Did you suddenly cut out a lot of calories? I know that when I started, I had gone from about 2500+ calories a day to the 1200-1550 range instantly, and I was STARVING TO DEATH. Not really, but I was absolutely ravenous and miserable and I was thisclose to saying "forget this!" Basically the same reason I had quit in the past - (I thought) losing weight makes you hungry and I hate being hungry! So I played with the numbers a bit. I added some calories back and tried slowly cutting 100, not 1000. I put my goal date a little further out. I added some exercise. I substituted/decreased foods that weren't filling at all but were very high in calories. I soon found a range of 1600-1950 that worked so well for me in keeping me satisfied, but taking the weight off.
Long story short, if you feel like you're starving, EAT! This is a lifestyle change, and you absolutely don't have to feel like you're starving for the rest of your life. Small steps lead to big changes.
Fitness Minutes: (33,780)
22,234 1/7/14 3:54 P
I meant to add, I ALWAYS have a snack before I go to bed. It is usually some banana (not necessarily a whole banana), sometimes mashed on wholegrain toast, and sometimes a dried fig and yoghurt. I also have a milky drink, altho' water is added.
Fitness Minutes: (33,780)
22,234 1/7/14 3:52 P
It sounds to me like you have made too many changes all at once.
When I first dropped my calories, and it wasn't by much, I became nauseated and light-headed. I would be woken in the middle of the night with extreme hunger PAIN and the nausea. I had to go back up and gradually work down.
Just start this journey with baby steps, changing only one or two things to start with, and allow your mind/body to get used to those changes before adding something else to the mix. It might be something as simple as reducing soda/juice and increasing water, or it might be adding an extra piece of fruit and veges to your day. On the exercise front, it might be just mobilizing a bit more in your day if you are normally very sedentary, or going for a 10-15 minute walk. Or it might be taking stairs instead of lifts, or parking the car further away than you normally would.
Weigh all of your food for increased accuracy and track it all on the Nutrition Tracker. This will enable you to tweak your intake to ensure that you are getting a healthy mix of carbs (wholegrains/fruit/veges), healthy fats and lean protein. Some people tend to cut themselves too short on one of them and that can upset your feeling of fullness.
I agree with the snacks. I try to have three a day. It seems like a lot but I am not hungry at night if I eat on a schedule and 6 times a day. It seems counterintutive to eat that much but it helps. Also, whole foods, not processed, keep me fuller and eventually will taste better. Even doing this I still crave "bad things". Mainly pizza or any carb with cheese on it. I've been trying to create healthier versions of these items and have a smaller portion so that I'm addressing the craving but not going crazy eating a large portion. There are tons of awesome pizza recipes with great flavor combos and when you put it on some whole grain crust (which I can get at my local bakery) I wonder why I wanted the frozen stuff. Good luck!
Fitness Minutes: (3,614)
26 1/7/14 1:14 P
When I crave pizza and cookies it's usually because I haven't eaten enough food that day. Your body knows pizza or cookies will supply the needed calories so you crave it. Your body will make you crave bad foods if it thinks you're starving.
Try eating more real whole foods throughout the day and see if that helps. Lots of vegetables, fruit, protein and healthy fats.
Do you build snacks into your daily calorie allowance?
Say you plan on eating 1400 calories a day (this also goes to the question of how many calories a day are you eating??)
Anyway, say it's 1400. You could do 250 for breakfast, 300 for lunch, 500 for dinner, and still have 350 left for snacks, even 2 snacks, one mid afternoon, one after dinner - eating like this ensures you are eating steadily throughout the day.
350 calories maybe doesn't sound like a lot of calories for a snack, especially if you are used to eating cookies or potato chips as snacks, but the more you learn about foods, you will realize you can find a lot of healthy options in this range. My snack yesterday was a large granny smith apple with a low-fat string cheese and it was 160 calories, and kept me going for 3 hours until dinner.
Also, yes it may take a few weeks for your stomach (the organ, not your tummy) to shrink a little bit as it gets used to smaller amounts of food. Try to drink a lot of water so your stomach feels more full.
I make sure that I have protein bars, fruit, and flavored instant oatmeal in the house. I will plan to have one of these towards the end of the day. Especially the oatmeal - it satisfies my sweet cravings and fills me up.
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
1,329 1/7/14 11:26 A
Well if your stomach is growling, then you're hungry! Regardless of whether you're wanting pizza or french fries or a big steak. By how much did you cut calories? It does take some time (several weeks at least) to fully adjust when you're going from several hundred or a thousand calories above maintenance to several hundred or a thousand less than maintenance. Sometimes people do it more slowly and find it more comfortable that way. Sometimes (me!) you're highly motivated enough and busy enough to just suck it up until it gets better, which it does.
Are you using your tracker/is it public? If so, people might be able to give you some more specific feedback about what or how much you are eating.
In the meantime, if you're that hungry, then by all means eat something. You may be surprised at how little it takes to satisfy the nighttime growlies, when they occur. A yogurt might do it, half a peanut butter sandwich, a cheese stick and some cut-up vegetables, a couple handfuls of nuts and raisins eaten slowly, etcetera etcetera. Have something with a little protein to it, not just crackers or pretzels, and you're more likely to feel satisfied. 200 calories "extra" of a good snack is infinitely preferable to either driving yourself mad with hunger or feeling like you have no choice but to consume 600 calories of pizza/chips/whatever and then feel guilty and horrible afterwards. Do what your body and mind can handle, whatever that is.
In terms of the craving aspect of it, that also gets better, it just takes time to get out of the mental habit of reaching for certain foods in "emergencies" (and otherwise). If you think it will help avoid resentment or fit better into your long-term plans, then find a way to fit these things into your lifestyle on a much more limited basis than before. Otherwise, pretty much the more you stay away from them, the less you'll want them. Out of sight, out of habit, out of mind, more or less.
Fitness Minutes: (3,614)
26 1/7/14 10:33 A
ok so I am only on day 5 so I am not sure if this is just my body detoxing or what but ..I feel like my stomach is going to eat itself by 9pm...and I know I am not hungry because I don't crave healthy foods I want pizza chips and cookies ....So I guess my question is how can I satisfy a pizza/salty/chocolate craving with out eating pizza/salt/or cookies so maybe by 9 pm I wont have that craving anymore? and what can you snack on that late that will help you to feel satisfied but not undo your whole day?
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