Couch to 5K
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Completely hungry all the time! Please HELP!

Hi I am on week 2 and done run 1 after work today, my biggest problem is that I am constantly hungry! Following the Slimming World diet, and I am eating lots of fresh fruit, in particular bananas and mandarins and lots of fresh veg, everything really except peas, sprouts and canned sweet corn! But I am still hungry, I have breakfast every morning with fresh fruit and yoghurt, snack in fruit and nuts until lunch and then have lean meat in whole meal bread and fruit for lunch and then a home cooked meal, which can be anything from pasta to stew, and then eat fruit again at night with a yogurt when i am hungry. But I still feel hungry a lot through the day, I drink easily two litres of water! I just don't know what I am missing! Any suggestions would be great fully received! This running is very new to me as would be any kind of exercise to be fair! Thank you lots. Cx

8 Replies

Err to be honest I'd scrap slimmers world and use MyFitnessPal.


Sounds like you may be needing some protein to keep you going.


Welcome to the forum, and many congratulations on making the decision to get fitter.... and starting to make it happen! :)

Dieting simultaneously too - well done! Some words of caution, however .... There is a well-researched problem with many 'organised diet regimes' and that is ... if you are not careful, they can lead your mind to over-obsessing with food! So much so that you seem always to be shoving something into your tummy. It doesn't matter if it is all good food or not, the point is ... your digestive system needs time to work on the input so that it can direct all your nutrition to the parts of the body where it is needed. Your body needs a few hours to digest food and a few tummy grumbles are no bad thing!

First of all, limit yourself (strictly!) to regular mealtimes. Secondly, eat much more slowly. Make your mealtimes special with the children and take your time! You will find that when you eat slowly your body's 'full-up' triggers will work properly and you will be able to stop eating because your body will actually tell you it's full! I suspect that at the moment these 'full-up' triggers are getting so regularly bombarded with food that they have stopped working effectively.

You'll be able to run better (or do almost any exercise) if your tummy isn't recently filled up! If you try to run too soon after a meal, you will be much more likely to feel sluggish and uncomfortable and may get cramps. Far better to make sure you are hydrated, (take water with you if you think you'll need it) and let your mind focus on the task of running rather than thinking about food. There are techniques to learn - Laura will guide you through, and you can take time to enjoy the fresh air, scenery and sounds. When back home after a run, do some stretching exercises to look after your joints and muscles then have a drink of water and a piece of fruit for a snack (if needed!)

With luck and if you stick with C25K for the course, you may find that you begin to feel so energised and fit, that your instinct will steer you to correct and healthy eating anyway - lots of people have found this .... and eventually the combined effort of regular exercise and sensible eating could see you fitter and slimmer and with a much healthier attitude of mind re caring for yourself.

Lots of luck with the programme, keep us posted about how things go for you - there's always lots of friendly support here for you and many others will be happy to share any problems you encounter along the way.

Cheers, Linda :D

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Linda, could you point me to the research that states: "your digestive system needs time to work on the input so that it can direct all your nutrition to the parts of the body where it is needed." I've never seen anything about nutrition directing to body parts and it sounds fascinating.


All good stuff from others. You're really not burning off that much energy in the early days (I'm still not!) so it is psychological rather than real hunger. (Not helped perhaps by Laura's early suggestion of a snack when you finish and suggestion of a banana)

I think the constantly thinking about food interpreted as hunger thing does wear off though, it did for me - running certainly gives you something else to think about...


I'd try eating a stodgy carb filled breakfast (porridge, bircher or wholemeal toast with PNB/Eggs/Beans/lean protein for example) and then more carbs after exercise. Carbs are all about energy and so the optimum time to eat them is first thing in the morning and a few hrs after exercise (when carbs become your friend!!!!!!!!). And Beek has a point. Protein fills you up for longer, so maybe concentrate your other meals around a high protein load.

Just feel I need to add that I don't have qualifications in Sports nutrition and I'm not sure which approach to weight loss Slimming World takes beyond its based on simple carb cycling. I do know that every group has a leader, could they offer you some advice?


Thank you everyone!

I am having porridge for breakfast now, it has made a massive diffence.

I am a grazer and don't eat large meals! I like little and often! I still snacking on fresh fruit through the day! In fact I have never really eaten that unhealthy, it is more the coke I used to drink, I could easily get through two litres a day. I don't drink it at all now. I am wondering if the hunger I think I am feeling is because my body is adjusting to the lack of sugar that it is used to and now along with doing a bit of training?


I do slimming world too. I reckon that doing exercise even if it is building up slowly is a shock to the system.

Wether it is a physical or psychological need to fuel the extra energy burnt, I'm not sure. I reckon it differs with the individual. But you should settle into a routine with the appetite/exercise thing soon.

If you were drinking a lot of coke beforehand, try drinking water over the course of a day and with meals too. Sometimes our brains misinterpret thirst as hunger and make want to satisfy the feeling with food.

Keeping up hydration should help.

Good luck. :)


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