When I feel hunger, I feel it in my stomach. That is really the only way I know. Now, I have had an intense drive to eat before which resulted in me eating several thousand calories, but I think that was more a binge.
So maybe I don't know what true hunger feels like.
I too, pretty much eat WHEN, which seems to result in once a day eating though not at any set time, and has sometimes resulted in a few longer fasts completely by accident as well.
[QUOTE=Leida;1016116]When I was doing sustained very low carb (<30 g total carbs a day), hunger was manifesting as deep fatigue slowly progressing towards lethargy and weepiness.
When I was doing high carb (>70% carb, <15% fat), the hunger was manifesting as a mental crazyiness when nothing matters but to get food, even if you have to dig in a trash can for an orange peel. I could not see discarded pieces of fruit in the trash can without an impulse to grab and devour them. For about couple hours each afternoon, I would sit at my desk holding the edge with white knuckled fingers and waiting for the pain in the stomach to subside.
In between hunger is a growing inability to focus and an empty feeling in the stomach that does not go away and turns into pangs + depression coming in.
Hunger is very emotional for me, I can't stay upbeat when I am hungry. I know people describe the feelings of being light and happy and enlightened, but that's how I feel after eating, not when hungry. I am short-tempered and exasperated and unhappy.
Of course, that means that I have not one of the Chosen Ones who had entered the sacred valley of Fat Burning but to be honest I just don't know how. I found out that ignoring my body's signals bites me in the ass in a few days or months or years.... Injuries, binges, depression, weight gain, lethargy, fobias - I saw this pop up whenever I was 'pushing' myself to ignore my body. Mind over body... just doesn't work for me. Apparently i need to pamper mine and don't take it over the limit or my mind breaks.[/QUOTE]
Sounds like whether you are doing ketosis or just regular Primal, you probably need to eat more. You sound like you are starving.
[QUOTE=Drumroll;1016577]I too, pretty much eat WHEN, which seems to result in once a day eating though not at any set time, and has sometimes resulted in a few longer fasts completely by accident as well.[/QUOTE]My typical pattern seems to be a small snack in the late morning like a bite of cheese or some pate then one real meal in the evening. I often get busy and only eat once a day too.
This is really interesting... I was just musing to myself about the cause of my stomach-cramping hunger episodes, so I did a search that led me to this thread.
JoanieL, I know exactly what you mean about wanting to recognize real hunger. I read something once (can't seem to find it ATM) about obese people being more likely to crave food at regular mealtimes, regardless of how much or little they might have recently eaten, and it made me feel like I was still just an obese person in disguise--I can basically count on my hands the number of times I've ever felt like skipping a meal.
I've been mostly Primal for almost two years now, but I've gotten a little off track and am now trying a sugar detox / VLC experiment of sorts. The hunger thing has been one of my biggest motivators (alright, second-biggest after weight :p). Lately, even when I've been eating decently for several days, I still get horrible hunger episodes: lightheaded, irritable, stomach cramps, everything. Once, it happened before dinner when it just seemed clearly unreasonable--I'd eaten plenty of healthy, fat-and-protein food that day, and it was still early--so I went to the gym instead of eating. When I got back, the crazy hunger was gone. I still wanted dinner, but my stomach didn't hurt anymore, and I didn't feel like I was about to eat the next thing I saw.
I'm pretty sure this means my body still isn't burning my body fat very well... but the meal-time thing also makes me wonder how much of it's just in my head. Has anyone had experience with psychological hunger that's unrelated to how much fat (or sugar) you've recently burned?
The biggest battles for me are boring days at work (hence don't tell anyone I am on MDA at work right now!).
When I am bored at work - suddenly my stomach starts wanting food, and giving me fogging brain - almost like its tricking me into eating. But the days I am busy I have no hunger pangs, and also often will get to about 2pm and think "I better have lunch sometime soon!"
Lately I have been trying the WHEN mentality with food, I was finding that even 3 meals a day was way way too many for me most days, with the average being 2.
My latest 'trick' has been to drink some water when I feel hungry, 80% of the time the hunger goes away, the 20% represents when I actually need to eat. Green Tea is helping this a bit at the moment.
A lot of what I'm reading here kind of mirrors my own experience. When I was severly overweight (as opposed to now when I'm still a pudge, but not freakish), if someone asked me if I was hungry, I'd jokingly say, "I've been hungry since I was twelve." Sadly it's not that off base. So, for me, the only way to stay a healthy weight has been to ignore hunger signals and eat in a measured, planned way. I think if someone sprinkled fairy dust on me and told me I could eat what I want and maintain a healthy body, I could make eating an Olympic event.
I have the discipline to do it, but it sure would be nice to be able to know, "Oh, that's not really hunger, that's _____," or "Oh, there we go, my body really needs food."
Or maybe there isn't one right answer. Grok must've known hunger occasionally, yet s/he also knew there were times of feast and times of famine. So, when there was an abundance of food, perhaps she ate and got a bit pudgy. Then if food was scarce for a few days (or longer?), he lived off his fat stores. But in my world, there are no natural times of no food, only self-imposed ones.
Maybe my appestat (a silly word from many decades ago) is just broken. :p
If I eat a lot of meat by itself for a meal, like say 3/4lb of fatty hamburger (not the lean kind), I can go all day without getting hungry.
I have a tendency to start eating leaner, less fatty things over time. When I start getting hungry too often, I eat some fatty meat and that really seems to help. It doesn't just take the edge off hunger but removes any desire to keep nibbling on stuff.
This has actually worked on other things besides just meat. For example, the other day I filled an 8fl oz tub a little more than half way with almond butter at the healthfood store grinding machine and ate the entire thing for lunch with a banana and some goat yogurt. I wasn't hungry for snacks for several days after (I still ate meals, but that wanting to nibble or have dessert was gone). I also ate a whole 12.5oz can of chicken in broth (24g fat) with a potato several days ago and wasn't as hungry as normal for a few days (I still ate my normal meals but no desire for snacks and things). Basically, the type of fat and the presence of a little natural carbs hasn't really hurt this effect.
Anymore, I only eat once or twice a day. I typically find myself not hungry until around 4 pm in the afternoon on most days. On those days, I do not eat until dinner time. I ignore the first hunger signal (stomach growl) and by the time I have dinner ready, I am really ready to eat...salavating type hungry. Occasionally, I do find myself hungry when I wake up in the morning and will have some eggs, meat, veggies for breakfast. The mornings that I find myself hungry are usually when I didn't eat a lot of fat with the prior dinner.
[QUOTE=MaverickBris;1022262]When I am bored at work - suddenly my stomach starts wanting food, and giving me fogging brain - almost like its tricking me into eating. But the days I am busy I have no hunger pangs, and also often will get to about 2pm and think "I better have lunch sometime soon!"[/QUOTE]
Man, this sounds exactly like me. I mean, I know what it's like to want to eat purely out of boredom, but this is different--I get the same type of very convincing hunger signals (i.e., not cravings, but actual stomach growling and inability to concentrate) every day before lunch... unless I happen to be really busy, in which case I hardly notice, and I only get normal-hungry later.
[QUOTE=JoanieL;1022341]Grok must've known hunger occasionally, yet s/he also knew there were times of feast and times of famine. So, when there was an abundance of food, perhaps she ate and got a bit pudgy. Then if food was scarce for a few days (or longer?), he lived off his fat stores.[/QUOTE]
Haha, I've definitely thought about that sometimes when I can't stop thinking about whatever snack is in the same room/building/neighborhood as me... As in, maybe I'm not crazy--evolutionarily, how am I supposed to know refrigerators and preservatives exist, and this isn't my last chance? :p Of course, I'm pretty sure bodies are supposed to adapt to different levels of food availability... So apparently my appestat is also broken.
[B]sbhikes:[/B] Interesting about snack hunger vs. meal hunger... I don't think I've ever noticed anything like that, but I think I ought to start paying attention to it more. Thinking about this more is making me realize that while I definitely can't let myself eat at will, I should probably be paying more attention to how my body actually feels about eating.
I'm still trying to sort all of this out, but here's one tidbit from [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunger_%28motivational_state"]Wikipedia[/URL] I thought was interesting:
[INDENT]"When hunger contractions start to occur in the stomach, they are informally referred to as hunger pangs. Hunger pangs usually do not begin until 12 to 24 hours after the last ingestion of food. A single hunger contraction lasts about 30 seconds, and pangs continue for around 30–45 minutes, then hunger subsides for around 30–150 minutes. Levels of hunger are increased by lower blood sugar levels, and are higher in diabetics."[/INDENT]
Of course, other pages go on to say that appetite regulation is incredibly complex and governed by all sorts of systems... But I find it interesting that "hunger pangs" are not typically supposed to start until 12 hours after eating! Another section talked about hunger pangs being caused by nutrient depletion (e.g., glucose and fat)--so I still suspect that it might be a fat-burning issue.