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Getting in touch with hunger

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Old 10-02-2011, 03:29 PM   #1
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Default Getting in touch with hunger

So I've recently gotten very much into Intuitive Eating. Thanks in part to a great book called A Course in Weightloss: 21 Spiritual Lessons, I am very much getting in touch with my hunger and listening for the cues that my body give me as to when I need to fuel it, instead of listening to my head tell me when to eat. As a result, I'm enjoying myself and my body far more than I have for pretty much as long as I can remember.

This morning, I went to a farmer's market, got a delicious (sugar-free) vanilla latte, wandered about and sampled some delicious fruit chunks, a few pita chips with homemade hummus, and realized through it all that I need far less food to actually feel full than I ever realized previously. when it came time to eat the cheese bread I had initially purchased for breakfast, I wasn't actually hungry-even now, it's sitting right next to me. It looks delicious and I want to eat it, but I'm just going to wait until my body is actually hungry. And because I'm not doing some strangely restrictive diet or eating plan, I'm eating exactly what I want-no compromises. If I want it, and I'm hungry (very important!!), I have it. And I stop when I'm satisfied, because I can always have more later when I'm hungry again. It's a new way of life for me, and I'm loving it. And it feels right for me. It doesn't feel like a diet, or a real change. It just feels like, well, normal life. And I'm learning to love it again :-)

My point is, I think we spend a lot of time trying to avoid hunger ("I'm on this diet and I never feel hungry!" and "I eat every 2-3 hours so I'm never hungry!"), and as a result we're not letting our bodies do the talking. Hunger is your body's way of requesting fuel, and I think it's far better to let your body tell you when it's hungry, instead of letting your head dictate it. Because to be honest, my head has tricked me into eating a lot more than I've ever needed to eat.

Anyway, just some thoughts to consider :-) A lovely day to all!
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:24 PM   #2
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Add to that, hunger is not an emergency. Feeling hunger does not mean you need to fix it NOW NOW NOW! Most of the hunger I feel subsides with a bit of time waiting it out.

I am getting used to feeling hungry and it becomes less and less uncomfortable over time. Of course that is completely different from starving oneself for days on end, just in case anyone interpreted it that way :P

We CAN live for a great deal of time without food, so eating every time and immediately when you feel hunger is unnecessary and eats up calories you could have used on a nice sized dinner
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:02 PM   #3
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A note about hunger from my perspective:

My goal is to never be hungry and to eat when I am. I am following the ideology of eating many SMALL meals throughout the day. If I get hungry, then I need to eat a little to keep my metabolism up.

So far it works for me. I no longer eat any BIG meals. I try not to feel full, yet also not hungry.
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:45 PM   #4
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Congratulations on finding something that works for you!

I have tried IE in the past, and the reason I didn't last on it is because I don't want to eat only when hungry. That doesn't mean I want to pig out 24/7. It just means that there are times in life when I want to eat something just because it tastes good and I have a craving for it.

Now, with that being said, I definitely do enjoy my meals more when I actually feel physically hungry before eating them.
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:50 PM   #5
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I hear what you're sayin' GatorGirl, and good on you for doing what works for you! I guess I'm just starting to question why a lot of people are so seemingly afraid of feeling hunger. And I'm definitely not condoning letting yourself stay hungry or even get to the point of ravenous hunger, I just mean that so often we don't even give our bodies the chance to feel even a little bit of hunger, as a signal to eat. I'm all for letting my body feel some hunger now. That's when I'm going to eat, and not before.
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I believe in you. I believe in your authenticity, your uniqueness, your intensity, your wildness. I love your restlessness and your hunger. You possess the energy that, if unleashed, could transform, inspire and heal the world.

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Old 10-02-2011, 08:01 PM   #6
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Lin43- I totally understand that! Sometimes something just looks (or smells) irresistible.
I guess that I've gotten over that by making sure nothing is off limits. I love to eat, and I'm a total foodie. The idea of turning something delicious down because it's not on my 'food plan' is just horrible to me. I want to try everything! I've just made it more about incorporating the things I really want at the right times, coupled with the realization that the food will pretty much always be there. For example, this morning I stopped at a vendor selling brownies and sampled a small piece of a 'french toast blondie' (at the end of my trip to the market, so I was already pretty full). SO GOOD. So I just bought one and took it with me. I ate half of it later on when I got a bit hungry. And it was incredible.
I guess for me it's the difference between shoveling something in as soon as I get it and getting something that I can savor, and truly enjoy.
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I believe in you. I believe in your authenticity, your uniqueness, your intensity, your wildness. I love your restlessness and your hunger. You possess the energy that, if unleashed, could transform, inspire and heal the world.

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Old 10-02-2011, 09:14 PM   #7
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I have been studying all day, so I think I missed the point of the original post. lol. I really should learn to read. lol.

I am so glad that you found what works for you. I think that this diet that I'm doing may be my way there in the long run. For now, I know if I let myself eat what I want and I let my body tell me when I am hungry then I won't listen to my body - I will listen to that little chubby devil on my shoulder who got me here in the first place. I do one day just want to live and eat that way that I feel natural... and be thin. Isn't that everyone's dream? Glad you can live the dream. Enjoy!
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:16 PM   #8
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I've tried intuitive eating, and it didn't work for me. I couldn't learn to distinguish physiological hunger from emotional/mental hunger. It all felt like hunger to me.

I also learned that what I ate affected the hunger. High-carb foods made me tremendously hungry. On a very low-carb diet, I had no hunger at all, and would forget to eat. On very low-carb, my first hunger signals were irritability. I wasn't hungry on very low-carb until I was almost at the point of passing out.

When I read more about insulin resistance, the more I saw that carb-induced hunger WAS physiological hunger.

If I let hunger be my guide, I eat too much.

I think intuitive eating is a worthwhile experiment, but it doesn't work for everyone. I know some people say that it does, if you're committed to it (sounds like the guilt-trip they lay on overweight folks in general - if your food plan doesn't work it's all your fault).

I don't buy that. When it comes to weight loss, there are a lot of different issues involved. We aren't all the same. Some people can learn intuitive eating, and some people can't (whether it's a physiological or psychological issue doesn't matter). Some people adapt to and even enjoy calorie or point, or exchange counting, and some don't.

I've found that I do much better when I eat smaller, more frequent meals. I rarely get very hungry, and I also rarely get "full" (which I now realize was overfull). It works for me, because it's the opposite of how I gained weight, in the first place. I got fat by "dieting," or at least dieting the way I was used to. I would eat nothing for breakfast, virtually nothing for lunch, and then in three or four hours eat two days worth of calories.

I have to stop eating when I'm still hungry, or I've overeaten. The small meals were initially something I meant to be temporary, to "shrink my stomach." I'd read in reader's digest, that hunger is largely dependent upon the capacity of our stomach. The more we eat in a sitting, the longer it will take to satisfy the hunger. I thought I'd shrink my stomach as the article suggested by never eating more than 1 cup of food in a sitting, and then I'd eventually go back to three meals a day (but they'd be smaller meals, because my stomach capacity would be smaller).

Instead, I found that the small, frequent meals worked for me - not only physiologically, but psychologically as well. When I was trying to eat intuitively I was thinking about food constantly - constantly trying to assess whether I was "really" hungry or not.

I think we tend to believe that "most people" are just like us, especially where dieting is concerned. There are very few weight loss books that acknowledge differences between dieters. Instead, each book's focus is almost always a one-size-fits-all approach, that is supposed to work for everyone.

I think weight loss statistics will improve, when we start acknowledging that there are unique, individual differences between dieters, and stop looking for the "best diet" and start looking for the factors that determine which diet is best for whom.
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
I've tried intuitive eating, and it didn't work for me. I couldn't learn to distinguish physiological hunger from emotional/mental hunger. It all felt like hunger to me.

I also learned that what I ate affected the hunger. High-carb foods made me tremendously hungry. On a very low-carb diet, I had no hunger at all, and would forget to eat. On very low-carb, my first hunger signals were irritability. I wasn't hungry on very low-carb until I was almost at the point of passing out.

When I read more about insulin resistance, the more I saw that carb-induced hunger WAS physiological hunger.

If I let hunger be my guide, I eat too much.

I think intuitive eating is a worthwhile experiment, but it doesn't work for everyone. I know some people say that it does, if you're committed to it (sounds like the guilt-trip they lay on overweight folks in general - if your food plan doesn't work it's all your fault).

I don't buy that. When it comes to weight loss, there are a lot of different issues involved. We aren't all the same. Some people can learn intuitive eating, and some people can't (whether it's a physiological or psychological issue doesn't matter). Some people adapt to and even enjoy calorie or point, or exchange counting, and some don't.

I've found that I do much better when I eat smaller, more frequent meals. I rarely get very hungry, and I also rarely get "full" (which I now realize was overfull). It works for me, because it's the opposite of how I gained weight, in the first place. I got fat by "dieting," or at least dieting the way I was used to. I would eat nothing for breakfast, virtually nothing for lunch, and then in three or four hours eat two days worth of calories.

I have to stop eating when I'm still hungry, or I've overeaten. The small meals were initially something I meant to be temporary, to "shrink my stomach." I'd read in reader's digest, that hunger is largely dependent upon the capacity of our stomach. The more we eat in a sitting, the longer it will take to satisfy the hunger. I thought I'd shrink my stomach as the article suggested by never eating more than 1 cup of food in a sitting, and then I'd eventually go back to three meals a day (but they'd be smaller meals, because my stomach capacity would be smaller).

Instead, I found that the small, frequent meals worked for me - not only physiologically, but psychologically as well. When I was trying to eat intuitively I was thinking about food constantly - constantly trying to assess whether I was "really" hungry or not.

I think we tend to believe that "most people" are just like us, especially where dieting is concerned. There are very few weight loss books that acknowledge differences between dieters. Instead, each book's focus is almost always a one-size-fits-all approach, that is supposed to work for everyone.

I think weight loss statistics will improve, when we start acknowledging that there are unique, individual differences between dieters, and stop looking for the "best diet" and start looking for the factors that determine which diet is best for whom.
Well said, and I have experienced the same when I tried IE. I do get hungry, though, and when I do, I tend to crave something very specific. The problem is that if I cannot get that very specific item and am forced to eat something else, I tend to go off plan completely. I'll feel deprived. That's one of my triggers for overeating.

To the OP, that blondie you saved shows that you really are internalizing those good IE behaviors. If that had been me, I wouldn't have been able to stop thinking about that blondie until I had eaten it! LOL!
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