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Calorie Count Blog

How To Quench Your Hunger


By Igor on Mar 03, 2009 01:40 PM in Tips & Updates

As studies continue to suggest something that we've all known for a long time, reducing calories is the key to losing weight. But how do you choose which calories to cut? And how do you reduce your intake without feeling hungry? The answers to these questions can be found in a concept called Crowding Out.

The basic idea of Crowding Out is to make sure that you never feel hungry. Unlike most nutrition plans where one is asked to remove things or take things out of your diet, leading to feelings of deprivation and eventually giving up, one does quite the opposite. You make sure that you eat regularly and frequently. Eating more nutritious and nutrient dense foods satisfies cravings and feeds the body, leaving one satiated. Those bad feelings literally get crowded out.

You may be thinking that Crowding Out contradicts the concept of calorie counting and everything I've said in the past, but this is not necessarily the case. Let me make this clear: unless you consume less calories than you burn, you won't lose weight. Now, having said that, there are many ways to reduce calories, and some are certainly better than others. By Crowding Out AND counting calories, you are not only going to lose weight, but you will also do it in the healthiest and most fulfilling way.

So what's the best way to get started? Add fruits and vegetables to every meal. Drink lots of water. Keep a steady supply of raw almonds or walnuts, avocados, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and goji berries in your vicinity. But whatever you do, don't forget the first and the last rule of calorie counting: log everything you eat and always be aware of how many calories you have left for the day.

Has anyone tried Crowding Out? Do you find it to be a useful concept, or do you think that adding additional goals could be counter-productive?



Comments


I am careful to not overload any one meal with too much bulk. The stomach stretching effect makes me hungrier later. If I keep the meals small but frequent I have a much better chance of controlling the beast. :)



I find the log most helpful. I use it daily. But I have a weakness at about 10 pm that is hard to overcome.



Sometimes I'm lazy and don't want to log my calories and eat all day long wishfully hoping that I didn't go over my alloted calories.  Then, to no avail, I log my calories at the end of the day and find out I've underestimated my intake by at least 800 and forgotten to add all the little snacks I nibbled on throughout the day.  For me crowding out helps if I'm crazing a certain food, but if I try to do crowd out everday I just find myself making excuses to eat whatever I want.



Absolutely, 'Crowding Out' works.  It's simple - eat smaller portions more frequently - but it isn't easy.  Right now I'm following Chris Imbo's Peak 10 fitness program.  It includes strategies for developing an eating plan and I am enjoying excellent results!



Having difficulty keeping up the log to be honest.  Having done the logging for a week I can keep a fairly good count in my head now being much more aware of how many calories there are in certain foods and sticking to a limit per meal that then works out right for the day.
Managing to not get too hungry but there is nothing I can do to solve 9pm eveing meal time.



Original Post by: adrianhi

Having difficulty keeping up the log to be honest.  Having done the logging for a week I can keep a fairly good count in my head now being much more aware of how many calories there are in certain foods and sticking to a limit per meal that then works out right for the day.
Managing to not get too hungry but there is nothing I can do to solve 9pm eveing meal time.


Some people use the log every day, others only sporadically just to double-check their head calculations and estimates of calorie counts of their favorite foods. Both methods are fine, as long as you know how much you are eating.



I find that the best thing to do is to eat a decent amount of calories first thing in the morning, like 200-300 or so, and then as soon as I feel a litle hunger popping up I grab some carrots or celery, just til i don't feel the growling anymore. I keep doing that and I probably eat little bits about 5 times during the course of a work day but I'm not starved for dinner by the time I get home. I don't try to put as much emphasis on "meals" like i used to. If i'm hungry, i eat something, if i'm not hungry I dont.  And that also seems to allow room for even foods most ppl would totally cut out like cheese and red meat, because you can EASILY eat them in moderation when you are never "starving". My worst "bad days" have been when I couldnt get enough food in me throughout the day and then I splurge on a burger or something at night, and then feel terrible, but if i eat more continually I'm much more likely to forego the burger in lieu of a healthier food, or if I do choose to eat it, I only end up eating a small portion of what I would have otherwise.


It's surprisingly easy to do and would recommend it to anyone trying to lose weight. carrots and apples are particularly good i think cuz they ahve some sugars in them to satisfy the sweet tooth. bottom line, if you crave something bad, eat somethig good ANYWAY, even if you think that's totally not what you want, because as soon as it hits your mouth you'll forget your other craving and be satisfied with the healthy substitute.



I find that I cannot wait until the end of the day to post what I eat or I would be over all of the time. If I see that I am getting close to my calorie count it gives me the opportunity to offset what I want to eat with exercise or walking. Of course, I have only been doing this successfully - adding the exercise componant- for the past three days. But now instead of going through all of my calories I am finding that I am not getting to all of my calories alloted when I figure in what I have burned throughout the day. I am getting 7500 steps in a day and that makes a big difference for giving me the space I need in managing my weight control.

 

I guess the proof will be in the pudding as I continue to weigh in and report how I am doing. Cool



I have started bringing everything with me to work (pre callorie counted), small snack things like raw snow peas, sliced carrots (round shape like chips) Mixed fruit in cube form prepared at home,strawberries,pineapple, cantilope, honeydew mellon. Plus full apples and oranges. When i get hungry i dip into the supply. But i know once its gone, its gone so i plan it accordinglly.  



Another thing that really helps is whenever you feel hunger stop and think about why. When was the last time you ate? How much and what did you eat then? Are you ACTUALLY hungry (ie your stomach is growling) or do you just feel a need to eat? I ask myself those questions to figure out if I'm wanting to eat out of boredom or whatever, because if that's the case I'll make sure its a super low calorie, crunchy snack that I can mindlessly munch on. If i'm ACTUALLY hungry, I'll go for a higher protein/fiber snack to JUST satisfy the hunger and then wait an hour. If the actual hunger pains are gone then I'm good, if they are still there I know I need a few more calories and I'll return to low cal munchies til its gone. After an hour I find most times the hunger is gone and I've forgotten all about eating.



I am taking a course from a dietician.  She emphasizes the same thing.  Calories are the only thing that counts.  You should have something to eat every three to four hours, to keep your blood sugar level, and so you won't binge the next time you eat.

 



With exception of breakfast, I make sure I eat either raw veggies or salad with every meal.  At dinner I will even take a small portion of the main coarse and place it right on top of my salad, and eat the whole thing together-slowly, enjoying every little morrsel. It seems to work for me.



This has definitelyworked for me.  I used the theory without the slick name.  Just filled up on things that have a lower gi and 'stick' with you longer...and found that I was fuller.  Gotta love broccoli and cauliflower and oatmeal.

For the list of easy munchies, I include unsalted sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds.  You eat a handful of those and it keeps the metabolism going!



I did not know what it was called, but I began doing this day after Labor Day.  As of today I have lost 25 lbs.  And I write everything down during the day, then add prior to leaving my office I total what I have eaten so far.  This way I know how many calories I have avail for dinner & snacks while watching TV, as this was my worst time to eat.  And I ate snacks til I went to bed.  Now I am in control & keep a log of everything I eat.  I am lenient on the weekends and don't log, but try to control.  By eating 5 times before I get home, I do not get so hungry & eat anything that doesn't move..... 



I think the concept is good, but as for the advice about eating almonds, walnuts, etc. I've been having the urge to eat walnuts in the evening, and I have an very hard time stopping when I eat any nuts. Just a handful is 185 calories! I can't even allow myself to buy the more tasty nut mixes, or I'd eat half the container.

I recently bought a delicious healthful mix of dried cranberries, raisins and nuts, and forget it! I couldn't stay away from it, so I won't get it again.



I do Herbalife for 2 meals and snack so all I have to count is dinner. Lost 40 lbs so far!  My hubbie lost 45. We are actully now distributing it to friends and family who need to loose weight and have health problems. 



Original Post by: roseflr

I think the concept is good, but as for the advice about eating almonds, walnuts, etc. I've been having the urge to eat walnuts in the evening, and I have an very hard time stopping when I eat any nuts. Just a handful is 185 calories! I can't even allow myself to buy the more tasty nut mixes, or I'd eat half the container.

I recently bought a delicious healthful mix of dried cranberries, raisins and nuts, and forget it! I couldn't stay away from it, so I won't get it again.


That's a very good point. If you're having troubles stopping yourself, then don't even start in the first place - there are other foods that might work for you better.



mrb128...I can soo relate to eating too many almonds, nuts.  Are you getting enough healthy fat in your diet?  I have been making a breakfast shake with yogurt, milk and flax seed oil and it helps with the late nite cravings. 



I have a herbalife shake for both breakfast and lunch!  Then a colorful meal at night.  I have a protien bar for snack.



Original Post by: mugsymo

mrb128...I can soo relate to eating too many almonds, nuts.  Are you getting enough healthy fat in your diet?  I have been making a breakfast shake with yogurt, milk and flax seed oil and it helps with the late nite cravings. 


Yes, I do use olive oil for all of my cooking and for most of my salad dressing. I use 1 teaspoon butter about twice a week for making eggs, but rarely use butter otherwise.

After dinner I have trouble with cravings, and nuts or popcorn are high on the list. I use the light microwave popcorn, but a bag of that is still a big chunk of calories to add on to my otherwise reasonable daily total.



I make it a point to eat my veggies first, or at least most of them.  That way I am full on "the good stuff" before I move on to the things I need less of.

I am also a big fan of pre-portioning.  I use 1/2 cup containers.  They fit 1 serving of most crackers, nuts, egg, meat, fruit, yogurt or cottage cheese perfectly.  Fill 2 for a serving of vegetables.   Its perfect because I eat several mini meals during the day.  I pre-count the calories.  I can have whatever is in my bag and I get to eat the whole thing!

I also keep a box of low sugar instant oatmeal at work.  Should I really need something extra during the day it is right there and I am not tempted to hit the vending machine.



I have been using the Crowding Out method for a couple of years without knowing that it had a name. I have lost the weight I needed to loose and now just maintain a healthy lifestyle. Crowding Out definitely works. I never get hungry, I eat 5 times a day so my blood sugar stays at an even level all day. I choose healthy alternatives, have a small amount of good protein at every meal (yes, including breakfast). I prepare my breakfast, snacks and lunch the night before after supper. It is easier to make right choices when I am not hungry and ahead of time.

I log everything each day using FitDay software. It is quick and I don't have to count the calories, the software does it for me. Seeing where I am at in the day is motivating. If I am getting too high I jump on the treadmill before supper and burn the number of calories that I am over. I sometimes input what I PLAN to eat ahead of time to see where my calories, fat and sodium will be IF I eat what I plan. I can then make adjustments BEFORE eating if I don't like the results.

This works well for me, I have not gained any weight back for well over a year now.



A tip that works well for me to stave off the urge to eat in the evening is to brush my teeth before sitting down to watch TV. Brushing my teeth seems to signal my body that the food intake for the day is done and I don't get the urge to eat. Simple method but it works for me...



I don't do the crowding out, because I find that I just can't stop.  So I decided to allow the hunger pains to occur, and I find that I don't mind them so much.  It's all a part of keeping my calorie intake down and my exercise level higher.  So far I have lost approx. 15 pounds over the past 2 years (from 132 lbs to 115 lbs).  I feel great and think I look pretty good too.  I really try to keep myself disciplined, not just in how & what I eat but in my every day activities; striving to do better every day.  I think it works!



I have been doing this for 2 years and have lost 25 pounds.  I first I felt like I was eating more because I was eating more often, but the weight kept coming off.  I thought it was called grazing.  I bring my snacks to work and know that is what I can have through the day.  I bring apples, yogurt and cereal bars most often since they are convenient.



I could probably eat the whole container of raw almonds in one sitting watching TV.  To help solve this problem, I precount out 28 almonds into a smaller container so that I'm not sticking my hand mindlessly into a full container.  That has really helped and has allowed me to keep the good fats and fiber I get from almonds in my diet. 

Have you seen the single servings of microwave popcorn?  Those helped me quit eating the whole bag by myself.  They are lower in calories because you don't get more than one serving.  Another thing I've tried are the rice cakes flavored like popcorn. One small bag is only 90 calories.



I agree that it works! I concentrate on trying to eat healthy calories when I do snack and my craving for other foods is gone. One of my favorate afternoon pickups is a smoothie, made with kefir (or yoghurt) some milk, part of a banana and a few frozen unsweetened berries. It is rich, smooth and satisfying. It is a wonderful feeling to control what I eat and not be controlled by my appetite. I am taking off weight and no longer have stomach distress.



I totally agree! I have been doing the crowding out for some time now. People that I work with swear that I eat all the time, which, yes, is partly true. I eat the majority of calories before noon which I find keeps you going for the day.

I log the minute I am done eating it or before I eat it...it adds up fast so you have to be aware of what exactly you are putting in your mouth.. Carrots and celery even - I count those also!

I drink alot of water too which really helps. I have a minimum of 85 ozs in a day. Sugar free gum also really works for me!

 



This article is very good and hits the nail right on the head. My wife and I started a meal replacement program in June of 2008. I lost 61 pounds by the middle of October and have kept it off following the guidelines of our program. My wife has lost 63 pounds, and looks amazing I must say.  Eating 5 meal replacements 2 to 3 hours apart and one meal consisting of protein and fresh or cooked veggies. Hunger is not a problem or an issue as you regulate your blood sugars by eating small meals and eating every 2 to 3 hours. We have became Certified Health Coaches and are helping many other people obtain their weight loss goals and feeling great.



Good parents say:

Don't eat that, it will spoil your dinner!  

No dessert until you finish your dinner!

I guess they heard about Crowding Out



I believe counting calories and crowding out both work for me.  I try to have a healthy breakfast, about 350 calories.  Then a snack at mid morning, a healthy lunch, a mid afternoon snack and dinner.  I also plan out my whole day's eating ahead of time.  I allow for the late night munchies by planning a snack for then that is already budgeted in my daily calorie count.  I try to make snacks fruits or veggies during the day.  For late night munchies a caramel rice day with 1 tbsp peanut butter or almond butter usually satisfies my craving. I also feel cardio and strenth traing are equallly helpful when trying to lose weight and be healthy.  I am a person who has celiac disease so I have an edge...can't snack on anything containing wheat, rye or barley anyway...and if I want sweets like donuts or cake I would have to bake it from scratch.



I find this idea very intersting. I have been doing this with out knowing what its called.  What I do is I plan my meals at the begining of the day and I space out what I eat so that I eat basicly every 2 hours while I am at work.  Then when I get home I have Dinner and then a snack and it usually works out still to eating every 2 hours.  I have figured out that on my lightest activity day I burn a little over 2,300 calories so I have given myself 1,500 a day give or take 100. By doing this I end up eating before I actually feel hungry.  This way I don't get the urges to eat junk and because I don't wait until I am starving to eat I don't find myself over eating.  I just feel good all the time...  I have found that on days when I am working out and doing other things that I have to work at taking in enough calories to support those activities.  Of course those days are nice... add a cookie or two.. may not be good for you.. but its nice to have from time to time...



I agree it works.  I eat something about every 2=2 1/2 hrs and I write it down and still count calories.  I have not cut anything out except sweets and white bread.  So far 6 lbs in about 3 wks.  It is amazing how quickly you get used to eating 1/2 cup of pasta as opposed to a lb!!!!!You must eat BEFORE you get hungry.  That is key!!  And I don't crave in the evenings either. 



I say be good during the work week and have one day where you might indulge.  Just don't go crazy.  You have to get used to the feeling of light in your stomach aka a little hungry.



Aren't nuts very high in calories?  I don't see how those would help with crowding out AND keeping calories low...



I think I too have been doing the "Crowding out"method w/out knowing what it was called.  At first I was skeptical about nuts (high in calories), but nuts have some nutrients in it that you can't get from low-cal packaged foods; they also are a  source of non-meat protein. I make it a rule to never go over an ounce per day.



Original Post by: roseflr

I think the concept is good, but as for the advice about eating almonds, walnuts, etc. I've been having the urge to eat walnuts in the evening, and I have an very hard time stopping when I eat any nuts. Just a handful is 185 calories! I can't even allow myself to buy the more tasty nut mixes, or I'd eat half the container.

I recently bought a delicious healthful mix of dried cranberries, raisins and nuts, and forget it! I couldn't stay away from it, so I won't get it again.


A few years ago, the Almond Board sent me a tin that I call my "Nut Case".  It is a 2.5" X 2" X 1/2" metal box with a hinged cover that holds one serving of almonds (25).  I carry it with me a lot, and it reigns in my nut servings (especially of the almonds coated with honey and rolled in sesame seeds. Yum!)  Those little favor tins with the mints that you get at bridal showers and baby showers would probably work. 

 



"Crowding Out" (Grazing is what I thought it was called) has worked the best for me.  I always eat a big breakfast in the morning.  400-600 calories.  Eating a big breakfast stopped my hunger cravings later in the day.



10 pm seems to be a hard time for me, I am tring to escape that time of day or grab some fruit instead of the cookies. Roger i Western NY



I've been studying nutrition for years now, and everything I've read supports this concept.  The body needs regular and high quality food intake to function properly.  It's amazing what it can adapt to (while at college, I literally lived off vending machine fodder), but to function at peak efficiency we need to eat regularly, and eat nutrient dense food.

I fall off the wagon from time to time because of all the bad habits I'm fighting, but when I live this way the weight comes off fairly easily, I don't feel hungry, and my energy levels soar.



I do find that Crowding Out works, my only issue is that I have diverticulitis and cannot eat nuts.  Does anyone have any suggestions on substitutions for nuts?

 

 



my trick is to eat healthy frozen meals with a pile of spinach or greens. Just heat the meal (300 calories or so ones) and dump in a bowl with a bunch of spinach. It bulks up the meal and fills you up way more! Plus it takes me longer to eat it which is great! I am actually sitting at my desk and eating such a lunch right now! My favorite the Vegetarian Masala from the Eating Right line from Safeway! 



Celery and sweet peas save me when I just want something to munch on all day.  You can eat a lot for very low calories.  Also almonds really fill me up and the new cin sugar almonds by Blue Diamond are so good!  With very few extra calories than the raw ones.  



Avoid high fructose corn syrup!  One taste will bring on hunger the rest of the day for me.  Also, get enough sleep--at least 7 or 8 hours/night.  Otherwise, calorie logging and vigorous exercise works for me.  I am crossing my 6-month point in a few days and I have lost 13.5 inches and about 25 pounds--not phenomenal, but steady progress according to my plan to lose about 1-1.5 lbs/week.  But logging does get to be a drag, especially when you have to cook everything from scratch to avoid excessive sodium and trans fats.  Fifty years of bad habits don't go away in a few months.  Also, eat foods that deliver a lot of satisfaction for little calorie input--like oranges, apples, potatoes, bananas, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, raw broccoli.  Fruits and veggies are key because they give you the fiber to fill you up without calories.  



P.S.  Online calorie logs are TOO SLOW!  I use my own spreadsheet--much faster, and easier to track the exact foods we buy.

 



It's nice in theory to eat frequently and well, but I am a social worker. I am the only employed member of my family and I work six days. When at my desk (on the days I get to sit down) we are overwhelmed with doughnuts, candies, bagels, lots of other junk. Some days I barely get the chance to eat at all. I have logged faithfully every day from Feb 9 to today, but about 10pm the stress of running around all day does get to me. I am a large woman and I average about 1800 calories daily. I exercise with Jazzercise frequently, about three to four times a week. Weight loss is erratic, some weeks better than others. I brown bag-it, usually spinach salads. how do other high stress jobs cope??  PS: I never find that nuts are worth the calories at the end of the day.



I need a menu of a whole weeks worth of low fat, weight losing recipes!  Any body have a web site or place where I can print out a weeks worth.  I work 10 hours a day so this planning ahead may be my life saver and weihgt loss miracle.



Is the Herbalife a drink? or powdered food you add water too? How long did it take to lose the 40 pounds?



I think water plays a huge role in weight lose. I drink a large glass before the meal and another during. I also have been dring tea primarily green tea but I mix it up a bit with  Irish Breakfast Tea and others.  At night instead of cheese and crackers or chips I grab Hummus and celery sticks. In addition I have completly eliminated high fructose corn syrup from my diet, Doc says it turn right to fat.  hope this helps.........



Original Post by: deenatello

It's nice in theory to eat frequently and well, but I am a social worker. I am the only employed member of my family and I work six days. When at my desk (on the days I get to sit down) we are overwhelmed with doughnuts, candies, bagels, lots of other junk. Some days I barely get the chance to eat at all. I have logged faithfully every day from Feb 9 to today, but about 10pm the stress of running around all day does get to me. I am a large woman and I average about 1800 calories daily. I exercise with Jazzercise frequently, about three to four times a week. Weight loss is erratic, some weeks better than others. I brown bag-it, usually spinach salads. how do other high stress jobs cope??  PS: I never find that nuts are worth the calories at the end of the day.


Deenatello wrote:

"how do other high stress jobs cope??"

I work in software development, which ideally shouldn't be all that stressful, but my company has a history of doin' it wrong (just for the record: No, I don't work for MicroSoft! :D), so we wind up putting in 12-hour+ days on critical, immediate deadlines when a big release is pending.  Recently, we kept this up for four straight months.

I'm a high-intensity, hyperactive person who can't handle long periods of sitting, so the sitting down alone stresses me out.

I handle it a number of ways:

1) I don't actually eat frequently.  I normally just eat a good, solid breakfast (2 packets of oat meal, LOL), then don't eat again 'til lunch time.  However, whenever I have fresh apples, I keep a couple in my messenger bag, so if I do have a sudden attack of the munchies, I can scarf one down. 

Not to sound too much like a corporate sloganeer, but apples really are nature's perfect snack -- they don't have to be wrapped or refrigerated, require no preparation, are high in fiber and lots of other things that are good for you, and can help you keep going until you can refuel for real.  Plus, they taste great and come in a number of varieties.

2) I have learned to say 'no thanks' to the ubiquitous donuts most of the time -- once in a while, I'll take one, but recently I've found they're not worth it.  However, part of that process is making sure they're not sitting on my desk (since they tend to just be plonked down wherever the donut-donor sees fit) -- because if they're there, I'm going to be thinking about food, and even if I don't eat a donut, I may find myself eating something else that's not in the plans.

3) I make my weight-loss process not about deprivation, but about losing weight and getting fit and healthy (and, now, about attaining some other goals; see below) -- some of the foods I eat regularly fall into the 'bad' category for most people (pizza, for example), but I make sure to keep the portions in line with my caloric goals.  That way, I don't do the frustration/deprivation rebound thing tha seems to hamstring a lot of dieters.

4) If I want to hit the candy jar, I chew gum instead.  If I really, really need one piece of chocolate once in a while, though, I don't beat myself up if I go for it.  The trick is not reaching for another one afterwards.

5) This part will be harder for you, because you have a family, which means you probably already get less 'you' time than I was getting.  However, for me, the turning point was putting my foot down and deciding that I was going to do one thing that made me really happy -- one thing I felt real passion for.

I started taking a Muay Thai class -- initially, just two evenings a week, but I'll be stepping it up to three.  It's one hour each class (I'm just taking the conditioning class so far; the fight class is 1.5 - 2 hours).  Those two or three hours a week doing something that really moves me, something I feel passionate amount, have made it profoundly easier to make it through the forty or more I spend at work, doing a job that frequently drives me up a wall.  Likewise, two to three hours a week wailing on a heavy bag definitely works off some of the frustration and stress!  :D

Moreover, because what I chose is a physical activity that requires an exacting level of fitness, I have a more powerful motivation than anything I could've come up with on purpose -- when I want to reach for a donut, or a second candy, I remind myself that I'm an athlete in training.  One little chocolate a day might taste good and confer some benefit, but more than one won't help make the machine that is my body run more smoothly.

You, as someone who does Jazzercise freuqently, can think of yourself that way, too -- don't think of yourself as an overweight person trying to slim down; think of yourself as an athletic machine that deserves to run on premium fuel only.  I find that it makes it easier to fight the temptations of the office!

The last bit: remember, if your overall weight trend is downward, even if it's erratic -- you're doing something right!

And I agree with you about the nuts, btw :D



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