1

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What's up with my post-lunch hunger at work?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 14, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Lately my eating plan on work days has been to make my first meal of the day pretty large (time of day varies for this meal, sometimes first thing in the morning, sometimes I don't eat until 10-12) and full of fat and protein. I usually eat moderately again around 4-5pm. My second meal is a salad with oil and 4-5oz of lean meat.

I've toyed around with a few things - including or not including carbs with first meal, snacking or not snacking before second meal, changing fat/protein ratios of second meal, including or not including carbs with second meal.

The problem is that generally within about 1-2hours after my second meal, I want to eat like, everything. The feeling is not hunger, more like a craving, but generally not very specific to one food or type of food (although featured in things I want to eat are sugars or carbs, dairy, sour/acidic foods). Having some carbs with the second meal seems to help somewhat, but not entirely eliminate the problem. Nothing else has really made a difference.

I've also noticed that I tend to get a bit bloated around this time of day, in a water retention kind of way. At first I thought this had to do with what I was eating for lunch, but after experimentation it seems to happen regardless of what I eat.

I work on my feet all day, usually doing a fair bit of bending, lifting, carrying. My activity and stress level usually peak shortly before I have my second meal of the day.

I'm still trying to understand the science of hormones, so I'm wondering - is this a cortisol thing? Related to the stress of the job/demands of staying on my feet and active all day? Any other ideas about what is causing this and how I can defeat it?

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on September 14, 2012
at 11:46 PM

Martin Berkhan has a long article about why eating breakfast makes people hungry, which might be relevant.

E565e11cf32b38ab1f45086c1e0205f7

(613)

on September 14, 2012
at 02:41 PM

Small first meal just makes me want to eat more before and after lunch. I haven't found a way to make skipping feasible on days that I work, because then I'll only really have an opportunity to snack until I eat my first meal of the day at 4-5pm. I can't really break a fast with snacking and feel good afterwards.

E565e11cf32b38ab1f45086c1e0205f7

(613)

on September 14, 2012
at 02:36 PM

Forgot to mention that I usually include avo with lunch.

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7 Answers

1
Da12b342d4959f5bd776c0f00b072a6c

on September 15, 2012
at 03:42 AM

Finish your second meal with an orange or some grapefruit to address your craving for 'sugar/sour/acidic foods'. Listen to your body.

1
Ce2968ab71119c736ba9d83841c5718a

on September 14, 2012
at 02:30 PM

I have had similar late afternoon munchies. I found the big breakfast to help, mostly because I just didn't get hungry for lunch until 2pm, which would just so happen to correspond with craving time.

The other thing I found to help was chicken broth made from a bullion cube. Its savory tasking, and has a lot of electrolytes and no sugar. I think my problem was being dehydrated, and my body needed electrolytes not water.

Hope that helps.

0
269cc064c414e6dfadbc7755f2582d60

on September 15, 2012
at 03:00 PM

Could it be relating boredom? Maybe try to re-organise your daily work or activities around craving time. Go shopping, walking, talk to friends, etc. Create and run a new protocol for afternoons.

0
366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on September 15, 2012
at 01:42 PM

I don't know why, but my late afternoon snacking seems related to what I had for breakfast, not what I had for lunch. A very satiating breakfast (which for me is usually eggs & cheese & meat & fruit) means I won't be hungry in the afternoon -- other breakfast meals, even w/ the same number of calories, often result in late afternoon hunger. Maybe you need to experiment with different breakfast foods until you find what works for you.

But, it's also true that the kind of "eat everything" craving you're talking about usually only happens for me when I haven't taken in enough calories, or enough carbs (I know some people can tolerate very low carbs, but I'm not one of them).

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 15, 2012
at 11:24 AM

Could be lots of things, perhaps your meals consist of too many carbs, so you're experiencing an insulin spike that forces muscles, fat cells to store what you just ate, or if you're eating mostly fat and some protein, you might have some adrenal issues, and the cortisol is being used to do gluconeogenesis.

So, if you're eating mostly VLC, add in some carbs. If you're eating mostly high carb, shift towards higher fat, lower carbs. Perhaps you should switch to fattier cuts of meat, or add in extra fats to your salads - say avocados? Sounds like you're not getting enough calories. (If you're eating lots of lean protein, the extra will get converted to glucose and stored as fat, so the ideal is to eat just enough protein, and get most of your calories from fat and some from carbs.)

The sour craving might be for vitamin C? So maybe try adding some lemon juice to your salad?

0
559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4

on September 14, 2012
at 02:33 PM

The bloating and water retention may be caused by elevated insulin, which can be provoked by more carbs and/or protein than you need. Perhaps the first meal is larger than you need, or maybe after a big breakfast you don't a second meal. Perhaps you need only very little at the second meal. I find that I get less hungry during the day if I skip breakfast altogether. Paradoxically, eating more than you need can make you more hungry.

E565e11cf32b38ab1f45086c1e0205f7

(613)

on September 14, 2012
at 02:41 PM

Small first meal just makes me want to eat more before and after lunch. I haven't found a way to make skipping feasible on days that I work, because then I'll only really have an opportunity to snack until I eat my first meal of the day at 4-5pm. I can't really break a fast with snacking and feel good afterwards.

0
235b077872243d4ee5796c6ace3c0970

on September 14, 2012
at 02:14 PM

I'd say throw in half an avocado and/or have a couple of almonds after.

E565e11cf32b38ab1f45086c1e0205f7

(613)

on September 14, 2012
at 02:36 PM

Forgot to mention that I usually include avo with lunch.

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