Hunger signals broken...
Having dealt with fairly disordered eating patterns my whole life, it's pretty apparent to me that my hunger signals, or my brain's interpretation of them, are really messed up. The whole idea of eating when I'm hungry and not eating when I'm not is clear enough, but I just can't seem to get a handle on it. I'm terrible for just grabbing bites of this and that throughout the whole day and there are so many times where I'm getting dinner ready and realize I'm not at all hungry, but hey, there's dinner to be had, so I eat anyway.
I've been reading up the past few days on IF and am curious if trying it (thinking of eating in an 8hr window each day) may help me get more attuned with what hunger really feels like and am wondering if any of you ladies here have experience with the same or can offer up any other suggestions?
I'm with you on this! It's only early days for me to eat like this.... I have done a few short fasts, 16 hours being the longest and I found it really helped with listening to my body. I am still guilty of grazing a fair bit on rainy days and I know I shouldn't really but at least it's all primal. I'm much more relaxed around food and I don't panic half as much at the prospect of going without nowadays!
I'm not a lady, but I can say that IF is not normally recommended for anyone with eating disorders in their history. You would probably do better to actually track your calories and plan your meals rather meticulously at first. Only after you have allowed your body time to heal and reset your intuitive eating powers might you consider transitioning to the "eat when" sort of approach. Till then plan your three meals and don't snack would be my recommendation.
I totally agree that the whole "Eat when hungry, stop when not" is only applicable to people with well functioning metabolisms. Now that I have one and am at goal weight it works beautifully but when I was overweight, I saw it as the biggest crock ever.
Just generally getting healthier will help you regain that satiety mechanism however you do that.
This is JMO, but IFs are great if you are already fat adapted. If not, they are very stressful to body and mind. For more about fat adaptation, see Marks article on being "a Fat Burning Beast". IFs can indeed help you sort out what is real somatic hunger from just peckishness (i.e. That looks yummy. I want some of that.)
OTOH, eating when you are not really hungry is not a good idea at all. I understand the social aspect of eating with the family in the evening but perhaps thinking about this meal could stop you from random munching earlier and guarantee that you do have a real appetite.
This is the first time I've done this, but I am going to recommend something controversial here. The Potato Diet. Don't beat me up (Paleobird...), I won't make a habit of it!
Anyway, many who have tried the Potato Diet, see http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread72366.html or http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread67137.html have reported a new found relationship with food and hunger. Since you are just wanting to re-establish that link and maybe not just wanting to drop 4 or 5 lbs, you could use any food really.
With the Potato Diet, the user makes a conscious decision to eat only one food (potatoes). All other choices are off the table, so to speak. After a day or two, many report they no longer have much interest in eating and can truly wait until they are hungry to eat again. After one eats, there are no snacking options--except more potatoes--and that drives the desire to snack away in a hurry.
Many have also reported that after 5-7 days of just potatoes, they have a new-found respect for eating and hunger signals. Those after-dinner handfuls of almonds or sneakily eaten cheeses aren't so appealing any longer. Emotional and habitual eating patterns are HARD to break. You really have to try hard to break them. The potato diet is a fairly healthful, short-term way to re-establish your relationship with food. Try it for a couple days at least, you never know!
You know, Otzi....I might just give that a whirl when I get back from my holiday. Potatoes you say? Well, the Irish thrived on them for years and years didn't they?!
All I meant by disordered eating is that I've never been a 'three squares, two snacks' kind of person. I graze most days which might not be so detrimental if I wasn't having two or three hearty meals along with. As a child and through my teenage years I struggled with binge eating but since getting my weight (relatively) under control this hasn't been an issue.
I do consider myself fat-adapted at this point...going for hours without eating isn't an issue (pre-Primal is certainly was and in a lot of cases eating something after going many hours without would trigger reactive hypoglycemia, which I'd then eat more to offset, and so on...) and it's not abnormal for me to work out in a semi-fasted state (late morning with not much besides some coffee and supplements in my belly). At this point, it's more about sorting out the psychological aspect of hunger - learning to ignore the 'head hunger', as it were. I have fat to lose and I know that just eating less is going to be the ticket to accomplishing that, and I know I'd be eating less through the day if I was only eating when I was truly hungry.
Thanks for your comments!
Otzi, dearheart, I would never beat you up.
Originally Posted by otzi
That said, <hehehe>,the reason the potato hack works is because it ends up being a very low calorie short term crash diet. There is a reason why they are called "crash" diets, BTW. There is some combination of satiety and boredom that makes eating less preferable to yet another dry potato. (I would die of starvation on this hack because I really don't like spuds.)
If someone truly wanted to get in touch with their real hunger signals, I think a fast would be healthier. The spud hack gives you the low calories but it also gives you enough calories to keep the autophagy mechanism that works in a fast from kicking in. Autophagy is housecleaning at a cellular level and can be very beneficial to the body.
Last edited by Paleobird; 12-21-2012 at 12:03 PM.
Funny you mention that, Otzi...I've spent countless hours this week trudging through the potato hack threads...perhaps I'll give this a go in the new year, because the positive comments I read regarding the increased awareness of hunger signals when eating only potatoes seemed encouraging.
Before Primal, I was a horrible snacker...I could never get full. Oreos, ice cream, Pringles...from dinner til bed time. Since Primal, I am way better and normally only eat twice a day, noon and evening meals, but every now and then I find myself snacking. Snacking on primal foods, but snacking nonetheless.
Originally Posted by lemontwisst
It's been several months since my last go at the Potato Diet, but I still find myself thinking back to when I was doing it and not snacking, it gives me pause when I think I need to eat after dinner--and that pause is all you need to let your conscious mind overrule your unconscious mind, if that makes sense.
Way before Primal, I went to a hypnotist to try to stop snacking. I don't think the hypnotism worked, but he gave me a suggestion that I still use to this day. When you reach for a snack, stop, make a really tight fist and say "NO!". Pondering on this, I think that it is the mental 'pause' that makes this work. Same as when you are on only potatoes. You instinctively know that anything besides a potatoes is wrong.
Let us know if you try it and if it works!