Weight Loss Support - Eating when hungry




View Full Version : Eating when hungry


ncuneo
05-24-2010, 09:52 AM
I'm really having a hard time with this concept. I think it's been referred to as intuitive eating as well, but the thought of only eating when I'm hungry just seems unmanagable. Right now I calorie count so I have a strict amount of food I can eat everyday. It works very very well for me. I'm nearing the end of my journey and I always thought I'd just keep counting (in all likelyness I will), but I've been exploring other options and trying to tackle my emotional issues with food. So I came across a book that advocates just eating when you're hungry, stopping when you're full, and not eating when you're not hungry no matter what. Basically just knowing that your body knows what it's needs and you just need to listen to it. While this concept sounds great, I think it's a little ridiculous because we all know that it can take as many as 20 minutes before you're body sends signals to your brain that you are full, and by that point you've likely over eaten. I guess what I take issue with in this book is that it makes it sound like if I can't do this, I will fail at maintenance. But I know many maintainers on this board continue to count and journal. I know I should just take from the book what applies for me (I'm only like one chapter in and so far they has been some good info) and the rest food for thought, but I'm really concerned about getting my emotional triggers in control and it's stressing me out. I know that I just need to do what works for me and the rest will follow, but regaining weight is NOT an option for me and I really want to give myself the best chance at success possible. Thoughts?


losermom
05-24-2010, 10:31 AM
ncuneo, I've been maintaining with intuitive/mindful eating, without counting calories since September 09. I also continued to lose weight (about 15 lbs.). I think that the intuitive/mindful eating idea is that we have to trust ourselves and really listen to our hunger cues. I am by no means perfect. I get on the scale everyday to hold myself accountable. On Wed/Thurs last week, I have to really be honest with myself that I had been overdoing (too many treats) it foodwise. I was up to 136. I've been op since then. This morning I'm 134, so it must have not stuck.

I still struggle with emotional eating, but I'm getting better over time. What got me off-plan this last time was DS's birthday and the associated leftover cake (and brownies-my downfall) and ice cream; and the loss of my beloved grandmother, 95, and the unanticipation of spending time with my extended family. The knowledge that an impending family visit sends me into an eating tailspin everytime. I have acknowledged that and do my best to work around it by seeking out support from my immediate family and accepting that my family can send me off the deep end. I have had alot of success here and with a podcast series called Inside Out Weight Loss--warning it includes homework and it may not be your bag of tricks but it works for me. I've also learned alot from the book The Beck Diet.

I must say that if this mindful/intuitive eating plan doesn't work for me in the future, that I have no qualms about going back to counting calories. This journey is all about making your own decisions about how you plan to live your life. What works now, may not work later--you may have to be flexible. But most importantly you have to trust yourself. You have learned so much on this journey and you will continue to learn as you maintain. Embrace it and embrace how great you feel today!

Tomato
05-24-2010, 10:59 AM
I don't think intuitive eating would work for me particularly well. I can get the hungry feeling 2 hours following a meal (although it may not be a true hunger).
The last few weeks I seem to be having success with planning each day what I am going to eat (from breakfast till dinner) and I try to stick to it.
I learned that when I start feeling hungry, in MOST cases, the hunger will go away if I wait just a bit. (on the other hand, it can also turn into a really grumbling stomach). Also, I try to eat in a such a way that I eat roughly every 3 hours and so I remind myself that I cannot eat "now" because then I would have to wait 4 hours till my next meal, etc.
P.S. I don't count calories because I think it is more natural to "zig zag".


tanyea04
05-24-2010, 11:39 AM
I have tried many times to accomplish only eating when I'm hungry, but for so many years food has been my comfort. So when I get a little down everything thing I have been working for goes out the window.:^:

losermom
05-24-2010, 11:41 AM
I must clarify that my plan includes regular planned meals and snacks. There is no way that I can just "wait until I'm hungry" to eat. Although I am usually hungry at meals. I aim to eat more if I am more hungry or less if I am not so hungry. It's more about listening to my hunger to determine how much to eat. Also about eating what really sounds good to me. And asking myself how I will feel after I eat something.

synger
05-24-2010, 12:00 PM
I use intuitive eating methods as one tool in my toolbox. My "diet" is framed by a certain number of calories, filled out in low-carb, whole-food choices, and topped off by trying to eat mindfully -- enjoying each bite, slowing down, and stopping when I'm satisfied.

I couldn't use intuitive eating alone... I need the framework and the eating plan... but it adds an element of mindfulness and control that I don't have if I don't use it.

goodforme
05-24-2010, 01:16 PM
I use intuitive eating methods as one tool in my toolbox. My "diet" is framed by a certain number of calories, filled out in low-carb, whole-food choices, and topped off by trying to eat mindfully -- enjoying each bite, slowing down, and stopping when I'm satisfied.

I couldn't use intuitive eating alone... I need the framework and the eating plan... but it adds an element of mindfulness and control that I don't have if I don't use it.


This is what I'm aiming for. I need the framework in place, and the discipline to stay within that framework. Maybe over time it will become intuitive. . .

losermom
05-24-2010, 01:28 PM
This is what I'm aiming for. I need the framework in place, and the discipline to stay within that framework. Maybe over time it will become intuitive. . .

I did calorie counting for part of my weight loss, about 5-6 months worth. I think that it is an excellent tool to teach you how much and what to eat. I learned alot from it.

ncuneo
05-24-2010, 02:07 PM
I'd like to give it a try, but I don't think it can be something that I do full time, at least not yet. But what I think I'm going to do is start to practice. I'm currently very slowly "transitioning" to maintenance and I think my first step will be to practice this idea once a week and see how I do with it. If I cannot keep control, then it is not something I'm ready for. If it works then maybe I can add a second day. But I think what is good is that I'm realizing that I have to do what works for me and someone telling me that I should only eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full and if I can't I'm broken just simply isn't true. As if you haven't noticed I've been doing a lot of interpersonal work and I'm getting a little "deep", so bear with my post over this process:)

Serbrider
05-24-2010, 05:02 PM
One thing I'm going to try is the fist technique. I can't STAND to have to constantly constantly calculate everything I eat... I just don't don't like to think about those things that much. But what I'm going to do is go for the healthiest option, and eat only one fist's worth of food. Since your stomach is about the size of your fist, for me this is the best way to make sure I'm not eating TOO much. Then, if I'm still feeling hungry 30 minutes later... I'll eat another 1/4 of my fist's worth of the same thing.

I tried this today with breakfast, lunch, and soon with dinner. So far... I haven't been very hungry. :p I think hunger is mainly just a mental habit...

rockinrobin
05-24-2010, 07:54 PM
I know that I just need to do what works for me and the rest will follow, but regaining weight is NOT an option for me and I really want to give myself the best chance at success possible. Thoughts?
_________________

The best chance at success? Always keep that desire, that feeling, that "regaining weight is NOT an option".

Definitely not one that can rely on intuitive eating. I intuitively ate my way up to 287 lbs. Now of course, granted, I've learned a lot since than, but I will never, ever be able to rely on that. I rely on the good habits that I've established, and yes - calorie counting. I don't find it burdensome at all. At all, like not even a little bit. What I DID find burdensome was being grossly overweight.

But, the fact is, I really don't *count* so much these days. My breakfasts are always the same amount of calories, as are my lunches, my dinners and snacks. I just switch them around and know exactly how many calories I'm consuming. It's easy shmeazy.

I really, really need that calorie allotment, that budget to tell me when to STOP eating, otherwise I'd most likely eat until I was uncomfortable and DEFINITELY overspend my calories.

Most often, I'll finish up my pre-determined amount of food, and I WILL want more - but I won't have it, my calories for that meal is up. I usually than have a glass of water and before I even know it I am completely *satisfied* and there is no need/desire for me to eat anymore. And once again, having that calorie budget kept me from overeating.

One more thing, this calorie counting is so automatic to me, I couldn't even fathom not doing it. For me, it makes my choices clearer. I mean I don't go into a store without knowing the cost of something, why would I EAT something with out knowing the amount of calories that it has? At this point, that seems irresponsible of me (now of course, not prior to my weight loss).

My plan is to calorie count/estimate/track for years and years to come. Why should I guess when I could know for certain, especially about something so important which directly pertains to my health???

MeganTheMushroom
05-24-2010, 09:02 PM
I used to think it was hard to not eat unless hungry, but I've become a real intuitive eater over the past few months
That, and my stomach capacity has shrunk
But now, I've been eating more than I want to because Im trying to go into maintenance, and I don;t like it :(
I need to start eating more calorie dense foods