For some of us the issue is medical. I get hypoglycemic if I don't eat enough carbs the day before. While tracking food & keeping calories down, that isn't easy. I do it, and manage to deal with all this, but those days when I get hypoglycemic (usually because I didn't feel like eating that many carbs the previous day) are just horrible because I can't get my blood sugar up no matter what or how much I eat, and if I didn't track what I eat, I'd end up feeling both "10" & "1" at the same.
while this sounds reasonable, everyone's body is different. I am usually not hungry in the morning, but if I don't eat, I will inevitably overeat sometime during the day. Eating a small meal every three hours is the only thing that works for me.
Don't rule out chemistry when it comes to cravings. It's no surprise that the foods that most people crave and binge on are loaded with sugar and starch (which is really still sugar in disguise - starch is simply a plant's storage form of sugar).
A natural unprocessed food diet has a very low level of sugar/starch, and even that usually comes packaged with lots of fiber or protein, which mitigates your body's response to it.
Eating sugar causes an immediate release of insulin, and sets you up for a roller coaster of blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar is simply another form of hunger - that's the one that touches off the headaches and fogginess.
Smoothing out the roller coaster will go a long way to easing your cravings, and you do that at the source - by lowering the amount of sugar and starch you ingest at any given meal or snack.
I love this Article. I also agree with most of what THINSTEAD said about your body craving particular nutrients- but I think that it's an across-the-board thing. Sure, you crave sweets when certain emotions strike, you can also crave crunchy or salty when others come about. But when taking emotions out of the game, cravings say the same thing- "This might help."
To crave spinach or carrots is one thing. That's your body signaling it would like some more of a particular nutrient. But if you crave cookies, chocolate, chips or pasta at some point each day, then that's emotional eating behavior. The only way to stop emotional eating behavior is to deal with the underlying emotions that are generating it. I found energy psycholgy was the best way for me. I took a look at what need comfort foods were serving, and what role food took in my life growing up and used EFT to relase the emotions that were causing the problem. I'm down 55 lbs and I no longer have daily cravings. I actually find myself getting hunger pangs sometimes now and having to stop what I'm doing to eat. It feels great to stop obsessing over food. I'm so much happier now. But I can totally relate to what it feels like to crave particular foods.
12/23/2012 9:59:41 AM
Keeping meals and snacks on a regular schedule is essential because it trains our bodies and minds in the art of hunger. It also means that, knowing what is needed at 3 p.m. or for the next morning's breakfast, we can be prepared and not think as much about all the other options.
When we're hungry outside of our schedule, we need first to distract ourselves, then remind ourselves that no one ever died of hunger between scheduled meals, and then to consider why.
I was first senior research fellow in NIH Office of Complementary Medicine. Using food addiction as template, THE HUNGER FIX addiction plan integrates personal empowerment, spirituality, along with whole food nutrition and restorative physical activity.
7/29/2012 5:40:58 PM
If I waited until I was hungry to eat, then I would be at a 1 all the time. I have to eat on a regular continual basis or I will probably hit the 1 a lot of the time.
7/29/2012 5:37:13 PM
For me it just sort of sneaks up on me. Sometimes I can go and go without realizing how hungry I am and if I am having a bad day, the last thing I want to do is make something; I want something that comforts me. And by the time I get to the 1 on the chart, I just need something and anything to eat.
This is a good tool but many of us start our journey to a healthier life with hunger and cravings being all mixed up and eating being out of control. At the beginning I made simple rules and followed them without fail. NO second helpings. NONE!!! I allowed small carefully selected snacks but NO extra nibbling. That has become mostly automatic and I am now better able to assess my hunger and eat what is needed with a bit less rigidity, but I still need to go back to my rules at times. I need to organize my "food life" so that I don't have to make too many decisions. I can, for example have a chocolate bar in the drawer and eat two squares a day but I decided against buying a bag of kettle corn the other day. That would be too many decisions for me. I could have managed to eat one serving initially but what about the other seven in the bag? That would have been too much for me. I would encourage anyone to start by making one simple rule.
7/29/2012 5:44:27 AM
The scale is very handy. I worked for about a year in order to get the hang of eating-when-hungry and I think it's very useful to begin to realize that there are degrees of hunger. Weight coach Marna Thall offered me a lot of useful information about these levels and how to handle them. For example eating a little so I can 'preserve' my hunger for the evening meal.
Still, now that I'm experimenting with low carb eating and not having wheat, I think that what I used to call 'hunger' really is a craving for carbs / wheat. So I tend to be with CGVegas: it's probably carbs that make us feel hungry.
I don't think it is 'good' to be hungry, to let myself be too hungry - if it is real hunger and not an emotional desire to eat. It doesn't mean I'm losing weight; it means that my body is being deprived of what it needs. We need to eat to live and thrive!
7/29/2012 2:18:07 AM
I've suffered from the anorexia and bulimia (mainly bulimia) for 40 years and I'm now in the best recovery I've ever been in, but I'm only just beginning to know what hunger feels like, so I found this a very helpful description and guide. Thankyou!
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