From skwigg's journal:
Things I'll add to a meal if I need to fill it out with more food:
- buttered bread -a (buttered) potato or sweet potato if I have some already cooked - a small, rich dessert with plenty of fat in it (see above) - a handful of nuts - peanut butter, alone or on fruit/veggies/crackers/bread - cheese, alone, wrapped in turkey slices and squirted with sriracha, or melted on something like leftover rice - leftover rice or beans - half a sandwich - anything my husband is eating, double victory dance if it involves cold pizza or a chicken wing
Somewhere in spacetime, Diet Me just read that and fainted. LOL Adding food seems really counterintuitive to staying lean, but satisfaction is the key to everything. If I'm not satisfied, I'll feel crazier, obsess about food more, and eat more overall than if I'd just met my needs in the first place. I needed lunch to last 7 hours today and soup wasn't going to cut it. The addition of the peanut butter, banana, chocolate, and ice cream bowl was perfect. I'm about 30 minutes from when I normally eat dinner and just starting to feel the first hints of hunger. If I'd cut myself short at lunch, I'd have spent the whole afternoon debating what, when, and how much to eat. That much thinking about food never ends well. Satisfaction shuts it off like turning off a faucet.
I can trust that I actually needed that much food and that I'm not overeating because:
- I was physically hungry for lunch. - I felt good before, during, and after I ate. - I was totally satisfied for hours. - I was physically hungry again for dinner.
When I'm overeating, I don't have clear hunger signals. My stomach doesn't growl. I may want food but it's disconnected from appetite. It's kind of the same thing with prolonged undereating. I didn't have clear hunger signals because I'd ignored them so long and responded so inconsistently. That's the beauty of eating satisfying meals at regular intervals. It lets you really tune in to how your body feels and how different meal combinations affect it.
Thank you for providing what helped you the most, Skwigg! I love what Georgie said and I find that also to be true for myself. I have ignored hunger AND fullness for YEARS, tried to manipulate it with this diet, that diet, etc. I have no idea what my true hunger even feels like, looks like, etc. However, I am be determined to eat enough so that I can honor that hunger, maybe for the first time in my life.
I think what helped me the most in reestablishing clear hunger signals was eating satisfying meals at predictable times. When I was always skimping on meals, skipping meals, ignoring hunger, snacking randomly. I just couldn't tell. When breakfast, lunch, and dinner happen every day like clockwork, it's SO much easier to notice hunger or lack of it beforehand and to notice how you feel afterward or long a meal lasts before you start getting hungry again. I always think of what Georgie said about how people who ignore hunger also tend to ignore fullness. That was definitely true for me! I think the signals were actually there, but I wasn't used to looking for them, or didn't acknowledge them even if they were loud and clear.
Even when I was eating enough and not restricting, hunger and fullness remained a mystery until I started eating meals. Once you're in that pattern, hunger signals become a lot more obvious in just a few days or weeks. There is also some hormonal element to that. Your body releases the hunger hormone ghrelin shortly before you normally eat, so predictable patterns help a lot.
I love this, Skwigg and one day hope to be adding more food for satisfaction rather than always trying to reduce.
How long would you say it took, once you started eating unrestricted, to have the clear hunger signals again? I know it was a work in progress for you, but I presume once all signs/symptoms of Energy Deficit were gone, it made it MUCH easier to know how your body feels and what it needed?