During all the diets I've used in my life including WW, I've noticed that the bottomless pit hunger feeling seems to precede a big weight loss. It's almost as if the hunger is my body searching for fat to burn. Even knowing that, I still have to struggle to stick to my program at those times. Thanks for the good ideas everyone. I also use fat free chicken broth with some shredded cabbage and a little soy sauce to fill me up. Sometimes I end up going to bed early.
I find that I feel much fuller on foods that I really need to chew on. Popcorn is actually only 2 points a cup if it's buttered (less, if it's not!) I also like to much on celery or baby carrots with hummus if I'm hungry. For me personally, if I'm not hungry enough to eat healthy munchy things, then I shouldn't be eating anything else, either. I'm just starting out too, and today is becoming a "hungry day" for me, so I'm right there with you!
Going on the basis of what i've learnt about leptin, i'd say you need to eat when you have those hungry days. Just do more or less what you did. Keep trying to make it healthy food. I wouldn't worry about going over your points.
The thing is according to Dr Amanda Sainsbury-Salis, you are having a famine reaction.
It looks like you've been on your diet for a while now and maybe its time to just take the foot off the pedal for a little while and let your 'set-point' catch up with you.
You may have heard that most people find it hard to keep the weight off once they lose about 10% of their body fat. This is because the body is wired (though not permanently) to a maintain a certain weight. The hormone leptin, which is produced in your fat cells, goes to the hypothalamus and tells it that you are 'starving.' - starvation mode, when you restrict calories severely and/or when you lose a certain amount of weight. Your metabolism slows down and your appetite increases. This is your bodies way of trying to make you regain the weight you've lost. When you have less fat, there is less leptin and this is what the hypothalamus registers. Also some people become leptin insensitive, a bit like insulin resistance, only the leptin insensitivity is easily reversed.
What to do when all this starts happening. Eat more. take a break from your weight loss but i would recommend you still do it with great care. Don't just eat any old thing because you will be back where you started in no time. Rather eat well, but eat a bit more for a while. Maybe a month. Then restart your reduction process.
When you do this, you don't put on much weight but your body realises the famine is over. That there is plenty of food around and you are not in danger of dying. The words are strong because its not a conscious process and the body is not able to read the signs any better.
At a certain point after eating more, your appetite will abate. Dr Amanda calls this the fat break. You will find it easier to lose after this. Your appetite will be normal and your metabolism will have sped up again.
There are also other possible causes for your hungry days. It could just be the odd hungry day and it could be low seratonin levels due to stress, lack of sleep, or lack of nutrition.
You can get a sense of the basics of both these hormones and how they affect us by some articles on nutrition wonderland website and there is also a good one on leptin on web-MD.
For me that would be a day for dipping into extra points, WP, or AP - though I am trying to not eat up my WP these days, and concentrate more on using from AP. Like yesterday. I came home from work craving. I knew there was still 2 hours until dinner, so I made myself a one slice of wholemeal bread, no butter, and a slice of Colby (5pt). It was soooo good, and hit the hunger on the spot.
Other strategies that I use, you have already mentioned, like keeping fruits and veggies handy - I try keep a stack of these things pre cut (do it as soon as I get in from grocery shopping). Also, drinking water, and then trying to get your mind off being hungry by doing something else - for me its going for a walk. But sometimes ya just need something more, right? And that's the EP treat. Just don't give in too often, yikes!
I think that all the post are very helpful and I've definitely have those hungry days. I'm on WW as well and try not to dip too much into WP and cant help but feel as if I'm cheating a little. BUT they are there for a reason.
What no one has really touched on that I find myself thinking on those hungry days is that I'm often psychologically or emotionally hungry. There can be many causes of hunger and I'd have to say I most often fall prey to hunger caused by my brain, not by my body.
I often have to do something to distract myself, like reading or even doing mindfulness practices to asses myself in the moment. Take a minute to think about why you're hungry and perhaps journal about it. If you are in fact hungry, use those WP and fill up on some good for you food. However, I think it's best to tackle those days from a multi-faceted approach and really think about why we are actually hungry.
I have been on WW (again) for about 12 weeks now. Last week is the first week I finally dipped into my WP by about half. I did a lot of celebrating (wedding, husband's birthday, out-of-town relatives visiting) and we ate out quite a bit. I ended up losing 3.4 lbs., which is one of my bigger weekly losses since I re-joined. Of course, the loss could have been due to any number of things, but I was really surprised. I've had some of my WP again this week, so we'll see how that goes. It's really hard not to think of them as "falling off the wagon" for me, but I'm working on it because I know they are there to use. I also know that some people can eat all of them and lose and some people can eat half and still lose, etc. You really have to experiment and see what works for you. At my weight, I get A LOT of points still, so I think that has to do with it. I am sure once I am down more and have less points available to me, those weeklies will be easier to use.
One thing I was going to suggest is that you mention you plan your days pretty strictly. I have found that I almost HAVE to plan my days in advance (usually the night before, as much as I can) but I do try to leave 5 points of "wiggle room" to eat something that I might be craving (or a substitute) or pick whatever I am feeling like eating for a snack at the time. I think a lot of this food stuff is mental, so for me, having those "extra" points makes me feel like I am having a big treat.
I've had some of my WP again this week, so we'll see how that goes. It's really hard not to think of them as "falling off the wagon" for me, but I'm working on it because I know they are there to use. I also know that some people can eat all of them and lose and some people can eat half and still lose, etc. You really have to experiment and see what works for you.
I would encourage any WW member to have a different attitude about Weekly Points. That is, think about daily points as the minimum you should eat each day, not as the maximum.
Daily points are the minimum that WW thinks you should eat to get the necessary nutrition.
So if someone never eats weekly points and always eats daily points then that means eating exactly the same number of points each day. I would argue that that isn't the kind of flexibility and real life eating that WW wants to promote. That is more of a diet mentality. If I had to eat exactly 26 points a day (my daily points level) and never eat more (without thinking I had cheated) or less, I would simply not be able to sustain that for a lifetime. I could sustain it awhile but it would not be livable for a lifetime.
The true maximum is to eat over the course of the week the sum of your daily points (eating the minimum daily), your weekly points and your activity points. WW assumes that you, in fact, eat that and designs the program based upon that.
All of that said, I think it is fine not to eat Weekly points or activity points if you aren't hungry. I personally almost never eat APs and usually eat about half of my weekly points. But, eating weekly points is not falling off the wagon at all.
Thanks all. Support makes all the difference for weight loss success. Grateful to be here with you all.
Pattience: Yes. Your post makes all the sense in the world and is a keeper. I have been away from the computer for a month, so I didn't read it until today. However, I did what you posted and you are so right, my appetite is much more balanced.