This past week at my Weight Watchers meeting we touched on the subject of hunger. When do you notice it…how do you notice it…What’s your game plan to tackle it??
I’ll admit that I’ve never been a huge “emotional eater”. I mean sure, if I get bored I want to snack but most of the time if I’m upset I usually want to turn to beer, which then kind of turns into wanting to eat…so maybe I am an emotional eater a bit, or just an alcoholic, who knows, but anyways….
There’s a way, and I’m sure it is different for each person, to tell if you are really, truly hungry. And learning what those signs and signals is what keeps you from starving & stuffing your face most of the time.
Personally, I have a pretty set schedule on when I eat (at least during the work week). I have learned over time that I normally get really hungry around 10:30 am and about 3:00 pm so I have developed a plan for the week that seems to work for me. Here’s how it normally goes:
9:00-9:30 Breakfast- I start work at 8 and by the time I get settled in and such this is normally the time I get to go make up my breakfast. Plus I’ve never been the type who can or wants to eat as soon as they get up.
10:30-11:30 Snack- Somewhere in this hour I usually get pretty hungry plus I start day dreaming about lunch so I make sure to have a snack to avoid any binge eating at lunchtime. I try to keep it 2 pts or under.
12:00-1:00 Lunch- We get an hour for lunch and thankfully we live right around the corner so we are able to go home.
3:00-3:30 Snack- I’m usually starting to get hungry again at this point. Knowing that I won’t get home till about 5 and we don’t eat till 6-7ish, I try to have another snack. Again, 2 pts or under if possible
6:30-7:30 Dinner- No matter how hard we try, we always end up eating way later than I want. I’m not a huge night time snacker so eating this late for me really is not such a huge problem, unless of course I don’t have an afternoon snack.
So…how do I know if I’m really hungry or if my mind is just playing a trick on me?? Sometimes…a lot of the times, I don’t! That’s why I find if I can stick to a schedule like the one above and try to set out certain points for certain times of day, I don’t then have to worry about having hunger pains in my stomach, or fighting with my mind to stop thinking about food. Of course, this plan is not fool proof and there are many times where I end up having to really ask myself if I’m hungry or not, but for the most part this seems to work for me.
Image (the horse is ok, no worries)
I made a joke in my meeting about how I eat more now that I’ve lost weight and sometimes I feel like the “fat girl” in the office because I’m always the one eating her snacks and such. But hey…it works, so screw it!
Also of course, there is the biggest trick in the book and that is to DRINK YOUR WATER!! I drink a lot of water through out the day and I really think this helps me to slap hunger in its ugly face.
When I first started Weight Watchers, like most people I was STARVING ALL THE TIME. Or at least I thought I was. In reality I wasn’t but I was just in the learning process of knowing what it was like to really need food to fuel my body.
Two recent examples of ways I’ve learned how my body tells me I’m hungry:
Yesterday I ran 11 miles (longest distance yet people!) and before my run I had a 3 egg white omelet with 1 slice of FF ham & ¼ cup of rf mozzarella cheese. Then during my run I had a GU gel. After I was all done and showered and clothed for the day I sat down to watch some of the Yankee game and found that I was STARVING!! I mean physically starving….tummy growling and making horrible tight pains. I knew that I had not eaten enough or had the proper foods to keep me fueled throughout my workout. Plus it had been almost 4 hours since I’d eaten last…it was time to get some food in my body for sure!
Then there is today. For breakfast I had a banana and a yogurt. Another key to tackling your hunger is to learn what foods work for you and what don’t. I will be honest…a banana and yogurt do not really fill me up. Well, I think they fill me up physically pretty well but mentally not so much. I knew I would be hungry and want a snack. So around 11:00 I thought to myself…”man, I’m not really THAT hungry but I want to eat. Plus I’m taking the late lunch today so I won’t be eating lunch till after 1. I want something crunchy & salty.” So what did I do…I pulled out a bag of WW pizza pretzel thins from my desk and ate away!! Sure, maybe I wasn’t 100% truly hungry but it fixed my mental hunger. And now I know that I won’t be starving when it comes to lunch or raging mad to eat. I fought off what could have been a huge point disaster later on with a 2 pt tackle plan now.
So try different techniques. If you are a WW member, another thing I switch up is my journaling technique. Sometimes I find that when I just write my foods & points down, I obsess over them. And I end up eating just because I know the points are there so when I find that starting to happen, I switch to what I call mental journaling, or maybe to the e-tools journal or another WW-friendly app I have on my phone. Experiment with eating at different times during the day. Try to figure out which foods fill you up and which foods don’t. Where, when and how can you get the most bang for your buck??
I hope everyone is having a great week!! XOXO