Learning to live with feeling hungry

PortaePortae Posts: 337Registered Users
So, I've been working out and eating right, and it seems that I've hit a plateau because the weight isn't coming off. I was reading an article by Oprah's fitness guy, who made an interesting point. He said that if you're exercising a lot and reducing your calories, you're going to be hungry and get late night cravings, and it's a feeling you should learn to live with. Well, he said it a bit differently, but you get the point. He referred to the feeling as your body "eating the fat." Even when I'm being good with exercise and diet, I still run to the cabinet every time my stomach starts growling. I'm beginning to think that I'm just going to have to live with being a little hungry. Now, don't get me wrong: I'm not talking about starving myself. I'm eating frequent small meals consisting of lean proteins, easily digestable carbs, and fresh fruits/veggies. I drink lots of water and eat foods rich in fiber to make me feel fuller. Anyway, I just wanted to know what you guys think about it. Does a serious commitment to losing weight mean dealing with a little bit of being hungry, and what methods do you have of dealing with it?
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Comments

  • Who Me?Who Me? Posts: 3,181Registered Users
    In my experience, yes I have to deal with a little bit of hunger in order to lose weight.

    I basically have mental strategies to deal with it. Like, I'll tell myself that I've eaten plenty of calories that day, and I'm not REALLY hungry, it's just my body thinking it is because I used to eat at this time. Or I'll tell myself that being a little hungry is a good thing, because it means I'm losing weight.
    "I don't know! I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again!" -BART SIMPSON
  • ShrekLoverShrekLover Posts: 2,551Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I'm going through this right now too. I've noticed I only lose weight when I've been hungry for a while. I hate it. I can't figure out how to keep the weight off. I know I need to change my eating habits forever and that's the hard part.
  • sariroosariroo Posts: 1,958Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    This is difficult to get used to and is the primary cause of why I always gain back weight that I have lost. A good tip that I learned was to drink a glass of water each time you felt hungry. It helps you get your daily water intake up and helps to curb your hunger pangs. I have been doing this much more lately and it has helped although not totally fixed the problem.
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  • heavengirl410heavengirl410 Posts: 821Registered Users
    I agree with drinking water, I read that it might be thirst, not hunger, but that is how we perceive it. I also have a list of emergency foods, good-for-you foods that will put out three-alarm starvation fires. : a handful of almonds, peanuts, or walnuts; prechopped veggies and fruit; dried fruit (apricots and cranberries), and edamane (soybeans, frozen food section). In a real pinch? Pop one of those mint breath strips- they can help turn off appetite by making food less appetizing. All this info taken from You on a Diet by Dr. Roizen and Dr. Oz
  • RheannaRheanna Posts: 2,614Registered Users
    It does seem that I have to go a little hungry in order to lose weight and inches. I'm with the others; it's probably the primary reason I gain weight back. :?

    I think it is something we just have to deal with, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I'm probably always going to be jealous of the naturally thin people who DON'T go hungry, and just eat, without thinking, but look great. :evil:
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  • lushaholiclushaholic Posts: 2,180Registered Users
    I'm another who drinks water instead when I'm hungry (and know I should be full), and while it seems to work great temporarily, it's like chinese food in the way that the 'fullness' feeling disappears pretty quickly. My main thing is just trying to stay long away from the kitchen and keep my mind on something else (like wasting time on the forums :P ).
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  • Who Me?Who Me? Posts: 3,181Registered Users
    I've also learned that different ways of eating the same amount of calories affect my hunger level very differently. If my diet is high in protein, fiber, and good fats, and very very low in sugar and simple carbs (such as bread, rice, pasta, and any sweets) then I'm barely hungry at all. But if I'm eating cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, a cookie for a snack, and pasta for dinner....heck, I'm starving all day even if I consume more calories!


    And I too keep "acceptable" snacks on hand. Edamame is really good for that, as is some fruit and cottage cheese.
    "I don't know! I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again!" -BART SIMPSON
  • luvmylocsluvmylocs Posts: 7,578Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    this is a great dialogue!! great tips. i need to read you on a diet. i bought it after seeing dr. oz on oprah but haven't gotten around to reading it yet!
    a dreamy pisces :fish:
    please recycle, it matters...
    i change lives...through fitness
    i'm more relaxed being natural
  • meegsmeegs Posts: 354Registered Users
    Drinking water doesn't really help me. My mind knows my body's being fooled, or maybe it's my body knows my mind's being fooled...just doesn't work.

    What does help:

    (1) Planning meals and snacks appropriately. Much like WM, if I eat mostly fruits, veggies, lean protein and whole grains, then I am less hungry. However, I also have to build in some fun but less good-for-you foods. Otherwise, I wind up craving my favorite evil foods all the time. So I have to strike a balance.

    (2) Eat lots of smaller meals and snacks. I eat 6 times a day. I think it helps with hunger from a physical standpoint and also a psychological standpoint. During my waking hours, I never go more than 3-4 hours without eating. It's much easier to think, OK--in 3 hours I can have my snack, instead of, Oh crap--6 more hours 'til the next meal.

    (3) Sort of related to (1) and (2), you have to balance out your calories throughout the day. I think a lot of people scrimp early in the day, because dinner's naturally our biggest meal anyway, and who doesn't want to snack while watching Grey's Anatomy? In my experience, that doesn't work. Think of hunger like a rushing river, and food like the dam that keeps it at bay. If you wake up hungry, but eat a smallish breakfast and maybe skip a morning snack to "save" calories, the already leaky dam continues to develop cracks. By the time you get to your big meals of the day--lunch and dinner, etc.-- the dam is pretty much broken, and stacking up more logs doesn't do anything to stop the water.

    Eat a good breakfast and a morning snack. Get ahead of the game. Once you're already super-hungry, it takes a giant buffet to stop that feeling. But if you never get super-hungry to begin with, then you can stay not-hungry with less.

    (4) Exercise. I'm a big believer in the "exercise suppresses appetite" theory. But at the same time, you can eat more.

    (5) Sheer willpower. For all the words I spend on the others, this is my biggest one. I made a deal with myself that I'm going to get healthy, and that's it. I don't get unto bargaining with myself--Oh, I'm so hungry and just one cookie won't hurt. I'm just not going to overeat, and that's it. Not even going there. Not even considering it.
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  • ShrekLoverShrekLover Posts: 2,551Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Sheer willpower. For all the words I spend on the others, this is my biggest one. I made a deal with myself that I'm going to get healthy, and that's it. I don't get unto bargaining with myself--Oh, I'm so hungry and just one cookie won't hurt. I'm just not going to overeat, and that's it. Not even going there. Not even considering it.

    This is where I fall down. Last night was pizza night at home. I intended to have 2 pieces. I had 4. I have gained back 2 of the 3 pounds I lost while sick this week. Wearing clothes I actually look slim, but I am getting so flabby around the middle, YUCK.
  • reddhotreddhot Posts: 26Registered Users
    I definitely believe that you have to get used to feeling a LITTLE hunger when you are trying to lose weight. I also think that it's a lot of little things along the way (water, enough fiber, exercise, pre-planned meals, etc..) that will ultimately get you to your goal.
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  • esmeraldaesmeralda Posts: 187Registered Users
    I believe that a proteinrich breakfast is the key here.

    When I eat a good breakfast, 2 scrambled eggs,a few slices of turkey bacon, a slice of whole meal bread, a tomato...I feel fuller for the rest of the day.

    Breakfast is actually one of the meals where I try to spend most of my daily calories.
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  • Aries_jbAries_jb Posts: 1,556Registered Users
    Yep. In fact I know I'm losing weight when I FEEL ravonously hungry, but not when I'm physically hungry (as in I just ate, but I feel like I haven't eaten all day). I take it as my body's way of telling me that if it doesn't get more food, it's going to start in on my body's fat stores, which is exactly what I want it to do. Once I lose the weight that feeling is replaced with feeling light and not really thinking about food so much. Kind of like I'm eating for survival, not out of boredom or feeling down.
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  • cara4curlscara4curls Posts: 336Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Yes, I agree with Oprah's fitness guy about being hungry. I know for myself that unless I feel hungry for the whole day and evening, nothing will happen in the fat loss department, even with solid, strenuous exercise. I'm trying to lose 6 pounds right now, and it's going very slow! Guess I'll have to be stricter with my diet. I do have a very good exercise program in place, too.
    health-conscious, visionary artist in transition
  • luvmylocsluvmylocs Posts: 7,578Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    meegs wrote:
    Drinking water doesn't really help me. My mind knows my body's being fooled, or maybe it's my body knows my mind's being fooled...just doesn't work.

    What does help:

    (1) Planning meals and snacks appropriately. Much like WM, if I eat mostly fruits, veggies, lean protein and whole grains, then I am less hungry. However, I also have to build in some fun but less good-for-you foods. Otherwise, I wind up craving my favorite evil foods all the time. So I have to strike a balance.

    (2) Eat lots of smaller meals and snacks. I eat 6 times a day. I think it helps with hunger from a physical standpoint and also a psychological standpoint. During my waking hours, I never go more than 3-4 hours without eating. It's much easier to think, OK--in 3 hours I can have my snack, instead of, Oh crap--6 more hours 'til the next meal.

    (3) Sort of related to (1) and (2), you have to balance out your calories throughout the day. I think a lot of people scrimp early in the day, because dinner's naturally our biggest meal anyway, and who doesn't want to snack while watching Grey's Anatomy? In my experience, that doesn't work. Think of hunger like a rushing river, and food like the dam that keeps it at bay. If you wake up hungry, but eat a smallish breakfast and maybe skip a morning snack to "save" calories, the already leaky dam continues to develop cracks. By the time you get to your big meals of the day--lunch and dinner, etc.-- the dam is pretty much broken, and stacking up more logs doesn't do anything to stop the water.

    Eat a good breakfast and a morning snack. Get ahead of the game. Once you're already super-hungry, it takes a giant buffet to stop that feeling. But if you never get super-hungry to begin with, then you can stay not-hungry with less.

    (4) Exercise. I'm a big believer in the "exercise suppresses appetite" theory. But at the same time, you can eat more.

    (5) Sheer willpower. For all the words I spend on the others, this is my biggest one. I made a deal with myself that I'm going to get healthy, and that's it. I don't get unto bargaining with myself--Oh, I'm so hungry and just one cookie won't hurt. I'm just not going to overeat, and that's it. Not even going there. Not even considering it.

    great post meegs!
    a dreamy pisces :fish:
    please recycle, it matters...
    i change lives...through fitness
    i'm more relaxed being natural
  • IndianCurlsIndianCurls Posts: 54Registered Users
    It's strange that Bob Greene, Oprah's trainer, says that you should feel hungry in the evening because those hunger pangs "eat the fat", but she also had Dr. Oz on her show the other day, who said that you should never feel hungry and always keep healthy snacks on hand. I guess that means that you should do whatever works best for you.

    Personally, I think it's perfectly fine to make room in your daily calorie allotment for a healthy snack in the evening. My favorite snack is a handful of almonds that I lightly toast in the microwave for a minute or so. Plain nonfat yogurt with a little honey mixed in can also be a good late-night snack.
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  • luvmylocsluvmylocs Posts: 7,578Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    lately i've been consciously trying to eat less and i definitely think it's helping....i wouldn't say i'm hungry but i'm trying to distance myself from eating just because "it's time to eat"....so far so good.
    a dreamy pisces :fish:
    please recycle, it matters...
    i change lives...through fitness
    i'm more relaxed being natural
  • StruttsWifeStruttsWife Posts: 819Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Hunger is a good sign ... it means your metabolism is working and that's what helps to burn fat. Ignoring hunger pangs for too long, however, means your body will think it's starving and start slowing down to conserve what food reserves it thinks it has. Result: weight loss plateaus or even gaining (blech).

    So, if you are hungry ... eat. But eat a very small snack and make sure it is something that contains both protein and carbs ... the protein will help to cushion the "insulin effect" of the carbs. My typical bedtime snack is 1/4 cup of unsweetened pineapple and 2 oz. of lean chicken ... or a small smoothie made with berries, ice, Splenda and a small dollop of pasteurized egg whites. I've lost 63 lbs., and eating sensibly every time I'm hungry hasn't hurt my weight loss a bit.
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  • Resume WriterResume Writer Posts: 645Registered Users
    I don't believe that you should have to live with being hungry on an on-going basis. I think the key is to find foods that will fill you up but will also be metabolized (used). I personally believe that hunger will lead to long-term binging and dieting failure. I listen to my body. If I'm hungy--I eat. But, I try to eat good foods that my body will use.
  • stefathenastefathena Posts: 450Registered Users
    when i was on weight watchers, i was always hungry :( i did lose weight. i think hunger is just part of it. we should never be FULL.
    new york city

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  • NaturalMissHFJNaturalMissHFJ Posts: 3Registered Users
    I dont think that it's a great idea to live with the little hunger. I heard that if you are starving you body with big calorie cut for to long time, the body will think that you are serious starving and save your fat so you wont burn as much when you are doing your workout, the body is clever.
  • Melanie_LinnMelanie_Linn Posts: 457Registered Users
    I agree, you shouldn't ever be truly hungry. But you also shouldn't to the point that your completely stuffed. I think that is why people weigh so much. You eat till you can't consume anymore, and then your body can't burn of the extra calories. Eating for pleasure doesn't have to mean eating three pieces of birthday cake. It can mean making yourself something you have never tried before.

    I also don't believe that should limit yourself to things that are only "good for you". Everything you eat should be in moderation. A 4oz portion of mac n cheese is really all that you should eat.
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  • Fluffy01Fluffy01 Posts: 271Registered Users
    I've lost 40lbs over the past few years. I've tried every diet/eating plan imaginable. I've been vegetarian/vegan/low calorie/etc. It worked, but I'd eventually plateau and not be able to stick with it to keep losing. I was hungry all the time until one day I found the key to eating for the rest of my life. I'm never ever hungry. I can practically eat as much as I want, and I would probably be referred to now as one of those "skinny girls" who can eat "whatever" and not gain a pound.....which before this, would've been so far from the truth!

    The reason you're hungry is because your insulin is always up. It's always up because you're eating a lot of carbs. This "fiber" fills you up is bogus. It's fat that fills you up and keeps you full in between meals, which is a good thing. When your insulin is up, it's telling your body to store fat unless you have nothing but fat running through your system.

    Your body will burn carbs first before fat, so it's important to limit your carbs to veggies and low glycemic fruit....no grains! Although if you want faster weightloss lose the fruit until you're maintaining. Eventually if you do this, your body will start burning fat...your fat plus the fat you eat. The weight will fly off, and you won't be hungry as long as you eat fat with your protein/veggies. Butter....coconut oil....olive oil....bacon grease....all unrefined of course are great fats, and you should cook with them daily.

    This was yesterdays food for me:
    Chicken sausage and eggs, pan seared catfish and veggies in butter, ribeye steak with bacon and butter garlic mushrooms, chocolate peanut butter coconut bark (Artisana coconut butter melted with dark choc. cocoa powder and peanut butter mixed in and frozen). So as you can see I eat well! I also avoid dairy due to some IBS issues I've always had, but it's also good for more rapid weightloss tho not as necessary until you get close to goal.

    For reference, I used to weigh 160lbs, and I'm 5'3. I now weight 120lbs and still losing because my bodyfat percentage is still higher than I would like. But now it's a breeze.

    Some good reading material if you want to know more:
    marksdailyapple.com
    robbwolf.com

    The Primal Blueprint (book and cookbook! Great food!)

    Movie: Fathead (was available on hulu.com for free...explains everything in about 1.5hrs in case you're not a reader)

    Good luck, and I hope you never accept hunger again! :)

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