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exercise and hunger - illusion or real?



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BRAVELUTE
SparkPoints: (80,729)
Fitness Minutes: (55,629)
Posts: 3,653
8/16/13 6:40 P

In this heat, I'd vote for being sure you are hydrated before, during and after your walk.

And did anyone mention the importance of giving your body the nutrition it needs? I'm not talking about carbs, fats, and proteins. I'm talking about those phytonutrients that come packaged in fresh fruits and vegetables? Once I ramped those up, I quit feeling hungry.

Then I doubled my work out-morning walk and hour water aerobics in the morning. Then a repeat at night. At that point I WAS feeling hungry after the last workout. I checked to see if my calories were supporting my activity and they weren't. I adjusted my calories burned for the week in my fitness tracker, and the hunger went away.

Sometimes, a little voice rears its ugly head and stomps its foot and says, "I want a ____________. " I won't scare you with the demanded treat. But I wasn't hungry. I ignore THAT voice!!



AZULVIOLETA6
SparkPoints: (57,060)
Fitness Minutes: (67,433)
Posts: 2,749
8/16/13 5:25 P

No, that little exercise is not making you hungry! You are probably burning less than 150 calories doing that.

I tend to burn 700-900 calories a day in exercise. I don't feel hungrier when I do that than I do on a rest day. My experience is that it makes no difference at all, even when you are exercising a lot. What you eat does make a difference--if you are spending your calories on sugar and carbs, you will not be satisfied. If you can work in more protein, fiber and drink more water, you are less likely to feel deprived.

I agree that you should be tracking...food, exercise and fluid intake. Even if you don't have any concrete goals at this point, tracking will give you a better idea of how to start when you are ready to make a plan.

Good luck...keep walking!



BUNNYKICKS
Posts: 2,299
8/15/13 7:11 P

Where tracking might be able to help you right now, would be in tracking your nutrition - nevermind the calories, but look at the protein, fat and carbs. Work on getting those sort of balanced, and you well might discover that your "hunger" issues resolve.

I used to eat 3000+ calories/day (as recently as December 2012), and yes it sure is an eye opener when you set out to reacquaint with "normal portion sizes!" Yes, I sure did feel the "emptiness" when i dropped my intake down by like half-of-what-i was-accustomed to. But the biggest impact on managing my hunger levels was "upping the protein, reducing the refined/processed carbs." If you have cold cereal or toast and jam or a bagel or.. well, you know, "typical" carby food, and then go for a walk.... i'd expect you really would end up feeling quite hungry, starchy carbs seem to do that. Adding more protein earlier in the day can really help (i.e. have yogurt with a sprinkle of granola instead of cereal with a spash of milk, have peanut butter on whole grain toast instead of jam on wonderbread, have half the bagel and add a hard boiled egg). It might help.

Yes, this site is awesome, the tools are very useful and the community is very nice.



CHIBI_TOTORO
SparkPoints: (147)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 79
8/15/13 6:52 P

Oh, I can do that.

We just didn't want to get into that "obsession over calories" stuff i did in the past. I was great at teh up and down! and the "oh, count every calorie and only eat 1000 cals" and stuff. I'd lose 30, put on 35, lose 10 put on 15.

but yeah, tracking makes sense, if i don't really look at the numbers - YET. just learn to do it! thanks for some advice!



MEGAPEEJ
Posts: 732
8/15/13 6:49 P

Ahh that could have a major effect too - if you're cutting portion sizes and taking in less food, your body is probably thinking "hey, where'd all that food go?! Didn't we used to eat more??" When I first started tracking I went from about 2500 cal a day down to 1300 a day (starving, because half the food was gone), and then bumped up to about 1650 and tried to pick really nutrient dense, filling stuff. I began to realize that bread did nothing for my hunger, but a hard boiled egg had less calories and satisfied my hunger for a few hours.

It's a good idea to track for a few weeks just to see what those calorie values are and get used to it. I did the same thing (didn't change my eating, just tracked) for a couple weeks and it helped me see a) how quickly and mindlessly I could put 100 calories in my mouth, and b) what I could start to cut out and substitute when it was time to get within my ranges.



CHIBI_TOTORO
SparkPoints: (147)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 79
8/15/13 6:44 P

I'm actually not tracking yet. My cal intake was SOOOO off (3000 + a day) that my doc's goal for the first month is to just get portions to a human level. :-) I don't even look (yet) at WHAT I'm eating, so much as "how much!"

which is why I suspect it's not "real" hunger, but the illusion of newly tired muscles saying "oh stop this exercise stuff, NOW!" :-)


(she recommended sparks both for tracking in the next month, but also, good advice. says these message boards have good people, and are sometimes "policed" by professionals! Which is a good plug for you as users. heh)


Edited by: CHIBI_TOTORO at: 8/15/2013 (18:45)


MEGAPEEJ
Posts: 732
8/15/13 6:40 P

How much are you eating on average?

Generally, my brisk walks on my lunch break make me feel less hungry (unless I wait too long and get too hungry before I even start walking), and they make me crave healthy things like salads. That said, I eat an average of 1800 calories a day, and in the past before I knew how to balance such things, I was eating much fewer calories a day (maybe 1200? I wasn't counting), exercising off 100 calories, and I would be RAVENOUS. I just wasn't eating enough to support any exercise, and my body would tell me that I was starving as a way to try to get me to eat.

If you're within a good calorie range for your weight and the exercise you're doing, I would recommend moving a filling snack or lunch an hour or 2 before your walk. But it's possible that your body is saying "EAT MORE" because you need to eat more. ;)



CHIBI_TOTORO
SparkPoints: (147)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 79
8/15/13 6:33 P

So I've started adding 1-2 miles of walking a day, now that I'm out of work. I walk very slow, like 1 mile in 30 or 35 minutes!

After my walks I am "starving". But given that I know what i've eaten, i'm wondering if that's more just an illusion of your body being tired and thirsty. I do always come in and drink warm water... but should i give into "hunger?" or wait some time (and how much) to see how i feel.



 
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