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Old 04-17-2007, 02:33 PM   #1
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I've been on my new "lifestyle" journey for just over a month - about 5 weeks to be exact. Things are going well as I've lost 6 lbs and 4 1/2 inches. I work out 4-5 days a week, 3 days weight training and 4-5 days cardio. On average I burn about 400-450 calories from working out.

I'm calorie counting. I track all my food at spark people (I've found it to contain more brand name foods than fitday). Generally I eat about 1400 calories a day. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but on average about 1400.

My problem is that I feel like I'm starving ALL the time. I don't know if my breakfasts and lunches aren't substantial or what. But by the time I get home from work, I find myself snacking until dinner time because I'm really just plain hungry. I've tried distracting myself, drinking water, etc.

My typical meals look something like this:

B: fruit (usually an apple or 1c of grapes) & a V8 OR Heart Smart healthy start cereal bar

S: usually carrots or a 100-calorie bag of popcorn

L: LC meal or leftovers from the night before. Lunch averages around 350 calories.

D: chicken breast, veggies, rice and salad.

I think my problem may be that I tend to eat the bulk of my calories at dinnertime. Should I be spreading out my calories? Should I eat more for breakfast and lunch?

My problem, like I mentioned, lies in between getting home time from work (about 3:30) and dinner time (about 5:30 or 7:00, depending on the days that DH has class until 7 p.m.). Yesterday I kept thinking, if I'm hungry, shouldn't I eat? But then I just eat until the full feeling goes away.

Does anyone else have this problem? I don't want to starve myself but I don't want to over eat, either. Right now my plan allows for 100-200 calories in snacking but I never seem to want to stop at that!
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Old 04-17-2007, 02:36 PM   #2
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Maybe you need a light snack between lunch and dinner and maybe lessen your calories for dinner. Everyone is different but I find I do better when the bulk of my calories is during the day and I have a light dinner.
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Old 04-17-2007, 02:41 PM   #3
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I would definitely be hungry if breakfast were just a piece of fruit OR a juice/cereal bar. I would also definitely be hungry if I didn't eat any snacks between lunch and dinner (I usually have 3!). Maybe have a bigger breakfast and save your breakfast fruit for an afternoon snack?
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Old 04-17-2007, 03:05 PM   #4
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I would definitely be hungry if breakfast were just a piece of fruit OR a juice/cereal bar. I would also definitely be hungry if I didn't eat any snacks between lunch and dinner (I usually have 3!). Maybe have a bigger breakfast and save your breakfast fruit for an afternoon snack?
I know, see, that's part of my problem. I'm usually not hungry in the mornings. I eat pretty early (6 a.m.) beacause I am out the door and at work by 6:15. Fruit and the cereal bar are pretty convenient and I can eat them on the way to work.

The other problem is that I don't really like "breakfast" foods - eggs, oatmeal, etc. I have a problem with wheat and dairy (makes my tummy hurt and gives me bad indigestion) so I don't like to eat toast/bagel/etc. Maybe I should try some turkey bacon or something. Heck I'd even go for a smoothie with protein powder if it made me less hungry!
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Old 04-17-2007, 03:20 PM   #5
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Hi Anna,

I don't have that problem because for me, that is the sure way for me to quit. I just can't go hungry (or at least I think I can't and I don't want to have to test it ).

Something that helps me is to eat more protein at breakfast. Your breakfast is fairly high in carbs, but probably not much else. You might want to try adding more protein to your breakfast to keep you fuller longer. You could add peanut butter, cottage cheese to those fruits, or do a veggie omelet or protein pancakes (the recipe is on several different threads here).

I do sometimes have fruit for a snack, but again, some days it isn't enough and I have to add a yogurt, or cheese, or boiled egg to feel full. Other days I add lots of fiber, like wasa crackers and salsa, or fiber one, yogurt and fruit.

I think the number of calories for your lunch sounds reasonable. Are you full afterwards though?

One more thing that I do, and you may already do it also, is to eat LOTS of vegetables with my meals. I usually eat at minimum 3 servings of veggies for lunch and again for dinner. Veggies with lots of volume and few calories that will fill me up. (broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, mushrooms, lettuce, etc).

And I do have to have a snack between 3 - 4 in the afternoon or I will be ready to eat the paint off of the walls by dinner time. It's a long time between lunch and dinner at 7:00.
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Old 04-17-2007, 04:07 PM   #6
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I have to agree with Tammy that you might want to focus on a bit more protein earlier in the day. I find that eating fruit alone leaves me hungrier about 20 minutes later than I was before I ate the fruit at all And breakfast can be ANYTHING--don't think you have to limit it to "breakfast type" foods. Have some chicken and veggies leftover from the previous night's dinner. Have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (on whole grain bread with natural peanut butter and no-sugar-added fruit spread, of course ). Have a cup of hot creamy soup (which you can put in a travel coffee mug and sip on-the-go if needed). Have whatever you like, regardless of time of day--just try to get in some protein
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Old 04-17-2007, 04:11 PM   #7
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I'm an early eater as well I have to be on the train at 7am so out the door by around 6:30. I'm lucky if I get a yoghurt drink in by the time I leave! If you don't like breakfast foods, how do you feel about lunch meats? A lot of times if I don't want to eat bread or crackers I use very thinly sliced turkey or chicken lunch meat and put a wee bit of Philly light (or mustard or LF/yoghurt-based mayo) on there and roll it up and just eat it like that! I also make smoothies, put it in a little water bottle (you know, like a small coke bottle?) and take it with me for while I'm on the train. Smoothies you can make real easily the night before even, keep it in the fridge and in the morning - grab and go!

I'm a firm beliver in listening to what my body tells me. If I am truly hungry, then it's time to eat something (admittedly I will also go for a NF cappuccino, but I work at Starbucks HQ so I'm spoiled in the fact I can just go into our store and whip myself up one!) in a small quantity. Personally I think it would be more helpful for you in the end, if you ate just a little bit more during the day and really be completely honest about weighing and measuring your dinner at night so your portions are what you want them to be.

What I've started to do also is have a snack for on the train back home (I have a 2 hour door to door commute each way), then have a big mug of herbal tea before dinner is ready so I'm not ready to attack anything that isn't nailed down to the plate!

We have approx. the same starting weight and spark people gave me a higher calorie level to go for... are you sure you are eating enough? If you are working out quite a lot you might want to double check that you are getting enough calories IN as well.

I'm not really calorie counting, I'm doing WW (an older program, at home) which has the same principle... the more you weigh, the more you need to EAT to lose the weight. Sounds wacky, but it does work!

Best of luck to you!
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Old 04-17-2007, 04:14 PM   #8
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Oooh I like your advice, Tammy and Jill. To answer your question, Tammy, usually I am "satisfied" after lunch. The really GREAT thing about exercising and eating better is that it has completely eliminated the craving I used to always get around 1:30... you know that "I need chocolate or I'm going to crash!!" craving. Now I'm usually fine until about 3:00 and then my tummy starts to rumble. Depending on the day, I still have 2 1/2 - 4 hours before dinnertime. That's where I get myself in trouble!

Jill I'm like you - eating fruit sometimes makes me feel more hungry, like I haven't eaten anything at all! I will definitely try adding protein. I do like turkey bacon and wouldn't mind sipping on some soup with veggies on my way to work. Thanks for the suggestions!

You know, now that I think about it, i used to snack on nuts intermittently throughout the day. I never really felt starving hungry when I did that, like I do now. Hmmmm....
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Old 04-17-2007, 04:14 PM   #9
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Oh Anna, I wanted to say also: I have a problem with dairy too, but I use either pro-biotic yoghurt or lactose-free milk and that helps me a lot.

If you want a quick and easy on-the-go smoothie recipe, let me know!


edited to add one more thing: I read recently in "YOU: On a Diet" that cinnamon helps with satiety - in other words, if you add a little cinnamon to your milk/smoothie/cappo/yoghurt/cottage cheese it will satisfy further the desire to have something MORE...
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Old 04-17-2007, 04:22 PM   #10
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We have approx. the same starting weight and spark people gave me a higher calorie level to go for... are you sure you are eating enough? If you are working out quite a lot you might want to double check that you are getting enough calories IN as well.
Hi Renee! Thanks for your reply! Spark people tells me to eat between 1200-1500 calories a day. I got my BMR (around 1700) from a couple different sites, so 1400 sounded like a good middle place to start.

What you say about being honest about what I'm eating - I think that has gotten me into trouble in the past. I used to have a few M&M's here, a cookie or two there, and think that it didn't really add up. Before I realized what snacking was doing to my calorie count, I was eating around 1600 calories a day, I think. Although I was losing just fine on that, too. Hmm.

I'll have to try out the smoothies! I have some whey protein powder at home and some frozen berries...yummy. That would be a great way to get in some protein.

Part of the reason I enjoy fruit so much is that it's something my stomach can handle. I had my gallbladder out 3 years ago and have trouble digesting certain foods - dairy, red meat, wheat, carbonated drinks, artificial sweetener, coffee - just to name a few. I try to eat these things ocassionally, but too much and I am in pain. So that does limit my food choices a bit.
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Old 04-17-2007, 04:25 PM   #11
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Oh Anna, I wanted to say also: I have a problem with dairy too, but I use either pro-biotic yoghurt or lactose-free milk and that helps me a lot.

If you want a quick and easy on-the-go smoothie recipe, let me know!


edited to add one more thing: I read recently in "YOU: On a Diet" that cinnamon helps with satiety - in other words, if you add a little cinnamon to your milk/smoothie/cappo/yoghurt/cottage cheese it will satisfy further the desire to have something MORE...
Really! That's very interesting. I will have to check out the lactose-free stuff. Do you have a problem with eggs, too? Currently I can't eat eggs, cottage cheese, chocolate (yeah right, I still torture myself and eat it anyway!!), milk. I can eat cheese but it has to be low fat, and not very much of it. I can also eat ice cream in small amounts. Very strange.

Yes! I'd love to have a smoothie recipe! I am already thinking about a nummy smoothie for tomorrow's breakfast.... with cinnamon!
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Old 04-17-2007, 04:36 PM   #12
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I don't have a big problem with eggs, but then again I don't eat a lot of them... usually they are hard boiled OR I scramble them (but then it's only one whole egg and two egg whites) and I make sure that I have a lot of extra "stuff" to go along with them (so, never eaten alone). Cottage cheese I don't have a problem with, but ice cream (bummer!) and higher-in-fat cheese I do. It's strange and my GP doesn't really think I'm intolerant, but she can't say that I'm NOT intolerant either (apparently lactose intolerance isn't THAT easy to dx, at least not in the Country of Milk and Cheese! )

My smoothies are usually:
either Greek or Probiotic yoghurt (if too thick, I through in a wee bit of rice or soy milk!) OR Buttermilk (yes! buttermilk!)
a frozen banana (I throw them in the freezer when they get too brown for me to eat)
any frozen berries I fancy
any fresh fruit I have on hand that need to be consumed (this morning it was strawberries and 2 kiwis)
some flax seed
some wheat germ
*if I have whey protein on hand I will add it, if not, I will add about 10g (about ½ ounce) of almonds

throw all of that in the blender and blend the heck out of it! Pour and serve (or put in a container to take with you)


as for chocolate: WHEN you have a craving and you decide that yes, it is indeed what you want, eat one square of dark chocolate ~ put it in your mouth and really enjoy it, making it last as long as possible. The chocolate should raise your serotonin and your desire should be quenched
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Old 04-17-2007, 04:47 PM   #13
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I do an easy smoothie with a frozen banana, vanilla protein powder, and skim milk (though I'm sure a not-so-dairy-ish milk would work as well). I'm not a fan of berries other than strawberries (which, botanically speaking aren't even really technically "berries"--go figure ), but I love the texture the banana gives when it's all blended together--tastes like melted ice cream to me
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Old 04-17-2007, 04:56 PM   #14
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I totally agree Jill... that's exactly why I have a good stock of bananas in the freezer!
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Old 04-17-2007, 05:08 PM   #15
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You have had some great advise..
I would say too that you need protein in the morning... I live in FL and used to have nothing but fruit until noon.. I found I was ravenous the rest of the day... I switched to a high protein breakfast and that has made all the difference in the world..

How ever you can.. even if you have to do it at night.. and make your breakfast for the next day, you HAVE to eat breakfast.. it will help with your late day eating.. and is very necessary for your metabolism..

I add cinnamon to my blue berry, yogurt, protein (I love Whey protein) shakes.. I really believe what they said about cinnamon (I love those Dr's!).. and it is great with the blue berries!

Good luck!
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