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ibstubro's avatar

Is there ever an occasion when a healthy adult should eat without feeling hunger?

Asked by ibstubro (18804points) January 9th, 2016

My metabolism has changed lately and I rarely if ever feel hungry. If I do feel hungry in the middle of the day and grab a quick snack (say half a dozen Triscuit crackers with cottage cheese – a fav), I’m done for the day. Likely I won’t feel hungry again that day.

Today it’s 1:00 p.m. and I’ve had no hunger yet today, and I’ve been up since 7:00 a.m.

I’m a reasonably healthy, fairly active male in my mid 50’s.
I’ve taken some probiotics recently, with no noticeable effects.

I know the whole ‘breakfast kick-starting your day’ thing has been cast into doubt, so I want to know “When should I eat?”

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21 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

I am not a nutritionist by any measure but a male your/my age does need a minimum amount of calories to have a healthy disposition. Calories are only part of the equation to where essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins and amino acids are a bigger priority. A diet of Triscuits and cottage cheese only scratches the surface towards providing what your body truly needs to thrive. As we age our ability to metabolize what our body needs does diminish and where we may need less calories it is the essential minerals and vitamins that take a front seat to what we should consume. Simply put, throw a salad and a few fruits in your diet and you should be better off in the long run.

ibstubro's avatar

I have been eating fruits and vegetables, @Cruiser, even if I’m not hungry for them. In the past few days I’ve had bananas, grape fruit, blackberries. Hasn’t been long I had a huge salad. 100% fruit juice to drink.

Question is, is there value to eating food when you’re not hungry? To me hunger signifies that your body needs nutrition and is ready to process food. Seems to me that piling food on top of food is a sure prescription for weight gain.

Coloma's avatar

I think you should be sure you are taking in, at least, around 1.500–1,600 calories a day as it is hard to get your nutritional needs met below that lever for anyone of any age. If you are moderately or very active you need more, for a man, around 2000 per day. Everyone is unique in how they feel and process hunger, but, if you are used to eating very small amounts of food your body will adjust and while you don’t feel physically hungry you need more nutrition.
Eating when you are not hungry is fine as long as you are not exceeding your limits or gorging on junk.

I’d make a point of having your cottage cheese and crackers with fruit and veggies, maybe a hard boiled egg and making sure you are getting around 30–40 grams of protein a day as well. A piece of chicken breast, scrambled eggs, tuna sandwich, cheeses, yogurts, other lean meats etc. would be good for your protein needs. Nuts too. You really need protein to preserve muscle mass.

Cruiser's avatar

@ibstubro Again…your body needs a certain amount of calories each day to be healthy and sound. To ignore this reality long term IMO is to invite any number of adverse health issues. Also, consuming the minimum number of calories your body needs each day whether you feel hungry should not make you gain weight.

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ibstubro's avatar

I had a banana, a bowl of bean soup, 10–12 saltines and 3 pieces of candy today about 1:00 p.m. because I seemed to have a caffeine high ( I drank a couple cups of coffee before 10:30 a.m.). Then I bundled up and scooped the snow off the driveway. Now, 8:00 p.m., I’m still full as a tick. (My Grandmother’s colorful visual.)

It pisses me off to eat when I’m not hungry. Why stop? lol

janbb's avatar

Seriously, might be worth talking to your GP about it. Maybe something’s off.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I agree you should get yourself checked out with your doctor – just to be on the safe side. However, I think you should eat when you feel hungry. As long as you’re eating healthy food and you’re not underweight or lacking energy, your body is telling you what it needs. Do you tend to eat at particular times of the day? Are you eating a range of foods so you’re getting sufficient nutrients/vitamins etc?

If you don’t feel like breakfast, don’t have it. If the first time you feel hungry is lunchtime, eat then and perhaps keep a log of what you eat and when. That way you’ll be more aware of exactly what you’re consuming and when. That will be important info for your doctor.

ibstubro's avatar

I don’t have a GP. I don’t have insurance. I won’t be talking to a Dr. about it…so far it’s an annoyance. My metabolism has a tendency to have swings so I’m hoping this will just go away one day.

I just never seem to feel the old, traditional hunger pangs of growly stomach, etc. I feel like I need a purge, but my traditional methods aren’t working.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Do you feel healthy and well? Do you have plenty of energy? Is your weight normal? If the answer to these questions is yes, stick with what’s working for you.

ibstubro's avatar

I feel healthy and well, yes. Energy seems find (especially considering I’m coming off a fairly heavy period of depression).

I’m heavier than I’ve ever been – by a bit – and even though I’m eating little, it’s not going away.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I still think keeping a food diary wouldn’t be a bad idea. It will help you to document and analyse what you’re eating and when. If you’re not losing weight, your body must be getting sufficient calories for your needs. Are you drinking plenty of water? Make sure you’re hydrated well too.

msh's avatar

Why not try a liquid drink that provides needed nutrition?
Anything from the old Carnation Instant Breakfast, to the suppliments for some with the same lack of eating nor interest.
Word of advice- before jumping into the deep end of the flavor choices – try a sample of each first. A variety flavor pack, if you will.
Along with your piecing, it may make food choices a little easier. :)

ibstubro's avatar

I’m well hydrated, yes. It’s cold so I’ve been drinking herbal tea, a lot.

Last night I was cold and restless – like I associate with going to bed hungry – but woke up feeling stuffed.
I’m going to try adding some apple cider vinegar to my diet. I actually have fond memories of taking clandestine sips of it as a kid. lol

Stinley's avatar

Can I ask – have your bowel habits changed as well? I mentioned on another q that you might want to consider food intolerances but consider constipation as well. I didn’t know that you don’t know go to the doctor so you may need to do some reading and research. Try my favourite uk website for GPs

ibstubro's avatar

Fairly regular. (blush).
Dose of fiber (BEANS!) helps that. lol

hsrch's avatar

Also, coffee gets you going in the morning.

ibstubro's avatar

I’ve been doing the coffee thing, @hsrch.

ibstubro's avatar

I had a companion question to this one about eating breakfast.
I believed the age-old ’“breakfast kick-starts your day” adage and bought a box of granola bars. They certainly won’t hurt me, but they do not jump-start my metabolism.

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