Weight Loss Support - Difficulty eating enough while dieting?




leopardspots
07-16-2010, 11:43 AM
So, crazy question. Does anyone else sometimes struggle with eating enough while dieting? I am a calorie counter, and sometimes struggle to eat 1200 calories. I eat 4-5 smaller meals and don't feel hungry until bedtime? Maybe because salad isn't as fun as the bad stuff and I just chronically overate because I wasn't thinking of it?


Losing It 2010
07-16-2010, 11:57 AM
YES, OMG yes, I have a 1400 calorie limit for the day and eat several small meals a day, I always eat under 1400 calories and was concerned especially now that i have started working out at the gym. I don't feel any adverse affects and the weight is falling off but as time moves along I will need to stay on top of this

Rosinante
07-16-2010, 12:04 PM
Yes, me too. Part of the difficulty is that I've decided not to eat starches after lunch, and I now don't eat anything processed; so by the time I get to the evening meal it often doesn't use up all my calories.
I often chuck in a small chunk of cheese in the evening, to boost my calories. I've still got a long way to go, so I try to keep my calories up around the 1400.


SCraver
07-16-2010, 12:39 PM
Nope. not me. I am very often hungry. But I have accepted that on occassion, I am just going to get hungry.

What I have noticed, though, is that I could sit down to a bit bowl of salsa con queso (which velveeta) and pretzels and eat until I could explode... but I can't do that with veggies. Why is it I can eat and eat and eat if it is garbage, but when it somes to something healthy, I do have an automatic shut off valve? I would love to know if there is just something in the way our bodies digest garbage vs. veggies, etc.?

guamvixen
07-16-2010, 12:57 PM
I totally agree with you SCraver! The healthy stuff is so easy to "limit" but the "bad" yet oh so good stuff makes me a bottomless pit!

LLH2010
07-16-2010, 01:28 PM
I wish I had that problem! I weigh 132 and I can eat as much as my husband who weighs 230! LOL And I pretty much always feel like I could eat. Maybe I have a fast metabolism or something...

Wild Vulpix
07-16-2010, 01:34 PM
Personally, from everything I've read, I've concluded that Starvation Mode is a myth. So I strongly believe that people should just focus on eating healthy and until they're full and not worry so much about the calories. (Unless you think you're overeating!)

When I eat unhealthy things (cookies, chips, chocolate, cake) then I have a very hard time staying "in" my budget and still feeling satisfied. But when I eat healthy... I find it difficult to eat what others would consider "enough". So I just eat when I'm hungry, stop when I'm not, and the world keeps on spinning. :) Why force yourself if you're REALLY not hungry any longer?

leopardspots
07-16-2010, 02:03 PM
Thanks everyone for their input.

Vulpix, your comment is helpful. I wonder about starvation mode being a myth. Sometimes, I am really hungry and feel done after finishing 3/4 of my dinner and feel I need to force myself to eat the rest so I have enough calories. (Also, I grew up with the mentality that I "had to finish everything on my plate")

audrina
07-16-2010, 02:34 PM
So, crazy question. Does anyone else sometimes struggle with eating enough while dieting? I am a calorie counter, and sometimes struggle to eat 1200 calories. I eat 4-5 smaller meals and don't feel hungry until bedtime? Maybe because salad isn't as fun as the bad stuff and I just chronically overate because I wasn't thinking of it?

Yes, yes, YES.

I bought a food scale even though I was afraid of doing it because I thought it would keep me hyper focused, and it's REALLY helped me continue to eat in my calorie range. I also had to cut salads completely out of my diet as a main course [lettuce based salads] because they were so low in calories.

I've started snacking all day on higher calorie snacks, homemade granola; raw sunflower seeds; nuts ... a small amount of these give you a good amount of calories. I try to plan out my breakfast, snacks and lunch and then I see how many calories I have left for dinner. If after dinner I'm still low, I choose another high calorie snack, and avocado, again some nuts, etc. This has REALLY helped me.

Another thing about not feeling hungry, I was like that too, especially because I drink a lot of tea which suppresses my appetite. So now, I try to plan a time I have a snack, actually I'm over due right now. So 10:30 snack, 12:00 lunch and 1:30 snack. Even if I'm not that hungry, I eat it.

By eating too low of calories you can very well stall your weight loss progress.

Losing It 2010
07-16-2010, 02:41 PM
You know each person body is individual, we all react to our enviroment and what we consume differently. I think if you get to a certain low low weight then starvation mode does kick in but for the majority of us it probably not a problem

synger
07-16-2010, 02:56 PM
So, crazy question. Does anyone else sometimes struggle with eating enough while dieting? I am a calorie counter, and sometimes struggle to eat 1200 calories. I eat 4-5 smaller meals and don't feel hungry until bedtime? Maybe because salad isn't as fun as the bad stuff and I just chronically overate because I wasn't thinking of it?

Because I eat fairly low-carb and higher-fat, I find that some days I'm satisfied with many fewer calories than I used to be. That's one of the reasons I aim for a range of calories, rather than a limit. I aim for 1400-1800 (and usually hit around 1600). But some days, I'm barely at 1200... and some days I am closer to 1900. So long as my weekly average is 1600 or below, I keep losing steadily, and I'm very seldom crazy-hungry or craving.

So long as you've got energy, are sleeping well, and feel healthy, I wouldn't worry about "not eating enough". The 1200 calorie cutoff for "too low" isn't cut in stone, especially if it's not a long-term thing. Now, if you were saying 800/day, over months and months... then I might be concerned. But 1200 is enough to keep you healthy.

Petite Powerhouse
07-16-2010, 03:01 PM
If you want to add healthy calories to your diet without eating a ton it isn't hard: olive oil, peanut butter and other nut butters, nuts in general, avocado, etc. These and other low-volume, higher-calorie healthy foods are perfect for that.

pamatga
07-16-2010, 03:15 PM
So, crazy question. Does anyone else sometimes struggle with eating enough while dieting? I am a calorie counter, and sometimes struggle to eat 1200 calories. I eat 4-5 smaller meals and don't feel hungry until bedtime? Maybe because salad isn't as fun as the bad stuff and I just chronically overate because I wasn't thinking of it?

I might be reading between the lines but to me what I am hearing is that since eating salad isn't as fun as the bad stuff, you just haven't found healthy foods that really make your "salivate", right? I get tired of salads as well. This comes from chronic dieting for over two decades. However, now that I have learned to experiment into other ethnic and cultures' foods I have really loved to eat (more) and eat very healthy.

Try dried fruit, nuts, olives, various real fruit juices (w/o added sugars), cooking in different oils like olive, peanut and sesame, raw green peppers with ranch dressing (who knew?--what a taste zinger that is!). Mixing semi frozen raspberries in sugar free chocolate pudding. I could go on forever.

If you want I can give you some of my new found recipes that reawakened my taste buds. Email me at pamatga140@att.net

Now, I have a hard time stopping eating. Food that is good for you can also be very tasty. You just have to know how to make some magic in the kitchen.
;)

Beach Patrol
07-16-2010, 04:25 PM
Definitely. Like today.... my "regularly scheduled programming" was thrown off because I didn't have to be a work until 1pm. I'm usually at work at 9am. I got kinda busy this morning cleaning & whatnot, and before I knew it, the clock was at 11:30 & I hadn't even had breakfast. I just wasn't hungry (yet.) So I figured, OK, I'll just have nice healthy lunch today! (which I do everyday, but still).... and when I got to work, I realized I didn't have ANYTHING for lunch... and it was OK, because I STILL wasn't hungry. I finally ate 6 whole wheat & peanut butter crackers about an hour ago. It felt like TOO MUCH food!!

Good grief. :?:

Shmead
07-16-2010, 05:09 PM
It is possible to be hungry and not realize it--to have no stomach pangs at all, but still be tired, or have a really short attention span, or be light headed, or cranky or frustrated or headache-y or to have elaborate food fantasies.

I am not saying this is true for everyone, but for me, on VLC diets I didn't realize I was hungry, I just thought dieting--resisting food--was really hard. I really didn't get that it was hunger that was making me b****y and stupid, I thought it was "dieting", all that self-denial and structure. The problem with this was that when I snapped and decided I couldn't live like that, I would go totally back to my old ways because I didn't realize there was a middle path, eating more calories but not free eating.

Basically, if you are on a VLC diet and have trouble staying on it--if you are going off plan more often than very, very occasionally--than I think you should consider if you are eating enough. For me, that made a huge difference.

duckyyellowfeet
07-16-2010, 06:59 PM
When I'm on the lower end of calories, I like to sneak in (healthy) treats. a banana with pb, 1/2 a cup of ice cream, something i like but don't regularly plan to eat. But if I'm really not hungry, I'm not going to eat.

However, it might be worth spreading a few more calories out throughout the day. Add an extra ounce of chicken to a salad, eat a little bit more for breakfast, try a cup of orange juice. Healthy little additions can help add up

bonnnie
07-17-2010, 04:39 AM
We over-nutrition ourselves for years - and then, funnily enough, we start to worry about under-nutrition when we try to get back to a comfortable size! oh the irony.

I personally think one should stop eating when full and only eat when really hungry, even if that means eating under your calorie limit for the day.

thesame7lbs
07-17-2010, 09:16 AM
What I have noticed, though, is that I could sit down to a bit bowl of salsa con queso (which velveeta) and pretzels and eat until I could explode... but I can't do that with veggies. Why is it I can eat and eat and eat if it is garbage, but when it somes to something healthy, I do have an automatic shut off valve? I would love to know if there is just something in the way our bodies digest garbage vs. veggies, etc.?

I am reading The End of Overeating by David Kessler, and this is kind of the central theme of his book. Basically, our bodies have a natural system of telling us when we've eaten enough. However, foods high in fat, salt and/or sugar appeal so much to the reward system of our brain, that they overwhelm the system that says, "You're full!" because the reward system keeps saying, "This is so good!" The theory is that fat and sweet foods were hard to come by for primitive man, but their calorie-density was important for survival, so our brain developed a reward system to drive us to seek them out. But -- they were hard to come by so primitive man ate them only rarely. Fast forward to today -- fattening, sugary, salty foods are everywhere, but our brain still triggers the reward system when we eat them.

So when we sit down to something fatty/sugary/salty, our brain fires off all the hormones/chemicals that tell us to eat eat eat, but when we sit down to a bowl of broccoli, when we've eaten enough, our brain just says, "You're full." And of course, some people are more susceptible to this than others.

Interesting book -- I got it from the library and it definitely makes you think. He spends a lot of time talking about how the food industry has focused on the fat/sugar/salt combination to make us crave their products.


Edited to add: I never have trouble eating enough calories! I love almonds, peanut butter, dried fruit, etc, and they are so calorie dense that I have no trouble getting to my 1600-1800. And if I have a hundred or so calories leftover after dinner? Breyers ice cream bars in the basement fridge (140 cals), or 3 squares of dark chocolate from the pantry (70 cals). Though I also like to vary my cals, so if I get to the end of the day and have a hundred calories left, I might save them for the next day so I can splurge on something like a PBJ for lunch. :)

rockinrobin
07-17-2010, 09:46 AM
So I strongly believe that people should just focus on eating healthy and until they're full and not worry so much about the calories. (Unless you think you're overeating!)
?

That's a real big unless!! No? Isn't that why most of us got to overweight - by overeating?

I absolutely have to be concerned with calories. I can't focus on *just* eating healthy. Healthy foods have lots and lots of calories too and I don't trust myself to stop when full. My turn off switch is busted. I need the forced accountability and built in portion control that calorie counting provides. Besides, why guess with something so vital? I don't just stop shopping when I feel I've spent enough. What if I've gone over my budget and than can't pay the bills at the end of the month? No, I need to know these things and plan for it.

Anyway, no, I never, ever had the problem of not being able to get all my calories in. If only ;).

But I do agree on what one poster pointed out, perhaps you haven't found healthy, nutritious foods that you LOVE and look forward to. It does take some time for you develop those tastes and FIND those foods.

I look forward to my daily salad in a big way. Nothing boring about it - there are SO many delicious add ins and combinations - baby spinach, shredded carrots, red onions, chick peas, hearts of palm, radishes, diced peaches, diced mango, sliced strawberries, mandarin oranges, colorful bell peppers, crunchy diced cucumbers, grape tomatoes, craisins, slivered toasted almonds or pecans. Then there's the proteins - tuna, grilled salmon, grilled chicken, chunks of turkey breast, boiled eggs. I'm getting hungry just listing it. There is no end - be creative.

Then there's veggies - roasting them elevates them to a whole new level - turnips, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, string beans, broccoli, zucchini, parsnips - again the list is endless.

Eventually you will find those foods - a few great breakfasts, a bunch of yummy lunches and dinners, and snacks. You'll get the planning and timing down pat and it will become more automatic and more natural to you. For now, keep on tweaking that plan, customizing, make it your own - making it enjoyable.

Zing
07-17-2010, 09:53 AM
This is something I've been worrying a bit about lately. I'm following Paul Mckenna's system which involves eating only when you're hungry and I'm just never hungry anymore. I sleep late (student) so I'm never up in time for breakfast, I don't have snacks very often because I don't feel hungry for them, and I'm making healthy lunches and dinners. Last week I had to have two cupcakes to get me to 1200 calories, yesterday I had what I thought was quite a pig out day and had 1330. My BMR is something over 1900 so I'm a wee bit concerned, though at the moment I'm trying to just trust the process as it's worked so far.