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Dealing with Fear of Hunger

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Something that I think will come in handy this holiday season, is my new ability to stop eating a food when I realize I'm not enjoying it. Why continue to eat something if the flavor isn't enjoyable (or the texture or whatever).

Yesterday when my son and I had lunch, I also got a cookie for us to share for dessert. I love anything red velvet and this cookie looked good. We ate our meal, and I almost forgot about the cookie. We each took a bite to taste it. I didn't care for it. I would normally finish it all, just because it was sweet, and I had paid for it. Even though it was nice and soft and chewy (my favorite texture for a cookie) the taste wasn't worth it. I brought it home. But when I got home I just tossed it out. I'm finding myself tossing out things I don't enjoy. Recently I saw a few things in the freezer that I'd saved from meals, and decided that I hadn't enjoyed those foods so why keep them? I'd never eat them. I had a box of frozen yogurt (mango) popsicles. The first time I ate one all I could taste was wooden stick! yuck! Another day I had another one, but threw it away after a few bites. A few weeks later I just tossed the box.

Lately, I've concentrated on only eating what really appeals to me. I am also working to only eat when I'm hungry, but I am finding myself hungry from 3:00 on until Supper around 5:15, even after having a healthy snack of nuts or greek yogurt. I thought maybe it has something to do with not eating enough protein and fiber in the early part of the day. And maybe not starting my day with enough calories. Today I planned on more protein and fiber and ate accordingly, and it's 2 o'clock and the hunger has begun. I'm drinking lots of water to see if it's thirst. It's not working. I really want to avoid feeling hungry. Hunger drives me to binge so I can at last feel full and comforted.

Hunger isn't a bad thing, at least that is something I think I should feel, but I'm wondering if there's something in past that causes me to fear hunger. I know for a time in my life, I would get very irritable and grumpy when I'd get hungry, in particular during pregnancy. My hubby would always state, You're hungry…eat something and you'll feel better. This also happened when I started trying to lose weight. He warned me not to let myself get to that point, mostly because I wasn't any fun to be around. So now if I feel hunger, I feel like I have to respond to it pronto, or I'll put others through having to deal with my moodiness.

If you have any input to help me deal with my hunger better (dealing with it in my mind, or dealing with it with filling foods), please feel free to tell me! What foods fill you up, for the lesser amount of calories? Fortunately this has helped me avoid eating those empty calories that lead to only a short period being hunger free.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • LARISSA238
    I might have missed it in the comments. but carrots and hummus go well together for a snack. You get your crunch, veggies and protein! can't beat that :)
    1608 days ago
    That's great that you were able to come to that conclusion. I no longer eat what isn't appealing as well. I still eat everything on the plate as I feel bad about leaving it there. I have apples as a snack or breakfast. It is wonderful!
    1608 days ago
    We won't die from hunger because we do not know true hunger as we come from so much abundance and we won't die from doing without. My mantra is "You are not depriving yourself, you are taking care of youself." Happy day after.

    1609 days ago
    A really thoughtful blog. I salute you for digging deep to try and understand the roots of your actions. I have very early memories of being completely ignored as a young child for long periods of time by my distracted and self-oriented mother, and I would go into rages when this happened while I was hungry. I believe this is one of the key reasons why I developed an unhealthy relationship with food. Now that I am trying to become conscious of my eating patterns and now that I am on SP tracking every bite I take, I find that I am almost afraid of eating in the early part of the day because I'm worried I won't have enough calories left when I get hungry later on. But by taking notes on how I'm feeling with each new experiment in eating a little differently, I've realized that I do best overall (feel fewer hunger pangs, and feel generally more in control of my eating) when I start the day with enough calories (about 450, usually), and make sure I get complex carbs or protein.

    Foods that keep me filled up the longest include:
    -made butter chicken
    (I make it as low calorie as possible with substitutions, using Earth Balance and Tofutti instead of butter and sour cream, and tofu instead of half of the chicken, and adding a lot of extra veggies)
    roasted chicken or turkey
    peanut butter or almond butter

    Good luck with this, and keep us posted! I'm sure many of us can learn from your experiences.

    1610 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/28/2013 11:44:17 PM
  • KANOE10
    I think it is beat that you are getting rid of foods you don,t like and that you are not eating them.
    In State of Thin she recommends eating every 2-4 hours...a low fat protein and vege carbs. Infoundbthat when I had a morning snack of cottage cheese andbveges, I was less hungry in the afternoons.

    1610 days ago
  • CHERYLA2012
    As a child I did experience food insecurity (wow... just writing that out and thinking about it even briefly has made me cry). It did not make me fear hunger and being hungry, it made me fearful of the strong emotions and if/how I could express them.

    Now, as an adult in this stage of my Spark journey , I accept the hunger. I am happy to feel the hunger. Why? Because doing that allows ME to CONTROL the hunger, not the other way around. That is a huge step and change in my coping skills and mechanisms for dealing with emotional eating.

    As I have similar experiences to what you've written about regarding moodiness and hunger, I am mindful to feed the hunger - not the mood. So I pay close attention to making sure I am in the mid to high range of protein. Mini-meals (or splitting up larger meals) works out much better for me. Complex carbs versus simple carbs will help me feel fuller longer. So does protein and fat.

    Sometimes it's just about chewing... do you ever feel that? When I'm that way, 3 ounces of carrots really hits the spot because I gotta chew them.

    1610 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/28/2013 9:48:29 AM
    You are doing so good, keep it up! Happy Thanksgiving!
    1610 days ago
  • _JODI404
    emoticon & applause on only eating what really tastes good and is worth it! I have just this year started doing the same, especially with sweets. We only have so much to eat in our food budget every day, so why waste any of it on something we aren't even enjoying -- or worse -- really do not like.

    As far as hunger goes, I find that often it is a matter of making sure my snacks are really filling. I like nuts, but they don't seem to fill me up well, especially considering the protein. I like homemade hummus with fresh veggies, especially carrot sticks. That really holds me well between lunch and dinner. Also, sometimes I know based on what I have eaten that I really do not need to eat more, and I will usually drink some hot herbal green tea. I love jasmine; orange blossom; and mint are my favorite flavors right now. I find that will satisfy me more than water. (Which I still drink a ton of as well).

    You are doing great -- really looking for areas to address and make positive changes.

    I hope you will ENJOY Thanksgiving tomorrow!

    emoticon emoticon
    1611 days ago
    I have no suggestions for you but I think it's HUGE to (1) recognize when you aren't enjoying a food, and #2, toss it.

    Don't know that I've ever done that BUT I'm going to start analyzing what goes in my mouth!!!
    1611 days ago
    I think maybe you should try eating more earlier in the day for a longer stretch of time.
    It's something that helps me a lot to have less desire for food at night.
    Things I eat for an afternoon snack are nuts, carrots, vegetable soup. I have had to learn that it is so important to eat ENOUGH. I often still have the diet mentality which means I let myself get too hungry, but that really makes it harder to not overeat at other times.
    I'm assuming you are getting enough vegetables and fruit. If you have doubts maybe upping that could also help, I know that when I don't eat enough fresh produce I get 'fake' feelings of hunger.

    1611 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/27/2013 2:50:30 PM
    I think eating more calories at breakfast is a good idea then lunch a little smaller and dinner a little smaller.

    I always get hungry between 2 and 5. I have been this way for years, no matter what I eat earlier in the day. So I try to keep a bag of wheat thins in my desk. I eat them slowly and they fill me up.

    I also have had a gala apple, cut up, and dipped in peanut butter. Takes the edge off until dinner. Wheat thins dipped in peanut butter is filling too and I usually have a big cup of tea with either one.

    Keep experimenting until you find your thing. Congrats on throwing away the cookie. You've come such a long way the last few months!

    1611 days ago
    Stay motivated!
    1611 days ago
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