...I’m just changing the focus and wording of the goal. 5 years ago
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I’m realizing that, more than distracted or fast eating, the biggest struggle for me is separating “mouth hunger” from “need for food hunger”, and boredom/stress/procrastination/habit munchies from real cravings/desires. I need to zero in on what it actually feels like to be hungry.
The first thing I’m going to try is just not fulfilling any hunger twinges immediately. Not a problem when I’m at work, but at home it’s much more difficult. Each time I feel hungry, I’m going to wait for a few minutes or distract myself with something else. If I don’t forget that I’m “hungry”, it’s real. 5 years ago
No, I’m not starving myself (actually I’ve not been working hard on this goal at all recently – stress). And I’m well aware of the need to keep my blood sugar at a reasonable level. However…I’m starting to realize that a) I don’t need to eat something every single time I have a twinge of hunger and b) there is a difference between eating to keep up my energy and eating to fill my stomach. In fact, I appreciate my meals a lot more when I give myself a chance to get hungry for them. The trick is feeling hungry without feeling like I’m gonna die of hunger (for a borderline hypoglycemic impulse eater like me, this is really important).
The biggest challenge for me is the stretch between lunch and dinner (I eat lunch about noon, but with work and cooking, sometimes don’t get to eat my meal until 7:30 or 8 p.m.) Something I’ve found that works amazingly well for keeping my energy up is raw almonds. I don’t even need to eat very many of them at a time – a few every half-hour is enough. They keep me going enough that I can cook dinner without cutting off a finger or settling for a bowl of ice cream…and they’re easy, neat, and discrete to take to work. 5 years ago
Sorta lost it for awhile this past weekend (don’t ask), and my body bit back. But I would estimate that I am doing this at least 50% of the time, and probably more than that. I’m especially proud because I STOPPED EATING tonight when I was full instead of continuing to clean my plate.
Plans – plans are essential, as is eating at least 3 meals a day. I just figured out that when I skimp on one meal, or when I don’t have something planned for dinner, I’m likely to just eat whatever is easy and to eat far too much of it. 5 years ago
The family reunion I went to a few weeks back really threw a wrench in this goal. While I was there, I just ate what was available – and there was a LOT of snacky food just lying around. I’m not very good at avoiding that kind of thing.
Once I got back, I was kind of stressed – starting a new job, finishing up my summer class, prepping for the weekend-long residency for one of my upcoming fall semester classes. I only truly overate once or twice, but I didn’t really eat consciously and intuitively either.
Now I’m back on it, however – at least for the past 2 days. Lots of fruits and vegetables. I do feel a lot better when I eat these things. 5 years ago
I am going to keep this goal up for quite a long time, though, because summer is probably the easiest time for me to do this. The real challenge will be during wintertime and stressful business, as I’ve said earlier.
Still, I am learning some principles that are proving to be helpful, which I will try to internalize more fully:
1. Really, it’s true – TRY NOT TO EAT AND DO__. For me, eating in front of the computer is the biggest temptation, with eating and reading a close second. I do feel better when I don’t, though (and my keyboard is cleaner).
2. Eating more protein in general, especially in the mornings. I feel a lot more satisfied throughout the day now that I’m eating one or two eggs instead of a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Also, eating more earlier in the day (bigger breakfast and lunch).
3. Eating dinner on the later side – 7 or 8 instead of 5 or 6. The reason for this is that I’m most likely to snack mindlessly at night. If I’ve just had a meal a few hours ago, I’m not as likely to eat crap before I go to bed. This will be really tricky once classes start. I don’t know who decided that 6 to 9 p.m. would be a good slot for classes, but it sucks for me. I’ll have to figure out a way to deal with that when fall semester starts up.
4. On a related note, going to bed earlier. Haven’t mastered this yet, but I have noticed that when I stay up past midnight…guess what, I get hungry! Something to remember. 5 years ago
I have slipped up here and there, snacking on things I didn’t really need or want occasionally, but no real overeating. I think a large part of that is due to the season (it’s HOT, eating is less appealing) and my stress levels (quite low at the moment). It will be harder to keep this pattern up when the school year starts up again, but I will try.
One thing I’m noticing is that the heat actually makes me put off eating perhaps longer than I should, just because I can’t stand the idea of being in the kitchen or next to the stove (boy, do I wish I had an outdoor kitchen!). I’m not fainting from hunger, but I have let myself get hungry enough that I am too impatient to fix something good. I just grab whatever, even if it doesn’t fill a craving or appeal to me – I’m looking to fill my stomach and nothing more. This hasn’t happened all that often, but it’s something to keep an eye on.
I’ve also realized that if I want to avoid mindless snacking, I can’t have snack foods in the house. I am not good at limiting myself when salty, crunchy snacky-snacks are present, and most of them are just not that good. Therefore, I will no longer be purchasing them (not that I did this very often anyway, but hey, now I won’t at all). 5 years ago
It’s not going to be an immediate fix. At least I am thinking about it a lot more often. I’m not doing this 100% of the time yet, of course, but I think I am improving. I’m DEFINITELY doing better at stopping when I am full, and fulfilling a craving and then stopping short of gluttony.
So-so at eating and paying attention. I didn’t realize how very attached I was to the idea of eating and _. I find myself automatically looking for a book to read when I sit down for a meal! I think this is because I don’t have anyone to eat meals with. :( Sigh. It’s a real shame. Meals should be a social occasion, at least that’s what I think, and that’s what I grew up with. 5 years ago
Ate breakfast while reading blogs, but otherwise I ate my food mindfully and took the time to taste it. It helps that it was good food all around. Including the first REAL strawberries of the season from my CSA box. Divine!
And it’s true – I ate less overall and felt MORE satisfied. Part of that is probably due to the heat, but I’ll take what I can get. It’s a great feeling, to be full but not overfull. I also felt more grateful than usual for the food I had, which I didn’t expect. I think I’m going to start giving thanks before meals again. It’s a good way to center and really think about the food I am eating. 5 years ago
...it’s a big trigger. Also, I’ve noticed that I tend to overeat mindlessly in the evenings for some reason. Maybe I need to work at eating MORE earlier in the day, so that I don’t feel deprived.
I did relatively well with this goal today, in terms of eating until I was full and not overfull. Not so well in terms of eating without distractions. I’ll do better tomorrow. 5 years ago
Not impossible by any means, but not a cakewalk. For one, I’m really attached to “eating and doing things”. For another, I’m starting to tune into my real food cravings and desires, and they are odd. Well, not odd, but they don’t always match up with my food budget and/or what I choose to have in the house, what I have planned for dinner, or what I have time to make.
Still, it’s quite early! I’m going to keep trying. 5 years ago
This morning, rather barrelling into the kitchen and banging out breakfast, I took note of my hunger for a few minutes just to see how it felt. After some deliberation, I made eggs and toast (with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon instead of butter, just to change things up – next experiment will be a combo of the 2 fats, it works well in other recipes). Then, I sat down, took a few deep breaths, and ate. Not as slowly as I could have (I didn’t want the eggs to get cold), but I actually chewed and consciously tasted the food, checking in to see how full I was throughout.
The interesting part is that I think I enjoyed my meal more than usual. I certainly felt more sensually satisfied than I often do.
You know, the more I think about it, the more this method of eating seems to correspond to the truly pleasurable aspects of my relationship with food. And I have to admit, it is a freeing relief to not judge my food choices. Exciting. 5 years ago
It’s good, a little simplistic like all self-help books, but overall good. My main eating habits are inattentive eating (I eat while doing other things, like reading), “the clean plate club” (I am hyperaware of what food costs and hate to waste any of it), and emotional eating (I eat instead of dealing with feelings, namely boredom and loneliness).
The first two are intertwined. I need to recapture mealtime as a time for ONLY EATING, and I need to slow down so that I can identify what it feels like to be sated again. Not easy, but not all that difficult either. It just requires awareness.
Of all of those habits, I think emotional eating will be the hardest to break, because I really feel that food has emotional, nuturing power, or can. I would be sad to reduce it to mere fuel. It can be art/craft, culture, meaning. I don’t see comfort/pleasure in food as antithetical to intuitive eating. The key for me, I think, will be focusing on pleasure – eating to fill my senses rather than to deaden them.
Also, I need to embrace other (positive) emotional coping mechanisms. That also will be difficult for me. I am the consummate avoider, and food is not the only way that I avoid emotion (television, alcohol, and yes, even books are other ways that I do this). Not really coping mechanisms, just distractions. Hmmm. 5 years ago
...I figure this would be a good goal to take up. I have a definite problem with boredom eating, and I’ve lost touch with the feeling of hunger to some extent. I would like to regain that connection.
I put a hold at the library on the book Intuitive Eating – I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. I’m going to start ONLY eating (rather than eating in front of the computer or while reading). Finally, I’m going to work at hydrating better, so I can distinguish hunger from thirst. 6 years ago