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!
This does not go with my personal experience at all, nor with all the experience Ihave heard shared by other compulsive overeaters. To me this "expert"is talking about normals eaters - it´s like telling alcoholics that they should try to find the difference between thirst and craving for a drink.
I think the chart gives you something to focus on when you start thinking about food. You can ask yourself "Am I even hungry?" and then whip out the little chart. Just having that concentration will help you make wiser food choices.
I find that any time I stop to question my hunger, I make WAY better food choices. Even if I am starving, , if I am focused, I will wait until I can get my hands on something healthy as opposed to shoving anything in my mouth.
This only works if you have normal digestive physiology. If I were to wait until my body told me I was hungry I would be sick, weak and dizzy. Since having had a gastric bypass I no longer experience hunger pains. Although I was told these would return after 6 months they never have, so I never eat when my body tells me I'm hungry because it simply doesn't do that. I just plan ahead and eat at regular intervals, usually 2-300 calories for breakfast, 3-400 for lunch and 4-500 for dinner. which leaves me 2-300 for a couple of pieces of fruit between meals and a yogurt for supper so I can take my anti-inflammatory pills.
Ahh SP, on the one hand, the article says "If you’ve fallen into the habit of ignoring hunger cues (eating when the clock says it's "lunch time" or eating when you are not even hungry), tune back in to your body." but then on the other hand there is quite a lot of advice in articles sprinkled around the site to "pre-empt the hunger signals by eating more frequently at regular times (and in theory stop the need to overeat) even when you're not hungry"...
I thought that the detailed description of the difference between "hunger" and "appetite" definitely made sense and helped me to understand how we have programmed ourselves to eat at the wrong foods at the wrong times and places. Great article!
To Raeb84- I think that what the article is saying about letting your hunger get to those higher levels is that people tend to make poor food choices when they get too hungry. As long as you have healthy food choices whenever you decide to eat then you're right on target with what the article is suggesting. You're also listening to your body in the afternoon; you're not feeling hungry so you're not eating. It sounds like you're doing all the right things to me! :-)
Great article, but I'm curious - is it bad to be hungry? Not at a level 1 like on the chart, or even a level 2, but if I stay at a level 3 for 30 minutes is that going to really give me problems if I'm doing that most days? I try to eat within that amount of time once I've gotten to about a level 3, but should I even be getting to that level? I always hear that you need to eat every 3 or so hours to keep metabolism up, which I do in the mornings, but not usually in the afternoon because I'm not hungry and I can't eat too close to when I work out. Is that going to hurt my weight loss too? Losing weight is very, very confusing.
You crave carbohydrate, I don't know of anyone who craves fat or protein; both fat and protein can satisfy you, but carb's actually make you feel hungry. Drop the carbs, especially "sweet" carbs, and see how quickly the rest take care of itself.
I know myself well enough to know I have a sweet tooth. So I am able to keep that at bay by eating something that taste sweet in the afternoon as my snack, I like smoothies made with tofu,fruit and yogurt or if chocolate is what i want I will have a chocolate rice cake . This is a good way to deal with all of this .That way I am not over eating to satify that craving.
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