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Constant Hunger Pangs
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I've finally recovered from that cross-contamination glutening and then a reaction to my sunblock. I feel better than I have in months, like I did that first week of gluten-free, but I'm getting these constant hunger pangs. I noticed them that first week and managed to ignore them, but it's driving me crazy this time! Eating stops it for a short time but then it always comes back. I know I can't really be that hungry; looking at my food diary, I would think I'd be stuffed. I'm very tempted to just sit in my chair and eat all day, but I won't do it.... Though I did just eat a whole bag of kettlecorn and this Butterfinger commercial kept repeating itself during my short tv break from homework....

Are there any tricks to taking care of those hunger pangs? Is this just withdrawal? (I've only been gluten-free for about four weeks.)

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I went through that, too. Mine eventually subsided, but it took at least a month -- maybe two. I think part of it going away was me getting a better hang on cooking my favorite foods gluten-free. I have a feeling a lot of those hunger pains were cravings for foods I could no longer eat, but that's just a guess. I've heard people on here talk about gluten withdrawal, so maybe that's it. Hopefully yours will pass soon. It's definitely no fun in the meantime, though. Try not to eat everything in sight. :D

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Okay, thank you. I'm glad I'm not just going crazy. Before I eat anything, I always check my food diary to see if there's anything that I need to eat. If not and a meal-time is only an hour or so away, I settle for gum... I have also noticed that my Wrigley's has been disappearing quickly for the last few weeks. :unsure:

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I've finally recovered from that cross-contamination glutening and then a reaction to my sunblock. I feel better than I have in months, like I did that first week of gluten-free, but I'm getting these constant hunger pangs. I noticed them that first week and managed to ignore them, but it's driving me crazy this time! Eating stops it for a short time but then it always comes back. I know I can't really be that hungry; looking at my food diary, I would think I'd be stuffed. I'm very tempted to just sit in my chair and eat all day, but I won't do it.... Though I did just eat a whole bag of kettlecorn and this Butterfinger commercial kept repeating itself during my short tv break from homework....

Are there any tricks to taking care of those hunger pangs? Is this just withdrawal? (I've only been gluten-free for about four weeks.)

I've had this feeling of constant hunger as well. For me, it alternates with feeling like I have no appetite at all one day (I still eat on these days, just smaller amounts, with no ill-effects) with days where I constantly feel hungry. My trick so I don't gain weight: keep physically busy and your mind active (watching tv doesn't help - lol!). Also, drinking something, such as fruit juice diluted with water to reduce the calorie count, also seems to help me.

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Masterjen: I'm probably noticing it more this weekend since I'm not running around between work and classes. And when I'm not all over the place during the week I'm multi-tasking so when I do think about food it's only to plan what to eat and when rather than thinking about whether or not I'm hungry. You're right: sitting in one place just to watch a movie probably wasn't the greatest idea. But I have been drinking a lot of water and I always add a lot of fruit to my meals to fill up. Actually I'll probably get some salad and fruit now and save all those amazing packaged gluten-free noodle meals for later.

Juice is a good idea too. Thanks :D

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Masterjen: I'm probably noticing it more this weekend since I'm not running around between work and classes. And when I'm not all over the place during the week I'm multi-tasking so when I do think about food it's only to plan what to eat and when rather than thinking about whether or not I'm hungry. You're right: sitting in one place just to watch a movie probably wasn't the greatest idea. But I have been drinking a lot of water and I always add a lot of fruit to my meals to fill up. Actually I'll probably get some salad and fruit now and save all those amazing packaged gluten-free noodle meals for later.

Juice is a good idea too. Thanks :D

I don't think I'm a lot of help here. When I went gluten-free, I purposely made the most filling, most fattening foods I could think of, as that was the only thing that got me to sleep through the night. I used to have to get up and eat in the middle of the night if I didn't get enough before bed. Fettucine alfredo with garlic chicken was a staple in my house for a looong time. And baked macaroni and cheese with beef. After I gained 30 lbs (which I desperately needed) I stopped being so hungry all the time. I'll actually go four hours without being hungry now.

It sounds like you're doing everything right, just make sure you don't drop any weight from being too restricted with calories. You're healing, you need calories. Try filling up with root veggies and whole grains, brown rice instead of white, all that stuff.

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JNBunnie- I am glad to hear that it got better for you. I've been fighting weight gain for years and luckily had that will-power mastered long before going on this diet. I usually start my day with a high carb breakfast (1-2 servings of rice cereal, a banana and whatever other fruit I can find) and then a lot of fruit and veggies throughout the day. Dinner depends on my calorie and protein count from the day. Unfortunately my vegetable variety is limited to whatever is available in the cafeteria as I don't have my own fridge. I've been eating a lot of lettuce and carrots; mushrooms, spinach, sprouts, tomatos when they look decent. I can't wait to get home for the summer in three weeks with a number of farmer's markets and natural food stores nearby and a wide open fridge.

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What are you eating throughout the day. A bag of kettlecorn isn't a great idea - sure it's a lot of calories, but it's mostly easily digested carbs. you're going to have a blood sugar crash that just leaves you staving again very shortly after eating it. Are many of your other meals/snacks much higher in carbs/sugar than protein/fat?

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That popcorn is a rare treat, just a weekend thing.

My weekday diet is better balanced than my weekend. My typical day:

Breakfast- cereal or McCann's oatmeal, fruit, cranberry juice

Lunch- a salad, 1 or 2 servings of fruit, peanut butter on crackers or Udi's bread if available

Dinner- salad, either rice, rice noodles or a sweet potato

I'll have meat if I can be reasonably sure that what I find in the caf is safe from cross-contamination, but since CC got me into trouble a few weeks ago I'm being more careful and settling for peanut butter and nut protein in addition to the amount that's in my other food.

Usually I'll have two snacks per day. I have a drawer of snack bars: Lara, Bumble, trail mix, dried fruit and nut. I often throw in peanut butter on a banana

Weekdays are more organized since I'm usually in a hurry; on weekends I make sure that I have my fruit, veggies and protein and then just eat what I'm hungry for at meal-times... and of course try not to give in to uncalled for hunger pangs.

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That popcorn is a rare treat, just a weekend thing.

My weekday diet is better balanced than my weekend. My typical day:

Breakfast- cereal or McCann's oatmeal, fruit, cranberry juice

Lunch- a salad, 1 or 2 servings of fruit, peanut butter on crackers or Udi's bread if available

Dinner- salad, either rice, rice noodles or a sweet potato

I'll have meat if I can be reasonably sure that what I find in the caf is safe from cross-contamination, but since CC got me into trouble a few weeks ago I'm being more careful and settling for peanut butter and nut protein in addition to the amount that's in my other food.

Usually I'll have two snacks per day. I have a drawer of snack bars: Lara, Bumble, trail mix, dried fruit and nut. I often throw in peanut butter on a banana

Weekdays are more organized since I'm usually in a hurry; on weekends I make sure that I have my fruit, veggies and protein and then just eat what I'm hungry for at meal-times... and of course try not to give in to uncalled for hunger pangs.

You know, it sounds to me like you're not getting anywhere near enough protein. This may be a big factor in your hunger pangs. I personally need a great deal of protein to function properly. Like, more than 20 grams every meal. It doesn't sound like you're getting more than 20 grams of protein a day. Maybe some safe gluten-free beef jerky could help?

Also, if you're newly gluten free, then oats are not a good idea now. Even if you don't think you're getting a gluten reaction to them, it's best to wait a few months after you've healed to try them, and then only the gluten free brands.

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You may still want to try playing around with the composition of your food. What you describe would leave me quite hungry - both from not having enough fat/protein and (unless you're eating a big huge serving each time) not enough food (and I don't eat *that* much :P). Sometimes, it takes playing with your diet to figure out what's going to work right now, and what works may change based on what activities you're doing and your stress levels.

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Bridget, I don't know your height, weight or body size, but it sounds like you are eating like a bird! I'd die of hunger too on a day like that and I am just over 100 lbs. It does seem like you are way under on your protien requirements like another poster suggested (and consequently eating way too many starchy carbs). I would suggest more peanut butter/nuts, yogurt for calcium (dairy/soy/coconut), and maybe tofu if you are a vegetarian (are you?) If not a vegetarian, get some MEAT in there too! Hope this helps. :)

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I plan to talk to the food service director tonight or tomorrow to see if I can be reasonably safe eating meat from the cafeteria again... If it's safe, or they can make it safe for me, eating more meat will definitely help.

Jerky sounds like a great idea: Any suggestions of easy to find brands that are gluten-free? I know that Jack Links are not, but I haven't seen many other brands... I'm going shopping right after class.

I hadn't considered the effect of oats on the healing process; I'll definitely keep that in mind.

I am used to eating high carb/high protein because of a knee rehab program and winter kayak workouts. I'm still doing the rehab but no other workouts. I guess I'm having trouble getting out of those diet habits. I'll definitely rework things a bit.

On a side note, I had to get out of bed last night for a snack, but then today I haven't been very hungry at all. I have been eating, but only just now am feeling hungry.

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Reassuring to know I'm not the only one who seems constantly hungry (2.5 weeks gluten-free now). All I want are carbs, and while I'm doing fine subbing the gluten-free carb options in, most of the ones I've found that I like are sweet and I really just want some more hearty, salty options (and Glutino pretzels don't do it for me). Probably just gluten withdrawal. Kinda sux though... I'll stay optimistic that it's transitory... :P

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Reassuring to know I'm not the only one who seems constantly hungry (2.5 weeks gluten-free now). All I want are carbs, and while I'm doing fine subbing the gluten-free carb options in, most of the ones I've found that I like are sweet and I really just want some more hearty, salty options (and Glutino pretzels don't do it for me). Probably just gluten withdrawal. Kinda sux though... I'll stay optimistic that it's transitory... :P

It is nice to know we're not alone. At times I thought I was just going crazy with subconscious cravings for the foods I can't have. Tonight, for example, I'm really in the mood for a Butterfinger, but fortunately the machine won't take bills and I'm out of quarters. I'll settle for a mint now and a nice rice cake snack later.

By the way, I picked up a six pack of high-protein Boost tonight and talked to food service about how they prepare the eggs and meat... I'm reasonably safe so I'll be back to protein-packing my meals tomorrow :D

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Tonight, for example, I'm really in the mood for a Butterfinger, but fortunately the machine won't take bills and I'm out of quarters.

Just making sure -- everything I've read anywhere says Butterfinger and Baby Ruth are fine from Nestle. Stupidly, Nestle Crunch are no-nos (as are things like Butterfinger Crisp or even the BBs), but the actual Buterfinger bar is gluten-free. Now if you're saying "fortunately" for caloric self-control, more power to you, but I just want to be sure that you're not denying yourself that particular choice b/c of gluten!

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Just making sure -- everything I've read anywhere says Butterfinger and Baby Ruth are fine from Nestle. Stupidly, Nestle Crunch are no-nos (as are things like Butterfinger Crisp or even the BBs), but the actual Buterfinger bar is gluten-free. Now if you're saying "fortunately" for caloric self-control, more power to you, but I just want to be sure that you're not denying yourself that particular choice b/c of gluten!

I say "fortunately" because I read that they're gluten-free on Saturday night and immediately walked away from my computer to get one. After eating nonstop this weekend I'm trying to exercise some self-control... I'll probably grab a Heath or Butterfinger once a week as a treat, but otherwise stay away from large amounts of sugar since I haven't been doing my regular workouts. When I'm in the mood for a candy bar I find that a chocolate chip rice cake or honey on a salted rice cake usually does the trick with 1/4 the calories.

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Oh my goodness, since getting diagnosed and fixing the food problem, I can't stop eating! I am always starving! Husband keeps asking if I am pregnant again (NO!!). I guess I am just underweight and my body is trying to catch up? I am 6'1" and weigh 158. I am so happy that I am not crazy because I thought I was! Thanks for sharing this, guys, it really helps me feel better about the hole in my stomach lol.

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I didn't read all the replies so sorry if I'm repeating. The constant hunger when you are new to the diet is because of withdrawals. Your body is healing gut damage and who knows what other damage and it needs tons of fuel. I was STARVING for at least 2 months. Now my appetite is normalizing after being abnormally high for years.

You need to give your little gut fixing army the food they need to work round the clock patching up all those icky holes. Don't try to restrict now. Your body will naturally level out. I promise!

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Reassuring to know I'm not the only one who seems constantly hungry (2.5 weeks gluten-free now). All I want are carbs, and while I'm doing fine subbing the gluten-free carb options in, most of the ones I've found that I like are sweet and I really just want some more hearty, salty options (and Glutino pretzels don't do it for me). Probably just gluten withdrawal. Kinda sux though... I'll stay optimistic that it's transitory... :P

i am a mans man how about 2 burger sandwiches i had Katz Gluten free Kasier roll perfect size for a burger sandwich with heinz katchup (organic - gluten free) some tomatoes oh baby not hungry at all and cheap like a yawn

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I didn't read all the replies so sorry if I'm repeating. The constant hunger when you are new to the diet is because of withdrawals. Your body is healing gut damage and who knows what other damage and it needs tons of fuel. I was STARVING for at least 2 months. Now my appetite is normalizing after being abnormally high for years.

You need to give your little gut fixing army the food they need to work round the clock patching up all those icky holes. Don't try to restrict now. Your body will naturally level out. I promise!

HAHA I love that

"Little gut fixing army". THat is great. Well, grocery shopping on Thursday, gotta make a menu/meals/snacks/etc bc I have to feed my army lol

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This is a late reply, but I think your hunger pains are just your body needing more food. I agree that it sounds like you are just not eating enough. Your body is also healing now, and it just may need more calories and nutrients. i would try rolling with the hunger cues for a while. If you start gaining weight, then re-consider, but for now try trusting that your body knows what it needs.

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BTW, tuna salad is pretty easy to make in a dorm room. A packet of salad dressing or a couple of mayo/mustard packet or packet a soy sauce plus mustard plus PB, maybe a little chopped onion and celery all stirred into a can of tuna and you're good. Packets of seasonings can be snagged from fast food restaurants etc or you can see if you can get some in the cafeteria.

It's not gourmet, but you can prevent CC and you definitely need fat and protein in your diet! Hard-boiled eggs still in the shell are also an option to ask the manager about.

I'm pretty hungry too, but need to gain a few pounds so I'm not concerned yet.

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I've taken all of your advice to heart today and ate a ton of good stuff. Got word that the caf eggs are safe so I had a couple along with my cereal and fruit. Cereal for a snack. More fruit, a bumble bar, crackers w/ PB and (phase 2) a salad with carrots and beets. I just got out of my knee-rehab program and immediately threw back a bottle of Boost... I was starting to drag during rehab but that Boost was a nice wake-up call. And my stomach's growling so I'm contemplating dinner.

It's just kind of hard to get out of the habit of not eating all the time. Before this, for weight control I would ignore a little hunger if I had just eaten a solid meal and choose water and sometimes gum instead. I would eat some more fruit only if it continued. I'd gotten so good at avoiding that "hey, 5 minutes to kill before class, Let's eat!" Now whenever I find myself ahead of schedule I grab whatever I think I might need a little later (I carried that Boost around all day anticipating that moment when my stomach would start growling as I did leg-raises).

I've said this a couple of times already, but I seriously can't say it enough... It has helped so much to have this support system. I can get a little sympathy from a couple friends, but very few can give me any guidance. This is now my most-visited site. Thank you! :D

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I didn't read all the replies so sorry if I'm repeating. The constant hunger when you are new to the diet is because of withdrawals. Your body is healing gut damage and who knows what other damage and it needs tons of fuel. I was STARVING for at least 2 months. Now my appetite is normalizing after being abnormally high for years.

You need to give your little gut fixing army the food they need to work round the clock patching up all those icky holes. Don't try to restrict now. Your body will naturally level out. I promise!

Thanks for posting this. That makes so much sense. I was wondering why I was so hungry, and now I understand I'm not crazy. I figured I would probably adjust eventually, but it's good to know that it's common and I'm not the only one who's always hungry.

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