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Do you believe cravings r sign of weight loss?

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Old 07-04-2008, 11:23 AM   #1
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Question Do you believe cravings r sign of weight loss?

Ok, I don't know if anyone has ever heard this, but I wanted some of your opinions. I've heard that when you're having a craving (say at night) and you're opening your refrigirator door because you want *something* to eat, but you know you shouldn't...that if you stay strong and don't give in, you will let your body lose weight. It's a theory that at that very moment, your body is actually trying to lose weight. Well, I really didn't buy into this, but I have found it to be so true. Obviously, you end up eating fewer calories for the day if you don't give in to those cravings, but for me, it has turned out to be more than that...but maybe it's just my way of giving myself motivation not to give in? What do you think? Hope my question makes sense. I'm having a hard time expressing my thoughts prior to my morning coffee!
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:39 AM   #2
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Oh I get it ...

You've all heard the expressions 'build self esteem' or 'build up confidence'.

Let's imagine that a good choice, acknowledged, is a brick. You made a good choice in the fridge last night. You acknowledged that you did well and can do that. It's like a brick in the foundation of your acknowledged competence at weight loss.

You don't want to exercise. It takes time and precious energy. But you make a way for it today. You acknowledge that you can fit it in, you can make your life work toward health. If you can make it work today, you'll be able to make it work some other day. That's like another brick in your foundation.
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:46 AM   #3
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I've heard people say that the days when they feel really horrible as far as cravings and being hungry when they shouldn't be are the days they make the most progress, but I don't know how true that is. I do like to pay attention to the times I ignore cravings, though. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:02 PM   #4
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What if I eat a banana split for breakfast and nachos for lunch and then get a craving for a DQ chocolate dipped cone in the afternoon that I resist! Will I lose weight?

For me, weight loss depends on calories consumed vs. calories expended. Fighting cravings (except how it pertains to calories consumed) is not a factor for me.

I would be careful about fighting the cravings and occasionally take a second to listen to your body. When I was doing lower calorie, low fat diets, I often found myself intensely craving peanut butter - it was my biggest trigger food. In retrospect, I think my body craved peanut butter because my body needed fats.

Now that I eat a pretty well balanced diet, mainly whole foods with enough healthy fat everyday, I don't suffer from crazy cravings all the time like I used to. I do occasionally get the "I think I want a corn dog" or "mmm steak" but it's pretty rare. (rare, get it! ha, I kill myself).
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Last edited by Glory87 : 07-04-2008 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:06 PM   #5
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I don't know if it's true...and I don't want to know.

I like it!

What a terrific thought to get through those temptations!
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:08 PM   #6
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I think the cravings could be different things at different times...

For instance, a craving might be real hunger. It could be that I haven't eaten enough of one of the nutrient groups--say, I'm low on protein. Or, it could be that I'm just munchie--I'm somewhat bored or agitated, and it translates into wanting to chew something. Or, it could be that I've triggered on a food earlier in the day--like Glory87's banana split--and now that's all I can think of, is more of same.

I find it helpful to do my calorie journaling in FitDay for this reason. I can look and see what my nutrient levels and calorie intake have been. Sometimes that gives me a clue.

I do have days where I'm hungry all day long for no reason that I can identify. I don't seem to lose any more or any less just because of that.

Sometimes I do drop the next morning if I've felt a bit hungry when going to bed, but it's not all the time. The best indicator I have of when the scale is going to drop is how I feel in bed when I first wake up. I mean, does my belly feel a bit bloated, or not?

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Old 07-04-2008, 12:18 PM   #7
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I find that sometimes when I crave a certain food such as candy bars, donuts, etc. It is because I am bored and restless.
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:27 PM   #8
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Maybe I didn't get it
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:47 PM   #9
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I think cravings can be emotional as well. I wasn't hungry last night - I'd had plenty to eat - but I was feeling sad. I noticed that even though my appetite was sated, I was craving junk food. Absolutely DYING for a chocolate bar. I bought one, ate half and gave the other half to my BF.

It was an interesting experience because I hadn't realized what an emotional crutch sugar has been for me. Now that I'm not eating much of it, it's obvious.

I've never really thought of myself as an emotional eater, but it became abundantly clear to me last night that my sweet tooth is directly connected to my emotional state.

On another note, I think - as others have said here - that you have to be careful not to confuse actual hunger or need with a "craving."
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:01 PM   #10
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Like others have mentioned, it's hard to separate cravings from hunger, though recognizing the difference is a skill that can be learned. And there are also different types of cravings --emotional or conditioned cravings prompted by some internal or external stimulus unrelated to your actual needs, and physiological cravings that signal that something is missing from a diet. I think these are even harder to tell apart. The best advice I can give is to pay close attention to your body and try to find the source of your cravings!
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glory87 View Post
I do occasionally get the "I think I want a corn dog" or "mmm steak" but it's pretty rare. (rare, get it! ha, I kill myself).
LOL for some reason I read that and burst out laughing... hope no one in the office things I am crazy!
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:39 PM   #12
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I think there are many reasons for cravings. Some might be phsyiological, perhaps triggered by mineral or vitamin deficiencies. For example, when a person (often pregnant) gets a craving to eat dirt, chalk or laundry starch (as odd as it sounds, it happens quite commonly). It can be emotional, or a result of boredom.

Abstaining during a craving does save you the calories in the food you would have eaten had you indulged the craving, but I don't feel that the craving is a sign that your body is burning more calories than at any time. Though if it helps you get through a craving to visualize your body burning calories at this time - I don't see any harm in it.

However, I think that indulging cravings in healthy ways is another reasonable way to go. Most of my cravings, I've found are short-term, passing fancy kind of thoughts (probably due to boredom). Distracting myself with a task that occupies my hands will usually chase a way most cravings. If that doesn't work, then substituting is worth a try. Can I find something with a similar taste/texture combination that would satisfy. If I want icecream, what is it about the icecream that I really want. Is it taste, texture, or temperature, and what can I find that fits my craving. Creamy, cold, and sweet, maybe lowfat yogurt will do just as well. Sometimes an "opposite" snack will cure a craving (I don't know if this works for everyone, but it works for me). If I want ice cream, and don't have (or want to spend calories on) anything in the house that is cold, sweet, and creamy; I might choose to eat a few pickles. Ice cream, or anything sweet and creamy, just isn't as appealing with the taste of pickle in my mouth. If I want chocolate, three or four bittersweet chocolate chips may satisfy the craving (personally, I never try this during PMS or TOM - chocolate is a trigger food for me, but only during "that" week to 10 days).

I think how you decide to respond to cravings has to be based on what you know or learn about yourself. Will a craving go away in five minutes anyway? Will a substitute satisfy, or only make the craving worse? Will a tiny amount of the craved food satisfy, or will it set you up for a binge?
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
I think how you decide to respond to cravings has to be based on what you know or learn about yourself. Will a craving go away in five minutes anyway? Will a substitute satisfy, or only make the craving worse? Will a tiny amount of the craved food satisfy, or will it set you up for a binge?
This is the ultimate decision that I have trouble with!!! I never know where these cravings will lead, so I usually try to avoid them, in hopes that it's actually good for me!
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayEll View Post
Sometimes I do drop the next morning if I've felt a bit hungry when going to bed, but it's not all the time. The best indicator I have of when the scale is going to drop is how I feel in bed when I first wake up. I mean, does my belly feel a bit bloated, or not?

Jay
Ditto! That is exactly what I experience.
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