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Thread: Preoccupied with thoughts of food all day...need advice page

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    MarissaLinnea's Avatar
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    Preoccupied with thoughts of food all day...need advice

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    I was going to put this response on another thread but I don't want to hijack it. I appreciate any input. I'm a little over two months Primal.

    I too am having difficulty trying to figure out what to do with my thoughts. My whole day used to be consumed with counting calories, logging all my meals, trying to stay within a certain calorie range only to blow it several days out of the week by binging on sugar after dinner. Then the whole next day I would have a total guilt-fest, work out really hard to make up for said binge and promise to do better......only to repeat the cycle again in a day or two.

    Now, I don't log my calories or meals (unless it's in my journal on here) and my cravings are getting better and better, but I still always have food on the brain for some reason. Is that normal? I wake up and think about breakfast, then I work out and try to decide if I'm really hungry, or if my body is just "used to" eating at that time, but I usually eat. Then my mind is consumed with whether or not I will have a snack in the afternoon, for whatever reason my mind tells me that not having a snack is better (like, I should be able to make it to dinner without eating a snack after having lunch) but most times I have a snack anyway and then I move on to thinking about dinner, getting that prepared and eating it. After that, my mind moves on to after dinner snack......I feel like my behaviors are the same as before on SAD, but that I'm not necessarily hungry like before, like hunger pangs in the stomach kind of hungry, but for some reason there is constantly food on my mind even still and it's kinda frustrating. So I'm wondering, am I doing something wrong? Should I be eating more fat? Not sure what to do. At least my thoughts are mostly on Primal foods now instead of things that are bad for me, so that's progress. I just figured that once I got a couple months under my belt, my preoccupation with food would get a lot better because I'm not feeling like I'm starving all day long like I was before going Primal. I don't get the low blood sugar, shakes and gut wrenching hunger like I used to before. But I'm still thinking about food all day and it's annoying.

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    Sandra in BC's Avatar
    Sandra in BC is offline Senior Member
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    I'm always thinking about food too, (6 months primal) but my perception of and attitude toward food has changed with time. Honestly, I think hunter/gatherers always did too. You had to in order to know where your next meal was coming from.

    Now, I can think about food without the urge to consume it NOW. While I often have it in the back of my head what I'm going to eat NEXT, I don't dwell on it. I LOOK FORWARD to it. I can actually be hungry and delay eating without panic because I know that roasted chicken dinner or the yogurt & berries is up next. Planning actually gives me peace. Its when I don't plan that I make regrettable choices.

    Habitual behaviors usually start as a reaction to a specific situation or trigger. But even after the trigger is gone, the behavior remains. It takes time to develop new habits. You can start a new behavior (lifestyle, way of eating) but that doesn't mean the old habits disappear right away. There will be a "fake it till you make it" period where your brain catches up, and the new behavior becomes automatic.

    You may always have anxieties around food that pop up from time to time. Don't confuse thoughts and urges with actions.
    Sandra
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    There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo

    DAINTY CAN KISS MY PRIMAL BACKSIDE. ~~ Crabcakes

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    MarissaLinnea's Avatar
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    Thanks Sandra! Yes, I do the same thing. I think about food all the time. Doesn't mean that I have to eat it right then and there, but food is always on my brain and I'm always thinking about my next meal. I wonder also if it may be driven in part by the fact that I'm very physically active. I often wonder if I eat enough, but I usually eat till I'm satisfied. But then I always have this thing driving me to snack, so I wonder if I'm eating enough fat or what.....it gets confusing.

    I guess part of it too is that I wonder if I'm doing the "right things" as far as my eating goes. Like, I read so much stuff about how you should eat before working out, after working out, that you should eat immediately following a workout, or don't if you're not hungry, you shouldn't have to snack between lunch and dinner, if you do, you are not eating enough, or snacks are OK to have between meals.....there are so many opinions and advice about this way of eating. To be honest, it's hard to sift through it all and figure out what's the right thing to be doing. And I guess it should be as simple as "eat when you're hungry, don't eat when you're not" but for whatever reason, sometimes it's just not that simple for me.

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    Before Primal, I was all consumed, trying to figure out what to eat, when to eat. By the time I found Primal, I was exhausted by it all so it was good timing.

    And while I still think about food, it is mostly in terms of my journey & overall progress. I can even watch food shows now. But for some reason today, I have been hungry all day. I am not sure why. Maybe because the last few days have been low cal days. Didnt mean to, just worked out that way. I also did tabata on my elliptical first thing this morning. I havent done any structured work outs for quite some time. I have been very busy and active and plenty of sweating, but it has been in the form of landscaping and doing stuff here around the house. I thought I was doing good resisting for the most part, and was going to finish today with about 1400 calories for the day, but fried eggs sounded so good so I just had 3 of them. I can say I am finally... FINALLY satisfied.

    Ok, so the other thing I didnt do today, was stay as busy. When I keep my hands busy, like working around the house I do better. Today, I was still researching CT alot, so it was all right there in the forefront.

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    Sandra in BC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarissaLinnea View Post
    I guess part of it too is that I wonder if I'm doing the "right things" as far as my eating goes. Like, I read so much stuff about how you should eat before working out, after working out, that you should eat immediately following a workout, or don't if you're not hungry, you shouldn't have to snack between lunch and dinner, if you do, you are not eating enough, or snacks are OK to have between meals.....there are so many opinions and advice about this way of eating. To be honest, it's hard to sift through it all and figure out what's the right thing to be doing. And I guess it should be as simple as "eat when you're hungry, don't eat when you're not" but for whatever reason, sometimes it's just not that simple for me.
    I think all the blah blah blah about WHEN to eat in regards to working out is relevant if you have very specific fitness/body composition goals. Otherwise, listening to you body makes the most sense.

    Do I snack? Rarely. Its more like I eat 2 large meals and one small meal each day. Some people might consider my little meal a snack. I just don't have a need for "3 squares" a day. But this is in a typical day (and I work from home mostly, so my daily routines don't change much). When and what I eat can change with activity level, or where I happen to be working that day. Its ok for it to be fluid. Practice trusting your body.

    Do you feel full after a meal? Do you feel like you've had more than enough? I can go for hours without feeling hungry after a good meal. But only if its a top quality meal with adequate fat. Thats why I do better if I plan and/or prepare ahead for meals. I'll often have leftover dinner for my first meal of the day. If I eat a wimpy breakfast I feel like I was ripped off.
    Sandra
    *My obligatory intro

    There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo

    DAINTY CAN KISS MY PRIMAL BACKSIDE. ~~ Crabcakes

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    Neckhammer's Avatar
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    I don't see anything wrong with thinking about food. I spend a good deal of time planning for my next meal. Especially since I enjoy cooking with real/fresh ingredients.

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    I keep myself inundated with a steady stream of caffeine via green tea extract, yohimbe, coffee, matcha, yerba mate and Jack3d so that I'm too fidgety to worry about food.

    This is not healthy or recommended, but......it works.
    The whole concept of a macronutrient, like that of a calorie, is determining our language game in such a way that the conversation is not making sense." - Dr. Kurt Harris

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    MarissaLinnea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandra in BC View Post
    Do you feel full after a meal? Do you feel like you've had more than enough? I can go for hours without feeling hungry after a good meal. But only if its a top quality meal with adequate fat. Thats why I do better if I plan and/or prepare ahead for meals. I'll often have leftover dinner for my first meal of the day. If I eat a wimpy breakfast I feel like I was ripped off.
    I'm usually really good after breakfast, I never have a morning snack anymore, nor do I ever feel I need one. A lot of times for lunch I will have a steak or burger, BAS with a whole avocado and other veggies and sweet potato with a good amount of butter on it. I would say I feel satisfied after eating it, but many times I'm running to the pantry to get nuts or something an hour or two after eating lunch. I work out between breakfast and lunch. So maybe it's my workout that is triggering the thoughts of wanting to snack constantly. But even after I have a big dinner and I feel full, an hour or two later I'm in the fridge for berries and greek yogurt or coconut milk, every night, or an apple with almond butter. My mind won't stop thinking about it until I eat it, and sometimes it's more than one snack after dinner. I'm not gaining weight, so my only thought is that maybe I need more fat in my diet and that will calm the urge to snack so much, especially after working out.

    I suppose the only way to know for certain is to eat more fat, lol!!!

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    MarissaLinnea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaohinon View Post
    I keep myself inundated with a steady stream of caffeine via green tea extract, yohimbe, coffee, matcha, yerba mate and Jack3d so that I'm too fidgety to worry about food.

    This is not healthy or recommended, but......it works.
    No offense, but that doesn't sound very healthy, lol!! The point here is that I want to be healthy and not feel like I'm thinking about food all day long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    I don't see anything wrong with thinking about food. I spend a good deal of time planning for my next meal. Especially since I enjoy cooking with real/fresh ingredients.
    Well, I think it's the combo of thinking about food all the time and that urge/need to snack so much. It would be nice to have my meal and not have to think about it again until I feel an actual hunger pang. Maybe I'm just totally normal and over analyzing....

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