Food makes me hungry

I seem to have gained a few surplus pounds in recent months, so I thought I’d cut back on calories and exercise a bit more.

I’ve discovered, though, that I can just get by on one normal-sized meal a day; if I don’t eat breakfast or lunch, I simply don’t feel hungry until dinnertime; I experience no giddiness or anything like that; I just don’t eat and don’t feel like eating.

If I have even a small breakfast, or a midmorning cookie, or even a toffee or something, that sets me going and I have to eat.
Now I know this is against the usual advice and no doubt everybody will tell me how bad an idea it is, how it won’t work, etc… but I can’t imagine that Three Square Meals A Day is something that our hunter-gatherer ancestors had the luxury of; provided that I don’t feel unwell on it and provided that I can maintain the strength of will not to compensate by binge eating (and I can do this), why shouldn’t I just eat one meal per day?

Sounds like your usual breakfasts are high in refined sugars and starches. This causes an insulin reaction that in turn makes you feel hungry again. I used to feel the same way about morning food – it made me hungry!. Now I start my day with protein (like an egg with some cheese & tomato) and I’m good for hours.

If you want to get down with your hunter-gatherer forbears, “grazing” would be the more similar eating arrangement – 5 or 6 small snacklike meals.

Somebody, a whole bunch of them probably, will be along any second to tell you that our ancestors ate as they walked. Gathered and grazed on nuts and berries.

Be that as it may, I have been doing just as you describe for several years now: No breakfast except for coffee. Never any lunch unless it can’t be avoided (business lunch), which makes me want to fall asleep in my office. A balanced and tasty dinner which I look forward to all day.

No ups and downs as far as low/high blood sugar levels. No headaches. No rumbling stomach.

It actually feels pretty good to have an empty stomach through the day. Breakfast or lunch just makes me feel bloated and uncomfortable through the day.

Of course, I still loves me some breakfast. Every odd rainy or wintery Sunday, I’ll treat myself to a full breakfast with bacon, eggs, hashbrowns and waffles. Then I watch TV and take a nap.

I used to do one meal a day for the same reason. I still have a very small breakfast and lunch and then a big dinner when I get home on workdays. I also get hungry throughout the day and drink lots of water to feel fuller. Coffee is a morning necessity. I never particularly noticed any sugar rushes or insulin comas…that only happened back in the days of “a Coke for breakfast, another Coke for lunch, and a non-sensible dinner diet” (not recommended) I also never noticed any particular thinking problems, I earned my MS on that diet. The only thing I would recommend, since you didn’t ask, is to not let yourself get too hungry and eat all your 2000 calories at dinner, cause that won’t help you lose weight.

Not especially, although I suppose it depends on what you call ‘high’ - a normal breakfast for me will be a couple of slices of buttered wholemeal toast or a bowl of bran flakes or muesli. Porridge in the winter time. I like sweet stuff in the morning, but I don’t often indulge.

One meal a day could trigger bingeing-- losing control and consuming more calories in the one meal than if you’d had three smaller meals, perhaps. I also remember something about how it puts your body into starvation mode and you lose weight less efficiently, messing with your metabolism or something. It’s been a long time since I discussed it with my nutritionist, so the details are a bit fuzzy. One meal a day tends not to be sustainable for most folks and a life-long healthy habit is better than drastic diets. Eating all your calories just a few hours before bed doesn’t give you a chance to work them off before sleep, too.

Could it be the carbs giving you the urge to eat? I believe in moderation, not completely cutting out carbs, but I do notice that if I have something with a good bit of carbs it starts me wanting to eat even when I’m not hungry. Since skipping breakfast and lunch isn’t a good idea, I eat high protein, low carb meals for breakfast and lunch especially. Then I try to drink lots of water (unflavored is best because flavored water can trigger snacking), so if an impulse to nibble comes over me, I can just have some water. It’s smart to plan good snacks. In fact, I plan everything out ahead of time, when I’m not hungry, so I can’t derail my diet. This is what works for me, but I’ll bet you could figure out something that works for you, without having to skip meals. Good luck!

Ah, well that sounds better than a midmorning cookie! However, as a percentage of what you eat, the meal you are suggesting is nearly all carbohydrates. Try having your toast with peanut butter instead, or some other source of protein (a couple slices of smoked salmon, 1 egg, some ham or whatever floats your boat), and see if that changes your hungry feelings.

Sure, I could do that, but it’s easier just to skip breakfast and lunch entirely - no hunger at all that way and I don’t seem to be doing any harm that way. I only do it weekdays and I suspect I might not find it quite such easy going once I’ve lost these few pounds of excess fat about my person.

On the contrary. It’ll get easier. And keeping the fat off will be an even stronger motivator.