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Legit Hunger

Posted Jul 28 2010 12:00am

Half Marathon Training Update WEEK 4

Weds. 7/28 – 6 miles easy. 5 acceleration strides. Felt good, weather was nice, went by fast! Planning on doing some weight training later (Body Pump at HW didn’t fit the schedule today).

Breakfast: Overnight Oats – sort of a fail

- 1/2 c. oats

- 3/4 c. milk

- 1/4 c. vanilla Greek yogurt

- 1/8 c. water

- crumbled piece of yesterday’s carrot cake concoction (any baked good works well in oats!)

- 1/2 c. crushed pineapple

- 1 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut

- a few shakes of cinnamon

Had a few bites before my run too. Eh, not awful but not too good. In the morning topped with more coconut and cinnamon. Half way through I decided it needed something else – candied pecans! Why did I not think of that before?

Did the job but not too tasty. I fully blame my baking experiment. It takes a lot to mess up oats, so pretty much this was a fail! I’m definitely not posting the carrot cake concoction recipe. And I think I will have to toss a lot of it :( Oh well. Moving on…

Lunch/Snacks

Leftover Mac & Chreese + Leftover Mish Mosh (mini turkey burgers on top of sauteed spinach and cucumber, tomato, basil & feta salad)

Plum + Grapes

I also snacked on a bunch of unpictured 365 Pita Chips I brought with me.

3 pm hunger came on like crazy today, and I had already eaten all my snacks! I ruled out the “hunger that’s actually thirst” and the boredom hungry. It was legit hunger, so I got a Chobani yogurt and a single serving packet of Granzoti Energy Oats.

This made for a tasty & super-filling snack!

Although in this case I was actually hungry…

sometimes I eat when I’m really not hungry – we probably all do once in a while.

Here are some of the ways I’ve learned to tell if my hunger is legit hunger:

- First (always!) I try drinking water, because being thirsty is very easy to confuse with hunger. I’ve also noticed that if I’m not properly hydrated, I start to feel lightheaded and dizzy and sometimes can mistake that for needing to eat.

- Similarly, being tired can be mistaken for hunger. I find myself at times wanting to eat for “energy”, but I know if I’m not actually hungry this won’t help beyond 10 minutes after eating. If I’m sitting in my office, I will get up and stretch, take a walk, get a drink, maybe get a second cup of coffee or tea, and remind myself that being tired does not mean I need to eat. (There are also scientific explanations for this – since similar hormones control both our hunger and our sleep. Bottom line to prevent over-eating is get enough sleep!)

- Ask myself if I’m just bored. I might try engaging in something (like reading or tackling a project) or going for a 10 minute walk.

- Take a step back to look at whether a certain emotion I’m feeling is causing the hunger (anxiety, excitement, loneliness, sadness – different people have different trigger emotions).

- After a meal sometimes I will think I am still hungry (especially if I ate too fast or didn’t really enjoy what I ate). Generally I try to eat slowly and mindfully and drink water between bites to let the fullness set in, but sometimes I still end up hungry afterward. If I know I ate a substantial meal with enough protein, I will get up and do something or chew a piece of gum, and often I realize I’m full. If I’m actually still hungry an hour later, I’ll probably eat something.

- Certain foods I know stimulate my desire to keep eating. For instance, any sugary or snacky foods, and sometimes even apples make me more hungry if I eat them alone!! I’ve learned this, so now I try to avoid the processed, extra sugary snack foods, and eat apples with peanut butter or cottage cheese (something with good fats / protein) to avoid this effect.

I don’t at all believe in trying to “trick” my body or pretend I’m not hungry, and I would never say that I try to avoid all my cravings for sweets (clearly I don’t, since I have dessert nearly every night!) But when I eat those things out of emotion or boredom (and it’s usually not even very enjoyable), I never feel good afterward, so I just try to avoid it if I can.

I wish that I could intuitively eat (basically eat when I’m hungry + stop when I’m full) all the time, but sometimes I don’t. The above tips help me recognize when I’m not really hungry and find ways to make the non-legit hunger subside until I really do get hungry. However, when I do fall victim to fake hunger, I don’t beat myself up – I stop, take a walk, drink some water, and just move on!

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