“I’m losing weight and I’m not even hungry”!
Have you heard people say this (as they try to convince you to join them on the diet)?
It might seem a bit confusing, as people say it about a WIDE variety of different diets… each one with a different standard for “balance” than the one before it.
Making things even more confusing, you might have tried one (or more) of these diets only to find yourself hungry all the time.
What’s up with that?
There are 4 main dietary components that contribute to how much physical satisfaction you get from your meals.
The more you balance these components, the less hungry you are (including when losing weight.)
Together, I describe these 4 components as the 4 legs of your “Satiety Table”.
- Dietary fat
- Total volume and fiber
When you have 4 sturdy legs, you feel completely satisfied after eating AND you’re able to delay the onset of hunger for several hours.
When you switch from your “By Default Diet” to a fad diet that focuses on different foods, you might feel different.
Your “By Default Diet” is how you eat when you’re not constantly thinking about your diet.
While fad diets are imbalanced, most likely your “By Default Diet” is too. If not, super big *high five* to you as you move towards your goals in a sustainable way.
By switching from one type of imbalance to another, you change the structure of your satiety table.
That might mean you feel better. Maybe worse. Or maybe just…different.
But as long as your satiety table is incomplete, you don’t have the type of balance that you can sustain long enough to reach (and maintain) your goals.
An incomplete satiety table means an incomplete feeling of satisfaction.
You won’t feel as hungry between meals, but you don’t really feel well-fed at the end of a meal.
Or you feel very full at the end of the meal, but find yourself hungry soon after.
When you adopt a fad diet that is different from your “By Default” diet, you can experience an initial honeymoon period.
In your excitement, you don’t notice all the ways you don’t feel good.
You’re filled with hope that this diet – not like the dozens before it – will be the true answer to all your weight challenges.
Over time, your brain starts noticing all the problems.
The intense cravings.
The excessive hunger between meals.
The absence of true “ahhhh that hit the spot” satisfaction at the end of meals.
And when you hit a weight plateau, you become hyper-aware of ALL the problems.
It isn’t a grand mystery why different diets can result in similar experiences for people.
Different foods give you different types of fullness.
Some changes you make will cause you to experience less hunger and help you take in fewer calories.
Some changes you make will increase your hunger and your calorie intake.
Your annoying coworker praising “Keto” and your aunt raving about her new low-fat plant-based diet aren’t really talking about radically different things.
When you improve the balance of your meals, you make it easier to keep your portions in the right size range to help you lose weight (and keep it off.)
If someone goes from barely eating protein to eating plenty, they might experience less hunger… even if their diet has taken a step back in other areas (like eating fewer veggies.)
If someone goes from barely eating fiber to eating plenty, they might experience less hunger… even if their diet has taken a step back in other areas (like eating less protein.)
But also, what people say about their diets is often what they’re trying to convince themselves of.
They declare how good it is to not be hungry all the time as they try to ignore the constant hunger they’re feeling.
It’s very difficult to learn EXACTLY what a person’s diet was like before compared to what it’s like now. Self-assessments are often very far from reality.
You also can’t know what they’re REALLY experiencing.
Without these insights, it’s impossible to know whether you’re hearing sincere praises of their diet… or if they’re just trying to convince themselves to stay the course.
Instead of deciding which extremes to swing to, practice finding real balance.
It’s not easy. It’s not eating more “good” foods than “bad” foods.
“Good” and “bad” have no role here. But eating mostly nutrient-dense foods is part of it.
It’s finding the right balance for you… how much protein vs carbs vs fat vs volume/fiber to balance your satiety table.
Are you ready to commit to balance?
P.S. If you want help balancing your “Satiety Table” so you can lose weight without being hungry all the time, check out the Habit Project™.
In the Habit Project, you can develop the most important skills and habits for losing weight, keeping it off, and being free from diet obsession.
>> Click Here to Learn More <<