I struggle with this also. I truly believe that my full signal mechanism is broken. Even when I'm painfully full, such as after gorging myself at a buffet or a holiday dinner, I am ALWAYS ready to eat more. When I have a normal healthy-sized portion of a meal, I still have an appetite. In fact, often, I have more of an appetite. I'm at risk to overeat after every single meal, because I get that taste of food in my mouth and it would be so easy to let myself go. For example, I had a healthy dinner of 7oz of baked chicken breast and steamed vegetables, and some mashed sweet potatos for dinner. A good filling dinner with lean protein, fiber, and some warm comfort food. After I finished, I still felt starving.
Basically, my appetite, my desire to eat, manifests itself as physical hunger. My stomach literally grumbles, I feel shakey, I have every physical sign of hunger. Same thing with when I'm bored, stressed, sad, happy, etc. I am always truly hungry. Now I know it's false hunger, because my body is properly fed with healthy whole foods, but it's all the same physical signs of hunger. There's no difference in my experiences of appetite and hunger.
That being said, I also depend on the clock and routine to tell me when to eat. I eat breakfast at 8am. I eat lunch at 12pm. I eat dinner at 5pm. I eat a snack at 6-7pm. That's it, that's when I eat, and it's planned meals. If I allowed my hungry brain to tell me when to eat, I'd be completely out of control.
Success is a journey, not a destination
Goal Weight reached on: June 14, 2010
Monday Accountability Weigh-in: 136.2 - 10/10/2011...time to get back on the pony!