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Stop Eating when I'm not Hungry


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So recently I've been listening to my body and I've come to recognize when I'm full.  This is good, and an improvement.  However, unless I'm absolutely stuffed, or out of calories for the day, I'm still tempted to eat more just for the flavors.  It's not really an emotional thing, but just like this fixation on food where I just... like to eat.  Sure, I don't overeat, but I need to listen to these cues so that when I do finally reach my goal weight, I can eat intuitively.

How can I learn to stop eating when I'm not hungry?  Perhaps sometimes I eat due to boredom, but most of the time I think I just like food.  Does anyone have any suggestions?

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The human race has survived and thrived, in part, because we're omnivores and we can pack away extra food when it's available and store it as fat so that we don't drop dead the second there's a food shortage!!!  It's only in relatively modern times that we've had to learn to curb our enthusiasm and tailor our food intake to match our immediate (and greatly reduced) energy needs... Some of us are less good at it than others.  Smile So don't think of yourself as abnormal.  It's good that you  enjoy eating...  People that don't enjoy eating are very odd fish.

If you're not all that hungry but your 'teeth are bored' (as my son says) then you can snack on things like raw vegetables and you're not going to mess up your waistline.  You can make your main meals more filling by adding lots of extra veggies.   There are things you can do to help you recognise the full cues... eating more slowly, not eating at the same time as doing other things.  Finally, you may always be one of those people that's able to eat just a little more....  but if you're aware of that, you can work around it.

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I have this same problem.  I've fallen off the wagon for a bit, but am ready to get back on.  For me, munching on anything - even veggies, just encourages more munching.

A few tricks:

Once you have reached the full point, brush & floss.  If you are lazy like me, this will make you less willing to eat so you don't have to do it again.

Don't watch TV.  Have you noticed how often people eat in shows?  Whatever they are eating, I start to crave it - even when I'm full. 

Do something that requires concentration or both your hands.

Have a big glass of water around.

Use the will power wisely.  It is easier to say, no I won't even go to the kitchen, then to say I'll just eat this one piece of chocolate.

Enlist outside help, get your partner/friend/roommate to ask you if you are hungry if you suggest getting a snack (or even asking yourself this question can help.)

Very flavourful, balanced meals help avoid the craving for more flavour.

Original Post by gi-jane:

 

If you're not all that hungry but your 'teeth are bored' (as my son says)

Quote of the century. That's exactly how I feel sometimes!

 

I know what you mean about wanting to keep eating just because it tastes good, not that you are hungry.  That's something I have to fight in myself also.  One thing that's helped (as I stare at half my takeout deli sandwich that I wrapped up) is I set part (usually half) of the food aside and tell myself that I'll just eat it later.  Usually if I wait 15-20 minutes, I don't really want it that bad anymore.  If I still really want it after that time, most likely I'm still actually hungry.

For me, I tend to overeat when I'm bored.  So the key, I think, is keeping  yourself busy!  Read a book, or go for a walk.  Go to the gym if you have free time, or call a friend.  You don't need to eat if you're not hungry.  Take a moment to ask yourself before you eat, "Am I actually hungry?"  You may be surprised by the answer.  Here are some things I do if I'm craving food/flavor:

  • chew sugar free gum
  • chew on ice
  • drink water (add lemon if you prefer)
  • drink diet soda, or crystal light
  • go for a walk (away from the fridge)
  • Make a "slushee" of crystal light, water, and lots of ice cubes
  • eat a mint
  • log on to calorie count
  • read a magazine
  • drink tea or coffee
  • eat something like celery (only 5 cals)
These are essentially calorie-free things you can do instead of eating when you're not hungry.

A cup of 5 cal chicken broth is handy, too when you want something that gives that warm and salty food taste. The problem is tons of sodium though

If you`re doing it just for the aroma, how about incense sticks or scented candles? I have some cinnamon incense that is to die for, and a friend once lit a coffee scented candle and it was pretty nice. You can find a ton of fruity flavours, vanilla and chocolate variations are also common. A slight inconvenient might be the fact that they don`t make any that smell like freshly baked bread or roasted fish.

I have this problem too because my hunger scale is either my stomach is rumbeling or its not and i dont really ever feel full unless i eat a huge amount, yesterday i ate a whole cooked meal and at the end i could have easily eaten it all again.

I think the teeth brushing is a great idea, but if you cant/too lazy to brush your teeth then try peppermint Tea (brewed so its strong) Its about the only thing that makes me feel like i dont need to eat.

i think that my biggest problem is that i like food too much!  i just wanna eat, but hate the fact that it comes along with gaining weight as well.  

i say : 

brush your teeth

chew gum

chew ice!  i love ice.

read a book/magazine

or get outside and do something productive!

I've just started to do the same thing, try to eat intuitively  I think just realizing you are full and still wanting to taste the food is a great improvement.  I think in time you'll stop yourself and not eat after you are full. It is just going to take connecting the dots.  

  I sat with my husband the other night...while he ate cheese dip and chips..and I didn't have a bite.  I told myself..."if I do this just to do it...I'll never be in control."  It felt good to walk away winning.  

AS I write...I'm headed to meet him for dinner.  He's already mentioned getting a bottle of champagne at the restaurant...I'm really  not in the mood for it..nor do I desire it.  So I will say no to that tonight too...when normally I'd cave.

 

 

Original Post by swimfan93:

For me, I tend to overeat when I'm bored.  So the key, I think, is keeping  yourself busy!  Read a book, or go for a walk.  Go to the gym if you have free time, or call a friend.  You don't need to eat if you're not hungry.  Take a moment to ask yourself before you eat, "Am I actually hungry?"  You may be surprised by the answer.  Here are some things I do if I'm craving food/flavor:

 

  • chew sugar free gum
  • chew on ice
  • drink water (add lemon if you prefer)
  • drink diet soda, or crystal light
  • go for a walk (away from the fridge)
  • Make a "slushee" of crystal light, water, and lots of ice cubes
  • eat a mint
  • log on to calorie count
  • read a magazine
  • drink tea or coffee
  • eat something like celery (only 5 cals)
These are essentially calorie-free things you can do instead of eating when you're not hungry.

Definitely true! And I've found that engaging my brain in an activity totally distracts me. If I'm watching TV - that won't cut it, I'd still be thinking of food. But reading, or playing piano or something where my brain has to work by itself - totally distracting and works!

What has been working for me is I prepare myself a plate that I feel is my entire meal.  If I finish it and still want to nibble a bit more, I just tell myself I will if I still want it in 5 minutes. 

Usually I am distracted by conversation or something and I forget about it.

How do you guys handle eating at work?  I can never predict when I can get my breaks, so I eat when I can.  If I don't, I may not be able to eat until I'm starving, which means that I overeat at home after work.

Does anyone else have this dilemma?  How do you get around it?

I recognize this so so well. I used to keep munching endlessly on all sorts of things, just because, as someone said, my "teeth were hungry" (excellent expression!) I have managed to conquer it though, by some specific tactics. Perhaps they can help you too.

1. Avoid environmental triggers. Usually it is a certain environment that makes you snack in this way. Being at home, studying, watching TV etc. Start paying attention to these environmental cues and do what you can to avoid them.

2. Brushing your teeth is a good one. You don't really want to eat anything after brushing your teeth.

3. Chromium supplement. I was recommended to take Chromium, and it has been one of my best friends in reducing food cravings in general. It takes away sugar-craving after just a couple of days, and that general craving for food.

4. Rewire your reward-pathways. The reason you snack is because your brain has developed an addiction to the dopamine release which occurs when you snack. That short, but sweet feeling of 'euphoria' when making the often spontaneous decision to grab something from the fridge, is caused by a dopamine release, which is similar to what gamblers get when they gamble, or what drug addicts get when they know they are about to get their drug. Regular snacking is actually an addiction behavior. What you can do is rewire this pattern, by simply changing the way you think about not-snacking. Eat smaller meals every couple of hours. E.g.: 150-200 calorie meals every 2 - 2,5 hrs. Plan out your meals for the day (easy on CC), what to eat and when, and allow yourself to really soak in the "victory" of having accomplished each meal. After only a few days, new neuronal pathways will have been made in the brain, which will trigger a dopamine release every time you "get it right". This means you will actually start to crave your small, healthy meals.

5. Fasting. This is not for everyone, but for me personally, it has been a tremendous important aspect of getting rid of unhealthy food cravings and losing weight. One day is even enough to rid yourself of craving, although 3-5 days is ideal. No solid foods for a couple of says, only tons of water and fruit/vegetable juice, is one of the best remedies for food addiction. After the fast, you will feel first of all feel fantastic, your body will have started to detoxify, resulting in a feeling of being 'pure'. Your appetite will be directed at healthy foods. Moreover, you will feel full on less food, and your cravings will be gone. There are bad and good ways of fasting, and if you are seriously considering it, feel free to send me a message.

6. Drink more water! When you think you had enough, have more, and even more!

fasting ! That works for me , it really does . i do it like a day and a half , and before i know it ill get full on a half a bowl of soup , and ill have a flatt belly in no time ! 

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