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Eating when you're not hungry..

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Old 11-12-2008, 05:37 PM   #1
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Default Eating when you're not hungry..

Is it better to eat when you don't have hunger pains, or is it better to wait until you're really hungry?

Also, I'm still pretty new here, and I was wondering if it bothers you when people make too many threads? I just don't want to be annoying...
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:52 PM   #2
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When I first started I decided on smaller meals at frequent intervals, appx 6 meals per day. This worked for me because in the past I'd wait to eat until I was so hungry I'd practically gorge myself! This way I'm never really hungry, never really full - just satisfied at all times. YMMV.

No one minds in the least if you make new threads! It's seemed sort of slow lately. Action is good.
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:00 PM   #3
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I'm like FB, I tend to eat 6 (sometimes more) times a day. If I wait until I'm hungry I definitely have a tendency to make bad decisions. I plan my days ahead of time, so I know what I'm having next (ie. I rarely leave it up to my choice). If you can deal rationally with hunger signals it's not a bad idea to wait until you're slightly hungry, then eat.
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:11 PM   #4
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Well, I was waiting untill I was really hungry, not starving but not beginning of hunger, and I did really well with serving myself small portions. My mom still cooks dinner, and shes supporting me by cooking healthy stuff. I just wondered if your body reacted differently to the food its getting when not hungry or rly hungry.
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:17 PM   #5
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i have no idea, i make myself eat breakfast in the morning even though i'm never hungry til a few hours after i get up. a lot of the time i'm hungry but have no desire to eat. i don't really know what's up with me. i mainly don't feel like eating when i actually need to but eat when i'm bored or stressed. most of my calories come from alcohol.
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:51 PM   #6
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Many weight loss gurus suggest that you use the "hunger scale" - never getting too hungry or eating beyond where you start to feel full.

I also eat 5-6 times a day to keep me from devouring everything in sight
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:14 PM   #7
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I think it's an individual thing, whatever works, whether it's never getting very hungry, or always waiting until you're definitely hungry. I think it's even more important just to never get stuffed. Learn to tell when you're satisfied.
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Old 11-12-2008, 08:04 PM   #8
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I've read where it's best to wait until you first know you're hungry - but not to the starving point. Waiting until you're starved will lead to overdoing it and your body holding onto the fat.

Also, what I've done that helps is eating something small every 3 hours (regulates blood sugar) and eating at the kitchen table - and nowhere else and doing nothing else (like watching tv or reading).

Good luck.

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Old 11-13-2008, 02:47 PM   #9
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As an emotional eater, it has been helpful to me to experiment with letting myself get varying degrees of hungry so that I can distinguish between physical and emotional hunger, then eating very slowly so I can see how much food it actually takes to make me feel physically full. It's less than I thought. I've also found that, as I've grown comfortable with the physical feeling of hunger, it becomes less scary to be hungry, and the feeling actually fades when I'm in a situation where I can't eat but acknowledge I will later. It used to feel like hunger=death. Now, I generally eat fairly regularly, as it is becoming easier to recognize that I'm getting hungry and to estimate how hungry I am.
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Old 11-13-2008, 02:58 PM   #10
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I try not to let myself get really, really hungry before eating because it makes me feel pretty crappy. It tends to make me feel sick, want to gobble everything in sight, and/or binge on the first food item that happens to be handy. So I do my best to eat at regular intervals.

I don't eat when I don't feel hungry, though, since I believe that this is not a good idea. I'm trying to get more in tune with my body and make healthier choices, and forcing myself to eat when I'm not hungry is like training myself to eat "whenever" instead of when I actually need to. It's just a little too close to binging for my comfort (as in ignoring my body's signals).

There's a great chapter about this exact topic in a book called "Thin for Life" by Ann M Fletcher.

That being said, I do have to question myself sometimes whether or not I am truly feeling hungry, or is it something else. If I wait 10 minutes and am still hungry, chances are I really do need to eat. Otherwise, I may just be dehyrated or I could be trying to ward off boredom, anger, etc.
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Old 11-13-2008, 05:41 PM   #11
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Thanks for all your advice.
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Old 11-13-2008, 06:40 PM   #12
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Post as many threads as you want!

There are so many different schools of thought here, and a lot of it depends on what works for YOU. Also, you'll find that a lot of people who have been overweight for a very long time and who eat emotionally don't really KNOW what true hunger feels like. I was one of those people and still am sometimes. I would eat because I was bored. Or because I was frustrated. Or because it was there and tasted good. And I never knew if I was really hungry or just ... eating to eat.

So it's possible that waiting until you're hungry (just hungry, not starving) would be a good thing for you to learn what your hunger symptoms are.

OTOH, I have discovered that I get cranky if I get too hungry. And at this point, if I skip a meal or a snack, I'm likely to eat too much at the next meal because I'm hungry.

So for me, I will eat my snack even if I don't think I'm particularly hungry. Or I"ll try to have lunch no later than 3 hours after my morning snack, even if I don't feel a hunger pang. It's just easier that way than getting overinvolved in something, not eating, and then going nutso later.

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Old 11-13-2008, 07:44 PM   #13
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I get cranky when I don't eat too. As for me, I used to eat because I was bored and loved the taste of food. But I'm doing really well with eating now. I don't eat emotionally anymore. And I haven't binged since I started.
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