Weight Loss Support - Physical hunger under control - Psychological huger is the wild animal - Need Advice

09-24-2012, 04:45 PM
I've been eating real healthy over the past few days as part of controlling my insulin resistance (IR). I haven't been officially diagnosed with IR yet, but my previous blood report all showed high risk of pre-diabetes. I have several dark spots in the front of neck, which is a symptom of IR and pre-diabetes.

Anyway, I have my physical hunger under control by eating well balance meals. For example, so far today I had steel cut oatmeal with some grounded flax seeds on top. For a mid-morning snack, I had a green smoothie made up of kale, 6 cubes of fresh pineapple, and protein powder. For my lunch, I had 1 cup of cooked red lentils and broccoli. I was full and even managed to leave a little bit of lentils in my bowl. It was only after I passed the food table earlier this morning that I noticed the carrot cake. I immediately turned the other way and ran away from the cake, but about 4.5 hours later, I passed the cake table again after lunch time. This time, I couldn't resist temptation. I absolutely love the taste of carrot cake! I prefer it over chocolate cake.

To make the long story short, I cut a piece of the cake and ate it even though I wasn't physically hungry. :(

How do I control my psychological hunger before it kills me?

Arctic Mama
09-24-2012, 05:13 PM
Well is it really psychological? If you have IR you are eating way too many high glycemic index foods, from your post. That will make anyone have cravings, even if they acknowledge their stomach is full.

The solution is pretty simple. More protein, more fat; less beans, grains and fruit! Several days of true low carb and most folks find the mental and physical cravings go almost completely away. Atkins is written specifically for folks like you, and even without insulin resistance I find it and similar plans a huge blessing for controlling hunger and not being mentally preoccupied with food.

Your diet is actually extremely high in carbohydrates, many of then quickly digesting. That isn't the way to manage IR and the symptoms - Stillman's, Atkins, Dr. Bernstein... All much healthier and more livable plans when your body is metabolically wonky.

Arctic Mama
09-24-2012, 05:16 PM
Here is a link to Dr. Bernstein's site and some excepts from his book. Highly recommended reading for IR and out and out diabetic folks.


09-24-2012, 09:14 PM
i dont know anything about IR, but i do understand about serious cravings for sugar. sometimes the hard part is knowing that its what you WANT and not NEED. i find that the best way to manage it is portion control. have a piece of carrot cake! but... cut it in half, and dont have another. if i restrict myself from foods it just makes me want them all the more. sometimes if i give in to my cravings its hard to stop so for me its a "pick your battles" type situation.

if im still thinking about carrot cake 4 hours later im going to have a small slice. if i can just let it go i skip it.

09-25-2012, 12:43 AM
Your diet is actually extremely high in carbohydrates, many of then quickly digesting. That isn't the way to manage IR and the symptoms - Stillman's, Atkins, Dr. Bernstein... All much healthier and more livable plans when your body is metabolically wonky.

Thanks for your input, but I have to disagree. Aside from eating the slice of carrot cake earlier today, everything I ate was what a person with IR is supposed to eat according to several resources. I'm following the McDougall Diet, where I eat non-starchy veggies, legumes, and 2 servings of fruit (usually berries). I am trying to eat as clean as I can, but I sometimes have a difficult time resisting junk food. As I mentioned before, I wasn't physically hungry when I had a slice of cake; it was purely emotional. I would like to get some advice from others on how they control their emotional food eating impluses.

A Diet for the Insulin Resistant Person


Arctic Mama
09-25-2012, 02:55 AM
I'm telling you, the diet they recommend for type 2 diabetics and gestational diabetics is often the nutritional opposite of what they need. Like most dietary recommendations, the medical and conventional wisdom frequently peddled lags far afield of what is actually the most healthy recommendation. There is a lot of research and lobbying pressure for lower fat, lower protein diet. But for someone with IR and progressions of metabolic syndrome, a diet with legumes, fruit, and much of any starch is going to be far worse for their blood sugar stability than a diet that is carbohydrate controlled with primarily protein, nutrient dense veggies, healthy fats, and nuts and low glycemic fruit sparingly.

It may be all mental hunger for you, but oftentimes those cravings are stimulated by elevated insulin levels, which your daily menu would most certainly cause in most people with metabolic syndrome. A notable side effect of therapeutic ketogenic and insulin controlling diets is a lack of even mental cravings, because it is the hormonal feedback loop from adipocyte to brain that often causes those cravings, even when your stomach is full.

It is worth noting, if you are vegetarian, that many protein sources for vegetarians are pretty inappropriate for insulin management. The pulses, in general, are bad news and don't digest as well as they are often reported to, even with soaking and sprouting. The soy based proteins have numerous issues as well. Whey is a good idea, cheese and eggs are also fine, and fish if you eat them. But plant based protein sources are almost always inferior energy for the cellular payback (essentially, they raise your insulin too much upon ingestion, when compared with a fattier and less starchy option like lamb, fish, or fatty beef). Just a side note to consider, but I was getting vegetarian vibes from your post ;)

I linked Dr. Bernstein because it is truly a worthwhile read for you and anyone else in a similar position with IR and cravings (even just head hunger). It is always good to critically evaluate dietary recommendations, as most doctors have almost no nutritional training and too many nutritionists pump the 'standard government recommendations' for various dietary needs, which is often opposed to what is actually metabolically healthy. There's a shocking amount of misinformation out there, especially regarding insulin stability. So if there's anything I hope you or another person could take away from this, it is a peek into an alternative dietary recommendation with thousands of healthy, metabolically healed followers. Bernstein and similar programs really work wonders, and the management of carbohydrates is a huge component of that.

You can disagree with me on this, but I share the advice and link for your benefit, as someone who has researched this passionately! You don't know what might work for you until you try it, after all, and even someone like me with no detectable metabolic issues has seen incredible benefits in weight and hunger management through similar programs as those listed above :)

09-25-2012, 08:07 AM
That doesn't really sound like psychological hunger to me - it sounds like garden-variety giving in to a temptation that was in front of you.

If you can't get the carrot cake and similar temptations out of your environment, work on telling yourself that they are not there for you. Or, each time you pass the table, tell yourself "not this time - maybe next time." The goodies will still be there. There will be other goodies tomorrow. You don't have to eat it this time.

Resisting temptation requires a bit of mental discipline - there isn't always a physiological switch you can trip by eating the right magic food that will suddenly make delicious sweets unappealing to you. Cakes and sweets are engineered to be appealing to us human beings and to a certain extent are likely always to be, no matter how clean you eat and for how long. So practice that discipline, exercise it and it will get stronger over time like a muscle.

09-25-2012, 05:46 PM
I'll just say, drink hot tea, soda water, black coffee, ice water, chew gum, etc. Just a few tips!

09-25-2012, 07:45 PM
Hungry or not, sometimes we just like to eat something because it tastes good. I'm not going to debate what any person should eat to meet their individual needs or to lose weight. But if we only eat what we actually need to meet a nutritional requirement, we are probably going to be bored and that will lead to giving in to "temptation." Nobody NEEDS carrot cake. Or many of the things that we all ate in excess to get us to the point where we needed to re-think our entire food situation. But sometimes we WANT carrot cake. (Not me, but I'll take yellow with chocolate frosting, please.) I don't think this is emotional eating. We watch certain TV shows because we want to and enjoy them. No one NEEDS to watch Big Bang Theory, but we like to. We could watch educational TV or a documentary on the Civil War. No one NEEDS several different pairs of jeans or dresses or tee-shirts. We could get by with half of what we have most of the time. But we are human and we like things. Food falls into this.

I think emotional eating is real. I don't think eating the carrot cake - one piece, one time - is emotional eating. It's "human" eating. In the big scheme of things we need to recognize this as a reason for eating something, too. It isn't all simply emotional or nutritional. And once we do recognize this, I think we have an easier time dealing with it.


09-25-2012, 09:39 PM
Something I learned from that book "Overcoming Overeating" (?) is don't look at it, don't think about it. Because when you do, brain chemicals start kicking in that work away at your resistance until you give in.