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The Struggle with Hunger When Losing Weight.

The Struggle with Hunger When Losing Weight

Have you ever noticed an increase in hunger when you are trying to diet? Some may think, “well of course I am hungry because I am eating less.” Others may feel that this is something they will only have to deal with in the short-term because once they have lost the weight their body will readjust.

A study done on 35 obese adults attempting to lose weight over a two-year period found that while calorie intake decreased, feelings of hunger and fullness actually increased during those two years. The hormone levels were measured before and after meals during these two years and showed that fullness was achieved, but physically the patients did not feel it. They were able to keep the weight off over the two years but continued to struggle with the feelings of hunger. The study concluded that obese patients undergoing weight loss will most likely have to deal with feelings of hunger for the long term. So how can you battle hunger? Here are a few tips to keep the stomach happy while the pounds are shed.1

Choose more fiber

Fiber is an important part of all diets. It helps us stay fuller longer due to the increased time it takes for the body to break it down. It also helps keep us regular and promotes good bowel health. Some examples of ways to add fiber into your diet are:


Try to load your plate up with as many non-starchy vegetables as you can. Large salads are a great way to eat low calorie and still feel full.

Whole grains

Make sure what grain-based carbohydrates you do eat are whole grain. Whole grains have not been refined to remove their most fibrous parts.


When you do choose a fruit or starchy vegetable, try to leave the peel on to increase your fiber intake. Eating the peel of a sweet potato or apple can help amp up your intake for the day.

Choose brown

Choose brown rice, whole grain pasta, quinoa and farro for your grains. These are all loaded with fiber and will keep you satisfied longer than plain white rice or pasta.

Add legumes

Although they contain carbohydrates, beans are loaded with fiber. A quarter cup of black beans contains more than 7 grams of fiber.

Eat your protein

Protein also takes longer to break down in the body leaving you more satisfied than if you ate a meal without it. Some great protein options are eggs, cheese, nut butters, fish, lean beef, turkey or chicken. Try adding one or more to all meals to keep you satiated.

Healthy fats

Another great addition to a meal is a healthy fat. Avocadoes, nuts or nut butters are a healthy way to increase your omegas, and keep you full when trying to battle those pounds.

Use a small plate

Loading a small plate so that it looks like it is heaping may trick your brain into thinking you are eating more than you actually do. No seconds needed!

Tips to remember

  • Feelings of hunger may remain long term after weight loss
  • Increase fiber, protein, healthy fats
  • Use smaller dishes to make your meal seem bigger
  • Speak with your physician if you have specific questions about a weight loss plan

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Coutinho S R, Silvia R , Jens F. Rehfeld et al. Impact of weight loss achieved through a multidisciplinary intervention on appetite in patients with severe obesity. American Journal of Physiology. 23 JAN 2018


  • Katie Gutwald, RD moderator author
    12 months ago

    I would love to hear how it goes!
    Thanks for sharing! Katie Gutwald RD

  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    12 months ago

    Great article.I remember when I went very tight control when I was first dx. I was hungry all the time while trying to lose the weight.

    Am gaining again. I had actually lost down to 167 from 240. Now I’m back up again. Not near that much. But at home I’ll weigh in in the middle 190’s now but when I see the doctor they show me 200 maybe a tad more even after making allowance for clothes and shoes on. So that’s why the DE has me scheduled to meet with the new Nutritionist/Dietitian/RN.

    Hopefully she’ll be able to help me get back on tract. But I don’t want to feel hungry all the time like before. Wife kept making sure I ate almost all protein even though I kept arguing that I needed carbs also. Still tries that with me. When she does I can eat but still feel hungry although I know I’m full. Can feel full yet hungry at same time.

    Am I making sense with that?

  • Katie Gutwald, RD moderator author
    12 months ago

    Hey Riddler,
    So nice to know that you can appreciate these struggles. I’m sure your wife was just trying to be as helpful and supportive as possible! I would love to hear what you thought of your appointment with a Dietitian. Hopefully he/she can make it easier for you to lose weight without feeling so hungry. Take care! Katie Gutwald RD Community Moderator

  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    12 months ago

    Scheduled to see o the 26th of this month. I called today to verify where and what to bring with me. Cell phone etc. Plus found out that after the group meeting they schedule a one on one to see what should do as an individual. Then will check late to see how you’re progressing along. See if your actually following what was suggested and how far you’ve come along. Sounds good. Hopefully I’ll be able to work on what they show us as a group and as an individual and start back to losing weight again.

  • Margot moderator
    12 months ago

    I’m glad you are scheduled to meet with the new nutritionist/dietitian/rn @Riddler – I hope it proves helpful – please let us know! We definitely hear you, and I know that feeling you are talking about! Best, Margot, Team Member

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