Q. Why do I have an overactive appetite even when I eat healthy foods?

Answered by
Dr. Rahul Kackar
and medically reviewed by Dr. K Shobana
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 17, 2021

Hi doctor,

I am a 21-year-old female with a weight of 59 kilograms and a height of five feet two inches. I am struggling to lose 15 pounds. But I cannot lose weight. I feel very hungry. I am a dancer with an active job. I eat healthy foods with fats, proteins, and vegetables. I am very educated regarding nutrition and I eat very well. My problem is my appetite. Even when I lose my weight, I gain it back eventually because my appetite is never adjusted. I have hypothyroidism and taking treatment for it. The other women in my family are very lean and they naturally eat less. My body fat is present on my stomach, hips, and lower back. I have very thin arms and legs. This is something that gets stuck in my mind. Why do I have an overactive appetite even when I eat foods healthy? How to control it? I am taking Yaz birth control pill and Levothyroxine and Liothyronine tablets for hypothyroidism and Sertraline for depression.



Welcome to

I suggest you do not take a Mediterranean diet or paleo diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. Have 16:8 intermittent fasting. Drink plenty of water. Do relaxation and mindfulness techniques. Have a healthy gut and take probiotics occasionally. Please mention the exact values of T3 (triiodothyronine), T4 (thyroxine), and TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone). I suggest you stop taking birth control pills and look for other alternatives as estrogen increases the body weight. Anti-depressants can increase appetite and try to taper it. Gradually, when you do a workout, you become tired and you can also become depressed. So balance it. Stop worrying about weight as it will keep you trapped in a vicious cycle. Use some positive affirmations and do meditation regularly. It helps you a lot and maintain a daily diary to record your mood. Please have a follow up after two weeks.

Thank you doctor,

I am taking Levothyroxine 50 mcg and Liothyronine 25 mcg. Only my weight bothers me. Does 16:8 indicate 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating? Does intermittent fasting help with hunger pangs?



Welcome back to

Yes, you are correct. It decreases the hunger pangs. During the fasting window, you will not secrete enough insulin and so you will not be hungry. But do thyroid profile and follow the other things mentioned above. You will become fine soon.

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