Tough Talk: Hunger is not the enemy

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I know you're wondering - what in the world does she mean by that? How can it possibly be OK to feel hungry?

When you overeat constantly, you don't just feel full after your meals - you frequently feel stuffed. That's a sensation your body gets comfortable with. You might hate it, but you're used to it, and it gets easier and easier to increase the amount of food it takes to "stuff" yourself.

As you change your eating habits, your body kicks up a ruckus and says, " Wait a minute. I'm not stuffed yet. Keep going." You know you've eaten enough. You know one more bite will push you over your limit. You know it's time to put your fork down. But your stomach has not caught on yet, and it urges you to fill up. Why do you think it's so easy to sabotage yourself? When you resist that call, you'll sometimes, even oftentimes, sense hunger, mostly at first, but it can take months for your body to adjust, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. I know most others, even SparkPeople writers, say you shouldn't feel hungry when losing weight.

I'm here to tell you a little truth: They're full of baloney. I sometimes wonder if people writing these articles have ever been overweight, let alone obese.

The fact is, it takes time for your rebellious tummy to accept the change, like when you tell a friend you're moving away. She doesn't want to hear it. She doesn't want you to go. She hopes your house won't sell, that the job transfer won't come through, that the town you're moving to will fall into the Pacific Ocean. It's the same for your body. You can't reduce your calories or portions significantly without it yearning to restore order. And to speed things up, it kicks hunger into high gear.

Don't pick up a spoon when you've had enough but feel hungry. Welcome the sensation. It means you're on the right track. It means you're forcing your body to adjust and accept your new lifestyle. It means you'll lose weight.

Anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight knows what I'm talking about. If you haven't experienced it yet, you will.

Over time, you'll enjoy feeling satisfied after meals rather than stuffed - and your body will let you know the second you're pushing it too far!

Make hunger your friend rather than your enemy. Learn what it really means.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD15469344
    I'm with you! Hunger seems to be just a normal part of both weight loss and maintenance. I've learned to just sense it and understand that although it's a little uncomfortable, it can, will, and must pass - just like other experiences and sensations in life. Once I accepted this, I was finally able to embrace healthier eating.
    2082 days ago
  • GRACED777
    I agree! Hunger is a sign I'm on the right track. It isn't always comfortable, but it becomes more so as my body adjusts to this lifestyle. I like waking up ready to eat, and I like the comfortable feeling when I am done, rather than the "always full" feeling I used to have. Thanks for voicing this!
    2203 days ago
  • MISSM66
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2204 days ago
    emoticon , emoticon & emoticon blog! emoticon for sharing! I lost 40 lbs. 2 years ago or more, but I'm still hungry. Maybe I'm not eating enough! I don't know! I hope you have a blessed day! emoticon
    2204 days ago
  • BARJ234
    I totally agree.
    4605 days ago
    Very interesting...

    Yes that is going to be hard, but I am going to have to WANT IT! =]
    4605 days ago
  • no profile photo MICHICK
    Such good common sense & straight talk!! Wow! What we all need to succeed & don't want to hear emoticon Thanks for saying it & encouraging the rest of us to get on board so that we can all make it to
    goal & stay there for a change!! Back in the day we ate at meals & very
    seldom snacked & being hungry just signaled that it must be getting
    close to the next meal time, & we didn't stuff something into our mouth
    we just waited. Wasn't a huge sacrifice it was just how you did things. Now everyone eats pretty much non stop.... thanks for helping me to remember
    all that!! I look at what I have on my food page & think that's plenty of good
    tasty food--how come I feel so hungry?? Now I will try & be happy LOL
    4618 days ago
    i sabotaged myself this way today, and now i am sitting here thinking of purging and feeling like a failure. I nedded to hear this
    4621 days ago
    Thank you, I needed to hear what you wrote body just has to adjust to less calories and not let me sabotage myself....
    4634 days ago
    I am sitting here right now knowing I am full, but want to go and eat an entire pizza, or more so I can feel stuffed. This is right what I neeeded to read, I know it, I just don't live it. Just joined the team, too, as it sounded like where I have been at and why I have been stuck.
    Congrats to you and thanks for your blog!
    4723 days ago
    Hey Dori luv, great blog again!

    I found out about a year ago that it takes the body 20 minutes to assess that it's had enough to eat, which made me understand why I could so easily overeat and then feel stuffed later. Now I eat what I know is the correct portion, slowly, chew well, sip cold water between bites and finish with a nice cup of green tea. By that my body awareness has kicked in and I'm all good. I'm rarely hungry anymore because of the way I eat, and I'm staying within and even under my minimum.

    I'm so happy to say that eating has stopped being my biggest problem in life. I never thought that I would reach this point, but even in states of depression I have not turned to food and for sure not the really bad food for comfort or binges. That is the highlight of my life next to the epiphany I had last night.

    Today is a great day!

    Luvs, Pami xoxo emoticon
    4726 days ago
    You know, I used to be told by my mother that you can't lose weight ifyou arent' hungry. She used to tell me that when your tummy growled you were losing the fat. All articles are to the contrary. although, mom my be alittle extreme in her thinking. I agree. I think part of weight loss is learning new feelings. I love waking up in the morning with the empty feeling. When I eat the way I used to , I wake up still full.
    4729 days ago
  • no profile photo LEFTY08
    I love your blog... I love the way you think. I'm finding that very thing out myself. Its almost like we panic when we feel hungry because that's "so bad." It's NOT. Its actually pretty cool!

    That EMPTY feeling is a good thing! I'm learning to love it! I'm convincing my misprogrammed subconscious mind to view things differently and feeling EMPTY IS GOOD is one of those things!

    Thanks for bringing that up! You're a very inspiring writer.
    4731 days ago
    I actually love that feeling! It means I'm doing something right. You can look at my food trackers and see I still mess up BUT for the most part, I am on track. When you feel that way, drink some water and get moving.
    4731 days ago
    I dont over eat I under exercise!!!! It is vicious, I ahve been told I dont eat enough for my weight by many people.
    4731 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3208080
    Very good point. I agree totally. I also think hunger can be a sign that you have increased your metabolism if you are exercising and that is a very good thing!

    4731 days ago
    Oooooo good one Dori!!!

    4731 days ago
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