T Nation

What Causes Hunger?

ok, i know this is a wierd question, but what exactly causes hunger? i know it is a way of your body telling you that it needs more calories, but how smart is the body. i know that sometimes in the past i have missed a meal and so i will eat a fairly large meal until i’m full. then like 30 minutes later i will be hungry and sometimes even starved again. is this my body’s way of saying “i know you missed a meal, now eat again you catabolic mofo”. another thing that is weird is that when i’m on a diet, i don’t get that hungry. i’ve been eating around 500 calories under maintanance the last 2 weeks and i was not getting too hungry at all. i would be ready to eat, when it was time to eat, but it wasn’t like an uncontrollable urge to eat. now last night, i just took my first dose of mag10 and today i was supposed to eat 5200 calories as opposed to the 3000 i had been eating the last 2 weeks. i had all my meals planned out and everything and have been eating like a mad man and though i might get a little full, within an hour or so after eating, i get hungry again. does my body know that i need more food since i am in an anabolic state or something? it just doesn’t make since how i have been hungry more today than any day over the last 2 weeks and i am eating almost twice as much. is it all mental? (since i know i should be eating, i get hungry more? or in the case of my diet, since i knew i wasn’t supposed to be eating as much, i didn’t get as hungry?) i just don’t get it. can someone explain this to me.

Satiation is the word, check out Cy Wilson’s article intitled “The Skinny Bastard Diet”. As far as why you’re dieting and not feeling hungry, I would say it probably has to do with your macronutrient profile.

Hunger is a delicate balance between insulin, leptin, neuropeptide Y, 100 other hormones and polypeptides, social factors, learned feeding behaviors and a 100 other psychological factors. It is not a simple question to answer, which is why bodybuilders and athletes need to learn to eat by the clock rather than relying on hunger.

In your situation it sounds like you are probably at least moderately carbohydrate intolerant. This would explain why you’re not so hungry when eating under maintenance due to your blood sugar and insulin levels being stabilized. Some of your increased hunger would have to do with the mag 10 but most of this is likely due to the fact that your insulin levels are higher and this is causing your blood sugar levels to fluctuate. In other words, you eat a meal and your body produces a lot of insulin which quickly drives your blood sugar level down and leaves you starving 1-2 hours later. Try dropping some carbs and adding some fats to your meals and this should help stabilize your appetite.