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    Old 12-27-2003, 09:49 PM   #1
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    Unhappy How Can I Eat Less When I'm Always Hungry?

    I have gone through series of eating disorders in the past ten years and have found it very difficult to maintain my weight. I'm a 23 yr. old female, 5"9', currently about 170 lbs. I know it sounds like a lot, but most people guess that I don't weigh more than 150, which is frustrating sometimes. I don't have a lot of visible fat, because I'm big boned and have some muscle, but I do have quite a bit of flab on my thighs/stomach. Even when I was at my most anorexic weight, I could fit into jeans only about a couple of sizes smaller than I wear now! I guess that's the built I've been "blessed" with.

    If I didn't do an hour of cardio on my exercise bike every single day, I think I"d be huge because I find it hard to control myself when it comes to food. I hate greasy food and junk food, but I love sweets. I don't even eat meat... My biggest problem is that I have tried to eat like "normal" people do many times (three meals a day + 2 snacks) but it felt like I was on a starvation diet. It seems like I'm always hungry and have to eat, for example, three pieces of toast instead of one. As much as I want to keep exercising, I feel like I'm obsessed with it because of my eating habits and that I'm wasting my life on that bike. I'm a student and get very busy with school, but I can't even have a job simultaneously because exercise preparations and showering take a couple of hours of my time every single day. Is there anyone out there with a similar problem? How in the world do I deal with this? I'm so tired of it all sometimes... I can't exercise every day for the rest of my life, and if I stop, considering the way I'm eating, I'll balloon up.

    My bloodwork, btw, is fine, even though I do have hypothyroidism, but it's in check right now. However, I often feel lightheaded and I feel a whole in my stomach about 1/2-1 hr. after having a decent meal! Please help. Any input would be much appreciated. Thanks a lot.

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    Old 12-27-2003, 10:06 PM   #2
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    Re: How Can I Eat Less When I'm Always Hungry?

    just 3 thoughts...first, sometimes our body's signal for hunger is not for food, but for is your water intake?? also it can be an emotional hunger as well...

    second, could your previous eating problems contributed to gastrointestinal probs in that the stomach is emptying at a more rapid rate than normal?

    third, why not substitute weightlifting for some of your days of cardio, you will burn more calories and burn them more efficiently than with cardio alone?

    Old 12-30-2003, 05:29 PM   #3
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    Re: How Can I Eat Less When I'm Always Hungry?

    Hi! In addition to the above ideas, have you counted up your daily calories to make sure you are geting enough? Also look at what you are eating, foods high in fiber and/or protien will help you to feel full longer. HTH

    Old 12-30-2003, 05:47 PM   #4
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    Re: How Can I Eat Less When I'm Always Hungry?

    Another suggestion ... many people do not falter at the dinner table ... they falter at snack time. Keep your meals balanced but AVOID junk food when your looking for an afternoon filler. If you're not a big water drinker (And I am not) don't deprive yourself of the drinks you like, but commit to ONLY drinking water when you're snacking. It will help fill you up and give you the water you need. Things you know are really bad for you, get rid of them ... out of sight, out of mind! And as the old cliche goes ... NEVER go grocery shopping when you are hungry. You will buy food based on cravings instead of health needs. Since you are habitually hungry, make sure to eat something healthy before heading to the store and drink a glass of water. I know it's tough to change eating habits ... it took me at least a year to completely break myself of a McDonald's breakfast and Taco Bell lunch! But by controlling my cravings by guzzling water and "good snack food," I eventually lost my cravings for the junk. Now, if I feel like a breakfast burrito from McDonalds, I can have one and not feel guilty because I only crave them once in a blue moon. Most of the time, my body calls for some fruit. It does get easier but you have to start somewhere and the crappy part is always at the beginning when it comes to dieting. It does get easier!

    Old 12-31-2003, 04:21 AM   #5
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    Re: How Can I Eat Less When I'm Always Hungry?

    water, water, water,
    This is great advise you have received and I just want to emphasize the drinking.
    More often than not when you think you are hungry you are thirsty. This will help fill you up with zero calories and help your body process the food that you do eat.
    You mentioned how much you love sweets. Try fat free puddings or jellos they will quench that craving without be hard on your diet.

    Good luck
    Good Health to all

    Old 01-01-2004, 10:58 AM   #6
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    Re: How Can I Eat Less When I'm Always Hungry?

    Like someone said, Drink lots of water!

    Also, eating a balanced healthy meal really helps. Eat low-glycemic foods, and lean meats, and healthy fats. Don't eat all of one thing for you meal. Do your fruits, veggies, whole grains with your lean meats. If you eat all of one thing it can cause an insulin burst into the blood stream, and it can actually cause you to feel hungry about 30 minutes after you have already eatin a large meal.

    So for a balanced meal, if you eat about a 1400 calorie diet you would eat about 20 carbs, 12 protein, 4 fat for breakfast. 40 carb 24 pro 8 fat for lunch, 20 carb 12 pro 4 fat for snack, same as lunch for dinner, and a snack. See is as 7 units, because you have 7, 20 carb, 12 protein, and 4 fat meals. If you were on a 1200 calories diet, you would take one unit away. If you were on a 1300 calorie diet you would take half a unit away. So if you had an 1600 calorie diet you would have added another unit. So that would make you have 8 units, adding another one to your breakfast giving you 40 carb 24 pro, and 8 fat.
    Quitters always lose, and winners never give up.

    Old 01-01-2004, 04:15 PM   #7
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    Re: How Can I Eat Less When I'm Always Hungry?


    I can sympathize. Actually, I'm on my exercise bike right now I "splurged" today on a piece of cheese cake for dessert, so I'm planning to do 1.5 hours of biking tonight - broken up, though, in 30-min increments. I have mine in front of the TV and I've even rented a movie for tonight, so it's not drugery at all, but I do know the feeling of being "addicted" to exercise. I think I am. If I don't work out (my workouts are at least 2.5 miles uphill walk on treadmill each day, which takes about 45 minutes and then extra stuff as I have time) I will be VERY grumpy and just feel out of it that day.

    I also have a history of over eating and bulemia (I haven't vomited in over 2 years, and then it's been off/on since I was a teen). Luckily, I guess my metabolism is pretty kind to me, because even though I used to eat a ton, I never got "overweight" really at all, but very close (I was on the very upper end of normal for my height). I obsess about food a lot. However, right now I'm feeling good. I'm counting calories, and the structure of that makes me feel in control, so I don't feel the guilt and NEED to go workout a ton every time I eat something "Bad" so long as I stay within my calorie allotment. However, days like today when I've gone over, then I do do extra exercise.

    Anyway, my main advice is first, recognize that the first few days, maybe a week, WILL be hard and you're going to be hungry, but your body will adjust and it WILL go away, and then it all gets easier as you adjust to less calories and your stomach "shrinks". Find things that are low cal that make you feel full, such as soup. If you make a veggie broth and put herbs in it, it can be very low in cals, but a mug of that can make you feel full. Also, canned soups are great and also I like the sugar free hot cocoa for a treat (with Splenda) and they also have evaporated soups that you just add hot water that are 45 cals per cup.

    Once you find things that you LIKE that are low cal and you give your body time to adjust, it's not bad. Also, I've felt the "need" to go off my "diet" several different times (I started mine right before the holidays!) and I gave myself permission to do that, realizing it would only set me back a few days, and then got RIGHT back on the next day. So if you do "fail" one day, don't beat yourself up, just try again the next day.

    It also helps me to delay eating as long as possible and "save up" my calories. Many people would disagree with this, but I know myself, and sometimes I have to do that, you know? Other days I do have a big breakfast - it just depends.


    Last edited by jowi; 01-01-2004 at 04:20 PM.

    Old 01-01-2004, 06:22 PM   #8
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    Re: How Can I Eat Less When I'm Always Hungry?

    Thank you all very much for replying. You all seem to have some very insightful thoughts. First, I want to say that drinking more water makes every sense in the world for weight loss and general health, but I've noticed that when I drink a lot of water and go to the washroom often, it makes me feel more famished and drained and does not satisfy my hunger under any circumstances! I realize that this may be an individual thing, and since drinking up with meals does make me feel fuller, I've decided to do that (what works for me). Reading through your replies, I've realized something that I've been afraid of before - I'm not getting nearly as much protein as I should be. I think one of my biggest mistakes is that, being a vegetarian and avoiding fat for all these years, my diet is overloaded with carbs (both good and bad). There are many days when I get only a few grams of protein, and I realize what a huge mistake that is.

    To the poster struggling with bulimia, I'm so sorry that you had to suffer through that. I've been bulimic too, and even though I still do a lot of cardio (if a normal person exercised as much as I do, they would look nearly perfect, but being an overeater, that's really hard for me!) and binge often, the binges are not extreme. I've stopped throwing up a couple of years ago and also kicked the laxative habit more recently. Congratulations on all the effort you've put into trying to beat this monster. I hope you're doing OK now.

    Thanks, everyone, once again for your replies.


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