Hunger Vs Cravings: When To Transition Out Of Fat Loss

by Dr David Minkoff February 04, 2024 6 min read

Hunger Vs Cravings: When To Transition Out Of Fat Loss

Now we’re into Week Four of the 30-Day Fat Loss Challenge and we need to pull back for a moment and see where we're at.

For some, if there was significant insulin resistance to overcome, we may still be getting over the last of our cravings.

For others, we’re past that, but our hormones are still re-balancing.

In either of these cases we’re losing body fat the whole way, but we have more to go and we should continue.

But depending on how much body fat we had to lose at the start of this, some of us may have already achieved our goals... or at least, fat loss has slowed and hunger has returned.

And we need to know what to do when we hit this point, whether now, or a few weeks from now.

Because carrying on with the same macros after this point will cause us trouble.

In this article we’re going to cover what to do in the first two cases, mainly to carry on, but also what to do when we’ve actually gotten to the point where we need to change things and how to determine when this point is.


If you’re still moving through cravings, this is fine, it will be different for everyone. Very, very well done on pushing through this far!

In this case, take an extra serving of PerfectAmino and Omega 3 daily until the cravings are gone, keep your macros the same, make sure you are getting in all of your whole-food fats and proteins and cruciferous vegetables, and don't go high on carbohydrates.

And keep going.

And of course let us know if you need any help in the VIP Group.

If things are going well, and you’re in the midst of re-balancing hormones and there is more body fat to lose, this is great, just carry on. Hormonal re-balancing will continue through the end of the challenge and, most likely, for a period of several months beyond if you keep to the overall diet (there is a lot for your body to do here).

Balancing these hormones is what allows us to lose the most body fat and sets us up to keep excess body fat off in the future, among other overall health aspects.

So keep your macros the same, make sure you are getting in all of your whole-food fats and proteins and cruciferous vegetables, and don't go high on carbohydrates.

And keep going.

But if we’ve already reached our goal for this protocol, or Fat Loss has slowed considerably and there isn’t too much more to lose, then we need to change some things. Because if we go beyond this point on our current macros, hoping to lose even more, then we’ll cause ourselves trouble.

There is a point where cravings have gone away and, due to re-balancing, our body is using the food we eat to build needed muscle and using our body fat to fuel itself.

So we gain muscle that increases our fat burning ability and shapes our body how we want, and we lose body fat.

We’ve hit a point where things start to balance. We may still have extra body fat we’d like to lose (minimal), but we also now have more muscle to fuel with our food — and we need to.

This muscle won’t make us look “muscly.” Instead it is what forms the curves and sharper edges where we want them to be. It gives us the body form we want.

If you look at images of women and men with what is considered the most “ideal” body image this is part lack of body fat and part muscle holding the form.

Lack of either doesn’t achieve the effect.

But now to continue at lower calories, looking to lose more body fat, will cause us trouble and not give us what we want.

We need to make some changes.

And it’s not the scale or pictures that tell us when we’ve hit this point — it’s our body.

So let’s take a look at this.


Cravings are when your body says it needs sugar or food when it doesn’t.

Hunger is when your body says it needs food because it does.

These are two completely different things.

If we follow our cravings, then we add excess body fat instead of losing it.

But if we don’t follow hunger, then we not only don’t give our body what it needs to repair itself or operate properly, but we also set ourselves up to gain excess fat back again.

We actually make cortisol levels rise again because it doesn’t have what it needs to repair itself in its new condition.

So before we change anything, we need you to be able to tell the difference between these two things to ensure we’ve actually made it.

Cravings come from:

  • Addiction by the cells to sugars,
  • Cells that are not structured to use fat as fuel, and so require high levels of sugar in the diet,
  • Our hunger hormones not functioning properly, so our brain thinks we need more food — even when we’re stuffed,
  • Harmful bacteria in your small intestine that feed on sugars and so put pressure on you to eat more sugar (covered more in the Gut Health Guide),
  • And an imbalance with the hormone insulin that causes your cells to scream for sugar, especially processed sugars, even when they don’t need it.

These cravings demand that you eat more food than your body actually needs.

This extra food is then stored as body fat.

Hunger, on the other hand, is when your body actually needs more food for energy and the nutrition necessary to build muscle, make new cells, repair itself, make hormones, strengthen bones, etc, etc, etc.

You’re not just losing body fat on this protocol. You’re also gaining muscle, creating more hormones, repairing cells, and much more.

This requires real nutrition to maintain and build all of this.

In the beginning of the protocol we’re providing enough nutrition, while also burning fat.

But as we carry on, we get to the point where we need more nutrition to grow and continue burning fat. And that’s when we start to feel hungerif we don’t have enough food.

When you’re actually hungry you can easily eat until your body has had enough — and then have no desire to eat more.

But you won’t feel hungry when you’ve already eaten.

This could even be a desire for a late night snack if you’re very close to this point and have added on some real muscle.

Especially if the desire is for protein. That’s not cravings, but real hunger. And we need to feed it.

Cravings will be for more food when you’re already full, or for sugar or breads or other carbs.

After you've been on the protocol for 1-3 weeks (for some it may be a longer), the cravings should be mostly or completely gone, and any hunger you experience is real.

This also ensures that after the protocol you don’t go back to eating junk food, as your desire for it will be gone, or mostly gone.

So that’s the first point — you start feeling actual hunger, not cravings.

Next, Fat Loss starts to slow.

So when we’ve lost most of the body fat we wanted to lose, and we’re feeling actual hunger now, and fat loss has slowed or stopped… it’s time to move onto the next phase of the protocol in order to keep making gains.

We need to Transition to from Fat Loss to Lean Body.

This is very important.

If this is you, then carry on to the next article: Transitioning From Fat Loss To Lean Body.

I hope that helps.

And if you haven't already seen our 30-Day Fat Loss Challenge, check it out.

We're having a lot of fun, and to ensure you have everything you need we've set up special Fat Loss Product Bundles with a 15% - 30% discount for those participating in the challenge.

Just make sure to use the code FATLOSS at checkout for 15% off.

Alright, message us in the Group if you have any questions or need anything. And you can also share your progress there and see others' progress. 


Introduction & Getting Started:

  1. Introduction To Sustainable Fat Loss & The 30-Day Challenge
  2. The Key To Sustainable Fat Loss: Calories + Hormones
  3. The 30-Day Fat Loss Challenge: Diet & Protocol
  4. The 30-Day Fat Loss Challenge: Workout

Week One:

  1. The 30-Day Fat Loss Challenge Starts: Running Your Diet The Right Way
  2. Body Fat Is Made From Sugar — Not Fat
  3. Reversing Insulin Resistance & Speeding Fat Loss

Week Two:

  1. What's Causing Cravings For Sugar & Junk Food
  2. Digestion Is Key To Sustainable Fat Loss
  3. Cortisol: The Hormone That Makes Fat Loss Nearly Impossible

Week Three:

  1. How Poor Sleep Prevents Fat Loss
  2. Estrogen Dominance Prevents Fat Loss In Women & Men
  3. Raising Growth Hormone & IGF For Fat Loss

Week Four:

  1. Hunger Vs Cravings: When To Transition Out Of Fat Loss
  2. Transitioning From Fat Loss To Lean Body
  3. How Our Corn & Soy Based Diet Prevents Fat Loss

Week Five:

  1. Why Energy & Sleep Rise, And Stress Falls On The Fat Loss Protocol
  2. End of The Fat Loss Challenge, On To Lean Body/Lean Bulk

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.