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RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (3,758)
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Posts: 1,176
9/19/13 5:33 P

It gets better, HKR, a lot lot better. For most people who cut calories suddenly and drastically (without going overboard) as you have and as I did, I think there's not really any way around being hungry a lot. Some people find various approaches that work very well for them, but I don't think any of them are universally successful. However, if you stick with it, your body will adjust. (For me it was about six weeks before I was feeling substantially more normal, almost all of the time.)

You also have the option to cut down your calories much more slowly (like, 500 cals less every week or two). You get to the same place, it just takes a bit longer, and you may not see results at first. But for a lot of people, it's easier to take and easier to stick to. You know yourself best and what is most likely to work for you.

Regardless, all of the tips about keeping what you do eat as high-quality as possible are very valuable. Even now I'd fall apart by mid-afternoon if I was trying to get by all that time on nothing but cereal and peanut butter sandwiches; but even on fewer calories than now I was fine losing weight on mostly real food.

And while I can't say it's going to be like this for everybody, I can honestly say that for me, now that I am in maintenance I have no issue with hunger at all. The amount I can eat and not gain weight still surprises me a bit. I stay away from the obviously bad stuff, and I'm fine.

You'll get there, just take your time and be sensible and kind to yourself and most of all persistent, and you can do it.

SRICE56 SparkPoints: (775)
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9/19/13 1:45 P

Thank you for the positive comments. Just started dieting and have been hungry a lot and need to stay motivated and not give up!

EMYLEEANNE Posts: 269
8/30/13 10:28 A

When I decide to lose weight I always find the first two weeks are the hardest! Food is all you think about and you feel hungry all the time! During the first two weeks I just eat a few more healthy snacks a day and your body will start getting used to eating less calories and it will get much easier.

NEEDTOLOSE46 SparkPoints: (166)
Fitness Minutes: (280)
Posts: 6
8/29/13 11:40 P

If I were to eat a salad everyday and stop eating at 7pm, with hrly water intake. What is could be a estimate weight loss per week? Also, work out with cardio and strength training.

8HEATHER Posts: 53
8/29/13 9:57 P

Lots of great ideas here! The thing is on a restricted calorie diet most things you eat have to have some nutritional value otherwise you will feel unsatisfied. Chances are nutritionally speaking you were eating what most of us here were - total crap - lol. Read the labels. No you don't have to eat all whole foods but if your packaged food has little protein or fiber it's going to satisfy you for about 2.3 minutes. That doesn't mean you can't have a treat here and there but try to meet the goals for the macronutrients on your tracker first. Experiment with flavors - once you strip away all of the excess sugar fat etc you might be surprised how your tastes develop - how had I never noticed how good fresh fruits and vegetables are? It's really amazing...good luck! You can do this!

Edited by: 8HEATHER at: 8/29/2013 (21:59)
WWREFUGEE1942 SparkPoints: (23,327)
Fitness Minutes: (5,332)
Posts: 154
8/29/13 5:49 P

I hope my hunger shuts off when it realizes I am not going to give in and eat more food than I should. The way I see it right now, my "hunger" is an angry child refusing to cooperate with my weight loss. I am actually gaining weight on 1450 calories a day so there is no reason for mem to be hungry. It is pure sabotage, probably coming from my inner child.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (3,758)
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Posts: 1,176
5/28/13 5:33 P

I think that when you cut your calories drastically, then hunger is just something you have to deal with. (Unless you go way too low and your "hungry" reflex shuts off entirely as a result.) Definitely start with the most calories you think might be effective and not the least -- it may be good enough, it leaves you somewhere to go if it's not, and it'll be easier on you in the meantime. Taking the calorie-cutting a little bit at a time might help as some have suggested, but I have no personal experience with that.

For me the worst of it lasted about six weeks. After that I felt pretty normal, most of the time. I still get insanely hungry when I increase my activity level suddenly -- for instance I just spent the entire day painting ceilings and am absolutely ravenous right now, even after my second snack of the afternoon. (When's dinner????) But I know from experience how that goes, so it's not a big deal.

SONICB Posts: 4,240
5/28/13 1:43 P

Sometimes our bodies confuse thirst for hunger--so make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day!

Eat low-calorie, fiber-packed fruits & vegetables. They will keep you feeling full without using up too many of your 1500-2000 calorie daily allotment.

I also find that keeping busy (working out, reading, studying, any hobby) keeps my mind off of food, so I can't erroneously think myself into being hungry.

CHOCOLATELEA SparkPoints: (2,531)
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Posts: 131
5/28/13 12:53 P

I don't know if either of these things will help you, but since you asked...

There's only two things I've found that seemed to help me feel "not hungry" during the day.

Cod liver oil pills (one, taken with breakfast), seemed to help me stay satiated for most of the day.

And the Virgin Diet. I guess I'm sort of silly not to be trying that again now, but I did it for about two weeks, and I was never hungry. I didn't find it hard to follow either. You just didn't buy anything that you weren't allowed to eat. In essence, you cut out all of the foods that would create cravings. It forces you to eat healthier (lots of veggies) etc, but a lot of people would find it too restrictive (it's an elimination diet and normally used to identify things that people are allergic to). —Basically, you cut out corn, soy, dairy, peanuts, sugar and artificial sweetners, gluten, and eggs.— After the first three weeks (detox period) I think you're allowed to start introducing things back one at a time (to see if you have a reaction to something in particular), but if you like the diet as is and keep it up, then that's probably best.


KEEPGOINGEMILY SparkPoints: (20,164)
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Posts: 675
5/28/13 12:49 P

Start where you are, instead of making a bunch of big changes all at once. It's overwhelming at first to track all your foods, much less get accustomed to a much smaller calorie budget. I can still remember how it felt my first time I tracked the breakfast I'd been eating each morning, what a shock! It was something like 800 calories, and the whole DAY'S worth of fat!! Oh my goodness, no wonder I was gaining weight so quickly!

For illustration's sake, I'll elaborate on my breakfast: It was stir-fry peppers &onions, sometimes a handful of spinach, cooked in a few tablespoons of oil or butter, scrambled into 2 or 3 eggs, topped with cheese, and served with buttered toast.
I looked at that meal, those too-high numbers, and thought about how I could adjust it to bring the calorie count down and still be satisfied with the size of the meal.

Instead of multiple whole eggs, I used one whole and 2 or 3 whites (learned that protein helps you stay full feeling longer, work to find ways to increase lean protein)
Instead of being so liberal with the oil/butter, I reduced it as much as I could without sticking to the pan, usually about a tablespoon.
I added more veggies, like frozen spinach, mushrooms and grated carrot. This increased the volume on my plate, without adding a ton of calories.
I used reduced-fat cheese for a while, then decided I would rather use less of the "full-flavor" variety instead.
Each time I made a tweak that brought down the calorie count of that meal to a reasonable level, was such a triumph for me! I enjoyed it even more knowing that it was a step closer to where I wanted to be, rather than a step away.

Eat what you like to eat, but work on adapting your choices to fit into your new goals. This way you're not feeling like you're depriving yourself (as much)! As you go along, some of the foods you enjoy most now might not be worth the hefty calorie "price tag." I hardly ever made toast after a while, once I saw how many veggies I could eat instead of those two little slices!

Also, make a big point to drink as much water as you can possibly stand. When you're feeling hungry, chug-a-lug! It helps me so much to make sure I'm drinking enough water each day.

222NICHOLE SparkPoints: (5,970)
Fitness Minutes: (1,908)
Posts: 97
5/28/13 12:14 P

A lot of the suggestions already on here are great! I agree that eating more veggies, protein, water-based foods like soups, etc. that are more filling for less calories will really help. 100 calories of vegetables/proteins/whole grains can leave you satisfyingly full but 100 calories of condiments/drinks/sweets/refined carbs does not. Here is an article on super foods, these foods are full of nutrients and most of them without extra fat or calories so incorporating some of these every day can help you make the most out of your calorie range: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrit
ion_articles.asp?id=307
Also splitting up your calories into 3 meals and 2-3 snacks will also be helpful. Eating more smaller meals throughout the day increases your metabolism and helps you to not feel hungry or deprived.
I also believe that hunger can sometimes be a mind game. I find that when I take extra time to cook a meal or break out of my usual routine meals and make something that seems new or exciting to me helps me to be satisfied with what I made and not think about my hunger. It also helps me when I don't let my focus on tracking calories, eating, and weight loss be on the top of my mind throughout the day. Instead I make sure to plan and track everything in the morning, and follow it consistently, but then focus on other goals, interests, and hobbies throughout the day so that I don't have time to think about hunger.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,513
5/28/13 12:03 P

Budgeting in a mid morning and mid afternoon snack will help. WIth some careful choice you can even budget in an after-dinner snack if you tend to stay up late.

NIRERIN Posts: 11,906
5/28/13 8:53 A

inputting what you used to eat might be a great help. why? because if you were eating 4000 cals a day, then cutting down to 2000 at most is giving your body half of what it is used to. that would be hard for anyone to do, whether their body actually needed that many calories or not. it's hard to get out of that habit and get adjusted to where you should be. if something like that is the case, then you have two options. suffer and be hungry until such time as your body adjusts or scale down into your ranges. scale down into your ranges means that if you were eating 4000 cals before, you don't jump into eating just under 2000. it means you start by cutting back to about 3700 cals for a few weeks. then you eat at 3400 for a few more weeks. then 3100 for a few weeks, gradually easing yourself into the range where you should be eating. it takes longer, but it tends to be less painless because it's easier to cut out a few hundred calories than it is to do 1000+.

then you should start looking at what you are actually eating. things like air popped popcorn, celery, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, spaghetti squash, lettuce, all dark leafy greens, onions and other low cal high volume foods are great to bulk out your meals. in other words, you include these foods in quantity in your meals to help you feel full.
another thing you can do is soup or salad before meals. look to the weight watchers free soup or the cabbage soup diet soup [the point isn't to try out either of those plans, simply to use the recipe for a low cal soup and those are readily available] and have a bowl or two of that before meals. or have a big salad, heavy on the lettuce, cucumber, and onion. the idea is to get a lot of volume out of low cal foods.

one other thing you may want to look at it s hunger satiety scale. it's a scale of 1-10 to define how hungry you are. some people think that you're either hungry or you're not, and learning that it's more of a scale with variants in between can help you realize that "not full" doesn't necessarily mean "hungry." which is especially true if you are someone who happens to associate full only with that stuffed to the gills feeling you get after thanksgiving when you eat six pounds of food in one sitting.

and do share your tracker or some typical menus to get better advice. if you're going to share a menu, be as explicit as possible. "breakfast: oatmeal" isn't going to get you very helpful responses. "breakfast: 1/2 cup dry oatmeal, 1 cup 2% milk, 1 medium banana" will get you better responses. because without quantifiers oatmeal could be anything from 1 Tablespoon dry made with water to 1 cup dry made with whole milk. and if you were to add 1/2 cup walnuts, 1 oz raisins, 2 teaspoons brown sugar and 1/4 cup of jam to that latter one you're going to get a much higher variant. and just oatmeal simply doesn't tell us what you put in your oatmeal because people make oatmeal differently

ONASIA44 SparkPoints: (44)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 8
5/28/13 3:22 A

I'm just starting out.ao what I'm doing when the cravings start kicking and is drinking tall glasses of water while watching TV until I fall asleep.it gets hard sometimes when the food commercials come on. take a deep breath and remember one pound.that really seems to help me if I fall asleep and wake up and am still hungry I'll eat some fruit like I'm doing now.I don't want m

GOPINTOS SparkPoints: (32,922)
Fitness Minutes: (32,016)
Posts: 6,263
1/3/13 4:23 P

I agree with many of the suggestions thus far.

Until you get the hang of it though, figuring out those foods that fill you up more and longer, (satiety) when you get to the end of the day and you are still hungry but no calories left in the calorie bank, eat veggies. Like a big salad, etc.

When I first started, I was pretty good at staying in my range, but I was hungry all the time. Went to bed hungry. Woke up during the night hungry. Woke up first thing in the morning hungry..... man it seems like a lifetime ago now. Now I have a good grip on my hunger, true hunger, and I know what foods work best for what I need to accomplish.

But going to bed hungry was the worst thing ever. Trying to sleep & stay asleep hungry was just as bad. So I would suggest veggies, whatever you like until you are full. If you can budget some good fat on it at dinner, good fat will help satiate you also. But if you just run out and are still hungry, eat some veggies cuz being hungry is no fun.

And if you do go over and you have overdrawn your calorie bank account, still try to make it a good choice, make sure it is worth it, like something more filling, and then learn from it. Then the next morning when you get up, you will have a new deposit into your account and you will be in the black again and can make new different choices :)

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,872
1/3/13 4:09 P

If you share your tracker we can make specific suggestions. My tips

- Salad. When I was eating a salad with lunch and dinner I never felt hungry because all that greenery filled me up. I love baby spinach, a tomato and some cucumber with a cucumber and yogurt dip as the dressing (lower in calories than a lot of dressings, I found)
- Protein - Get protein with every meal. Meat, eggs, Greek yogurt, cheese etc are all great sources of protein
- Limit junk - At 1200-1500cal you really need to be using most of your calories on good, healthy food. 100cal of chocolate won't fill you up like 100cal of chicken breast will!

AWOLLENWEBER Posts: 5
1/3/13 4:08 P

I'm also just starting out, so I'm still in the hunger mode too. I know it's more emotional than anything and distractions CAN work. I'm also relying on caffeine from tea to help with the headaches. I'd eventually like to switch to water 100%, but one thing at a time!

I definitely agree with the recommendation to save calories for snacks. Between meals, I've eaten air popped popcorn, lots of veggies with low cal dip, yogurt, fruit, string cheese, hard boiled eggs, etc.

I'm also staying in the upper range SP recommends for awhile and not worrying about going over a little bit.

Good luck on your journey!

DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,618
1/3/13 3:51 P

If you make your nutrition tracker public, we can give more helpful tips.
Let me know if you need the steps to do this.

SP Registered Dietitian Becky

MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
1/3/13 3:49 P

First of all, welcome! You've made an important first-step just by coming here. emoticon

It looks like you are just starting out. For the first week or so when I first started, I just tracked what I ate. I didn't actually try to stay in those ranges, because they were so foreign to me and I didn't know how. I just needed to see how I ate first.

From there, analyze your data and see where you can make small cuts that won't really affect your hunger. Using 3 TBSP of mayo in my tuna salad? I'll cut that to 1 and substitute the rest with mustard. Eating 8 ounces of a fatty steak? Let's see how I feel with 6 and a leaner cut. Lunch is 1200 calories? What should I eat instead?

If you're not sure how to substitute or how to eat a filling meal with fewer calories, come ask us! I didn't know what the heck I was doing when I first started either, but there are a ton of tips and hints and recipes and ways to eat whatever you want, just not ALL of whatever you want. But first it's a matter of figuring out what it is, before you can decide how to change it.

One last thing, I found when I first started that if I upped my exercise I was getting each week, I got more calories to eat, and it really helped a lot to still be able to eat so much when I first started out.

Edited by: MEGAPEEJ at: 1/3/2013 (15:50)
YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,605)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
1/3/13 3:45 P

What kinds of foods are you eating? I've found I need a good amount of protein and fiber to feel full. If I eat a carb-heavy lower protein meal, I'm hungry like 2 hours later. You also might want to try to work in some snacks if you find yourself getting hungry between meals.... just reduce the calories you eat in each main meal by 50-100 in order to fit in 2 100-150 calorie snacks.

RHABBOTT SparkPoints: (3,729)
Fitness Minutes: (4,551)
Posts: 6
1/3/13 3:39 P

I think this is one of the most difficult challenges that we all face. I have found that budgeting one or two low-cal snacks between meals and drinking my 8 cups of water per day seem to help.

HKR2013SHINING SparkPoints: (353)
Fitness Minutes: (195)
Posts: 3
1/3/13 3:31 P

So I did not become 232 pounds by eating small portions....my question is how do you satisfy your hunger pains?! I do not even know how many calories I used to consume but now that I am trying to count my calories and stay between 1500-2000 I feel hungry even after I eat my breakfast, lunch, dinner. I know part of it is because I am thinking too much about it but again I am on a new adventure and need some guidance.

Thanks!!!
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