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JEWELMOTI SparkPoints: (13,411)
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2/6/14 10:47 A

One eye opener for me was that as I tracked my intake of food I wasn't eating enough calories. I find eating all day, grazing really helps me. I keep carrots, celery, sugar free hard candy, sugar free popsicle . I need to be prepared all the time. The more of these I eat the more I lose weight. I never would have believed it. but for me it works.

2/6/14 8:41 A

RENATARUNS - I agree. I'm trying to lose weight, so I'm cutting calories, expending around 800 calories per day more than I'm consuming. It's not a surprise that I'm sometimes hungry. Acute hunger is a sign that a person needs to eat. Low-grade, eat-everything-in-sight grazing is something else. The latter is an unpleasant state, but when you recognize it for what it is, it's a discomfort that can be tolerated for the sake of reaching the goal.

LAURIE-RN SparkPoints: (37,402)
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2/6/14 7:51 A

Yes! I try to stock with healthy choices so when I have those days I don't feel bad about raiding the cupboard. I will find myself looking in the refrigerator taking mental stock of what's there and noticing if anything sounds good. I typically reach for an apple with a piece of string cheese, or cottage cheese and triscuits. I have found if I pair a complex carb with fiber and protein it will help cure the craving. If not, I try to get out of the house for a walk or something else that is distracting. I'm really trying be conscious about eating when I'm hungry, not just feeling bored or stressed.

Laurie emoticon

Edited by: LAURIE-RN at: 2/6/2014 (07:52)
RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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2/5/14 9:54 P

"Cravings are a sign that something is seriously wrong with your diet. You need to find out what it is."

That's not cravings like most of the people in this thread are using the word. Trust me that unfocused not-quite-hunger at a certain time of the month is simply part of being female for a lot of people. You're back to normal in a few days.

And of course the "bottomless pit" feeling that comes from increased exercise is plain old real hunger. You need a few more calories and your body is making sure you know it.

And many people are simply operating at a daily calorie total that is right on the edge of what their body can tolerate before tipping over into "I'm fine eating a celery stick and two cups of tea all day, not hungry at all" starvation-adaptation mode. The very same way of eating might be perfectly fine at maintenance calories, but for weight loss it's pushing the boundaries, and that means it might take some extra effort in planning the timing and content of meals and snacks to stay consistently comfortable. When initially reducing portions and calories this can be even more of an issue, until the stomach physically gets used to smaller meals.

I know a lot of people here swear by low carb in part because it's said to reduce hunger, period, but honestly -- being hungry when it's appropriate to be hungry is not pathological. It's just something to be dealt with, in one way or another.

SIMPLYME80 Posts: 406
2/5/14 7:11 P

Yes! Especially when I did the 5 or 6 mini meal thing..seems I began to eat a little more at each meal and always felt hungry, the more often I ate, the more food I wanted! So went back to 3 scheduled meals and 2 small snacks, and losing again!

2/5/14 6:45 P

YES! All the time. Almost daily. It's been a struggle this past year. I just keep telling myself over and over how far I've come and I don't want to mess up all my progress. I drink a lot of water, eat as much low calorie vegetables I can to try and fill the void :)

VIRGOGURL4 SparkPoints: (59,916)
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2/5/14 3:12 P

Are you eating enough fat? I've noticed that meals with at least 20 grams of fat helps kill cravings.

CJKARDELL SparkPoints: (9,559)
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2/5/14 2:45 P

I am today! It's a normal day other than I am getting ready for the monthly visit. PMSing.....(sorry guys) I want to make a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting sooooo bad. I started on January 12th and have lost 7 pounds. I hate the thought of losing what I have worked for. There are a lot of great tips here but I just want that cake.

FITTEREVERYDAY SparkPoints: (28,923)
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2/5/14 2:21 P

I don't really struggle with cravings myself (at least not since I've started eating a majority of non-processed or minimally processed foods), I find I struggle with the opposite sometimes. I have no clue what I might like so I'll randomly eat things that might not necessarily lead to a balanced meal...I really have to work on planning.

KILYGE70 Posts: 48
2/5/14 1:04 P

I usually plug the food I WANT into the nutrition tracker so I can see its impact. most of the time seeing my total calorie number above my max calorie will cause me to pause and ask myself if its worth it. When I decide its not, I log in and read information or try and find some busy work.
I've had a few days recently were I over indulged. Instead of giving up, I look at the progress I've made in three months. Today I'm asking myself if there was something emotional which triggered my strong desire for food. The more I understand about my triggers the better chance I have at learning how to manage them.

SCHATZISMOM SparkPoints: (46,491)
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2/5/14 10:39 A

If I am having bad cravings, I get up and make myself do something. I can always find a load of laundry to do. It seems to help me because it takes about 10 minutes to get everything turned right-side out and spot treat (my husband and college age daughter are slobs). By the time I get the machine started, I tend to forget that I wanted to eat.

I also agree that when your diet improves, you have less cravings. Notice I did not say NONE, they just lessen. I've always been an emotional eater and for me, the only thing that helps is finding an unemotional activity.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
2/5/14 10:25 A

I used to have those days all the time, but I switched to low carb, and they are gone.

Cravings are a sign that something is seriously wrong with your diet. You need to find out what it is.

2/5/14 10:22 A

absolutely - I call them my munchie days.

sometimes I just take a nap - it seems to help me.

CHUBBY_MOM SparkPoints: (89,019)
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2/5/14 8:13 A

What is the shin test? I have heard of the others the BITSNPIECES38 mentioned but not that one. If it is something that helps me take care of the bottomless pit feeling, I would love to hear about it.

Edited by: CHUBBY_MOM at: 2/5/2014 (08:16)
NICKYCRANE SparkPoints: (86,312)
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2/5/14 5:10 A

If I am hungry, I presume my body is telling me something. I tend to crave bread or fruit. I got very hungry before Christmas, and shed little weight. Since the New year i have been less hungry, have exercised more, and have shed 1.5 kilos. Another half kilo to go to get back to goal weight! If I crave bread, I try either to eat it on its own, or with something low calorie. If I binge on fruit, I dont worry. Nor do the scales!
I dont let myself stay hungry, because I think that would lead to a binge. Better 1-200 cals over guidelines than a big binge!
I also eat lots of veg, which leaves me feeling full after a low calorie meal.

Edited by: NICKYCRANE at: 2/5/2014 (05:13)
2/4/14 11:18 P

What I do, and this is hard but I do it, is tell myself over and over and over, you have eaten your calories for today and tomorrow you can have some more. Then I MAKE myself stick with that the same way I'd make a child limit their sweets (or even their healthy food if they were going to eat till they made themselves sick, which I have done).

I really like the idea of self-parenting. =)

STRONGCARMEN SparkPoints: (13,184)
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2/4/14 9:59 P

I drink some water then brush my teeth and rinse my mouth with mouthwash. I try to interrupt the craving. It's hard sometimes. What's really important is to write it down. It often isn't as bad as you think it is.

2/4/14 7:25 P

Believe it or not, exercise can help. It seems like the last thing you want to do when you have that feeling, but the hormones released by exercise can help with an out-of-control appetite.

FITTEREVERYDAY SparkPoints: (28,923)
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2/4/14 6:22 P

Ah. Fatigue will do that. I sometimes have problems sleeping and it makes me feel hungrier in a way that doesn't make sense. I've always drank coffee to deal with the tired feeling which probably does the same thing as your tea...but if I want to cut back on caffeine, which I've thought about, then you have a great thing going.

LOLA_LALA Posts: 659
2/4/14 5:26 P

For those of us who feel perennially empty, I love registered dietician Barbara Rolls' book, Volumetrics. It was an enormous help to me, as I have a non-stop appetite:

BITSNPIECES38 Posts: 981
2/4/14 4:13 P

@ FITTEREVERYDAY - I can see why you could think that, but dehydration/thirst doesn't really figure in. Every day, never fail, I drink at least a gallon of water. I've also done the pinch-test when I've felt bottomless-pitty, and the shin test, and I do a color check when I visit the loo. (I'm a good addition to any team that has the 8 glasses of water a day goal. LOL.)

I have a sleep disorder, so there are usually a couple days a week when I'm very, very tired. And those are my bottomless pit days - especially if my protein intake was low. I'm not a nutritionist, but I think it's a signal my body wants some quick energy. Since my body is already a warehouse of stored energy, I give it a placebo (tea) that helps warm me up and when warm, I'm more active.

Edited by: BITSNPIECES38 at: 2/4/2014 (16:15)
JD-SARKAR1 SparkPoints: (6,067)
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2/4/14 3:48 P

I have this problem often too. It doesn't help that I am home alone all day. Some thing that I do that will sometimes help is start drinking hot green tea with honey. I also try to plan a lot of foods that are better for snacking than sitting down to a meal, like cheerios or frozen fruit. Then I measure them out before eating. This gives me something healthy to eat during the day while still allowing me to snack and since I incorporate them into my meal plan I stay within my calorie range.

KDYLOSE Posts: 1,625
2/4/14 2:06 P

I know exactly what you're talking about. My bouts of this tend to occur on Friday evenings when I'm unwinding from the work week. I have all kinds of strategies in place with planned-ahead treats and such, but sometimes I just lose and the pit wins. I think the main thing is how often does this happen and how long does it last. If the slips get fewer and farther between, we're winning.

LASKNITS21 Posts: 23
2/4/14 1:46 P

I'm a bottomless pit on days that I'm tired. I just do the best I can, get a good night's sleep and start over the next day.

FITTEREVERYDAY SparkPoints: (28,923)
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2/4/14 12:59 P

I wonder if you aren't actually thirsty at that point BITSNPIECES38. I do find thirst will masquerade as hunger quite often. I usually drink first and then figure out if I'm actually hungry.

BITSNPIECES38 Posts: 981
2/4/14 12:57 P

If I felt hungry and had a little snack, and remain 'hungry' in about 30 minutes or so, I start drinking hot herbal tea like crazy. I don't use cream or sugar in my tea, so it's basically just flavored and heated water. Something about the temperature helps to kick my cravings and quell feelings of hunger when I'm not actually hungry.

Like another poster here, I find the biggest potential for my bottomless pit days is if I slack on protein. But protein in the form of beans, probably because of the additional fiber, is the most effective at keeping me feeling full.

CTUPTON Posts: 15,098
2/4/14 12:49 P

Thank you all! I am not feeling so alone now. Eating lots of veggies for well over a year now has decreased my bottomless pit days.

Thank you all for sharing your tough times ans some solutions.

chris emoticon

MAMA-TO-FIVE SparkPoints: (4,059)
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2/4/14 12:30 P

Have you looked at what you're craving and see if you can match the food to the minerals you might be a bit lower in. There's magnesium in chocolate, for example, and lots of us benefit from a PMS boost of mag, calcium, and I can't remember the other. Selenium, I *think*. Anyway, food for thought.

PUNKADOO Posts: 146
2/3/14 11:08 P

This happens to me a lot. I went through weeks of it last summer that were actually really frightening!

There are some good tips in this thread.

I have found that certain foods seem to get it started, and then there are those foods that I can't seem to get full on, no matter how much I eat (pizza is a big one for this). All I can do is avoid those foods, many of which I love but I know I can't manage them.

Good luck!!

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,746
2/3/14 4:29 P

Mostly, I try to avoid giving in and just stick to my planned meals for the day.

FITTEREVERYDAY SparkPoints: (28,923)
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2/3/14 3:57 P

Natural nut butters are a great go to, as are nuts themselves. Those tend to be my first resorts if I'm feeling hungry and it's not meal time. I like to cut up some veggies or fruit to go with them too.

Fitness Minutes: (17,158)
Posts: 1,163
2/3/14 3:53 P

I notice if I grab a fat/protein combo I can often stave it off? A teaspoon of almond butter from the jar? A Hardboiled egg with salt/pepper and a little butter? It will go completely sideways if I reach for sugar, even a little so I simply keep stuff for my kids that I won't touch...I definitely have hungrier days, but I'm a big fan of mini-meals versus "waiting" for meal...I love nuts as much as the next girl but I buy the 100 calorie packs...
or pay my kids to pre-pack them for me in tiny "snack" bags emoticon


LUCYNOVIMOM SparkPoints: (1,324)
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2/3/14 3:35 P

I'm certainly glad I'm not the only one! I had a horrible day yesterday and ate and ate and ate. It's not hunger so much as an "I want" or mouth hunger.

I don't have anything here that's bad snacks like chips or whatever, I have fruit and veggies prepared for my snacks but then for lunch I made steak and spicy pasta and ate too much pasta. It was so good. I could have eaten more but only made so much. When my husband is at work it's easier because I make just enough for my daughters and me, but when he is home the man can eat a lot so I make a lot of food... then I eat a lot too!

I decided to start brushing my teeth as soon as I was done eating since food rarely tastes good right after brushing. I cannot work out due to a health problem, but I do go out for short walks with the girls when I want to snack.

HAPPYBAT Posts: 21
2/3/14 2:46 P

For me, this is usually tied up with exercise. I can expect a week or so of racking hunger just after I kick things up a notch exercise wise. My weight also spikes, which can lead to some emotional issues! This sometimes leads to binges, and can knock me for six.

I've had to recognise that often my binges are started by genuine hunger. For me, the two keys are to eat enough normally - and to avoid eating high sugar food when I am really truly hungry. Boring protein can help me stop eating - plain chicken, for example. No fun to eat, which means it is less likely to incite me to keep eating, but fills the pit.

BETSYBEACH Posts: 2,864
2/3/14 2:42 P

It was hard to control my eating with the Super Bowl party. Big bowls of popcorn or pizza slices are difficult to stay away from.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,313)
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2/3/14 2:05 P

I've found when I'm like that, it's because I have a shortage of lean protein. Protein keeps me full, and cravings at bay. If I'm overdosing on simple carbs (pasta, ramen, etc) then it triggers cravings and blood sugar fluctuations that leave me constantly "hungry". Protein helps fight that.

LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (37,106)
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2/3/14 1:37 P

I have bottomless pit days when I wait too long to eat. I need to eat shortly after I begin to feel hungry because when I wait too long I cannot control myself. It helps to eat something small and then wait 20 minutes so that my stomach registers that I have eaten before I eat anything else.

FITTEREVERYDAY SparkPoints: (28,923)
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2/3/14 1:19 P

I have started eating completely in accordance with hunger signals (I eat when hungry, stop when satisfied) and that fixed it for the most part. Then to fix the rest of it I stopped relying on so much processed food. I find the better quality I eat, the less quantity I feel the need for. I also don't really find I crave very much that isn't nutritious. (I snack on veggies, fruits and nuts mostly plus popcorn and "homemade" (I buy and season plain corn tortillas) tortilla chips when I'm dying for something salty, I have a small dessert in the evening if I feel like it (homemade)). I haven't felt like a bottomless pit or binged in about two and half years now.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
2/3/14 12:10 P

Start thinking of it as a snacking problem instead of an hunger problem. Hunger's not just hunger - it's a hankering for a crunch, or a salty something, or a little sweetness, etc. So if you can try to make your meal satisfying with enough taste, then you can bring the meal to a close and then just think about how you're not going to snack. Or maybe plan a very healthy snack for a certain time, with few calories (within your daily calorie limit).

If you attack the snack (catchy...) you can do things like find a really engrossing distraction. You may find that you forget all about food by doing something else. Unfortunately for me, the distraction that works best for me is browsing a bookstore. Not only is a bookstore not always handy, but now they've started selling food in bookstores!

SANELL Posts: 5
2/3/14 11:50 A

I had one yesterday - too many tempting foods at SuperBowl. So I am trying to swallow my guilt and do a U-turn today.

2/3/14 10:56 A

I have days like that and if I give in to it, it becomes a week like that. I have learned that I cannot keep salted crunchy snacks in the house. I substitute a sliced apple with peanut butter which provides the crunch with the salty peanut butter.
With me, this has more to do with emotions than hunger, so I have started working on jigsaw puzzles. There is such satisfaction in putting the pieces into place, like I am putting the whole world back in order.
It works for me.

REBBUL67 Posts: 2,167
2/3/14 10:41 A

What I have been doing is really paying attention to the foods I am eating, Some days the foods seem to keep me full all day without the bottomless pit feeling. I try really hard to mimic those menus. I'm finding a balance of protein, carbs and fat help me do well. I drink a large glass of water before I eat anything, and then try to eat very slow, so that I can tell when I am full, taking lots of sips of water between bites. Other foods make me want to eat, eat, eat. On those days, I just keep reminding myself that food is not here to make me comfortable, it is here to power my body. Plus when I overeat, it defeats my workouts. I work too hard on my fitness to sabotage it. Also, if you know you cannot control the amount of a favorite food you eat, don't buy it, or have it in your house, or just buy a small single serve portion/bag the example below was nuts. I could eat a whole big can but if I just have a single serve portion, that is all I would be able to eat, because that is all I would have. These are lessons I have been working on for years. I am really just starting to be focused on my foods/exercise since January, but I am having more success than I have in years.

YOGINILISA SparkPoints: (3,525)
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2/3/14 10:28 A

This is harder than it sounds---on days when you feel like this, try to pause and THINK. Ask yourself what you are FEELING. What you are experiencing is EMOTIONAL hunger and not PHYSICAL hunger. Here's how to tell the difference: Emotinal hunger comes on suddenly, feels urgent,craves specific foods, isn't satisfied and leads to regret. Physical hunger comes on gradually, can wait, lots of foods sound good, ends when you are full, and doesn't make you feel bad about yourself.
The day that I read that was an "aha" moment for me. But I know how you are feeling because I have those days too. My suggestion to you (and to myself too!) is to have an "emergency kit" that you can open when you have those days with lists of things to do that will distract you and make you feel better about your situation. emoticon

BRANDESKA SparkPoints: (43,162)
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2/3/14 10:15 A

I used to but not so much anymore. Just keep the tempting snacks out of the house. I could be a bottomless pit for cookies or crackers, but there are only so many carrot sticks I could eat at one time. Remember this:

"Never trade what you want the most for what you want in the moment."-- unknown

BAPSANN Posts: 1,448
2/3/14 10:10 A

I love nuts as well but feel I have a bottomless pit.

BANDOMOM1 SparkPoints: (3,254)
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Posts: 337
2/3/14 9:44 A

Yes! I love almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and I tend to Not stop when I open a bag. But now I count them, place in snack bags, so I don't over do it. Lots of times, I find I have to just carry my snacks in these bags, so I have better control. If I have a taste for some chips, I do not buy a big bag! I buy the small 2/$1.00 ones. . Good Luck.

MBEEMOM Posts: 175
2/3/14 9:35 A

I have those days sometimes and it is very distressing. Funny because I typically call those time my "bottomless pit" days. All I can do when it happens is become conscious of what I consume (eat mindfully), even though I go overboard. For me, it only happens one day and I have learned that there will be days like that sometimes and that the next day will be a better day. The "awareness" is what keeps me from giving up.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,361
2/3/14 9:28 A

I think when you have a "bottomless pit" feeling you need to step back and see what is really going on. Oftentimes those cravings have more to do with feelings than with food, and they won't go away with more food...we just sedate ourselves into a food coma. But if it is food related then chances are what we are eating has a lot of processed carbs which just increases more cravings. If that is the issue, then having a healthy choice like fruit and cheese or peanut butter may help...or even better, something like roasted chickpeas. Beans boost serotonin levels which makes you feels more satisfied longer, and the fiber, protein, and nutrition in beans makes it a superfood.

REDDRIDA Posts: 2,306
2/3/14 9:21 A

During PMS, I am a hungry BEAST and I am very weak with temptation! Nothing satisfies even if I stuff myself, I just feel miserable but want to eat more. I have tried to drink water or juice and try to nibble on Carrots, bananas or apples but that seems to make me even hungrier. I usually crave salty, crunchy, sweet bad carb laden foods. Its a very hard time for me so, since I know what triggers this, I just roll with it until it's over and try not to over do it. Once the crimson wave crashes to shore, my appetite returns to normal.

Edited by: REDDRIDA at: 2/3/2014 (09:22)
LUCYNOVIMOM SparkPoints: (1,324)
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2/3/14 8:34 A

Do you have those days where you feel like you are a bottomless pit? No matter what you eat you want more or something else? What do you do to keep yourself from over-eating?

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