ravenous. I don’t have this anymore especially on carnivore, my fat adaptation may have some effect, it is helpful satiation wise but carbs still can overpower it.

I know such delayed satiation too, it’s another thing where the right woe helped me. Mere ketosis isn’t enough for everyone.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #16

I don’t have so-called ‘normal’ hunger and satiety signals either, so I count calories and eat to macros. By trial and error I’ve determined my maintenance ‘window’ so I have no problems. I could certainly eat more than I do but I seldom ‘feel full but only maybe and hour or two…’ If I did feel hungry so soon after eating, I’d question whether I was still in ketosis.

I feel sorta the same all the time: not really full but not particularly hungry either. I could eat but I don’t. I don’t fee deprived because I don’t eat and I don’t feel any lack of energy because I don’t. If I don’t eat for a a day or eat a lot less for some reason or other, I might start to feel cold (during winter) or tired/lethargic (during summer). Those are my signals to eat. I IF overnight for 12 hours or so several days per week, but don’t feel any more hungry the mornings after than on the days when I don’t.


I feel this ‘hunger when I eat’ thing is about where you are on any plan changes and your ‘healed body’ with time on plan.

Yes even if I am not that hungry and I think food, I sit down to eat 2 things will happen depending on many factors. I can ‘be kinda hungry’ and fry up a steak and I can barely eat one bite. Into the fridge it goes for later but I have alot of years healing on plan and changing my lifestyle.

I can be not that hungry and sit and say no way and eat the whole 1.5 lb steak I fried and think, wow, are ya kiddin’ me LOL :slight_smile:

I find if hungry eat. If not don’t. It gets NO easier than that cause if one sits down to a meal you are ‘not hungry for’ with the family and find ‘you eat it all’ then heck yea, ya needed it!!! Your body wanted it cause if TRULY not hungry you couldn’t have eaten it but if you eat some and find ya want more, yes hunger and body and eat now or die later and all natural things come into play with social interaction at the table, but if you can eat it then ya needed it for real. If you can’t put another bite into your mouth truly, then you know just that. Nothing wrong with any of it. Be you as you need at all times.

I never question what I eat. Ever. I don’t question when I want it. I don’t wonder about how I ‘control my food’. I now eat whenever I want, all I want, never question not being hungry or nibble a bit and shut down the food cause I don’t want it.

But to me this is time on a plan changing and healing and this is SO DARN personal to each of us that we all will never see eye to eye on it or feel the same physical features of it or how our lifestyles of everything other than food and our past, with medical issues some have and more will ever give any kind of ‘concrete proof’ or ‘do this or that to change?’

I think this is time on plan and ALL ABOUT us as individuals and where we are on our journey.

(Anthony) #18

I definitely experience the same, never gave it much thought beyond feeling kinda guilty for eating when “not hungry”.

I suppose it means I was nearly ready to eat/about to get hungry anyway. If I was already full (just ate a meal an hour ago) I doubt I’d eat much, but I’m not tempted to start either so I haven’t tested this. It only seems to happen when it’s nearly feeding time which puts me 4-5+ hours from my last meal anyway.

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #19

As I’ve mentioned before, for me satiety is a feeling of “enough; I don’t want any more,” a very different feeling from being full. The words "satiety’ and “satisfaction” are derived from the Latin word satis ‘enough’, and embarking on a ketogenic diet was the first time in decades that I had experienced the sensation of not wanting more food. Plenty of room for it, but didn’t need or want it. That was a weird experience for a carb-burner, let me tell you!

I find that, since there is room in my belly for more food, I can eat past the point of satiety, but when I do so, it is always for emotional reasons. So I try to have fatty, low-carb snacks handy, so I’m not tempted to eat the cornbread and other goodies people leave lying around the kitchen at my house. (If I lived alone, that would not even be a problem; it wouldn’t be there.)

I did find that for a while after going full-bore keto, I kept eating at my usual quantity level. Looking back, I wonder if that was even a problem; perhaps my body needed those extra calories to help re-regulate itself. I do remember that my first experience of not being able to finish a meal came as quite a shock. I might have thought something was wrong, but at the time I was watching a lot of lectures by Dr. Phinney on YouTube, and so what I found myself thinking was, “Oh! This must be that satiety thing he talks about.” So I wrapped the half-plate of food remaining, put it into the fridge, and didn’t finish it until supper, many hours later.

So the issue of how much to eat, in my case, breaks down into two problems: (1) listening to my body for cues as to the actual quantity it wants (on some days, more; on other days, less), and (2) how to deal with my need to put stuff in my mouth so I won’t have to deal with my feelings. Dr. Robert Cywes says that for that purpose he always keeps a cup of coffee handy, which works well for me, too; and I find that having something low-carb to munch on means that if I do eat past the satiety point, the extra food is at least not raising my blood sugar and insulin. Also, I don’t snack to nearly the same degree as I would if it were carbs.

My big fear is of bingeing on carbohydrates. Interestingly, although I would describe myself as a sugar/carb addict, my experience since going keto suggests that the satiety engendered by a ketogenic diet blunts the urge to binge. So whereas, in my carb-burning days, I used to eat whole giant economy-sized bags of candy or a couple of dozen doughnuts at one sitting (all the while bemoaning my lack of will power), these days when I yield to temptation, I tend to be content with just one piece of cornbread, or half a bagel (or at most just one whole bagel). The thought of wildly consuming carbohydrates, even sugar, is somehow a lot less powerful on keto.

(Bob M) #20

It’s good to know I’m not the only one. I do think this is why some (like @amwassil) count calories, as then they know what they can eat. Otherwise, they’d eat “more” than what the body really needs.

I’ve been lc/keto since 1/1/14, and I think I only noticed this recently because both high saturated fat and SCD1 inhibitors (and possibly just time) have caused me to suddenly not be hungry at dinner. But if I eat dinner, I pretty much eat what I think is a “normal” dinner – most times, anyway.

And what can happen, too, is I’ll eat a smaller amount than normal, but this actually makes me hungry so that say 15-20 minutes later, I’ll eat more.

Pre-pandemic, I was fasting a lot. So, I’d go pick the kid(s) up late, and I wouldn’t be home for "dinner’. (Tonight is the first time I’m attempting this in months; we’ll see if I can make 36 hours for a fast.) But since they are home all the time or at least were home all the time, I found it a challenge to skip dinner. (Who wants to sit at a table where everyone is eating and not eat anything?)

I do think there are various hormones, which are probably messed up with me. Saw a Twitter conversation about some of them, where eating slower caused more release of these hormones, leading people to eat less if they slowed their rate of eating.

…Except for some overweight people, whose hormones did not react the same way.

I think this is why some of us can start eating a smaller meal, wait a while, and the hunger will go away. Meanwhile, I eat a smaller meal…and get hungrier.

So, I’ve returned to fasting again, as if I’m fasting (and aren’t at home while the family is eating), I don’t have to be concerned about eating while not hungry, yet eating a normal meal.

Maybe the ultimate solution is not eat dinner if I’m not hungry? (Try explaining that to kids, who have their own eating issues. Nothing like potentially creating a bulimic or someone who thinks it’s ok to fast for a kid.) Or maybe just going to bed hungry?