Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hungry Hungry Shannon

Do you remember ever playing a game called Hungry, Hungry Hippos? You played it trying to make your hippo gobble up as many little balls as you could.  If your hippo ate the most, you were a winner. I never thought about it till now, but a silly game that rewards the winner who eats the most seems like bad precedent to set to me.

I am hungry...diet hungry, as some might say. I'm trying to lower my portions and keep my whole grains and fruits to 2 a day. It's all a part of me trying to get myself out of this plateau situation that I'm in. I'm going to 2 whole grains and 2 fruits because that's how I did it in phase 2 of the South  Beach Diet that I followed successfully (at least for awhile) several years ago. I have a sugar problem so I feel like limiting the amount of fruits and whole grains will be helpful to me.  I am a carb lover.
I started thinking about hunger in relation to dieting. I don't like the feeling, but is it helpful for dieters?  I don't know.  Dr Joel Fuhrman posted  recently on Facebook  that "Hunger is the best sauce. You will enjoy what you eat more, when you do not overeat because then you will be hungry for and better enjoy the next meal."  To me it seems like hunger would make you want to overeat, because you would be soooo hungry when you get to the next meal, that you want to eat more. I guess small frequent snacks/meals are a way to combat this as well as making sure to eat some kind of protein with each meal. Sometimes if I get hungry in between meals, a warm  1/2 cup of some left over homemade soup will sometimes 'fill me up" and get me through, especially between lunch and dinner which is my longest stretch.  Hunger in the evening is hard for me right now because I am trying not to eat anything past 730 or so. I  drink hot tea and chew sugar free gum to try to help.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I stay up late so that's probably not helping either. So, what I'm left with is good old fashioned will power. That puts the responsibility back on me, I guess.

So, when I'm done with all my eating for the day, I'll just have to be hungry, hungry Shannon...at least till my body adjusts to less.

So what are your tips and tricks for staving off hunger?





2 comments:

Amy said...

My advice for you would be to forget about will power. This may seem like a bad idea, but if you really want to change your eating in a "lifestyle" change rather than a mere diet, will power will only get you so far, and sometimes lead to failure and bingeing. Often times, our hunger cues go crazy because our body is craving nutrients that they don't get from traditional "SAD" (standard american diet) foods that are loaded with bad fat, processed grains, refined sugars, and salt.

I would suggest writing down what you eat every day. Don't even bother with calories, quantities, or points. Just write down what you eat, and at the end of the day think about "where am I getting the nutrients for my body?" If your daily intake is low on raw fruits and vegetables, and higher in processed foods, try adding more and more raw fruits and veggies every day. The great thing about fruits and vegetables is that they have a high nutrient to calorie density ratio! They also are less calories per weight and volume. This means that you can eat vegetables (especially leafy greens) until you are stuffed full! This will make you satisfied for longer during the day and less likely to overeat calorie-wise when you are very hungry during mealtimes.
Check out this link for a visible picture of this idea: http://pinterest.com/pin/218143175670640889/

Also, I have come to think of hunger as a good thing, or at least hunger in the sense that most people think it is. Hunger that most people describe is a feeling of a grumbly stomach, often accompanied by a headache, or feelings of sadness and anxiety. I have left this idea of hunger behind when I learned that during the times that our stomach is empty and is not working to digest our food, it is working to cleanse our body of toxins, and work on processing fat cells. This is what we want! We want our bodies to be rid of toxins and to lose some of the fat that is unwanted.

Anyways, I hope you find a good, healthy solution to getting through the hunger spells you have during the day. If you'd ever like to talk more or get suggestions for informative books to read, please feel free to email me at amysnutritariankitchen@gmail.com, or come comment on my blog at amysnutritariankitchen.blogspot.com

:) Amy

Shannon said...

Thanks for reading, Amy , and for the suggestions. I vist your site all the time and I will continue to tune in.

I already write down what I eat on http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ and it is very helpful. it allows me to especially track things I'm interested in like sugars and proteins. You are correct. I do much better when I write things down.It also is allowing me to see what I ate on days when I was particularly hungry so I can see where I was lacking as compared to days when I was not so hungry.

You wrote, "I have left this idea of hunger behind when I learned that during the times that our stomach is empty and is not working to digest our food, it is working to cleanse our body of toxins, and work on processing fat cells. This is what we want! We want our bodies to be rid of toxins and to lose some of the fat that is unwanted." This is exactly why I am trying to allow myself to be hungry in the evening b/c I want those toxins gone and for my body to work it's natural fat busting magic overnight. The jury is out as to whether that's wise or not, but we'll see.
I do like the visual you linked above. It's a good reminder.

You rock, Amy! Thanks!