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Old 12-22-2008, 05:03 PM   #1
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Is it alright to be hungry?

I'm overweight and, along with exercise, I am trying to cut back in how much I eat at lunch. I can eat a lot, and normally I'd eat 2-3 sandwiches along with 2 side items (things like fruit, salad, crackers, soup, cereal, etc.) for lunch, and I'm looking to scale that back to a single sandwich and the side items.

I'd never stop eating while I was still hungry, but eating just the sandwich with the sides leaves me satisfied, so I'm thinking it's a good amount. The thing is, eating this at noon, I get hungry again at 3:30-4:00. I leave work at 5, and I'm usually eating dinner by 6 or 6:30.

While I'm certainly not excited about it, I'm alright with being hungry for those 2-3 hours, but I want to make sure that it's not unhealthy or unproductive. I don't want my metabolism to slow down or anything, and I definitely don't want to do it if there are any negative health effects. But my thinking is that if I am going to burn fat, I've got to be hungry at least part of the time. Is this a good approach, or should I eat a little more at lunch or have a snack towards the end of the day?

I should point out that I'm 6'1 and weigh about 270 lbs. I'm definitely overweight, though I definitely don't look that obese. I'm not startving myself, or anything, I'm definitely eating well. I have a full breakfast and dinner, though I try not to eat more than I need to at dinner (all bets are off at breakfast, though I can't each too much in the morning).

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Old 12-22-2008, 05:09 PM   #2
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Why not enjoy a small snack? A piece of fruit or some almonds. If I were to let myself get too hungry, I think I would overeat at my next meal. I have little snacks all day. A few pretzels , a few crackers or a handful of cereal. My desk drawer looks like a pantry!
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:11 PM   #3
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Being hungry is ok and is sometimes encouraged by some doctors.

Also, eating smaller more frequent meals is also a good way to start losing and maintaining your weight.
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:20 PM   #4
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I may bring in some unsalted cashews, but I wanted to make sure for the times when I don't have a snack available.
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:21 PM   #5
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Being hungry is OK, but you'd do better to have a protein snack at 3ish if you aren't eating til 6. Your body is trying to work efficiently and the snack will help. Pack some nuts or trail mix if you can. That should do the trick.
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:26 PM   #6
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Two or 3 sandwiches plus 2 sides is an awful lot of food for anyone, especially considering that you eat a large breakfast. I suspect your hunger comes from eating too many carbohydrates and it's bringing your sugar level down.

Try to eat less, portion control is important here, and try to eat as much protien as you can. Don't let yourself get hungry, that's what's making you overeat at the next meal. Try eating snacks between small meals, nuts, cheese, a little meat. Fruit has sugar and so do breads and crackers unless you eat protein with them.
I took off 52 lbs. in 1 year and I still eat this way. It takes a while, don't try to do it all in one or two months. If I can do it you can do it but do it right. Exercise is extremely important. You have to burn all those calories you're eating or they build up as fat. Good luck.
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:54 PM   #7
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Divide your lunch into a lunch and a snack. Eat the sandwich at lunch time and the sides for a snack. That way, you are not adding calories, just spreading them around better.
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:59 PM   #8
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I loss 28 pounds in about six months by eating 6 times a day. I ate every two hours and each meal was 300 calories or less. I'd talk with your doctor and see if that might work better for you. I was never hungry and I consistantly lost atleast one pound a week. It was great seeing that progress each sunday. I also had a cheat day on fridays (which are now on sundays due to football) I'd eat a burger and a drink (but no fries) or a sundae after dinner. Something tasty and indulgent but I wouldn't make me feel too bad.

After I met my target weight loss goal, I started adding back 100 calories a week I wasn't losing weight anymore. I've made some good habits (like splurgin only once a week and snacking through the day) and I my weight has been the same since I stopped "dieting".

Kudos to you for taking the right steps to a healthy lifestyle! Good luck!
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:44 PM   #9
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This isn't inteded on being spam but i followed a diet called 'body4life' ( there's a website, just google for it ) ..

The diet promotes more or less the 80/20 way of eating, that is; good 80% of the time whilst indulging the other 20%.

The idea behind most weight loss is, as most people are saying, eat little but frequently. This, by theory, keeps your metabolism going throughout the day instead of bombarding it with few larger meals.

I feel great eating small meals, i don't feel bloated and i am rarely hungry.

As 'Alix' was saying, protein snacks are really good mid-morning and mid-afternoon. I usually had a piece of fruit and a protein bar or a protein shake. These things are great, especially if you work in an office.

Remember - drink lots of water. This helps not only keep you hydrated but if you drink when you eat you'll feel fuller. It's also great if you are feeling hungry.

I'd also like to reiterate that eating a large dinner isn't probably the best decision as your body doesn't have enough time to metabolise it. I'm not sure how true this is but going to bed on a pretty full stomach makes me feel awful :S

Good luck with it all
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:28 AM   #10
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Like others have said, eating small amounts of nutritious foods frequently throughout the day is the key.

Being hungry usually is not a good thing. It encourages overeating.

If you eat frequently and drink a lot of water, you won't be hungry and hopefully will not consume more calories than you should.

Remember though that you need to consume a certain amount of calories in order to lose weight. If you don't, your body "hoardes" energy and you can't lose weight. That's why starvation diets don't work.
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