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Thursday, 15 March 2007

Fill me up

Sometimes I want to eat because I am hungry. My stomach is rumbling and my energy is low. At this point in time, all I want is to have a full stomach. I don't really care what I eat as long as it fills me up. I feel like this first thing in the morning and at lunch time. This is the time when it is easy to eat the right things -- lots of protein and veges fill me up. I call this hunger satisfaction.

But around 4pm a weird thing happens. I want to put something nice in my mouth that will give me an emotional lift. You know the feeling - the chocolate rush, the sugar rush before the crash. Preferred snacks are sticky buns, muffins and of course a chocolate bar. Eating nuts or eggs or cheese doesn't cut it. I call this hunger gratification.

Now if resist the aforementioned buns, muffins or chocolate I come home from work with the double whammy. I am experiencing both a need for hunger satisfaction and gratification. I eat a healthy dinner as soon as I can make it, kind of fill my stomach but I still crave something for my mouth. Say hello to grazing for the rest of the night ... It's the old WW strategy of saving up your points during the day so you can eat junk at night.

Today I tried something different. When the 4pm cravings hit I had this secret concoction - full fat greek yoghurt with 1 tablespoon of psyllium husk. Now this snack had some interesting side effects. It mostly satisfied my gratification because it was thick and creamy and a bit like cheesecake and the psyllium absolutely took away the hunger pains.

Therefore my dinner was smaller and I had more time to think about what I really wanted. I am feeling now like I have finished eating for the night and I am satisfied.

Now those "intuitive" eating types will say "I told you so -- just listen to your body" but I don't trust my appetite because my brain is just as demanding as my body is at times.

And those "eat 5-6 times a day" types will say " I told you so -- don't let yourself ever get hungry -- keep topping yourself up" but I can't eat when I'm not hungry -- I forget and it seems pointless.

But I think the truth is somewhere in between. Listen to your stomach rumbling and fill it up with good healthy food. When you crave mouth food, eat something that satisfies your craving as best you can but make sure it fills you up [for example, sugar free sweets may satisfy the craving but you'll still be hungry afterwards].

Then when you get home you can find a healthy, satisfying dinner at a leisurely pace. A smaller amount of what you really want will finally make you feel full. I think that I have missed that feeling of fullness and total satisfaction. Tonight I am pretty close to it. Maybe a bowl of jelly to finish off the day but I am not still hungry at all. A cup of green tea might even suffice.

All this with PMT too ...

1 comment:

  1. Great Post! I think you hit the nail right on the head here! I tend to want something after dinner sometimes and have to really fight the urge. If it's more than I can stand, I'll make some chocolate velvet decaf coffee and sip on it slowly. It gives me the taste I'm wanting and doesn't add much in the way of calories or carbs.