When I first started the Zero Carb Diet I had an issue with hunger. I felt hungry all the time. This was gut churning hunger that made me feel ill if I didn’t eat. I was eating a lot of meat but was still so hungry. I still get this from time to time, not as bad but I still have those days where i could eat a horse.
For those of you just starting the Zero Carb diet, you are likely facing this problem. This problem usually arises after a few days of living the Zero Carb way. You might have eaten enough to be satisfied but continue to feel hungry thereafter. Real hungry.
Indeed, adopting a Zero Carb diet can leave you feeling hungrier than usual for a while, even quite fatigued. What do you do in such cases? The key to dealing with this change lies in your understanding the difference between “head” hungry and “body” hungry.
Head Hunger a.k.a. Cravings
You had a big breakfast of your favorite meat. You felt completely satisfied but now you are hungry for something and you just can’t seem to shake off this urge. This hunger is more in your head than anywhere else. It is simply you craving for something, perhaps a carb filled food, which you haven’t had in a while.
It takes your body time to get used to not having some specific foods which might have formed a strong part of your routine. Ignoring this feeling can at times be extremely difficult. If that is so, simply eat some more meat to fill the craving. With something in your mouth your brain is redirected from its craving. Sometimes you are not hungry but you are out having a coffee with a friend like you have done regularly before, and in the past this coffee was always accompanied with a cake of some sort. Now you are here with your friend, you have the coffee and the pathways in your brain are telling you that you should also have a cake too.
You may see or smell some food that you once enjoyed and this tells your brain that this sweet treat is a reward for you and you should have some. Again, this is not hunger, this is head hunger.
Really Hungry a.k.a. Honest Body Hunger
You might feel you are having yet another craving for carbs which you’ve left behind. You want to ignore it and stand firm to your decision not to eat. But rather than go away after a while, the feeling intensifies. You begin to feel a tad frustrated, edgy, or even fatigued. This is “real” hunger.
Your body uses food for fuel and for building blocks to fix and build your body. When you are lacking what it needs you will feel hungry. Your belly might growl and you might be craving something meaty and delicious. This is real hunger, this is your body asking you for the fuel it needs.
The only way to satisfy real hunger is to feed your body the fuel which it needs. Your craving (head hunger) might get entwined with your body hunger, trying to dictate a certain carb to satisfy this urge. At this point, you want to eat yet some more meat.
Note that your Zero Carb diet can get quite satisfying rather quickly. As you begin to feel hunger after just a few moments of eating, fix yourself a meal and eat some more. Taking a few bites will help you determine quickly whether you are just hungry in your head or you’re really hungry.
Being new to the Zero Carb way of eating, you might not feel inclined to eat so much. Eating at every instance of hunger will provide your body with sufficient fuel to go on. Eventually, you will adjust to this change and be able to tell just how much fuel your body needs to function and when.
Once you can tell the difference between head hunger and real hunger it becomes a lot easier to not fall for the trick of head hunger. If at any time you are not sure if you are hungry or not, just eat some meat. It will fill you either way.