Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hunger games of a different sort

I’m at the point in my weight loss journey where I’m hungry all the time. All. The. Time. I’m not starving myself by any means, but nothing is filling me up, or once I get full, I feel hungry again five minutes later. I’m eating considerably less than I was a few weeks ago, so I know it’ll take my stomach time to shrink/adjust, it’s just a painful process.

I think this is one of the many reasons people give up when they're trying to get healthy and lose weight. They can’t fight the hunger, they can’t overcome the cravings, they can’t handle portion control. It takes a lot of will power, and let’s face it, for people who need to lose a significant amount of weight, will power isn’t generally our strong suit.

So what do you do? Give in, or tell yourself ‘this too shall pass’? The latter, of course, if you ever want to see results. I’ve found the trick is to stay busy. I can usually ignore the hunger during the day because I’m busy with Logan, or I’m working, and since I’m a writer, my hands are too busy to be grabbing food and shoving it in my mouth. My problem time is usually at night when I sit to relax and watch TV. I’m generally ok if I’m reading - it’s TV time that’s my nemesis.

Ways to get past the hunger and/or mindless snacking:
*Go for a walk.
*Read a book.
*Get up and march on the spot.
*If you’re watching TV, get up and do stuff during the commercials so you’re not sitting for long periods of time. Keep your mind and hands busy. 
*Find a hobby that keeps your hands busy - making jewelry, scrapbooking, graphic design, photography.
*Drink some water or tea.
*Knit. (I often knit while I watch TV so my hands are busy.)
*Chew a piece of sugar-free gum or suck on a sugarless candy.

If you have to snack, make it a healthy snack. Raw veggies, fruit, nuts, a piece of whole grain bread, low fat yogurt, sugar free or fat free pudding, etc. Chewing sugar free gum helps too - it keeps your mouth busy, and there are some amazing flavors out there now that trick your brain into thinking you’re getting something sweet. And, of course, there’s nothing wrong with indulging once in awhile. It’s better to have a small indulgence than to snap and totally binge. You need to learn to get into a mindset where you’re telling yourself you’re not deprived. You’re eating healthier, you’re putting good food into your body, your body is changing for the better, you’re getting healthier and thinner and stronger and you’re going to live longer. Let those things be your new mantra. The hunger is temporary, but if you can get through it, the benefits are endless.

I've been through this before. Too many times to count. I get to this point - the never-ending hunger - and I give in. But not this time. This time is going to be different. It has to be. I'd rather deal with it now, once and for all, than continue to yo-yo with my weight and my eating habits. Every day I tell myself that the hunger will pass - if I can get past it, I'll continue to lose weight, get healthier, and look and feel amazing. It'll all be worth it.

What do you do to thwart the hunger beast? 


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