Food help please: Can anyone suggest foods... - Endometriosis UK

Endometriosis UK

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Food help please

Bethleah profile image

Can anyone suggest foods to help you stop feeling hungry so you can actually lose a bit of weight? Exercise is near impossible due to dizziness but i try to do Pilates. Sleep problems that I’ve had all my life aren’t helping especially now with hot flushes and night sweats. I’ve looked at the Endo diet but there are many things I can’t eat as they cause bowel problems, I rarely drink alcohol. No alcohol this year maybe have 1 glass at Christmas. I’ve been making homemade soup when I can but it leaves me very hungry, the hunger is worse at ovulation which is pretty random now but also getting hungry more of the time as peri menopause has kicked in. I try to eat healthily but as yet haven’t found a way to reduce the hunger. Any ideas would be appreciated. I’ve tried ww in the past but it didn’t t suit me. I can’t do the slim fast as soy based and the 1:1 is too expensive. Thanks 🤔

9 Replies
CatherineEndo profile image

Hi Bethleah,

You should be able to ask for an appointment with a dietitian through your GP. With your condition and personal health issues relating to hormonal changes, it is important that you get clear personalised advice from a professional.

When I have lost weight in the past (although since gained back and doubled) I would drink water whenever I was hungry and before every meal.

However, be careful with quick diets and weight loss tricks, as it is common to gain more weight afterwards because it may not be sustainable to continue restricting the food that you eat. I strongly recommend getting professional advice as you could have other underlying conditions or needs personal to you.

Thanks. I do drink water before meals and when hungry but have to stop all liquids by 7pm otherwise I can be up peeing 5/6 times leading to further sleep problems. I’ll see if I can get a dietician referral through GP.

I agree, you really need a personalised approach its going to be a minefield trying to do this yourself given the hormonal imbalance alongside bowel problems. Weight control, appetite and hunger are all controlled by hormones so balancing the hormones is way more important than trying to "diet" or cut calories.

Following a low GI diet and using time Restricted Feeding can really help control blood sugar which in turn controls hormones which affect hunger appetite and fat storage, so will help get your body back on track - TRF basically means eating within a 10 hour window (some people do 8 hours) so for example eat your last food at 8pm and delay breakfast until 10am. Its not about cutting out calories or avoiding fat, if anything you need healthy fats and protein to keep hunger at bay. Oh yes, peeing is controlled by hormones too :-))

Check any medical conditions with a GP first and if they are not sure what TRF is, ask for referral to a dietician . Few GPS are nutritionally clued up although some are starting to upskill in that area :)

Don't beat yourself up about exercise, the eating pattern is more important at this stage for you.

I'd suggest avoiding a high carb dinner, so just use meat fish egg and veg in the evening, same at breakfast include eggs, yogurt, nuts and seeds if your bowel can handle it. Save your carbs for lunchtime you should notice your hunger diminishing. Dark chocolate over 70% is pretty low in sugar its OK to include some every day if you want, small amounts won't affect the blood sugar too much.

Breakfast cereals and cereal bars are in my opinion the devil's work lol. They usually make you more hungry and overeat later in the day. I find the same with apples but maybe that's just me :-)

Look at the back of food packets and look for foods with no more than 6x carb to protein. So if there's 2g protein then you want no more than 12g carb. This will help your fight with blood sugar imbalance :-)

Bethleah profile image
Bethleah in reply to MissPickles

Thanks. I already leave about 12-14 hours between breakfast and dinner. Eggs are a no go as they cause bowel problems. I find if I eat fish with veg and whole grain rice (or without) I’m hungry again in a couple of hours. I can’t do oats or oat milk either and eat less meat already, rarely have beef.

MissPickles profile image
MissPickles in reply to Bethleah

Make sure you are eating enough total calories during your 10 hours, it's easy to undereat then you will never be satisfied. Also make sure to include plenty of good fats, oily fish, olive oil on cold dishes etc. rapeseed and coconut fat can be heated. You probably know this already! If you are intolerant to a lot of foods a few sessions with a (well-trained) nutritional therapist or functional nutritionist could really help as they will understand the physiology of what's going on in your body and work out foods that will help you personally. If cost is an issue it may be something to start saving for. Depending on where you are in the country you can also ask your GP for a referral to the Integrated Medicine Hospital (at UCLH in London) which is a holistic NHS hospital and they cover nutrition. You should be able to be referred from any GP in the country but (unless they are doing video consults) you would need to travel to London

The only other thing I can think of is don't underestimate the part that stress plays in hormone and weight control - particularly stress hormones like cortisol - so try to dedicate some time each day to meditation or mindfulness if you dont already do so, and look for any areas in your life you can reduce stress. Sometimes it's diffficult to spot. I swore i didnt feel stressed during the first lockdown as I was safely working from home and had a garden etc etc... yet a few weeks in and my elbows broke out in eczema which I have never had in my life. Taking time to do breathing and meditation most days has started to help but it does take time

Sorry just had another thought - when I was training we used to offer free student consults for Nutritional Medicine from final year students, it was all fully supervised by a qualified tutor and we needed to do follow ups so some people got a uo to 3 sessions. MIght be worth checking with any local colleges or universities to see if you can find anything in your area :)

Bethleah profile image
Bethleah in reply to MissPickles

Thanks. I meditate daily have some for years. I’ll contact the gp. 🤞

Morning lovely,

Just to second the advice about seeing a dietician.

On a more personal approach, I also struggle with an almost constant hunger, which is made worse by the progestogen I'm receiving from the coil (previously gained over 2st on the depo injection).

I find that eating high carbs like breads & pastas only satisfy me for a few minutes & then I'm ravenous. Carbs for breakfast sets me up for feeling extra hungry by 10am & feeling ill by lunchtime. I appreciate that carbs are an important and necessary food group for our body health & energy but different people require differing amounts.

I feel best when I have a lot more protein in my daily diet, coupled with vegetables (not so much fruit as it causes me bloating & has lots of sugar).

I have a large glass of milk in the morning & that satisfies me until lunch at 12 or 1pm.

Fish & salad with a couple of boiled potatoes/ rice or cheese salad keeps me happy until dinner & then something like roasted mushrooms with cheese & herbs, a smallish portion of rice or potatoes & steamed veggies.

Those kinds of days work very well for me but looking after 3 kiddies & looking after myself don't always go hand-in-hand & I end up falling into old snacking habits 😬.

Let us know if you end up seeing a dietician & what they say etc.

All the best xx

Thanks. It’s so complicated as I know by trial and error that foods they say that are good for you don’t suit me like eggs, oats leafy green veg, lentils. I love chickpeas but can’t tolerate them anymore. It’s extra hard when single with no income. I’ll ask for a referral but I expect the waiting list may be long.

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