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Eat when hungry stop when full
Old 06-26-2012, 10:31 AM   #1
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Eat when hungry stop when full

Some of you may have heard of and tried this idea before.

To control weight, instead of counting calories, one simply tries to eat only when hungry and stop when full.

I'm having trouble telling if I'm really hungry or just bored. I try placing my hand on my stomach, closing my eyes, and envisioning how full my stomach is, but get varying results.

As for knowing when to stop, a lot of people say to also to hara hachi bu and stop when you're 80% full, which sort of works, but would probably fail if I ate ice cream or cake. Does anyone have any good ideas or experience with this?
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:37 AM   #2
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Some of you may have heard of and tried this idea before.

To control weight, instead of counting calories, one simply tries to eat only when hungry and stop when full.

I'm having trouble telling if I'm really hungry or just bored. I try placing my hand on my stomach, closing my eyes, and envisioning how full my stomach is, but get varying results.

As for knowing when to stop, a lot of people say to also to hara hachi bu and stop when you're 80% full, which sort of works, but would probably fail if I ate ice cream or cake. Does anyone have any good ideas or experience with this?
In theory that method could work.

I suspect that the problem is all the external cues that tell you it's time to eat now. For example the wife cooks dinner - time to eat. Break time, lunchtime - time to eat etc.

If you truly can set your own schedule it may work. The problem is getting your schedule to align with others around you.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:38 AM   #3
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I wouldn't think "eat when hungry stop when full" would serve you best. I'd say:
  • eat on a regular schedule 3 to 6 times a day and don't skip breakfast,
  • waiting until you're really hungry might lead you to overeat, and
  • eat one reasonable serving and wait 20 minutes. If you eat until you feel full, you will eat too much more often than not. #7 below is the one most people get wrong...best of luck.
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Weight loss should occur when you eat fewer calories than you burn. Increasing physical activity while limiting your calories will increase your rate of weight loss. Increasing physical activity will also help you to maintain your weight after weight loss. Discuss appropriate calorie levels and serving sizes with your dietitian.
1. Keep a written food and physical activity journal.
2. Weigh yourself once per week at the same time of day, with the same amount of clothing, and on the same scale.
3. Eat breakfast everyday and do not skip meals. Skipping meals can lead to extreme hunger, overeating and poor food choices.
4. Plan your meals and eat around the same time every day.
5. Pick an eating area at home and/or work.
6. Turn off the TV and/or computer during meals and snacks.
7. Eat slowly. Take 30 minutes for a meal. It takes 20 minutes before you feel full, so wait 20 minutes after your first serving before taking a second serving.
8. Eat protein foods first to help you feel full sooner.
9. Read food labels to help control portions of food.
10. Eat less fat and sugar. Eat more fiber, including fresh fruits/vegetables and whole grains.
11. Limit restaurant and fast food meals.
12. Don’t keep problem foods around the house and/or at work. A problem food is a food that you are likely to eat too much of or too often if readily available.
13. Drink at least 8 cups (64 ounces) of liquids per day. Focus on calorie-free, caffeine-free beverages.
14. Get adequate sleep each night (7-9 hours).
http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/transpl...eight_loss.pdf
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:02 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
all the external cues that tell you it's time to eat now.
It sounds like you've tried this before and the reality of family and life schedules made it a better theory than practice. What eating system have you settled upon now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack
waiting until you're really hungry might lead you to overeat
True. That is the problem. I want to eat when I'm sure I'm truly hungry, and when I get to the point where I'm starving, I know I'm not fooling myself. Yet as you say, waiting until starvation has downsides. I wish there were a blood meter I could prick myself with that gave me an objective reading of my true need for food.

#7 seems to be saying that one should not rely on bodily signals much and learn more to portion food in physical amounts.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:22 AM   #5
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It sounds like you've tried this before and the reality of family and life schedules made it a better theory than practice. What eating system have you settled upon now?
I have taken up the "Eat all-you-can Whenever-you-can" eating system.

I learned it from my dog.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:27 AM   #6
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#7 seems to be saying that one should not rely on bodily signals much and learn more to portion food in physical amounts.
in some sense, yes, but what it is saying is exactly what is written.......that there is a "full" sensor but you need to be aware that it is slow acting.....or
at least it is slower than your hands and feet. I have experienced many times finishing what's on my plate and still feeling hungry. However, by the time I get up and reload my plate, I am full but having "contaminated" the new serving with my old plate, I then feel compelled to finish that 2nd serving.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:52 AM   #7
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One problem I see is that many of the processed foods today are designed to activate your hunger which certainly could lead to over eating. However, I could see this working if your consuming healthy nutrient rich natural foods.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:26 PM   #8
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That is actually a tenet of Weight Watchers--eat when you're hungry (not starving), stop when you're satisfied (not full), and counting it against the daily/weekly allowance.

Crazy talk!
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:39 PM   #9
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... I want to eat when I'm sure I'm truly hungry, and when I get to the point where I'm starving, I know I'm not fooling myself. Yet as you say, waiting until starvation has downsides. I wish there were a blood meter I could prick myself with that gave me an objective reading of my true need for food.
...
The short answer is to avoid grains (all of them -- this include derivative products like "vegetable" oils) and sugars (all of them) until your body's feedback system repairs itself. You should make good progress doing just that, but if you don't, you will likely need to stop consuming dairy products also. (As to what is going on in your body to make you feel hungry at the same time you are gaining fat, your hormones and their associated receptors have gone haywire and are no longer responding as designed. You can google terms like "leptin resistance" or "insulin resistance" and get too much information; however, the therapy boils down to a version of the first sentence above.

As far as the whys, you can read "Wheat Belly" (Dr. Davis), "Protein Power" (Dr. Eades -- also visit his blog), "Art and Science of Low Carb living", and perhaps visit Dr. Einfeld's blog, starting here: LCHF for beginners | DietDoctor.com Of course, this is controversial at the moment, but the good thing is you can try it for yourself for a few months and see what happens for you.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:46 PM   #10
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Some of you may have heard of and tried this idea before.

To control weight, instead of counting calories, one simply tries to eat only when hungry and stop when full.

...........Does anyone have any good ideas or experience with this?
My normal habit is a good, filling breakfast every morning. About mid-morning I have a light snack, like apple sauce, fruit, a hand-full of nuts, or some such. Sometime around noon I have a light lunch, usually a sandwich of some sort, or just some crackers & cheese. Mid to late afternoon I grab another light snack similar to my mid-morning snack. Dinner hits between 6 and 8 o'clock, and that's normally my main 'big' meal of the day. Then a late evening light snack of some sort or another happens around 10 or 11 o'clock around the time of my nightly coffee run. Normal bedtime is around 1:00 a.m. for roughly 6 1/2 hours.

I don't eat that way for weight control, although my weight hasn't changed more than a pound or two, up or down, in several years. Rather i just do it because that way I never feel overly hungry or overly stuffed. If I'm overly hungry, chances are pretty good that I'll eat far too much, and then be overly stuffed! Also, I usually drink at least a gallon of liquids every day, most of which is my favorite....good ol' water!!! During hot weather or heavy activity, I drink even more!
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:53 PM   #11
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A good way to know whether or not you're really hungry, is to keep a bag of fresh peeled carrots, or fresh raw broccoli, or whatever veg you enjoy, in the frig. When you think you're hungry, decide if eating some of the veg sounds good. If not, then you are not really hungry for food. If there is no vegetable you enjoy, then you have more problems than are addressed by the hungry vs full situation.
If you must eat on other people's schedule, eat some of the veg first. Then limit your portion size to something reasonable.
This works for me, a formerly obese person who had to learn the cues as an adult.
As to when to know you are full, in addition to the above good suggestions, I would suggest setting down your fork on the table in between bites and waiting for a minute or two (or more) before the next bite. Also when eating, do nothing else (no reading a book, looking at the phone, etc.) And if you're uncomfortably full later, try to think about what cues you missed, and why.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:08 PM   #12
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Some of you may have heard of and tried this idea before.

To control weight, instead of counting calories, one simply tries to eat only when hungry and stop when full.
Sounds simple enough, but the problem is that it can take up to 20 minutes for your body to tell your brain it's full. So ideally the best time to stop eating is 20 minutes before you are full, but that's not something we usually will know in advance. By the time you *feel* full, you've been eating for another 15-20 minutes since you really were full.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:24 PM   #13
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I wish there were a blood meter I could prick myself with that gave me an objective reading of my true need for food.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:27 PM   #14
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MasterBlaster, your response sounds facetious yet I feel you are really trying to tell me something here. I assume everyone wants more or less to do what's best for their health, because it leads to happiness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgarling
The short answer is to avoid grains (all of them -- this include derivative products like "vegetable" oils) and sugars (all of them) until your body's feedback system repairs itself.
I will try that in the future at some point. Do you have any personal data (like TromboneAl's graphs of his blood pressure) that charts beneficial effects cutting out grains had on you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goonie
I don't eat that way for weight control, although my weight hasn't changed more than a pound or two, up or down, in several years. Rather i just do it because that way I never feel overly hungry or overly stuffed.
Wow, that sounds great. Your body sounds like a steam engine.
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Originally Posted by toofrugalformycat
When you think you're hungry, decide if eating some of the veg sounds good.
I like this idea! I just imagined how good it would taste to eat some spinach and came up with "pretty good, but not excellent." It does seem to match up with the actual need for food.
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Originally Posted by toofrugalformycat
Also when eating, do nothing else (no reading a book, looking at the phone, etc.)
What is the mechanism by which this helps a person correctly feel their fullness? Does paying more attention to each bite help the stomach and brain signal to each other fullness, or something?
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:38 PM   #15
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Also when eating, do nothing else (no reading a book, looking at the phone, etc.)
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What is the mechanism by which this helps a person correctly feel their fullness? Does paying more attention to each bite help the stomach and brain signal to each other fullness, or something?
It's the opposite. If you're distracted watching TV or something else while eating, you're more likely to eat (mindlessly) and not stop until you're beyond full, uncomfortably so. This all ties in again with you don't know you're full until 20 minutes later. Put a moderate/reasonable portion on your plate, finish it, and wait 20 minutes. Odds are you'll feel satisfied/no longer hungry if not full...

I won't get into the debate, but I'd encourage you to read up on both sides of the various low carb diet approaches. For every convincing article/anecdote promoting LCHF, there's another every bit as convincing citing associated risks. I know 3 people who went on Atkins, 2 under physicians supervision. They all lost weight, 2 reached dangerously high cholesterol levels and were advised to quit by the same supervising physicians :cool smiley: and all three quit and regained all the weight and more. While it appears the American diet has evolved to include (way) too many carbs, especially simple (vs complex), I'd be wary of any extreme diet focused on certain foods and forsaking other foods entirely. Americans simply eat too much in general as well it seems. YMMV

A little exercise goes a long way too. Losing weight without exercise is more difficult, impossible for some at least.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:44 PM   #16
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a friend once said, "If you don't know if you're hungry, you're not."
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:14 PM   #17
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I was a type 1 diabetic for about 40 years. When I had low blood sugar I felt the effects of adrenaline and felt uneasy and anxious. Then I'd eat a lot and feel better. My brain, because it was not stupid, said, Hmmm, eat more = feel better, well, then, LETS EAT! I always had high blood sugar and was skinny and peed all the extra sugar out, destroying my kidneys in the process. After I got a kidney/pancreas transplant I would make the appropriate amount of insulin for the food I ate and "ballooned out nicely," as Rodney Dangerfield once said. I gained 70 pounds in about two years. I also was under the effects of Prednisone, one of my anti-rejection meds (a steroid), which stimulates appetite.

Now I am eating slightly less and have cut out snacks and desserts and cookies and lunch and breakfast. I have lost 22 pounds in about 18 months.

Mike D.
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:18 PM   #18
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Wow, that sounds great. Your body sounds like a steam engine.
And when I wear all black, I resemble a steam locomotive!!!

BTW, one thing that I didn't mention, I eat a large tossed salad before dinner almost every evening! I love salads!!! Anyway, by eating a large salad (normally with v&o as dressing) before I load my dinner plate, I end up taking less food and thus eating less food.....less pasta, less taters, less fried stuff.
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:59 PM   #19
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I disagree with "...stop when full." I've struggled with weight problems most of my life. Twelve years ago I lost 50 pounds and kept it off since then.
I found the key is twofold: 1)as others mentioned, take a short break because the sensation of being satisfied doesn't register with the brain instantly, which can lead to overeating, and
2) Just recognize that stopping after no longer being hungry is enough. What is the worst case? Two hours later you might feel a tad hungry, but you'll survive until the next meal. This is a big attitude adjustment (at least it was for me), acknowledging that nothing catastrophic will happen if one happens to eat a smaller portion and finds himself/herself a little hungry later. Now over that mental hurdle, I no longer feel compelled to clean my plate - especially when confronting large restaurant-sized portions.
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Old 06-26-2012, 03:46 PM   #20
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I was away for much of the spring visiting friends and family and we ate out a lot. I discovered the virtues of asking the restaurants to pack up the uneaten portions of my meals to enjoy at a later time. I've never had a weight problem.- if anything, I am probably about 5-10 lbs too light.
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