Dealing with hunger

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pangelsue
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Dealing with hunger

Post by pangelsue » Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:12 pm

In reading other people's posts, I have been noticing a lot of discussion about dealing with hunger between meals. I think we all have those wonderful days when we slide through without feeling particularly hungry. Those are the best and we feel wonderfully in control on those days. But what about those awful days when the hunger feels so bad and so real that it seems like we can't focus on anything else.
I find personally that sometimes I cave to this kind of hunger, telling myself that it is real hunger and that I feel light headed, or my lunch was too small, or I didn't plan my meals well that day, or what if I faint, etc. etc. etc. But sometimes, I don't cave to this kind of hunger and I post or I read or meditate or something and suddenly, it justs fades, time passes and it is supper time. I made it Whew!
What are some coping strategies for this very real feeling of deprivation that we all feel sometimes? Is it emotional or real? Is it the inner child, throwing a fit? Habit?
Lots of us (me included) really struggle with this sometimes. I think it is the main reason for failure days and I am hoping we get lots of ammunition from all of you to help cope.
A lot of growing up happens between "it fell" and "I dropped it."

Coffee Cake
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Post by Coffee Cake » Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:09 pm

This is a great question. I think I am too new at this to give a meaningful reply. I look forward to the answers some of the long time No-S Wizards have.

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navin
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Post by navin » Sat Sep 09, 2006 4:57 pm

I've had this happen, and no big magic tricks. For me, I find that drinking a lot of water works. Also chewing sugarless gum can help.
Before criticizing someone, you should try walking a mile in their shoes. Then you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

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gratefuldeb67
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Post by gratefuldeb67 » Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:29 pm

Eat more whole foods and minimize super refined ones..
They pack much more of a hunger killing punch!
I agree with Nathan too!

If you "cave" make sure it's a part of your meal that you then virtually plate later..
Just don't let normal hunger be an excuse to throw in the whole towel..

You should experience "normal" hunger beween meals and if it's more than normal, then it's a sign you just aren't eating or drinking enough!
LOL... How's that for "wizard" advice!!??? LOL..
This isn't magic... You can solve your problem with enough experimentation and a good attitude!

Hugs Sue!!!

8) Merlin Debs
There is no Wisdom greater than Kindness

srbliss
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Some tips

Post by srbliss » Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:59 pm

I'm new here (20 days now) but something I have noticed reading posts in the check-in section is that people who eat lots of starchy foods and very little fat seem to have the hunger issue more than others.
For myself I found that if I just replace the starchy foods with fruits and vegies (I'll add a few nuts if it's a very lowfat meal) I don't get hungry between meals and I don't get that 3 o'clock crash like I always did when ate a starch based diet (all my life)

J Ellis
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Post by J Ellis » Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:46 pm

I agree with srbliss. Less starchy, refined foods; more natural, whole food sources and protein with every meal. Protein seems to be the key for me in remaining satisfied between meals. Try filling your plate with ~50% veggies and fruit, ~25-35% protein, and ~15-25% starch (e.g. bread, pasta, or rice).

Joel

srbliss
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Afternoon crash and hunger.

Post by srbliss » Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:25 am

Today I walked to grocery store (pushing the baby stroller) and picked up some food including 2 nice deli sandwiches for my wife and I for lunch. Got home ate mine and I was stuffed. 3 hours later - crash - tired and hungry, and I bet that sandwich was nearly 1000 calories.
I definately won't be doing that on an N day. It wasn't pleasant at all even on an S day.
Steve

pangelsue
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Post by pangelsue » Sun Sep 10, 2006 11:58 am

Thanks for the responses. I agree with you regarding the starchy foods and I also agree with the protein staving off hunger better than starch.

The question though was, if it is an N day and the crash comes for whatever reason, what do you do to make it to the next meal (presuming of course giving in is not an option). Nathan suggested lots of water and sugarless gum and Deb suggested having a snack and subtracting that portion from your next meal. I was really looking for more responses like that.

So let's say, you made a bad meal choice, the crushing hunger is there and supper is 2 hours away. What are some unique coping strategies?
A lot of growing up happens between "it fell" and "I dropped it."

J Ellis
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Post by J Ellis » Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:58 pm

Fasting is a time-tested technique that has been used for a variety of purposes. It is an effective device for building self-discipline and the ability to tell yourself, "No." Fasting for two hours (or two days) will not kill you or cause irreparable harm. It may, however, bring about considerable good.

If you make self-denial a regular habit, enduring two hours of hunger will become much easier. There are no shortcuts to self-discipline. :wink:

Joel

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david
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Post by david » Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:41 pm

I get hungry every N-day--usually several times. What works for me to avoid a crash (but not the pangs) is sun and movement, aka Urban Ranger.

I know Reinhard recommends that people not try to alter too many habits at once. For example, don't start new urban rangering while also trying to find the willpower to do No-S. For me, though, the No-S, the Urban Ranger, and the Shovelgloving work together. Someone started calling them the Trifecta, and that's how I think of them. If I don't keep a rough balance of the three systems, failure will follow (I know this due to multiple tries.)

The nutrition thing is also key. Bad nutrition=No-S failures (for me, anyway).

In the end I don't think there are any magic tricks or shortcuts. You just commit to it and do it. Read Josie's recent posts as she put it much better than I can.

--david

srbliss
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Post by srbliss » Sun Sep 10, 2006 4:48 pm

pangelsue wrote:Thanks for the responses. I agree with you regarding the starchy foods and I also agree with the protein staving off hunger better than starch.

The question though was, if it is an N day and the crash comes for whatever reason, what do you do to make it to the next meal (presuming of course giving in is not an option). Nathan suggested lots of water and sugarless gum and Deb suggested having a snack and subtracting that portion from your next meal. I was really looking for more responses like that.

So let's say, you made a bad meal choice, the crushing hunger is there and supper is 2 hours away. What are some unique coping strategies?
How about this for a little constructive criticism. After you make a bad meal choice that leaves you starving - make a note of it in a log that you keep "food that leaves me hungry" think about how to avoid it in the future. Then go have a healthy snack (obviously something not in the log.) It will also help to keep an eating diary and note what you ate and how much and notes on how you feel after eating. It may help to point out foods to avoid in the future.
Steve

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navin
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Post by navin » Sun Sep 10, 2006 6:19 pm

Actually, here's something else... a mental trick. DO something to take your mind off of food for a while. For instance: bad - sitting at work in front of the computer, not doing much. Good - talking a walk, having an interesting meeting or conversation, doing some manual task. As with most things, your mileage may vary.
Before criticizing someone, you should try walking a mile in their shoes. Then you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

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flsunshine
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Post by flsunshine » Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:10 pm

Sue, I liked this thread - some great ideas.

Whether from poor planning or boredom, or just plain hunger - that gnawing feeling does happen. I use the glass of water trick quite often. In fact I'm doing it now - ha!

Taking the dog for a walk helps. Keeping my hands busy works well - knitting doesn't allow for snacking & I can do it any time, any weather. Gardening is a great distraction. In the evening, I just brush/floss my teeth and tell myself I'm done for the night.

Work can be tough 'cause I'm forced to sit at a desk (thus the water trick comes in so handy), but a quick log-on to this board for inspiration and motivation can be the best solution!!

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JWL
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Post by JWL » Wed Sep 13, 2006 3:51 am

this question has been on my mind for some time, but especially vividly since I've been reasserting No-S the past few weeks.

I'm training my mind to actually enjoy the sensation of being hungry. I regard this is a spiritual exercise, a discipline of sorts.

Here are a few random thoughts on hunger:

From Thich Nhat Hanh regarding food: "Half of what you think you need is enough."

The beauty of No-S is that we are not depriving our body of food. The reason we feel hungry with No-S is because we have grown accustomed to overeating. So just keep telling yourself, "Self, I'm not just going to enjoy my next meal, I'm going to enjoy the HELL out of it!" :-D

The reason we are fat is because we have habitually eaten too much, usually over a period of years (certainly in my case). This, to me, represents a state of being out-of-balance. Feeling hungry, therefore, is in a sense restoring that balance, which will most obviously manifest in being less fat. From a holistic spiritual perspective, this is A Good Thing.

Finally, my "Jedi Mind Trick" that I use when I'm annoyed about feeling hunger: If I am feeling hungry, then it means my body needs fuel. If I deprive my body of food, then the only place it can get fuel is from my stored fat reserves. Therefore, feeling hungry means my body is burning fat. When I take a few moments and meditate on this fact, it is often that the case that the hunger feelings become less obnoxious, and almost pleasurable in a way.
JWL[.|@]Freakwitch[.]net

pangelsue
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Post by pangelsue » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:57 am

I like that idea. I have been trying something similar myself. Instead of being afraid of treats at work (because of course I won't be able to resist them), I have been purposely walking by and looking at them. I mentally say things like, you are inanimate objects. The only power you have over me I give you. I have the choice. I am not being forced to do anything. Makes me feel kind of powerful. I am telling myself that food held sway over my life long enough. I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to eat it anymore. Thanks for backing up that idea with the Jedi thing. I like that. One of the good guys who will win in the end. Mind tricks work and they help to demystify food. It is tool for existence.
A lot of growing up happens between "it fell" and "I dropped it."

ThomsonsPier
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Post by ThomsonsPier » Wed Sep 13, 2006 8:41 am

As a by-product of my healthier eating habits, I tend to find that, even if I do get hungry before it's time to eat, there's nothing in the house that I can quickly render edible becuase it all requires cooking or preparation in some form.
ThomsonsPier

It's a trick. Get an axe.

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david
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Post by david » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:05 pm

That's a good point, ThompsonPier! No goodies in the house=might as well wait until meal time.

Actually, James, your bod could fuel itself on muscle tissue. For me (and you I suspect), this is why shovelglove is so important. Your body is less likely to "eat muscle" if it's being challenged by weight-bearing activity so it preferentially burns fat.

The Trifecta is where it's at!

--david

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JWL
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Post by JWL » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:22 pm

David, my understanding is that the body doesn't begin to feed on muscle tissue until a) there is no fat left, or b) you are enduring prison-camp, third-world-desert starvation conditions.

I could be wrong, but if one is dieting and exercising then one tends to build muscle and lose fat....
JWL[.|@]Freakwitch[.]net

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david
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Post by david » Wed Sep 13, 2006 5:50 pm

James,

Actually, muscle loss is a problem when a person eats even a mildly hypocaloric diet:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/ ... 082505.php

Muscle loss=slower metabolism. The solution seems to be resistance exercise+adequate protein.

Keep on shuggin' folks!

--david

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JWL
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Post by JWL » Thu Sep 14, 2006 1:32 am

Interesting! Good to know.... though with shuggage that's not a problem for us.... whee!
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Big Phil
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Post by Big Phil » Thu Sep 14, 2006 1:49 am

If a walk or drink of water doesn't work or feels like it won't work I have a cup of tea or coffee, full fat milk (none of that skim-milk work of the Devil!) If I do feel really flat or think I will get light-headed I have a teaspoon of sugar in it. That usually does the trick. I'm pretty sure that is more than enough sugar to run your brain for quite a bit longer than to the next meal.
Hope that helps.

Phil.

pangelsue
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Post by pangelsue » Thu Sep 14, 2006 2:38 am

That does help. Thanks. I like tea but maybe the milk and just a touch of sugar will get me through to supper.
A lot of growing up happens between "it fell" and "I dropped it."

Rollo
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Bumping up this hunger thread, I'm hungry a lot!

Post by Rollo » Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:10 am

I've just finished day 4. I'm hungry a lot. I admit I have not been eating large meals and not a huge amount of calories at them. I guess I just don't feel comfortable eating a big meal, it's something I don't often do. I've had the feeling that when I'm hungry, that means "something" is finally happening here, i.e., burning fat. Therefore I look at it as kind of a good thing. (I'm pretty sure I've never been successful at losing weight, without experiencing hunger.) But according to one of the earlier posts, that's not necessarily true.

I think the No S plan might be the only one in the world that does NOT say that you never have to be hungry (at least, I don't think it does, I've only read it once.) I think we need to quit being so afraid of ever being hungry. It doesn't actually HURT a person to be hungry once in a while, does it? I would say that most of our ancestors were pretty familiar with hunger.

Anyway, I was interested in this subject, went searching for it, and found this thread. Thought it might be useful to bring it back up, for myself and other newbies. It will be interesting to see if I am still feeling as much hunger a week from now...
Rollo

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Post by mschalock » Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:40 pm

I find that if I ignore it and/or drink a bunch of water, that I will forget about it fairly quickly. When I first started NoS, I was in the habit of snacking in the morning and late afternoon (OK, after dinner too!) I was super-hungry, with grinding stomach noises, at my habitual snacking times. After a couple weeks, my body readjusted and realized that that was no longer a snack time , so the hunger feelings just quit.

I think there is a lot to the habit idea. Our bodies have unconscious habits that can be replaced with different habits...it just takes some work on our part, but the payoff is great. Hang in there!

-Monica-

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Post by kccc » Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:17 pm

When I first started No-S, the thought of not snacking was almost terrifying. I was used to a morning snack AND an afternoon snack.

The first week, I let myself "cheat" as follows: I could have a piece of fruit at either of those snack times if I really needed it. Only a fruit or veggie. And I had to stop and ask myself if I REALLY needed it.

This cheat lowered my panic level...and I was surprised how often I really didn't need it. So, I stopped doing it. But if I had real problems, I'd go back to that, and do it as a "virtual plate" thing.

So, a "limited cheat" might be the way to go.

Also, I love hot tea, and that helps a lot. The red tea (Rooibus) is wonderful - slightly spicy and fragrant.

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Post by zoolina » Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:26 am

I also get really hungry between lunch and dinner. I commute to work by bike (40 mins each way) and sometimes as I'm biking home I just lose it, the blood sugar drops and I can barely see the road. It's not so surprising since I've had weird blood sugar for years and am used to grazing.

so my cheat is carying a class of milk around in one of my son's school drinking cups. If I get faint, I have that.

Only problem is that I've grown to rely on it and drink it anyway, even if I'm not so hungry, as a preventative measure before the ride.

Once I make it to 21 days of success (not counting the extra drink) I"m going to see if I can cut it out too.

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Post by jodyp » Mon Dec 04, 2006 1:33 am

I have actually been pondering the eat more, weigh less theory when I am hungry. My first few days I was starving but now I am doing much better. I try to eat three meals but still not eating enough fruits and veggies. That will be my goal for this week. Also this week being my first S weekend..............oh it seems I have detoxed myself from sweets and my stomach sure didn't like my choice of sweets or snacks. They actually tasted horrible, even the chocolate. My take on the whole hungry thing is that we do have to change our routine and if we are absoluntely starving add some high fiber or protein to the next meal and make sure you eat enough.

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Post by hexagon » Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:06 am

I've pretty much been able to manage hunger thing (my diet issues are psychological, not physiological) so here's what I've found through years of experimentation.

(1) Distinguishing between normal, acceptable hunger and serious hunger. By serious hunger, I mean feeling dizzy, nauseous, faint, and shaky, ready to steal some beef jerky from your ailing grandma. This takes experience. I now can read my body very well and if it starts to get serious, I'll eat something, even if it isn't technically my mealtime. Why? I know that if I don't, when I do see food I'll inhale vast quantities of it and be much worse off.

(2) Protein and a bit of fat (e.g a chicken breast that was marinated in olive oil and lemon juice) really stave off pangs for a while. If I know I won't get an opportunity to eat for a while, I'll increase the amount of protein in my meal and cut down on starchy stuff so I'll last longer without crashing. Works for me.

(3) High fiber fruits, veggies, grains....duh.
I generally have some raw veggies ready for instant consumption at home. If I get home and I'm starving, I quickly fill a bowl with the veggies and add a little bit of dressing (watch it on the dressing) and snarf it. My favorites to have on hand are shredded cabbage and spinach. By the time I get through the whole bowl (and drink a tall glass of water) I'm at least not starving. Fruit works too.

(4) Making sure that when I eat something starchy, I limit the amount and include some protein with it.

(5) Carrying a small, controlled portion of something healthy, preferably with protein (e.g. some yogurt) as a fourth, optional mini-meal. I often work long hours and don't get home until late, so I've found this to be a real help in controlling my appetite. It worked for me in my earlier successful effort to lose weight. I use it sometimes under No S (remember, he didn't specify how many meals). I only bring a SINGLE, CONTROLLED portion for my mini-meal, so I can't eat too much.

What do I use for this fourth optional mini-meal? I usually take something that I like, but not too much. For example, if I bring almonds, I'll be too tempted to eat them whether I'm hungry or not. Instead I bring dry-roasted soynuts and maybe an apple. Roasted soynuts are tasty, but not as good as almonds, so I only end up eating them when I'm hungry.

(6) Cutting down on caffeine. For many people, including me, too much can make them shaky and hungry (messes with the metabolism)

(7) Being careful with chewing gum. While this is an appetite supressant for some folks, it makes my body expect food.

(8) Staying away from really sugary stuff (but if you're doing No S you'll do that anyway)--Sugar can really make me crash.

--H

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gettnbusy
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Post by gettnbusy » Thu Dec 07, 2006 1:31 am

EXCELLENT HEX!!
^5 to U!

Also, as someone on here told me (and I'm paraphrasing here ~ I think it was David since he is the most strict one in the group) ... You need to accept that a little hunger is going to happen - we are on a new plan for eating and it is uncomfortable. You just need to be stricter and learn to adjust. It is temporary and it will pass.
~I'm still not perfect~
~Sophie~

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Post by mrs.cummings » Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:44 pm

I know several people have mentioned drinking water to help but my hubbie got me hooked on a slight twist to that - drinking ICE water.

This may not seem like a big deal to most of you but I am the kind of freak who asks for no ice in my drinks at restaurants, etc. The idea is though that the cold "fools" your system somehow, I guess.

Whatever it is, it works for me. I didn't think it would, but now when I get hungry before a meal, I just sit down with a nice glass of ice water (or iced tea) that is really cold and, suprisingly, it helps.

Also, I like to drink some hot green tea sometimes when I'm hungry. It has a nice taste and is warm and satisfying (like drinking soup). Plus, it's full of antioxidants and the like.

Another thing I do is sort of a meditation/visualization thing. I sit down with my eyes closed and take a few deep relaxing breaths and remind myself why I am trying to succeed at this "dieting". I remind myself what I looked like at my heaviest (or worse what some of my family members look like) and how that makes me feel. I remind myself what is important to me: my health, happiness, etc. Sometimes (when I'm really desperate) I picture myself next to my friends at the lake next summer. How do I want to look in that bikini, eh? I just keep breathing and do what it takes to put this hunger in perspective. Is it worth that snack? Yes, if I'm going to be sick or pass out or something otherwise unhealthy. No, in pretty much any other case.

Good luck!
Jesslyn

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Shangri-la

Post by fudie » Sat Dec 09, 2006 1:43 pm

Does any one incorporate the shangri-la diet along with the s diet? To me this would be the answer to hunger between meals. It is so great to have the chatter about food in your head turned off. Never mind finally not being hungry. These two work so well together you will feel like it's a miracle! :D the site www.sethroberts.net You will be so happy you did.
good luck
nance

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reinhard
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Post by reinhard » Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:01 am

There was some talk about combining no-s with Shangri-la a while ago, but I'm not sure if anyone stuck with it.

http://everydaysystems.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=920

For me, habit does the trick. Three meals is plenty. Our ancestors were lucky to get that much.

Reinhard

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