The Hunger: Part Deux

28 April, 2010 Off By Pinky @lowfatpie

I wanted to follow up a bit on my post from yesterday. Coincidentally, I am listening to the Two Fit Chicks podcast where the first question that they are discussing is about Hunger during weight loss. It’s nice to know that there are others who struggle with this. Well, not “nice” but you know what I mean.

To clarify a few things: Normally, while following the Weight Watchers program I have very often had very different things to eat from day to day. This could be breakfasts of egg/egg white omelets with veggies, cereal and light soy milk, a piece of chicken from the dinner before to even soup. I don’t distinguish foods based on when we are supposed to eat them! Prior to probably 2 months ago I had a snack in between breakfast and lunch, generally only consisting of fruit. Lunches were always a combination of a carb/protein/veg; brown rice with shrimp, avocado, tomatoes and a dressing of Dijon mustard and lemon juice, or 100g of leftover penne pasta with some tuna, olives (exactly 5), tomatoes and a light dressing of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. There would be snacks in the afternoon of fruit and yoghurt, and raw veggies (cucumbers, carrots, etc). Dinner is provided by the Hubs, but he is always thinking about my program and lets me know what’s in the meal if it’s a new recipe. Otherwise, it’s normally always a healthy combination again of carb/protein/veg.

There was nothing really wrong with what I was doing. I love food so I had no issue making up nice lunches and tasty snacks. There was and is pretty much still no junk in between (I made it out of my 2+ week chocolate frenzy finally). The only issue? I haven’t lost any weight since November (sorry for those who know this – I know I’m repeating myself, repeating myself).

So I went to 3FC to get some feedback and received the following:
I was eating too much fruit
Wasted calories from my daily latte
I needed to eat even more vegetables to fill up
I was eating too much in general
Too many carbs
I should try counting calories since it seemed WW wasn’t working for me.
Dinners were clearly going over my budget.

The actions I took from that advice:
I stopped eating so much fruit.
The only morning “snack” I’m having is now a double short non-fat latte (I was having a triple tall).
If I get really hungry I drink a large tea.
Afternoon snacks: try to hold out until I leave work (I would have PM snacks and then be hungry again on the train home, then I would eat more fruit)
Dinner – non-exercise days: weigh and measure everything and keep an eye on portions

I tried, very feebly admittedly, to count calories, but I don’t see the point really (ha-ha, the POINT, get it?) when it’s pretty much the same as Weight Watchers. If I know that I have a budget of 29 points and I want to keep 10-15 for dinner, then I split the rest out. Calorie counters do the same thing with their budget.

What my life looks like:

I get up latest 5.20 every weekday morning.
I eat breakfast (after coffee) at around 6 am. (Hunger level is pretty high)
I arrive at work at 8.50am
I have my only latte at 9am (I am generally hungry again at this point)
I may have a tea around 10.30 to tide me over until lunch.
I eat lunch 12 sharp (or I am a cranky mofo)
I leave work at 5pm, hungry
I eat my snacks on the train home I arrive home around 7pm. (at this point I am hungry again)
If I am running, I will have a snack like a peanut butter sandwich or PB and crackers. If I am going to the gym, I will eat dinner first.
After running, or just when I get home, dinner (between 7.30 – 8.30pm).
When I am preparing food and actually bringing stuff to the office, I will normally do this after dinner and before bed.
Bed between 10-10.30pm If I go to the gym, there is no food prep, though I may then get up at 4.30am to do it (depending on how tired I am).

I do think that part of my problem is that my waking hours are too long compared to my sleeping hours, but given my commute, there really is not much I can do about this (I think) I do not think that I have a super-fast metabolism, but I don’t know how to test that (if I did, would I still be fat???). In any case my metabolism is probably faster than it was a year ago, because I’m a lot more active.

Regardless, I have had this hunger problem for as long as I can remember! 10 years ago, 20 years ago, I remember always struggling with this! So I can pretty much eat what anyone would think would satisfy and I would still be hungry. What I have learned from all of this though is that just grabbing something doesn’t help either, so I won’t eat just anything.

Last week and this week I am pretty much eating a sandwich (2 pieces of multi-grain bread, 10gr of light mayonnaise and filet americain or chicken lunch meat) for breakfast, and for lunch 2 sandwiches (one with multi-grain bread, light cream cheese, 20g of lunch meat, and one with celery salad, mustard tomatoes). I have had a 0% fat yoghurt in the afternoon, some fruit and maybe some raw veggies if I’ve had time to prepare. That’s it. And guess what? That? Costs me almost my entire daily allowance on Weight Watchers. Clearly this will not work for me, so next week I’ll go back to planning and prepping and bringing lunches and snacks again. This sandwich thing is an attempt to eat like a typical Dutch person (though my toppings are probably not completely typical). This is exactly how my husband eats, though he has yoghurt in the morning and after lunch (what I’m doing today).

The question still remains: Why am I not losing weight when I eat varied and use my points in a more fulfilling way, fill up on veg, snack only on fruit, protein at every meal, only good carbs, etc? I am less hungry eating the way I was before, but a dull hunger is still there. Now I’m eating what I find to be very little in volume, and too much in points and I’m ravenous.

I would really love to know what it feels like to not have this empty feeling in my stomach and lightness in my head. I’m not making this shit up. As I type this, it’s 7.45am, I’m on the train to work and I am STARVING. I would like to fit properly into my size 42 jeans and possibly lose up to 12KG more. It will never happen though if I have to keep eating to feel like I’m not going to fall over or possibly eat off the nearest body part.

I hope that provides more information. I would love to hear more of your thoughts on this. All I know is, I can not continue this way – it’s not healthy and it’s not pleasant to feel like this all the time. A little bit of hunger is ok, I can accept that. I’ve been doing this a long time though, I am pretty sure my adjustment periods are way over by now.