Learning to live with hunger
Monday, January 10, 2011
It's funny how no one has a problem telling you exercise isn't easy...they say things like "no pain, no gain!" and "push past the pain!" But when it comes to diet and nutrition, no one will admit the obvious. It's not going to be pleasant. All the "fad" diets, and even most of the established programs like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc., advertise that their program will allow you to lose weight withOUT feeling hungry.
Well, I don't buy it. Sure, it's a lot of fun gaining weight. Cake, chips, fried food, whatever. Why should I expect that it won't be unpleasant losing weight? Why should I expect that won't have to live through some hunger or anxiety or boredom to get where I need to be? I saw a television program where someone trying to lose weight was consulting a nutritionist. The client was telling her that she didn't like this diet plan or that one, etc., because they left her feeling hungry. The nutritionist cut her short and said "well, learn to live with some discomfort." Wow! That was an eye-opener for me. People rarely say that about diet programs, but it's so true. In order for you to lose weight, you have to consume less calories than your body uses in a day. You SHOULD feel a little hungry. Not starving, mind you, but at least a little hungry.
This revelation has done a lot for me this week. If I feel a little hungry, and I start to think about food, I remind myself that I've had enough food today, and that I have to live with the discomfort. Then I try to take my mind off of it with some other activity. What I don't try to do is get rid of the discomfort...in other words, find something to eat. In the past, whenever I was trying to lose weight, if I was feeling hungry, I immediately looked for some way to "fix" the problem....and of course often ended up eating more than I should, not allowing my body to adjust to an appropriate amount of calories.
Of course, if I'm "starving" or REALLY hungry, with hunger pangs or a growling stomach, that's a different story. That requires a small snack or some adjustment to meal/snack times. And, of course, I remember to eat only enought to get rid of the hunger, not enough to fill me up.
So far, this strategy is working pretty well, but it's a hard thing to live with. I'm hoping my body will adjust and it will get less difficult.