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Old 07-14-2004, 03:38 PM   #1
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Question question about eating when hungry

Do you eat when you're hungry or try to eat by the clock? What if you ate dinner already, but you're so hungry you can't sleep? I usually try to eat by the clock because no matter what I eat for breakfast I'm starving by 9:30am. Sometimes I have a small snack at mid-morning, but unless I eat something substantial I'm hungry an hour later anyway, so I just wait til lunch most of the time. I get up every morning at 5:30am or so because I have to exercise before my toddler wakes up. So I eat breakfast around 7am. I eat lunch at 1pm (I can't eat earlier because of work logistics). This works okay because I don't get the munchies in the afternoons. We usually eat dinner at 6:30 and I don't get hungry before I go to bed at 9:30 or so.

Anyway, one of the reasons I'm asking about eating and hunger is because I have a very big problem not eating when I get home from work on Tuesday nights. On Tuesdays I work 12:45 til 9:15pm, and have to eat dinner at 5pm. I'm usually VERY hungry by the time I get out of work and worse yet, not sleepy. I have a very hard time resisting food when I get home, but I've eaten my calories for the day already. What would you do? Try to eat less on other days to "save" some calories for Tuesday evenings? Or what???
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Old 07-14-2004, 04:55 PM   #2
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In my opinion, if you're truly hungry, eat! You may try eating smaller meals, but adding more snacks throughout the day. This should help to keep you from getting so hungry and boost your metabolism as well.

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Old 07-14-2004, 05:13 PM   #3
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My gosh, I'd be gnawing my arm off if I waited as long between meals as you do! Good heavens, of course you're hungry when you get home from work on Tuesdays! And I know how hard it can be to resist temptation when you both tired and hungry -- that usually spells disaster to me.

My suggestion would be definitely to plan something to eat when you get home at 9:15. Maybe Tuesdays can be your higher calorie day of the week or maybe you can just eat a little less at your other meals that day so that it all evens out? Actually, some nutritionists think it's a good idea to vary your daily calories during the week so your body doesn't get too used to one set level -- it's called zig zagging your calories. But however you want to work it, I'd eat something for sure. I know if I go to bed hungry, I'll wake up about 2 AM starving and won't be able to go back to sleep. No fun.

What works for me is eating mini-meals every three hours, all day. That usually works out to:

7:00 AM (after cardio) -- oatmeal and egg whites or protein powder mixed in
10:00 AM -- protein and a carb
1:00 PM -- usually a big salad with chicken or fish, low fat dressing
4:00 PM -- something like a homemade protein bar or cottage cheese and yogurt
7:00 PM -- meat or fish and veggies
(it's pretty flexible and gets adapted to different circumstances)

I'm always hungry by the next meal, even eating every three hours, so I make myself eat by the clock. Otherwise, I'd run out of calories by noon every day!

Let us know what you try and how it works, OK?
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Old 07-14-2004, 05:29 PM   #4
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i'm trying to eat by the clock [every 4 hours] so that i don't MUNCH all day. <it didn't work so well today, but maybe i'm back in control now, since i just finished LUNCH for heavens sake!!!!!> now where was i...

oh yes. i'm with meg... just EAT. or start with some warm broth. or a protein shake. if you still want something, then eat something fairly small but nutritious.. a slice of wasa cracker [i like them, others thiink they taste like crunchy cardboard] with some chicken or turkey and sliced tomato. basically some protein with a little carb and some veggie.

some high protein soup. a small salad with chicken or tuna or whatever and some interesting veggies...

advice from my dietician: if you're hungry, eat a snack, but plan for a meal after 1-1/2 to 2 hours later.

another thing: if your day starts at 5 am and doesn't end until after 9:30, how could you POSSIBLY expect to manage on 3 meals????? it's not physically possible without some snacking.. SCHEDULED snacking, that is...
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Old 07-14-2004, 05:49 PM   #5
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Man o' man I'd be THE "B" with an itch if I only had 3 meals/day! My menu is pretty much like Megs I eat every 2.5 to 3 hours, usually 5 sometimes 6 meals/day...I have a carb and a protein at every meal sometimes even a salad with a protein and carb in the middle of the afternoon! What the heck, it's better than a bag of chips or cookies! I just eat meals now I don't think of any of my meals as "snacks"... This has been THE best way for me to eat I don't get any insulin lows like I did when I rigidly tried to stick to 3 meals/day eons ago at WW... Also this way of eating I am never ravenous, ever!
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Old 07-14-2004, 06:32 PM   #6
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I'm with the clock eaters. I've given up on the idea of 'meals' altogether and eat a little something every 2-3 hours instead. So my typical day looks something like this: (remember, I follow Atkins)

7:00 - String cheese
9:00 - Cucumber Slices
12:00 - Chicken caesar salad (or lc wrap, etc)
2:30 - Almonds
5:00 - Spinach salad w/bacon and blue cheese
7:00 - Salmon or chicken or steak
9:00 - Orange bell pepper slices

And then I go to bed around 11. So I end up eating around 7 times a day, but it's never large amounts of food. It's just breaking what I would eat in a 'meal' out over a greater period of time.
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Old 07-15-2004, 10:11 AM   #7
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Well, I do sometimes have a snack if I'm feeling really hungry. I eat fairly substantial meals, so I probably don't get as hungry as some of you would between meals. For lunch yesterday I had one piece of pizza, about 3 cups of raw veggies, and about a cup of blueberries. That kept me from feeling hungry until late afternoon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiffypop
if your day starts at 5 am and doesn't end until after 9:30, how could you POSSIBLY expect to manage on 3 meals????? it's not physically possible without some snacking.. SCHEDULED snacking, that is...
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Old 07-15-2004, 10:16 AM   #8
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Thanks Meg! I'm pretty sure I do vary my calorie intake without really trying because I don't actually keep track of calories. I do write down everything I eat because I'm in TOPS and have a food sheet, but I don't take the time to figure out the calories in things. It's more of a way to keep myself honest about what I'm eating. I think I will definitely plan to eat something smallish when I get home on Tuesdays and maybe eat less during the day. The problem right now is that I try to resist and if I can't, I do usually end up eating something junky or eating too much because I'm starving, and then I end up feeling guilty about eating!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg
Actually, some nutritionists think it's a good idea to vary your daily calories during the week so your body doesn't get too used to one set level -- it's called zig zagging your calories. But however you want to work it, I'd eat something for sure
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Old 07-15-2004, 10:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
The problem right now is that I try to resist and if I can't, I do usually end up eating something junky or eating too much because I'm starving, and then I end up feeling guilty about eating!
You just described me to a "T"! That is EXACTLY what happens to me if I try not to eat when I'm really hungry. Now what I'm trying to do is eat a little extra of the healthy stuff if I'm starving -- even if I go over what I think my calories should be for the day -- rather than grabbing something junky and then falling into the "I've blown it; might as well eat the refrigerator" mentality.
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Old 07-15-2004, 09:57 PM   #10
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jack... from what i've seen around here, the long day eating only 3 meals without snacking plan doesn't work for anyone!!!!! i can't manage on it, neither can meg or lanai. or mel.. or geeezzz. just about anyone i can think of on this forum who has lost a fair amount of weight without regain.

from what i've read elsewhere, most authorities are suggesting eating every 3-4 hours in order to maintain blood sugar levels and to prevent overeating. if a person has a 14 hour day... that's 4-5 meals...
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Old 07-15-2004, 11:23 PM   #11
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Default 3 meals a day


hi all,

i remember being on diets a long time ago and being famished (remember the hard boiled egg and melba toast variety?) but now i just try to eat healthy food at all meals.
since i've increased the nutrient quality of my food i'm never very hungry. i eat 3 meals a day and may have a banana if i'm jogging on thursdays or a small snack in the evening after dinner but other than that 3 meals satisfiy me. i'm not even hungry when i feed the kids at the daycare their snack at 4pm.
so i guess it's very individual what works. the trick is, i think, to figure ou what works for you. sometimes eating less, more frequently works, sometimes not. if you're getting enough calories then playing with the timing will make a big difference.
on another note, my sister is famished after working out at the gym -stomach pangs and all. but i don't feel extra hungry afterwards. and we work out together so i know she's not going harder than i am
having protein at every meal and no refined carbs helps you to stay satisfied longer

good luck
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Old 07-16-2004, 05:27 AM   #12
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I completely agree that what works for you is the eating plan that you should follow for the rest of your life.

But I do have a couple of comments about eating frequent, small meals --which is what works for me. I think the reason it's often recommended by nutritionists is that people (not everyone, of course) tend to eat more when they eat only three times a day, as shown through studies. By spacing out your calories during the day, you maintain a more constant blood sugar level and consequently avoid the cycle of feeling starved and then eating a large meal, with peaks and valleys in your blood sugar. It's the same reason why diabetics are told to eat 5-6 times/day. You're never too hungry and never too full -- kind of a constant, mid-level saiety.

My other thought goes to Jack's point about most of the world running on a three meal a day schedule. Statistically, most of this country, at least, is overweight or obese -- 65% are the last numbers that I've seen. Seeing that overweight is now the new norm, it's hardly a recommendation for eating the "normal" three meals a day! If we ate like most of the people in the US do -- we'd look like most of the people in the US: overweight or obese.

Seriously, though, my observations are that an awful lot of people eat constantly all day long, whether it's a candy bar at the 7-11 or donut with your coffee on the way to work or snacks by the TV. They may say it's three meals a day, but it's three big meals connected by endless munching/grazing (obviously I'm not talking here about Jack and Gen and all those who are eating carefully ) I'm not sure how many people genuinely eat only three meals a day, period.

But whatever! Just a few random thoughts about meals -- the bottom line is do what works for you and fits into your life.
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Old 07-16-2004, 08:16 AM   #13
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just like jack's dietician wants him to do, mine also put me on the 'eat every 4 hour' schedule. the reason: to stop the snacking, to make sure i stabilize both my blood sugar AND my insulin resistance, to make sure i get enough nutrition, and of course, to lose weight. if i can't eat a meal, i get to eat a snack, and then eat a meal after 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

so my day looks like this: 1/2 protein shake at 6:30 am. snack [wasa cracker with some sliced turkey and cheese and tomato] at 8:00 before hiking, breakfast at 10, lunch around 2, snack [a salad with not more than 10 grams of protein and 1/2 serving of carb in the form of carrots and chickpeas] around 6, 'dinner' around 10. that's... 6 times a day...

and i'm losing.

some nutritionists/docs/etc think that insulin resistance - which is worsened by all the processed food we have available - is fueling the obesity epidemic. i have no idea if they're right, but, as i said, lots of folks around here do very well on the recommended eating plan for insulin resistance, and i'm seeing a tendency for them to do better than those who don't... especially among people who have very very long days...

and the link with wls??? there's also a body of literature that supports the idea that those of us who get heavy enough to qualify for the surgery actually have SEVERE insulin resistance.

oh. and one more REALLY KEY POINT about insulin resistance and weight loss: AEROBIC EXERCISE IS ESSENTIAL. because it allows your body to use up the insulin. the insulin levels drop and you don't store fatl

and that, in a nutshell, is why i think jack lost SO MUCH WEIGHT on his own plan... he reduced the frequency of his meals and upped his exercise dramatically. but as with everything, our bodies get used to a routine and refuse to budge... so now he's tweaking and off and running again [sorry for the pun!!!!]

after a certain point, there really isn't much difference between folks who've had wls and those who are doing it the old fashioned way..
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Old 07-16-2004, 02:12 PM   #14
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I think that's true of most people because most people don't plan out what they're eating ahead of time. They just sit down at the dinner table and eat. I know pretty much what I'll be eating all day by the time I leave for work.

Yes, you are correct -- at least half of the people I work with graze all day on the snacks that seem to constantly be in the backroom. I don't watch TV but if I did I know it would be very difficult to resist snacking after dinner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg
But I do have a couple of comments about eating frequent, small meals --which is what works for me. I think the reason it's often recommended by nutritionists is that people (not everyone, of course) tend to eat more when they eat only three times a day, as shown through studies.

Seriously, though, my observations are that an awful lot of people eat constantly all day long, whether it's a candy bar at the 7-11 or donut with your coffee on the way to work or snacks by the TV.
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Old 08-04-2004, 04:33 AM   #15
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Hmmm, I eat many small "meals" throughout the day, though it seems to be in response to actually getting hungrier at shorter intervals. When i first started eating healthier and exercising i was only eating my three meals a day and was losing nicely, but as i lost more and gained fitness, and especially once the strength training kicked in my hunger increased 10 fold. I dont deny it, i feed it. But only small amounts.

A day in the life of my stomach!

7am: Yoghurt & Fruit (usually an apple/pear and some strawberries or melon)
10am: Rice crackers and a little cheese
12:30/1pm: Salad roll
4pm: Yoghurt and/or piece of fruit
6:30/7pm: Big salad with cheese/Avocado & Chicken
And possibly one last piece of fruit or maybe 15gms choc around 8:30

Then bedtime at about 11pm!

Thats basically it while i was losing, now i am on maintainence i guess i should up the calorie intake a bit, but i am in the process of finding a balance at the moment.
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