OK, my problem with eating boils down to eating when I want rather than when I'm hungry. I recognize it...I'm dealing with it. Here's my question. To that end, those of you who snack between your meals...getting you to 5 small a day...do you make yourself snack even if you aren't hungry? I'm struggling with that. So many people recommend snacking to keep yourself from ever being hungry...but if I do that, then I'm not fixing my problem of eating when I'm not hungry!? I don't want to eat by the clock...I want to eat by my body's signals...so I feel like I need to wait for those signals. Right? This is all so confusing and so SCARY because I feel like everything is at stake.
03-16-2007, 12:01 PM
This is the problem I had when I once tried to go with completely intuitive eating and forget schedules and plans. I WANT to be able to just listen to my body's signals, but that's not always realistic, for various reasons. For one thing, your schedule may only allow you to eat at certain times (I'm a teacher, so I have breakfast, then a snack during my morning planning period, lunch, a snack after work, and so on). I can't change the scheduled times for my morning snack and lunch. Am I always hungry for my morning snack? No, but I eat it anyway. And honestly, now I usually AM hungry for it because my body's just on that schedule. If I didn't have it, I'd probably be starving at lunch.
I think it's nice to think of listening to our body's signals, but when you're overweight you may not be very good at that yet so you have to train your body. This is what I've found to be true for myself, anyway. When I tried intuitive eating, I ended up never eating because I wasn't 100% sure it was hunger that I felt, and then binging when I DID eat...or I ended up thinking I was hungry about a million times during the day. Maybe I'm just bad at it, or maybe it was because I wasn't ready to read the signals.
I just really think consistent weight loss is all about planning. Changing habits here and there will change your body, certainly, but if you want to see that scale consistently go down 1-2 pounds a week, then you have to plan it all out and make it work. Again, this may not be the case for everyone but it definitely has been the case for me.
03-16-2007, 12:11 PM
Tricia, I am five feet nothing, and weighed 287 lbs. So, ummm yes, I ate although I wasn't hungry. ALWAYS. I really think it would be hard to be THAT heavy from just going back for seconds one time too many.
Now listening to the "theys" of the world, the so called experts has gotten me no where. NOBODY knows ME, better then well, ME. So I had to come up with my own plan. I personally hate the feeling of hunger, hate, hate, hate it. I feel weak and dizzy and out of it. Not too enjoyable. So I basically DO go by the clock. It's what works for ME. It might not work for you. Also keep in mind I am never, ever stuffed anymore, just satisfied. And NOT hungry. That was a big ole' change.
My day looks like this:
B - about 9, 9:30, I try to hold off til then, I AM hungry but not ravenous
S - about 11:30, I am urging a little at this point, not sure if I'm exactly hungry and don't really care
L - this varies as I like to hold it off, I am always afraid I will be hungry later in the day. It is always between 1:30 and 2:45. Usually closer to 2. I'm definitely ready to eat.
S - about 4:00, I'm usually not too hungry at this point, don't care. I look forward to my snack and I'm eating it
D - about 6:30, maybe 7:00- funny enough at this point I'm usually not that hungry.
S - if need be, usually after I work out, which varies, could be as late at 9:30 always something very lite though.
This nightime snack is a new addition. (Don't tell the experts, they frown upon eating after supper).
I loved food before, I love it more now without a doubt and quite frankly I really look forward to each and every crumb that goes into my mouth. Before I was eating so darn much, I appreciated nothing. Kinda like the spoiled kid who has sooo many toys, he likes and appreciates none of them. Now every morsel to me is truly enjoyed. I definitely like food waaaay too much. But that's okay, I balance it out now. I like the weightloss better then the excessive amounts of food.
Bottom line is you've gotta to do what works for you. And therefore you've got to experiment and figure out what works for you.
03-16-2007, 12:11 PM
I treat myself like a baby on a schedule. At mealtimes or snacktimes it is time to refuel. I think as I train myself to use food as fuel instead of medication my body will respond by being hungry when it needs fuel instead of my mind wanting for whatever reason it has cooked up. You may need that "training period" before you move toward responding to your body's cues.
03-16-2007, 12:14 PM
I try to treat my food like medication. I try to eat as close to my set schedule as possible, to prevent hunger. So yes, I do eat when I'm not hungry. By the time I am hungry, I'm usually ravenous and my snack won't really fill me up. Just like medication, you take it on a schedule so you won't get sick, not wait until you are sick to remind yourself to take it. :)
Edit: We all posted at the same time! LOL. Same idea as the other ladies. :)
03-16-2007, 12:29 PM
Are you familiar with the Weigh Down program? It is a Bible based weight loss program that teaches the concept of listening to our bodies and eating only when our body tells us we are truly hungry. I've tried the program. Unfortunately, like so many other diets, this plan didnt work for me as I wasnt fully committed at the time. I do have friends that were successful following the plan. I still think it is a valid concept to be able to listen to our bodies, however, I'm not sure its really possible at this point in my life. Right now, I need a strict regimen to help me regain control. I have noticed that when I follow my plan, I do feel true hunger at meal or snack time. So, maybe I can eventually listen to my body and only eat when it tells me it needs fuel.
03-16-2007, 01:09 PM
There are a lot of different opinions about this. One of the problems for me is that I can pretty much always eat when I'm not hungry. Tasty food > hunger, every time. "Listening to my body and my hunger signals" made me heavy - my body wants cupcakes, all the time. I also absolutely love to eat, I look forward to even the smallest snack. I also discovered that I am VERY snacky in the afternoon (tied to my latchkey kid childhood, I'm sure).
So, knowing all of these things about myself, I did decide to eat every 2 hours, before I got hungry. Although I do eat when I'm not hungry, if I GET hungry, I sometimes get light-headed, trembly, sweaty and make the WORST food decisions, I like to prevent that stage.
Some people like to only eat when they get hungry, some people like to eat before they get hungry, I really don't think there is a right way or a wrong way, just what works for the individual. If you want to try only eating when you are hungry - try it!
03-16-2007, 01:26 PM
I kind of eat on a schedule now, but it happened sort of naturally. I was always really great at being able to go all day without eating often, and would eat more at night once I was settled at home. So, in the beginning I did have to remind myself to eat every couple of hours (not a lot, but something). Over time, my body has adjusted and it's now pretty automatic -I get hungry if I'm forced to skip something, which never used to happen. It's like I get cues from my body now that I never used to if I go to long without food.....which I think is what was "supposed" to have been happening all along! :)
I'm not a slave to the clock or anything, and if I really, really wasn't hungry and felt fine I wouldn't force myself to eat. That rarely happens, though, unless I'm sick or something - for the most part, my body craves that little bit of fuel every couple of hours now.
03-16-2007, 02:22 PM
Intuitive eating might not work for a lot of people but so far, it's working for me. I can go a whole day without feeling hunger pangs, odd enough. No joke. Cravings however, I do get a lot of them. But not physical hunger. And dealing with my cravings is what's starting to get me out of my compulsive eating habit. Learning to not give in to my cravings. Even then I realize it's not a good idea to not eat at all so usually I have a nice and healthy breakfast, enough to satisfy me. And then the rest of the day I see what feels like a craving and what feels like hunger. If it's hunger, I'll eat something. If it's craving, I ignore it.
I'm, by no means, saying everyone should eat like that. This may not be a good idea for so many people. Some say it might slow my metabolism but I guess unless I try it, I wouldn't know what's right for me. I can't eat 5-6 mini meals a day because I start to obsess with food. Eating around a schedule isn't for me.