I've been posting here for about a year now, so some of you probably know something about me already, but here it is:
I'm 45 years old. Currently weigh 147 pounds (down from 202). I'm 5 ft 4 inches. I walk 60 to 90 minutes a day (2 dogs, each gets one to two walks), lift weights for 45-60 minutes 2 or 3 times a week. I do more intense cardio intermittently, but it's not a big focus for me while I try to lose. My level of exercise has not significantly changed from what it was earlier in the year, although I did get lazy for about 2 or 3 weeks recently before going back to my usual pattern.
I have decreased my deficit a little and I'm aiming for 300 calories a day. I figure I've been burning around 2000 on most days, 2100 or 2200 when I lift. I've been eating 1700 calories when I don't lift, a little more when I do.
The problem is I am getting hungry. No not hungry. I'm starving by around 8 pm. I have a snack, but I'm still hungry. I wake up famished.
I'm eat the same foods I have been all along (lots of veggies, protein, etc) when I had bigger deficits and more to lose, and I didn't get hungry like this then.
Am I underestimating my calorie burn? Should I eat more? What the heck is going on to make me hungry all of a sudden?
My first thought was my body's telling me "enough!" and trying to put an end to the whole weight loss thing. But I don't think I'm really at "there" yet. I have a pretty healthy self-image and don't usually see my body worse than other's do, so while I know that if I was reading this my thought would be "Your body may be happy where it's at" but I really think I need to burn off a little more fat. I am, after all, still above "healthy" bmi, not particularly muscular, and while I am large framed, I also think that 40-inch hips and 33-inch waist hint that even for an apple-shaped lady, I'm not at the sweet spot yet.
I've been struggling too, lately. I've got 7-8 lbs left to lose and feel like eating all the time. Have been doing just that too, basically maintaining the last couple of weeks. What I've done, is to allow myself a break for a while. Not work out as much, eat at maintenance level and relax with the whole weight loss thing. My body is working against me, and I've figured that it really needs to get a "reset" before I go on with losing those last few. I do really want them gone, I won't give up but take it easy with it instead.
It's also difficult to determine my kcal burn, my body's changed so much over the last 6 months and I have to prepare myself for going into maintenance mode. Maybe I'll just do what you did and reduce the deficit - knowing that it will be more difficult to know that I've actually got a deficit and not just maintenance kcals.
Maybe try a break for a couple of weeks?
ETA: Thought I'd add my stats: I'm 38 years old, 5'5", around 142 lbs, eating 1700-2200 burning just about the same I think..
Well, I'm not doctor and I'm no weight loss genius either but it sure sounds like you're eating enough calories. That's good that you decreased your deficit a little though. I would suggest eating foods higher in fiber to keep you fuller longer. See what you can change in your diet to a higher fiber option. Even if your diet is full of fruits and vegetables now it can't hurt.
Also are you sure you're hungry and not maybe just needing to drink more water? Maybe you could also try splitting up your meals into smaller portions and eating more frequently during the day if your schedule permits? That way you don't have to feel hungry? And try drinking a glass of water fifteen minutes before you eat to keep you hydrated and make sure it's hunger and not just thirst?
Best of luck finding a solution. You've made some awesome progress so far so I'm sure you'll figure it out.
I've gone through periods like this where I'm just ridiculously hungry for no known reason. I kind of doubt it's hydration - I've always thought that mistaking thirst for hunger theory didn't (sorry) hold water. I can certainly tell when I'm thirsty vs. hungry, our bodies are kind of good at that.
I don't know what your financial situation is but if you can afford it (or can wrap yourself around spending the $), you may want to consider a body bugg or a body media gofit device. That will give you a closer idea of what your actual burn is; you may have gotten to a place where your deficit is larger than you think.
Alternately, you may be going through a hormonal shift. There are those times when hunger ramps up and then dies down in a week or so.
Also, what are your macros like? You may want to try tweaking a bit - more protein, or more carbs or more fat, whichever one of those seems to stave off the hungries for longer.
I don't think I'm thirsty, though I suppose it's possible.
My macros vary a bit from day to day, of course, but typically protein is 15-20%, fat is 25-35%, Carbs are rarely over 50%.
Maybe I'll just give it a couple of weeks and see if things change, and make sure to drink enough during that time. If not, I'll switch to maintenance for a while. Probably wouldn't hurt to give my body a little time to adjust to the new me before going after the last few pounds.