Weight Watchers - How do I combat 'hungry days' effetively?




archychick
03-24-2014, 11:46 AM
I've finally found my groove and have been adhering well to my plan. However, yesterday I felt like I had a bottomless pit inside me. I was completely insatiable! I did my best to fill myself with veg. and fruit...nothing. I then made certain that I had enough protein...nothing. I worked (I work at home) and knitted to take my mind off it, but nothing still. So, later in the evening I ended up going over my points, not by too much, but damn.

I know that I have a whole week of extra points from which I can draw and that this might just be one of those days where I need a little extra. However, I would like to know how to combat this better if I find myself having another 'hungry day' or several in succession. I have been on WW for over a year now and the light switch finally flipped on for me. I don't want to blow it!

Tips? :shrug:


Becky Quilts
03-24-2014, 03:25 PM
These are the days that WP are made for! It is part of the plan, it is well within where you're supposed to be to use those.

You hit the high points - making sure you're eating plenty of protein and trying to fill up on fruits and veggies. Make sure you're drinking plenty of non-caloric fluids. (Yes, of course, water is best.) Keeping your hands busy is good, too.

Are you hitting your daily guidelines? Specifically, healthy oils? It is an easy one to skip, I am guilty of that all the time. Fat can help satisfy. (Peanut butter, nuts, seeds, mayo, oils.) If you are careful to measure and are within your WP there is no harm. Fat has unfortunately gotten a bad rap in the dieting community when truly the right *kinds* of fat make all the difference.
(Take a look: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/ )

Make sure you're hitting your other healthy guidelines. I'm guessing you are, but thought I would mention it.

If you're having a particular craving, find a sensible way to fill it. Sugar free chocolate pudding is one fallback of mine, sometimes I will dip a banana into it. Or a tablespoon of almond butter (or peanut butter) on a banana, heated.

Other than that I'm out of ideas and will keep an eye on this thread. I too have days (on plan or off) that it seems there is a hole where my diaphragm is, and my gut is empty and hungry.

PUPMOM5
03-24-2014, 05:02 PM
I drink water, water, water on my "empty pit" days. I've read that your body reacts the same to hunger as to thirst, and I do find that I feel more hungry at times when I haven't drank as much water as I should. I also try to eat fruit with as much fiber as I can - I especially like strawberries or peaches/plums/etc.


archychick
03-24-2014, 05:54 PM
Thanks, guys!

I guess I am thinking of WP in the wrong way. I tend to think of them as 'falling off' points more than 'damage control' and I feel like I have failed when I delve into the WP.

Water is my #1 drink of choice! Save an after-work wine, I've never been a calorie drinker thank goodness.

A HA! Healthy oils! I didn't have ANY oils of any kind yesterday. I'll have to pay more mind to that.

Don't be afraid of telling me rudimentary things. Sometimes the obvious, like above, will elude me. That's why I come to you all. Not only that, but others reading this might learn something. :)

Serenity100
03-24-2014, 07:41 PM
You can always eat a piece of fruit. Zero points, lots of fiber and good nutrition . Sometimes your body might be fighting you lowering your calories and try to get you to eat because you will be losing weight. But there is no sense being starving. As mentioned good fats, and also protein. Have you tried a light string cheese stick? Only 1 point. Or making the soup and having some is a good idea too.

xRiotGirl
03-24-2014, 07:57 PM
I pretend I'm not watching my weight for 10 mins and eat whatever the thing is that's eating at my brain. Because if I don't, it WILL turn into 3 'hungry days' and I'll end up bingeing. I'm not on WW though, so I don't know how this would effect you. :p

mam1958
03-24-2014, 08:15 PM
My go to food is grapes. I will have 1 cup that fills me up plus I get my sweet tooth satisfied.

Like Becky Quilts mentioned I also use sugar-free pudding with some cool whip.

Munchy
03-25-2014, 11:37 AM
I go for higher volume foods when I'm really hungry - an example: breakfast will be a scramble of 1-2 cups of sauteed mixed veggies mixed with 3 egg whites and a bit of cheese, lunch is a huge serving of pureed or broth-based soup, and dinner is a huge plate of zucchini noodles with marinara sauce, stir fry vegetables with fish or scallops, or sauteed cabbage topped with shredded meat.

The entire day is filled with big, filling meals, but is a low calorie/point range.

archychick
03-25-2014, 03:53 PM
@riotgirl: Yes, you make a definite point about that and I do do that. However, at the moment it is too soon for me to give in. I need to stay on track a while so I don't fly off the wagon. lol

@Munchy: You know, I meal plan so tightly during the week that I haven't left room for extra food. This is a habit for budgeting that I've fallen into for the last 15 years. I see that I should be buying extra veggies and other ingredients to have on hand for such an occasion. Thanks for that! Yes, broth-based soups are really helpful. I was a total calorie counter before WW. What worked before (cal. counting only) no longer works now that I'm about to turn 46. So, I'm straddling the calories/points.

RareandUnknown931319
03-25-2014, 04:06 PM
On those (hungry days) I suggest eating oatmeal, wheat bread, brown rice, white and black beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, and salad. All these foods really fill you up and they will still give you energy. Also when you have a sweet tooth, try eating an apple, pear, or an orange with yogurt, this will satisfy you and help you feel guilty free! Try drinking powerade, zero calories and good for you, also they taste good. Only 99 cents each. Keep yourself occupied, talk on this site for help, read a good book, take a walk, watch a movie, anything to help keep you distracted. They helped me, hopefully they'll help you too!:) And heres a hug for good luck!:hug:

Koshka
03-25-2014, 06:53 PM
Thanks, guys!

I guess I am thinking of WP in the wrong way. I tend to think of them as 'falling off' points more than 'damage control' and I feel like I have failed when I delve into the WP.



Weekly Points aren't falling off points and while they can act as damage control, that isn't their sole purpose either.

Think of it this way. Your daily points are the minimum you should eat. They are most assuredly not the maximum. The maximum is your daily points, plus over the course of the week, your weekly points and your activity points. I'm not saying you have to eat all those --- I don't usually eat my activity points for example --- but you certainly can do so.

You can see this clearly because your daily points are a single number - 26 in my case. Think about it. WW is not so inflexible that it would tell me that I must eat exactly 26 points each day. After all, 25 is too few and if we aren't supposed to eat weekly points then 27 would be too many. I think it really promotes a diet mentality to think that you have to eat exactly 26 points (or whatever one's daily points are) every day. That would drive me crazy trying to eat to an exact number of points and I would feel like I'm on a diet.

So, I vary it depending upon what is going on in my life and what I'm hungry for. But weekly points aren't just there to control damage. They are there because we are human beings and we don't always want to eat the same number of points each and every day.

Further if your daily points are 26, you can be eating under 1000 calories in a day. For me, on days that I eat 26 points, I usually eat about 950 or so calories, including zero points food (I know this because I also count calories).

That is fine to do sometimes, but I don't think it would be nutritionally good for me to be eating that few calories on a consistent basis.

I don't go out of my way to avoid eating weekly points or to try to eat all of them. I just go through my day and basically eat what I think is reasonable. Usually I end up averaging about 31 points a day so I eat about 35 of my 49 weekly points. This does vary from week to week. But, I often eat out and those tend to be higher point days. Or I have days when I'm just hungry. Or I have days that I eat higher point food.

The point is -- don't be afraid of eating weekly points. WW assumes in setting your points that you are, in fact, eating those points. You don't have to eat all of them but the program is designed for you to be able to eat them and still have a good loss.

archychick
03-25-2014, 09:04 PM
I am so glad that I made my way back to 3FC & posted this question! I am learning much more than just the answer to it. Your tickers tell me you know what you're talking about.

I see that my mentality about this program is totally off. My career is very mathematical, so I guess my mind automatically goes to the equation instead of the word problem. lol

This totally makes sense in regard to WP. I can't stop calorie counting, so the points-only made me nervous. Glad to see that others count them as well. Now that I have some clue to the points/cal equivalent nutritionally from reading other threads I feel a lot better. The DP on the regular can be too few.

WW is getting more fun now that I have more to put into my formula. :D

Munchy
03-26-2014, 11:57 AM
@riotgirl: Yes, you make a definite point about that and I do do that. However, at the moment it is too soon for me to give in. I need to stay on track a while so I don't fly off the wagon. lol

@Munchy: You know, I meal plan so tightly during the week that I haven't left room for extra food. This is a habit for budgeting that I've fallen into for the last 15 years. I see that I should be buying extra veggies and other ingredients to have on hand for such an occasion. Thanks for that! Yes, broth-based soups are really helpful. I was a total calorie counter before WW. What worked before (cal. counting only) no longer works now that I'm about to turn 46. So, I'm straddling the calories/points.

I do almost exactly the same thing as you - I've been meal planning/freezing cooking for over 6 years, BUT I do eat high volume, low calorie foods all the time. That means that my plans (with snacks) usually equal 600-800 calories per day, but I have the leeway to add in other things if I feel it's necessary. Before, that was typically a couple of glasses of champagne. Now it tends to be a serving of fruit and maybe some rice crackers with an oz of cheese. I only eat them if I feel it's absolutely necessary.

I count both calories and points too :)

ETA we have a 3fatchicks volumetrics thread (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/general-diet-plans-questions/292426-volumetrics-followers.html) with plenty of ideas on how to eat filling meals for few calories.

archychick
03-26-2014, 08:27 PM
Yeah Munchy, it's hard to break out of the type of meal planning habit when you've been doing it so long. I guess now we just evolve it a bit, right? I cook all my WW meals for the whole family so that helps and I'm thinking that you do too. Any meal planning tips would be great! Unfortunately, I can't freeze as I have a tiny apartment-size freezer and no room for another freezer. Oh, I wish that I could!

My husband has been complaining about the cut-back of meat. I told him that, that is the actual amount that humans are to eat - the amount I used to eat before we got together! lol I'll just use the extra $ from the meat budget on vegetables. ;)

Thanks, I'm going straight to that volumetrics thread! It really helps to talk to others that also count calories.

happybug
04-30-2014, 12:44 AM
Making good food choices is important too. For example I might be able to eat a Mars Bar or a Fillet of Fish burger for lunch and it fits into my points but it won't fill me up, where as for the same points I could have a ham salad sandwich, soup, fruit and a yoghurt. If all else fails I find exercise manages to stave off the hunger pangs. Oh and making sure I eat my points for the day and not skimping otherwise I can feel hungrier.

mars735
04-30-2014, 01:07 AM
During all the diets I've used in my life including WW, I've noticed that the bottomless pit hunger feeling seems to precede a big weight loss. It's almost as if the hunger is my body searching for fat to burn. Even knowing that, I still have to struggle to stick to my program at those times. Thanks for the good ideas everyone. I also use fat free chicken broth with some shredded cabbage and a little soy sauce to fill me up. Sometimes I end up going to bed early.

keliagur
05-21-2014, 06:17 PM
I drink water and yogurt, this helps me.

GordonGirl16
05-21-2014, 06:37 PM
I find that I feel much fuller on foods that I really need to chew on. Popcorn is actually only 2 points a cup if it's buttered (less, if it's not!) I also like to much on celery or baby carrots with hummus if I'm hungry. For me personally, if I'm not hungry enough to eat healthy munchy things, then I shouldn't be eating anything else, either. I'm just starting out too, and today is becoming a "hungry day" for me, so I'm right there with you!

Pattience
05-21-2014, 06:53 PM
Going on the basis of what i've learnt about leptin, i'd say you need to eat when you have those hungry days. Just do more or less what you did. Keep trying to make it healthy food. I wouldn't worry about going over your points.

The thing is according to Dr Amanda Sainsbury-Salis, you are having a famine reaction.

It looks like you've been on your diet for a while now and maybe its time to just take the foot off the pedal for a little while and let your 'set-point' catch up with you.

You may have heard that most people find it hard to keep the weight off once they lose about 10% of their body fat. This is because the body is wired (though not permanently) to a maintain a certain weight. The hormone leptin, which is produced in your fat cells, goes to the hypothalamus and tells it that you are 'starving.' - starvation mode, when you restrict calories severely and/or when you lose a certain amount of weight. Your metabolism slows down and your appetite increases. This is your bodies way of trying to make you regain the weight you've lost. When you have less fat, there is less leptin and this is what the hypothalamus registers. Also some people become leptin insensitive, a bit like insulin resistance, only the leptin insensitivity is easily reversed.

What to do when all this starts happening. Eat more. take a break from your weight loss but i would recommend you still do it with great care. Don't just eat any old thing because you will be back where you started in no time. Rather eat well, but eat a bit more for a while. Maybe a month. Then restart your reduction process.

When you do this, you don't put on much weight but your body realises the famine is over. That there is plenty of food around and you are not in danger of dying. The words are strong because its not a conscious process and the body is not able to read the signs any better.

At a certain point after eating more, your appetite will abate. Dr Amanda calls this the fat break. You will find it easier to lose after this. Your appetite will be normal and your metabolism will have sped up again.

There are also other possible causes for your hungry days. It could just be the odd hungry day and it could be low seratonin levels due to stress, lack of sleep, or lack of nutrition.

You can get a sense of the basics of both these hormones and how they affect us by some articles on nutrition wonderland website and there is also a good one on leptin on web-MD.

Lorna F
05-22-2014, 09:23 AM
For me that would be a day for dipping into extra points, WP, or AP - though I am trying to not eat up my WP these days, and concentrate more on using from AP. Like yesterday. I came home from work craving. I knew there was still 2 hours until dinner, so I made myself a one slice of wholemeal bread, no butter, and a slice of Colby (5pt). It was soooo good, and hit the hunger on the spot.

Other strategies that I use, you have already mentioned, like keeping fruits and veggies handy - I try keep a stack of these things pre cut (do it as soon as I get in from grocery shopping). Also, drinking water, and then trying to get your mind off being hungry by doing something else - for me its going for a walk. But sometimes ya just need something more, right? And that's the EP treat. Just don't give in too often, yikes! :)

Good luck! :)

CaityCait88
05-22-2014, 10:38 AM
I think that all the post are very helpful and I've definitely have those hungry days. I'm on WW as well and try not to dip too much into WP and cant help but feel as if I'm cheating a little. BUT they are there for a reason.

What no one has really touched on that I find myself thinking on those hungry days is that I'm often psychologically or emotionally hungry. There can be many causes of hunger and I'd have to say I most often fall prey to hunger caused by my brain, not by my body.

I often have to do something to distract myself, like reading or even doing mindfulness practices to asses myself in the moment. Take a minute to think about why you're hungry and perhaps journal about it. If you are in fact hungry, use those WP and fill up on some good for you food. However, I think it's best to tackle those days from a multi-faceted approach and really think about why we are actually hungry.

Have a great day!!

StephanieAZ
05-28-2014, 04:03 AM
I have been on WW (again) for about 12 weeks now. Last week is the first week I finally dipped into my WP by about half. I did a lot of celebrating (wedding, husband's birthday, out-of-town relatives visiting) and we ate out quite a bit. I ended up losing 3.4 lbs., which is one of my bigger weekly losses since I re-joined. Of course, the loss could have been due to any number of things, but I was really surprised. I've had some of my WP again this week, so we'll see how that goes. It's really hard not to think of them as "falling off the wagon" for me, but I'm working on it because I know they are there to use. I also know that some people can eat all of them and lose and some people can eat half and still lose, etc. You really have to experiment and see what works for you. At my weight, I get A LOT of points still, so I think that has to do with it. I am sure once I am down more and have less points available to me, those weeklies will be easier to use. :D

One thing I was going to suggest is that you mention you plan your days pretty strictly. I have found that I almost HAVE to plan my days in advance (usually the night before, as much as I can) but I do try to leave 5 points of "wiggle room" to eat something that I might be craving (or a substitute) or pick whatever I am feeling like eating for a snack at the time. I think a lot of this food stuff is mental, so for me, having those "extra" points makes me feel like I am having a big treat.

Koshka
05-28-2014, 10:18 PM
I've had some of my WP again this week, so we'll see how that goes. It's really hard not to think of them as "falling off the wagon" for me, but I'm working on it because I know they are there to use. I also know that some people can eat all of them and lose and some people can eat half and still lose, etc. You really have to experiment and see what works for you.

I would encourage any WW member to have a different attitude about Weekly Points. That is, think about daily points as the minimum you should eat each day, not as the maximum.

Daily points are the minimum that WW thinks you should eat to get the necessary nutrition.

So if someone never eats weekly points and always eats daily points then that means eating exactly the same number of points each day. I would argue that that isn't the kind of flexibility and real life eating that WW wants to promote. That is more of a diet mentality. If I had to eat exactly 26 points a day (my daily points level) and never eat more (without thinking I had cheated) or less, I would simply not be able to sustain that for a lifetime. I could sustain it awhile but it would not be livable for a lifetime.

The true maximum is to eat over the course of the week the sum of your daily points (eating the minimum daily), your weekly points and your activity points. WW assumes that you, in fact, eat that and designs the program based upon that.

All of that said, I think it is fine not to eat Weekly points or activity points if you aren't hungry. I personally almost never eat APs and usually eat about half of my weekly points. But, eating weekly points is not falling off the wagon at all.

archychick
06-23-2014, 06:04 PM
Thanks all. Support makes all the difference for weight loss success. Grateful to be here with you all. :)

Pattience: Yes. Your post makes all the sense in the world and is a keeper. I have been away from the computer for a month, so I didn't read it until today. However, I did what you posted and you are so right, my appetite is much more balanced.