T Nation

What Causes Night Hunger


#1

Hi All. I have always been plagued by night hunger and really want to get to the root of the problem.

Now I know there are a number of thing which can cause it and I have tried to eliminate this without it helping. These include:

  1. not enough cals. The hunger has come on even at stages when I was eating 1000 cals above maintenance!
  2. not enough water. I get in around 1.5-2 gallons a day
  3. too much salt. I have reduced the amount I used dramatically, as well as switching to low-sodium salt.
  4. too many carbs and/or fluctating insulin. My last P/C meal is either at 12pm or 4pm depending on the day. I have also gone through stages with little-no carbs without it helping.

My dinner is at around 6:30pm and I have a prebed CC/flax/PB mixture. I have tried having this prebed meal either right before sleep as well as having it an hour before. Even when I have this meal 1.5 hours after dinner, hunger kicks in. It actually feels as if having that prebed meal promotes the hungry feeling (causes the metabolism to kick into gear?).

Any idea what can be the cause and how to overcome it?

X


#2

What do you want to eat at night? Would a P+F meal do or would it have to be a lot of carbohydrates?


#3

Not sure. I don't think it has to be carbs, just anything filling. I can see a high P/F meal taking care of it. Very often it seems like hunger goes away only a while after eating, as if it takes time to 'sink in'.


#4

What are your goals?

If you're bulking, perhaps you should just eat more?


#5

I usually drink a big glass of 2% milk and a big ass scoop of peanut butter... P+F=slow digestion of proteins. I almost never wake up hungry.


#6

I think P/F meals were reccommended as a last meal of the day on this site. You could also try adding some fiber, and I think Chris Shugart has reccommended drinking green tea in the evening, maybe an hour or two after your meal as an appetite suppressant.


#7

Thanks for the tip. I don't have carbs before bed, as per Berardi/Lowery's suggestions. I will give that grean tea a go - I have thought about having mint tea too as mint is meant to have a settling/soothing effect on the stomach (not sure about appetite suppression though).

Fiber - didn't think of that, as fiber usually goes together with carbs. What I can do, which I have done before, is use some Xanthan gum in the CC to make it far thicker and smoother than normal, and it additionally adds pure fiber.

X


#8

Good thinking with the fiber. I think peppermint specifically is supposed to have a settling effect on the stomach (it's included in some brands of green tea).


#9

Personally, I find eating a large portion of fibrous vegetables like broccoli prior to my pre-bedtime meal works well. If I get hungry nevertheless and my sleep is disrupted, I use the occasion to drink a "middle of the night shake".


#10

This might sound kind of funny,but it is actually true. Ever went to the kitchen late at night with a really bad craving for something but you didn't know what exactly it was that you wanted?Sometimes if you're not getting the right nutrients through whole foods your brain kinda craves more and you end up eating junk food. Make sure you're getting enough vitamins,minerals,and vegetables. This might help you out.


#11

Will do. The reason why it really bugs me is that this hunger has come at night regardless of my current eating plan: whether I was cutting, bulking, leaving out certain foods for particular reasons etc. The hunger pangs seem to be indiscriminate :stuck_out_tongue:

I will try bumping up water intake to see if it helps. Ditto on the fiber intake.