Hunger… You Know… The Fun Stuff

Posted: July 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

Yesterday I got a comment from a blog lurker Nikki.

First off, I will say HI to anyone lurking. It seriously makes my day when you pop in and say hi and ask questions. It makes me feel useful… something that doesn’t always happen when you’re a cat owner.

… Meaning owned by a cat, but you know.

april 25 011It’s cool, I accept it.

But my point is… Nikki had a really great question and I figured it’s something ANYONE, not just people competing in this crazy sport, has to deal with at some point and time so why not address it on the blog?

Logical right? (… i have my moments)

I recently stumbled upon your blog from another blog I read and I have to tell you that you are really inspiring me! I have been in a cardio fitness routine for the past 7 months and have lost 30 pounds and decided to add some strength training after reading your blog. And I love it! I love feeling my muscles get stronger. And the idea of becoming super buff has even crossed my thoughts as a goal that I could actually attain. My big question for you is this….what do you do when you feel hungry but you know that you can only eat a certain amount? How do you deal with the hunger?

Okay, I totally left that first part in because um… I don’t even know who Nikki is (no blog. *tear*) but how sweet is she?!

First off, ANYONE can be fit and buff, it’s not just for those girls in the magazines. trust me. I do admit it’s not genetically easy for everyone, we’re not all built the same but if you set goals and work hard it’s definitly do able.

april 25 013… sadly that does mean avoiding the banana bread batter when baking and embracing the little things that make life tastier instead.

april 19 006You know… eggs, greek yogurt, veggies… fun stuff.

I really can’t complain because I DO love how I eat… but honestly i DO wish those portion sizes were a wee bit bigger some days.

feb 28 002

I can only speak from my experience here, but yet, eating in a calorie deficit for the purposes of losing weight will equal hunger. Maybe not every day, maybe not every week, but I can pretty much guarantee you it WILL happen.

It’s how you choose to react to that hunger that is the difference between sticking to the plan and achieving your goals and finding yourself at the bottom of a vat of Fro Yo

photo… yes, that’s a spoon in the top of it. 

… yeah, we’ve ALL been there.

So here are some of my top… however many I come up with… tips for beating hunger.

1: Know Yourself

This is the biggest thing for me. Realizing when I’m hungriest, what kind of foods I crave at certain times of day, when I’m busy, when I’m on the couch, etc etc.

I always try to plan to have my meals 3-4 hours apart, but on weekends I know in the mornings I’m busy, on the go and honestly not that hungry since I tend to have bigger breakfasts… but in the late afternoon/evenings? Yeah.. TOTALLY different story.

So to work with this I plan to have slightly bigger meals, farther apart in the morning…. and then from 3-4pm onward have smaller (calorie) meals, but often FULL of veggies and lots of volume closer together.

july 2It’s really trial and error and learning to listen to your body. It took me a long time to figure this out… I used to spend my evenings stalking the kitchen wishing, hoping for more food. That is no way to live!

2. Make Friends With Veggies!

When my macros change/drop the first thing that I usually do is eat more veggies, big salads, lean protein and I choose to use salsa or mustard for dressing so I’m not using up macros on something I don’t even really like.

feb 23 002I can sprout off macros for pretty much any veggie at random, and usually like to pair a lower macro veggie with a higher macro one… like cauliflower and zucchini. Zucchini I can eat a TON of, I love it, it gives me that “large amount” of food I crave, and the heavier cauliflower tends to fill me up on less. Add in some romaine and chicken and it’s pretty filling.

… or as filling as foods get on a diet.

3. Keep Busy 

This is a big one! When I’m out and running around I really don’t often feel hungry. I know I”m hungry, I know when I need to stop and eat, but I don’t notice it as much as if I’m working on the ass groove on the couch for 8 hours straight on a blizzard-y January day.

This past weekend is a great example. I KNEW I was going to be hungry. It was inevitable and to keep myself occupied I spread out my errands and fun stuff over all three days to keep me busy and moving most of the time. I planned my meals into downtown so I could relax and not burn out, but it really helped keeping my mind off the next meal.

may 2 010Getting out to wander, hit up a farmers market or.. ugh, CLEAN is my most likely ways to keep busy.

(Honestly, packing up my life has kept me MUCHO happy in the hunger department lately)

4. Have a Plan

This I can’t stress enough. Knowing what i”m going to eat, when I’m going to eat and packing my meals prevents so many issues. If I get stuck in traffic, the metro breaks down, I want to grab a coffee and chill it’s nice to know I can pop a tupperwear out of my purse and chow down without the hunger calling my name from a Second Cup display case.

nov11 004Yes, it’s not always ideal to plan and pack ahead… but those who fail to plan, plan to fail right?

(ugh.. how cheesy and lame am I?!)

Sometimes it’s a bit weird busting out food on the metro/in a theater/in the middle of the street but you get over that fast.

jan 22 006  … just don’t take awkward photos of yourself on the metro eating weird food. That will REALLY get stares.

Also… Plan higher carb days, a free meal, a splurge something. Work in the kitchen to make your favorite foods at home instead of in a fattening restaurant setting. It’s not about 12 or 20 weeks of diet, it’s your life, it’s your health.

5. Don’t Make Drastic Changes

When my diet does change (for the worse… OR the better) it’s never drastic. When my macros drop, it’s usually by 10-20g of a certain macros, and similarly post show we raise them 10-20g each week until we hit maintenance.

This way you’re not drastically shocking your body one way or the other and the change is much easier to adjust to without crazy hunger.

dec16 017.. you know, the kind that leaves you ditching utensils to eat straight from the bowl.

I’m classy, I know.

Gradual changes in ANY form are the best way to lose weight. I’m a firm believer that there is no reason to go all or nothing, especially starting out. Adding a tablespoon of cream to your coffee is not the reason why you still have 100lbs to lose and similarly cutting 500 cals from your diet overnight is just setting you up for extreme hunger… and probably a binge.

Alright folks! there you have it! Five ways to beat the hunger when it gets sucky!

But most importantly… It’s a lifestyle, NOT a diet.

Losing the diet mentality and loving a new, healthy lifestyle is the best way to make changes, avoid the hunger and LOVE life.

Do you have anything to add? What do you do when hunger strikes (… and you’re not able to have more due to diet restrictions)

… and I just have to say I kind of enjoyed having this question to answer… does anyone else have any requests for a rambling blog of crazy from me?! Let me know!

  1. Love this! I definitely agree with all of these things! I hate being hungry, so I have to make sure I have snacks throughout the day

  2. this is SUCH an important topic, and you did a great post explaining your feelings on it! when I started to lift it was really hard for me to eat more. I mean, I was hungry ALL THE TIME, and I knew my body was asking for more food, but I felt guilty giving it more. I couldnt grasp the fact that to gain muscle and look better, I would actually have to eat MORE. craziness!! lol Great post here though girl!

  3. Liz says:

    Love this post, Becca! I really like your idea about spreading out the morning meals! I tend to eat (what seems like) larger meals for breakfast too, so I’ll have to try your suggestion. Tips of my own (that you totally do too): GUM, COFFEE, and pickles. I find that the more I drink, the more full I feel. In fact, today I was done with my gallon of water by noon! Kept me from snacking during my drive to my mom’s place. Although it did make me have to stop in a very small county to use a sketchy gas station bathroom…

  4. Mustard as dressing. Brilliant! I’m going to do that. Probably important to mention you don’t mean “honey” mustard. OR curry mustard. That has more cals and fat than ranch dressing. Found that out the hard way.

  5. Maxine says:

    Awesome post! Mustard makes a really great dressing, I always get weird looks when I put it on my salads but it tastes so good

  6. Ann says:

    Wonderful post! You really have given your diet, discipline and exercise a lot of thought – once again, I’m very impressed! I read an interesting article on hunger pangs and how it affects people who are lean and heavy differently. It really change my thoughts on the occasional tummy rumble.

    It basically said that hunger pangs mean – sometime soon – it’s time to eat and food tastes better when you’re hungry. For those who naturally gravitate towards healthy options – this is accepted as a normal sign that – within the next few hours – it’s probably time to eat.

    For people who are “dieting” (not to be confused with trying to live a healthy lifestyle) that hunger pangs can almost set off panic and they literally count the minutes until their next meal and plan their entire day around eating now and eating later.

    It doesn’t sound like much, but it really changed my thinking… and it’s helped me lose weight! I love to cook, so food is a big part of my day, but blogging about it has given me the creative outlet that cooking does – so it’s a win/win!

    Long comment…I’m stopping now!!! :o)

  7. Jess says:

    I’ve never had to “not eat” due to a diet, but I sure know that veggies fill me up with LOTS of volume 😀

  8. Great post!

    this may sound crazy, but i’ve learned that hunger isn’t an emergency and it’s going to be OK if you are hungry for a while. i actually like to try to feel hunger once or twice a day and then the next meal tastes THAT much better!

    • ihearteggs says:

      It’s so true Lisa! I love it!!

      That’s one thing I loved about intermittent fasting, I truly learned about hunger. Not boredom or thirst. I domt mind the hunger on occasion because I know it’s my body at work’

      Sent from my iPhone

  9. Great post!

    When I’m having a hungry day I try to avoid sugar (even natural) and focus on veggies/protein. I think I’m very sensitive to sugar though and it really increases my appetite.

    I am a everything in moderation kinda girl and won’t deny myself anything, but the key (for me) is the good stuff in large portions and the bad stuff in very small portions. It works most of the time!

  10. What a great post and I agree with Michelle above me. When I’m having a hungry day I eat as many veggies as possible.

  11. Danielle says:

    thanks for this! i’m also a creeper and have been following on with your journey – you are amazing inspiration and seeing your journey and what you have accomplished has helped me squash a lot of my excuses. As for hunger… water water and more water helps me. Combined with soluble fibre of some sort usually does the trick.

    I’m in Ottawa – you asked for recommendations for brunch joints in the area – try Bramasole’s on Bank Street – close to shopping too so you can peruse. Also The Manx on Elgin is eclectic and yummy.

    Sending prayers and good vibes your way in your last days of prep….

  12. Amanda says:

    you are soo funny, luv reading your blogs!! sometimes i know im not really hungry but just want a “nice taste” or a craving i just chew strawberry flavoured surgar free gum. most of the time it works!

  13. Nikki says:

    Thanks so much for the great answer! I like the way that someone above mentioned “panic” b/c that is how I feel sometimes. During the day I am typically fine…but at night right before bedtime I often get that panicky feeling. I know it is irrational b/c I’m obviously not going to die in my sleep b/c I went to bed a bit hungry but sometimes that fear of depravation is powerful enough that I end up undoing all of my hard work for the day and I am so pissed with myself the next morning. I wonder if eating dinner a bit later would help…or maybe dividing my dinner into two portions and eating one at my normal dinner time and then one as a snack a bit later.

  14. Laura says:

    You know- I actually feel bad right now. I have been reading your blog and following you on Twitter for a while now and have never commented on your blog. I feel like an ass.
    I love your blog- found it through Donloree and love your fun and honest approach to your lifestyle

    This post in particular was really fantastic- and thank you Nikki for asking the question.

    I promise to leave more comments- if you promise to keep writing fantatic posts

  15. Christy says:

    I always fill up on veggies or fruit first. Luckily though, I can eat a lot. I try not to worry about it.

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