Is it alright to be hungry?

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Joined
May 6, 2005
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Dayton, OH
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).
 

elaine l

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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!
 

sattie

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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.
 

Alix

Everymom
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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.
 

DramaQueen

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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.
 

Andy M.

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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.
 

snack_pack85

Washing Up
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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!
 

bankai

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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
 

jennyema

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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.
 

Fisher's Mom

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I think there may be shades of hunger. Personally, if I am eating so frequently that I never feel hungry, I start gaining weight. But if I let myself get ravenous, I tend to eat too quickly and end up eating more than I would normally. So I wait until I actually get hungry before I eat but don't wait too long to do it. (Then again, maybe that's not the right way to go about it since I'm carrying around an extra 10-15 lbs. right now!)
 

GhettoRacingKid

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Long Island, NY
im a snacker or picker.... thing to do

Drink plenty of water. It will supress the hunger and most times your body is jsut craving fluids not food. I drink about 2 Liters a day if not more.

Snacks,

Roasted peanuts
Veggies
nuts
bananas (heavy and will keep you fuller longer)
carrots
 

jpmcgrew

Executive Chef
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:) Start slowly reducing the size of your lunch if you cut back drasticaly it makes it harder .Give your stomach time to shrink so you you can feel fuller with less food. A good idea is to have a nice bowl of hot soup a simple soup no cream or heavy soups before you eat your meal. Eat slow it takes your stomach a full 20 minutes to realize it's full so it's easy to over eat when eating fast. A hot soup will slow you down. Once you are feeling satisfied stop eating and maybe save the rest for later. I also don't like to go to bed full. When you do it long enough you will get used to it and of course stay away from all the really high calorie foods like donuts, cakes etc.
The one main thing that will help is exercise all you need to do is walk more take the stairs take a brisk 20 minute walk on your lunch hour before you eat if you can. Walk every where you can and start burning up some of those calories.
 

Aria

Sous Chef
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Dec 10, 2006
Messages
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Always want something to eat

Most of us do want to enjoy eating. And healthy eating is necessary.
I think Dr. OZ is a very smart MD. This is some of his advise: Don't drink soda.

Before your Dinner(usually the largest meal)....have ONE slice of Whole Grain Bread and break in small pieces and "dunk" (slightly) into EVOO and eat slowly. This should help.

I have more tips. Let's try one for now. Let us know how this helps. Aria
 

elaine l

Head Chef
Joined
Aug 10, 2006
Messages
2,098
I think it's okay to be hungry. You have changed your eating pattern. It takes time. A long time. Have a small snack and stay the course. Good for you as you are on your way. You're making better choices. Different things work for different people and you seem determined to find what works best for you. Good luck.
 

coookies

Cook
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Dec 25, 2008
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Location
Massachusetts
Hmmm... I personally really like the Bolthouse Farms protein shakes (make sure you can keep them cold), little baggies with almonds or sunflower seeds, or a bowl of vegetable soup to keep me full on busy days. If you make homemade veggie soup (which is wayyy better for you than canned, and tastes better!) load it up with things like small red beans, carrots, celery, onion, zucchini, green beans, corn, spinach, and little macaroni noodles (a lot of brands make the 'healthy' noodles now). As a student trying to stay in shape, these sort of things help keep me from getting hungry, even after a 3 hour lab.
 

padams2359

Senior Cook
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Dec 16, 2008
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Vacherie, LA
I have never had a weight problem. I am 5’9, 160, 30w. I have been this size since I was 15. My wife on the other hand is a different story. We are just built differently, and process foods differently. She started on her diet (she only eats what I prepare for her, unless we talk about it), on October 1st. So far she has lost 50 lbs. You absolutely have to eat whatever you want sometimes, or you will never stick to your diet. What I have found is the worst things you can eat are cheeses (fats & sodium), processed meats (ham, salami, etc), and bread (whole grains early in the day are fine). I always keep salad in the fridge. They usually include Romaine, Bell Peppers, Radish, Cucumber, and Red Cabbage. I also cook boneless and skinless chicken breast. Slice it up, and keep it in the fridge. Her salad dressing is vinegar (red wine or balsamic) mixed with an all fruit preserve with garlic and black pepper. Also try taking fish oil tablets. Great for the heart and you would be surprise at what else, and how much it helps. It is not like the old fish oil that you tasted all day. You can still have a sundae, on Sunday. I closely monitored her diet, and told her to watch out. I usually gave her about 20% of her fats (she was not aware of this) left over just in case. I very rarely tell her that she cannot have something. With the diet she has been on, if she eats something she really should not have (roux based), she pays for it later, and then she is over it. You never want something as much as when someone tells you that you cannot have it. Change from ice cream to sherbet. Raspberry is great. You can do it. Just read the labels. If it says it is 10 to 20% of you fat intake for the day, it should be pretty close to an entire meal. The percentages on labels of fats are usually based on 2500 milligrams of fats diet. That is a cholesterol diet. Also, try flax seed with yogurt. It is a great sweet treat. Sam's has a mix that is flax and pumpkin seed. It has the consistance of granola.
 
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ella/TO

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
May I suggest that you go and see your family doctor. Get yourself a good, overall physical exam, and then have the doctor send you on to a dietician who will be able to give you a personal diet plan...Just had to put my 2 cents worth in....Good Luck!!!
 

Jeekinz

Washing Up
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Oct 23, 2006
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New Jersey
Also, eating smaller more frequent meals is also a good way to start losing and maintaining your weight.

That's what I was going to say.

I eat very fast, and when I do I could down a large pizza and not blink an eye. Slow down your eating by chewing more, one bite at a time. You'll see a big difference just from that.

You also need to change what you eat. Cold-cut sanwiches aren't the best thing out there. Look into low calorie options like canned soups. I've been having Campbells Select Harvest soups at under 200 calories per can (broth based) for lunch. Breakfast is a banana and maybe a bowl of cereal.

I'm also battling with severe hunger towards dinner. When I get home at 5:30 I need to eat right away. So I'm looking into some snack to curb that.

Good luck. Rmember the two main things are calorie intake and excercise.
 

DramaQueen

Head Chef
Joined
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Las Vegas, Nevada
May I suggest that you go and see your family doctor. Get yourself a good, overall physical exam, and then have the doctor send you on to a dietician who will be able to give you a personal diet plan...Just had to put my 2 cents worth in....Good Luck!!!

Your "2 cents" worth is worth a lot more than 2 cents. That's good advice. His doctor needs to find a diet that will be healthy for a man his size and energy level.
 

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