People often comment that I always seem to be eating. That doesn’t mean at the first tiny hunger pang I go crazy looking for something to stuff in my mouth; just that I plan ahead, have healthy snacks close by, and know it’s likely I’ll get hungry every few hours. Here’s my usual weekday routine (times vary, but this is typical).
Weight Loss Maintenance Diet
Breakfast: 7:00 AM (I tend to wake up hungry)
Mid-Morning Snack: 10:00 AM usually fruit, yogurt, bagel. I do make an effort to wait until 10:00 for my first snack, but if I’m really hungry, I’ll go ahead and eat as early as 9:00. I have cut back on the bagels recently. I noticed I was eating a giant bagel (over 300 calories) every day, and I was getting really sleepy soon after. I don’t know if there’s a connection, but when I notice excessive sleepiness or other odd symptoms, it just pays to check what you’ve been eating.
Lunch 11:30 – 1:30 PM (depends on whether I get hungry). Guess what? If I don’t get hungry until 3:00, then that’s when I eat. I like soups, tuna mixed with salsa, something wrapped in a tortilla or whatever I’ve brought. I go out to eat but not often.
I don’t usually want anything between my lunch and dinner, but if I get hungry, I’ll eat. This isn’t set in concrete, it’s just my usual routine.
Dinner anytime from 4:00 – 6:30 (same thing, I eat when I get hungry, so if I had more during the day, it’ll be longer before I’m hungry again.)
Evenings I hardly ever get hungry, so I rarely eat after dinner (most likely because I eat plenty during the day). During the week if I think I’m hungry and it’s after 9:00 PM I might drink some water, or have an apple or a pickle. That usually takes care of it. I’ll also sometimes just decide to ride it out (the hunger). It’s not going to kill me to feel a bit hungry now and then, and it’s probably not real hunger but emotional hunger anyway, so food isn’t really going to help.
I broke the habit of eating most of my calories after 5:00 PM years ago. Now I eat all day, and hardly ever in the evening, even on weekends. It works for me, but I do make an effort to eat clean, meaning little processed or fast foods, because if I start popping tiny candy bars, or eat french fries a few days in a row I’ll start wanting them more often.
My theory is if the food value (nutritional value) is low (as it tends to be in processed foods) my body will still want nutrients, even though it may have enough calories. This can explain why one can eat a lot and still feel hungry, or be hungry soon after eating a big meal. Think about it. Did you eat good quality, nutritious food, or did you eat something batter fried, dipped in sugary sauce, or dripping with grease? Did it contain good quality nutrients, or just yummy taste?
If someone brings something incredibly special, but I’m full from breakfast, then I’ll take some on a plate and have it later when I’m hungry again. Hunger always returns.
If you think you are always hungry (and believe me, I’ve been there), then keep a food diary (see Food & Exercise Diary in the Tools section of my site) for a few days to get a look at what you are eating. It may be there is a lack of nutrients, which explains why it’s possible to still be hungry even after eating a lot of food.
The Best Appetite Suppressant is Good Food.
EFT Suggestions for Hunger or Cravings (Learn EFT–see resource box below):
“Even though I’m still hungry, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I think I’m still hungry, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m craving donuts, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I want to eat everything I think I shouldn’t, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
Try EFT on direct cravings, when they strike. It only delays your eating a few moments, so try it, and see whether it reduces the desire, even a tiny bit. If it does, then eat slowly and enjoy what you’ve chosen. You may just discover you’re satisfied with less, but enjoying it more.