Weight Loss Support - Should I eat anyway?
03-26-2008, 04:43 PM
Even if I'm not really hungry but haven't had enough calories for the day?
I feel great about having been able to change a whole truckload of bad nutrition habits and honestly feel sooo much better both physically and mentally but sometimes it just seems like I'm eating such a huge amount of food and nibbling like a rabbit all day long - Tons of fruits, veggies, fish, and nuts with a little cottage or feta cheese tossed in. I even have a tbsp of olive oil on my salads every day but I'm still only averaging between 1100 and 1200 calories - and sometimes I have to grab a handful of almonds or walnuts to get that much (except on the weekends when I have a whole avocado for lunch :D ) I went through a little adjustment period when I first started out where I would be starving one day and could hardly stand to look at food the next but got past that in about 2 weeks and haven't felt hungry since.
My losing has kind of stalled - my first plateau I suppose (which, amazingly, doesn't have me nearly as freaked out as I expected). I recently stepped up the intensity of my workouts and from everything I've read here at 3FC, it seems the best idea to "unstall" would be to increase the calories a tad; but the other prevailing advice seems to be "only eat if you are really, truly hungry" - and since I'm almost never hungry....... Should I go ahead and just plan a few more calories into my day and go ahead and eat more food anyway?
Appreciate any input
03-26-2008, 04:55 PM
If you're not hungry but are under your calories you could drink some low-fat milk or fresh orange juice to get your calories up without feeling too full.
03-26-2008, 05:03 PM
How long has your weight loss been stalled? If it's only been a week or so, it could just be that you are retaining water from the change in your exercise routine, so I'm not sure you need to change anything.
On the other hand, I don't think it's good to be consistently low with your calories. You are tall enough that 1100-1200 calories sounds really low to me. The fact that you aren't hungry at this level has me concerned that maybe you aren't eating enough and your metabolism has slowed. You could always add some calories for a few weeks and see what happens (maybe add 100 this week and another 100 in another week or so). If it doesn't work, you can always go back to this calorie level.
03-26-2008, 05:03 PM
Well... you will read a lot of conflicting information on different threads. You don't want to be under 1200 consistently unless you're under medical supervision, so let that be your guide.
The idea of not eating unless you are hungry is OK, but many, many people don't know what hunger feels like. They think they aren't hungry, so they skip a snack, for example. An hour later, they are ravenous and overeat at mealtime as a result.
If you have eaten a well balanced, 500-calorie lunch with a good amount of protein, you probably won't be hungry for a snack at 2 p.m. So, in that case it's OK to put off the snack, and maybe even move your dinner hour later.
I have seen other members post that they just don't feel hungry--and then the next thread they start is about how they binged for two days. :yikes: So, one way to avoid that is to stick with the plan for when and how much you eat.
03-26-2008, 05:32 PM
If there's one thing that i have learned from these boards, it is that all of us are very, very different, and our bodies react differently to different strategies. So, my advice is if you don't see any positive results after another week or two of staying on your current plan, simply try and change things up and see if the changes make a positive difference. It really is all about figuring out what works for you, and even that probably won't stay consistent forever.
03-26-2008, 06:06 PM
I have a minimum calorie target I keep for myself. On a rare occasion I might go below that target but on average I eat to reach that minimum. I have found if I consistently get to low, I burn out a few days later and then I am at risk of trying to control a binge which is alot harder.
As for a plateau it is too soon for you to be truly hitting one. If you are talking about a couple of weeks that is fine but a plateau to me is over 4 weeks. My thoughts are that you should increase calories. 1200 is too low for your weight and you have no where to go. I recently hit my first real plateau (but that is after 1 year and 80+) lbs and I increased my calories from 1450 to 1550. I am focusing more on exercise.
03-26-2008, 06:36 PM
If I were in your shoes, I think I'd focus my attention on finding other (still healthy) foods that fit with your way of eating but allow you to get those calories up, at least on alternating days. Adding nuts is a great idea - natural peanut butter is another option. A whole avocado will run anywhere from 350-400 calories or so, and is loaded with healthy fat and vitamins - and it's pretty easy to eat a whole one if you have the calories to spare!! ;) Maybe you can start incoporating some avocado every other day or something, instead of just keeping them as a weekend treat!
Get creative - you don't have to eat a whole avocado at once, or start eating peanut butter straight from the jar! But adding some natural nut butter to a slice of whole-grain bread in the morning, or stirring it into some oatmeal, is an easy (and almost "hidden") way to add some calories. Chop up the avocado with some tomato, cilantro and a bit of onion to make a salsa to top your grilled or broiled fish. Have a cup of tea but use a little whole-fat milk instead of skim. Have a whole egg omelet instead of just an egg white omelet for breakfast. Treat yourself now and again, and make a quick "from scratch" cheese sauce to go over some of those steamed veggies. Maybe whip some cream to have over your fruit with dessert.....still whole foods, but indulgent and a bit of a treat.
There are so many little ways to add a few calories here and there - it will probably help your weight loss to mix up the numbers a bit, and you might find that by giving yourself licence to add a few higher calorie foods more often, your overall satisfaction will be higher as well. :)
03-26-2008, 09:40 PM
I agree about adding a few calories here and there.
I'm also not a big fan of eating when you're not hungry, but I do also think that a few bites of something to get cals up is a good thing.
For example, tonight I really wasn't hungry for dinner, but I needed to eat something or have only consumed 900 cals today. So I nibbled on a piece of fish that my husband cooked, had a couple of spoonfuls of yogurt, and a piece of whole grain bread with butter. Not a "real meal" by any stretch of the imagination, but healthy nibbling that helped raise my calorie intake for the day and didn't make me feel stuffed.
03-27-2008, 10:35 AM
Wow, thanks for the great ideas everyone!
The "stall" is going on 3rd week and I was leaning toward thinking I need to shake things up because I'm back to a size I actually stayed at for about 2 years before last year's idiot (uneducated, old habit, starvation) diet actually kicked in a "growth spurt". Since I had stayed this size for an (for me) extended period I was a little concerned that the old bod might have the misguided notion that I like it here :D
Original plan actually started out awfully low (I was afraid, after the starvation diet thing, I would throw my system into shock if I suddenly dumped too much good food on it :lol: ) with planned, gradual increases of about 100 calories every couple of weeks in the hopes of getting my metabolism to recover. Your suggestions make me think this is still the sensible way to go - even if the scale stops moving as fast as I like.