What can I do to stay fuller for longer?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 26, 2010 at 7:46 PM

For the last couple of years, I've had trouble with food - overeating, constantly thinking about (carby) food, eating "just because it's there", etc. I think it's all been due to some weird, unfounded fear of ending up in a situation where I'm hungry without being able to do something about it, as I've always felt very bad (moody, head aches, etc) when hungry. Anyway - I started a couple months ago with an Atkins type eating plan, involving quite a lot of dairy. Nothing super strict, but with a lot more natural fat and the whole deal. A lot of things definitely improved, (and by now my unhealthy relationship/eating habits are basically gone). BUT - I still got insanely hungry! I could honestly drink a cup of heavy cream, eat a plate full of good meat, spoon fulls of coconut oil and still, after a couple of hours I'd be starving again. Having read about dairy and its supposed effects on insuline levels, I decided to cut it out and move towards a more paleo approach, about a month ago. And here I am. Still hungry.

It just feels like nothing really fills me up for more than a couple of hours. I eat a lot of fatty meat (grass fed as often as possible), chicken, fish, still use some butter (that's the only dairy I use and it's not really a lot), lots of coconut oil, some veggies. Fruit occasionally. No matter what time of day. I've tried to wait it out for several hours, but just end up craving anything in sight & feeling really, really bad.

Is it really just psychological? Any tips on how I can stay fuller for longer?

(oh, and I'm 21, female, not overweight so I'm not looking to lose weight. Just generally trying to stay healthy and keep this healthy approach to eating, without using every single penny on food due to my enormous appetite)



on August 27, 2010
at 07:15 AM

Thank you so much, all of you. Great answers. And it's good to hear that not everybody immediately goes from carb binging to eating one good meal a day, completely satiated and hardly ever hungry. :)



on August 27, 2010
at 01:52 AM

its true that fat and protein promote satiety more gram for gram... but if u dont want to take in tons of calories, you are going to want to limit the amount of fat u take in. You can get in much more vegetables and fruits for the same amount of calories, so while fruits/veg arent as satiating gram for gram, they are more satiating overall because you can eat 2-3 times as much food



on August 26, 2010
at 11:27 PM

It sounds good, and probably worth trying, but hasn't it been shown that fat and protein promote satiety more than anything else?



on August 26, 2010
at 09:14 PM

Sal, this is a great answer!



on August 26, 2010
at 08:33 PM

based on what you have said, you are eating lots of calorie dense foods.. heavy cream, coconut oil, fatty meat.. while eating fruits and vegetables occasionally. Calories dense foods are good for gaining weight or getting in lots of calories, but not for getting full. If you want to feel really full, eat more vegetables... which are basically fiber, water, and nutrients. Also fruits that are low in sugar, such as.. rather than spoonfulls of coconut oil, try coconut oil with berries If all else fails, try drinking water b4 meals, and even taking glucomannan with water before meals

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3 Answers



on August 26, 2010
at 08:01 PM

You sound a lot like me, especially if you're skinny.

I can only tell you my experience, so I don't know how well this applies to you:

I wasn't eating enough. Eat more.

As a skinny guy, I had developed a mental model of what "a lot" of food was. Then I started actively trying to gain weight as an experiment and discovered that my mental model was hilariously wrong. Every now and then I'd get hungry after eating dinner and think to myself, "Man, I just ate this huge steak", but the steak only had ~700 calories, which simply wasn't enough for a single meal.

So my advice would be to calorie count for a bit and make sure that your conception of huge amounts of food is accurate and that your perception of how much you're eating jives with the actual amount you're eating. If you're skinny, you could just not be eating enough. If you discover that you actually are eating enough (take any of the basal metabolic rate calculators and inflate the result some, compare to your intake), then you might have a deeper issue.

Otherwise, eat more steak!



on August 27, 2010
at 02:37 AM

I had the same thing when starting Atkins and again when starting Paleo. Basically, I no longer had cravings after a short bit but instead I just felt really hungry often. It was a bit of a change because before, I rarely felt true hunger but instead often felt cravings. It was actually a bit of a pain because I found I needed to eat more often to shut up the ravening beast and paleo foods are more limited as far as what is portable and snackable. Yet at the same time, I was losing weight (which I wanted to lose), so I figured it was OK and I just chalked it up a change in biology. I would not stress about it as long as you are healthy and moving in the direction you want. I have found that recently, the hunger has lessened and I can go longer without the hunger beast banging on the door. I think paleo has helped that way more than Atkins did. I know that a lot of paleo people claim that paleo allows them to go a long time without feeling hunger. That has not really been the case for me on a regular basis. Maybe eventually it will, but overall, I'd say it's been the reverse for me. When I ate carbs, one thing I could do was eat a giant hoard of carbs and then feel not hungry for a long time, but I would sometimes get viscious cravings for more crap carbs. But basically, hunger would take a long time in coming, and often I would just feel sick and weak when it was time to eat again but would not feel natural hunger. Whereas with paleo, I get full much faster and end up eating less at most meals, but I will often get hungry again sooner. But like I said, the whole thing seems to be slowly ironing itself out by itself with nothing more than a little patience on my part. I think a lot of changes that paleo eaters talk about can sometimes take time to develop.



on August 26, 2010
at 08:27 PM

Sounds like you're not 100% confident yet. But you're doing the right thing. Keep concentrating on the quality of your food, don't worry too much about the quantity.

Your body will adjust if it needs to, in time, and your hunger will decrease. Or, you just need the amount you're eating.

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