That early hunger/cravings are a signal for me that my food choice didn't work for my body. Sounds like you are already making the adjustments and experimenting to figure out what works for you, exactly what you should be doing right now
I also never eat just a grain without protein or fat though I am lucky with fruit. I also couldn't eat grains in the morning for the first year.We are all a little different though, that's why it helps to take it really slow adding things back in.
Baby steps, losing the holiday excess first.
Maintaining 48 lb loss since 2008, working off regain to a sensible maintenance level. 60+ lbs and counting!