Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Grinch diet

Okay, body, what is up?

Hunger is when your stomach grabs you by the throat and say “Feed me now, damn it!”

Yesterday, I spent the whole day suffering from hunger. And I ate. Oh, how I ate.

8:30 am: chicken and crackers. (No, not especially nutritious, but I’m not usually hungry that early in the morning. Didn’t want to take time to prepare something good and filling.)

11:00 am: Weight Watchers lunch (6 points)

11:10 am: Hungry

11:30 am: 1 apple

11:40 am: Hungry again

12:00 2 cups bell peppers

12:20 Hungry, and the stomach’s getting kinda pissed off at me

12:25 pm: Another Weight Watchers lunch (3 points)

12:30: 1 cup raw carrots

1:00 pm: Started drinking cup after cup of warm tea, trying to create a feeling of fullness

1:30 pm: Hungry. More tea.

2:00 pm: Hungry. Still more tea. Running to the bathroom every friggin’ 20 minutes, but not full.

2:30 pm: Instant oatmeal. Surely that will shut the stomach up.

3:00 pm: Nope. Hungry

3:30 pm: Screw the warm tea. Started drinking liters of straight water. Something, anything to stop feeling so damn hungry!

4:00 pm: Starting to slosh around when I move. Still hungry.

4:45 pm: Stomach cries piteously for sustenance.

5:20 pm: Starting to wonder if computer keyboards are edible. Wouldn’t they count as fiber? Isn’t that filling?

6:15 pm: Had to restrain myself from driving extra-fast home to get to the refrigerator. Suppose I should give myself a pat on the back for not stopping at a fast food place on the way.

6:23 pm: 4 oz. chicken, more crackers. One whole entire chocolate eclair.

7:15 pm: Still somewhat hungry, but the desperate frantic hunger has eased off finally.

8:45 pm: The hunger came back. This is absurd.

9:45 pm: And it's not going away. I'm still hungry.

No, I don't usually detail every single morsel that passes my lips in a day. I’m documenting this here because I want to try and figure out what’s going on with my body. Did my metabolism suddenly kick start itself into action?

I don’t know if it’s a thyroid-related issue or what, but normally if I try to fast, ignoring the initial morning hunger pangs, the stomach shuts up and I can get by quite easily on less than 1,000 calories a day. (However, “get by” means I sit around the house and not do any exercise more strenuous than turning a page or flipping a channel. When I severely restrict the calories, I have no energy, no impulse to do anything other than veg.)

There was no way ignoring this would make it go away. The only time I've felt this hungry is when I’ve been exercising a lot. I mean vigorous exercise, that leaves me red faced, sweaty, and tired. That's not what I’ve been putting my body through lately. No, walking with the occasional jog thrown in is not vigorous exercise. Really. So it puzzles me.

Exercise du jour: 30 minutes yoga (morning only), two hours 80 minutes walking.

3rd Weight Watchers meeting tonight. We'll see how badly I'll have to pay for the extra serving of that superbly delicious stuffing. And the apple/chocolate/pumpkin pie episodes. This could be grim.

Could that be why I've been so damn hungry? Was it because I ate so much on Friday? Did my stomach suddenly expand, like the Grinch's heart, to several sizes larger? I do not recall starving over the weekend, but apart the T-day feast I did not go overboard on the eating.

Post-meeting update: Lost 1-1/2 pounds, which considering how much I ate on Friday is amazing. But I didn't argue with the WW woman. Just grabbed my booklet and ran. Happily.


McB said...

Food is as much a habit as anything else. If you usually eat breakfast, your body will expect it. But after a certain point, the body kinda forgets. In other words, it's not so much hungry as it is used to being fed. And a lot of what Weight Watchers is about, is retraining your eating habits, so stick with it.

Try substituting dill pickles and crunchy apples for those boring carrot sticks. Use a little salsa on those crackers, or heck, even the chiken. The stronger flavors help to satisfy your hunger cravings. If you depend too much on rabbit food, you are more likely to fall off the wagon.

Seriously. I've been where you are and I know what I'm talking about.

Shelley said...

When I am hungry all day long, no matter what (healthy) thing I eat, I am guaranteed to see a loss on the scale the next day or two...so hopefully the misery of your day will make it up to you on the scale.

Couple of things that help me on those days are natural peanut butter (1 T = 100 calories) and an apple. I guess the fat in the peanut butter combined with the fiber in the apple makes me feel full?

Merry said...

McB, hon, I think we're talking about two different things.
I agree hunger is mostly habit. The point I was trying to make is that the hunger I felt was NOT my usual habitual hunger. Normally I feel satisfied with about half that much food. Yesterday, I could've swallowed a cow whole and still felt hungry 20 minutes later. Very weird.

Shelley, I'm going to go out and get some peanut butter today! Maybe my body wasn't getting enough fat and that's why it was crying. Thanks for the tip.

Theresa said...

You don't do dairy, right? Try some low-fat hummus to dip the carrots and peppers in. It has protein plus a little bit of fat, which should help to satiate you a bit. Peanut butter with apple as Shelley suggested -- also a good fiber-protein-bit-o-fat mix.

Also, what type of cracker? If they're something like ritz crackers, even if they're low fat, it not really that much different from eating white bread. High glycemic, and will tend to make you hungry. Low fat triscuits with peanut butter also make a good fat/protein choice. A small handful of natural almonds or other nut is also good for lots of things.

And although it's a better choice than others, instant oatmeal has been processed a bit more, which also gives it a rather high glycemic index.

Or maybe you were just giving your body fewer calories than it wanted and it was expressing it's displeasure.

Boy, aren't I just a fount of suggestions and criticisms of your foot intake today! :)

Merry said...

Theresa, I appreciate the suggestions. Yes, I was eating triscuits, but hummus sounds like another good way to pad it out, so to speak.
The grocery list is growing: hummus, peanut butter, almonds, salsa, pickles ...
Please don't feel like you're too critical about the diet -- I appreciate everyone's healthy and filling suggestions!

Theresa said...

If you're ever in the mood to cook and chop a bit, I have a recipe for brown rice-lentil salad that I like. It's filling and easy to make, just requires a bit of time.

Marste said...

Two thoughts: have you been LESS hungry before this? Sometimes I have what I think of as "hungry days" and "not hungry days." It's not totally uncommon for me to eat 1000 calories one day (and not because I'm restricting; I'm just not hungry), and 2000 the next (when my body decides that food is good again). So that's something to factor in.

Also, I know that plant fat in particular will fill me up and KEEP me full far longer than animal protein. (No idea why.) So maybe 1/2 an avocado or something? That might help. (I like to mash 1/2 an avo and spread it on low-cal toast. YUM.)

Merry said...

Hi Marste,
Yes! Sometimes I notice those hunger/non-hunger cycles; I can go for a day or two eating a bit more, but it evens out over the week since I eat less afterwards. This is different.
This morning, I ate 85% of my WW points in one meal -- which is unreal. Usually I have trouble eating enough to make the required number of daily points.
I will add avocado to the shopping list. Thanks :)

Ruth said...


You know that old joke about Chinese food, how you eat it, but get hungry half an hour later?

There's some truth to that (I've noted in my own experience), and I believe it's because of the refined carbs.

Crackers are usually high in refined carbs. I know you ate some fruit and veggies, which is good, but if I were you, I would TRY more protein, healthy fats and complex carbs found in veggies and fruits and see if that doesn't help keep your hunger in check. And you already know that eclairs, and sugary stuff is refined carb city, so I'm not gonna go there.

Nuts, avocados--these are healthy fat choices that usually keep me full for awhile.

And protein helps.

Listen, I know everybody has a different body chemistry, etc., but focusing on veggies, protein and healthy fats really works for me, and it might help you too ;-)

Tricia said...

I'm jumping on the peanut butter and apple bandwagon. One of my "go to" snacks. Something about the fatty goodness of peanut butter and the fiberliciousness (nice word huh) of the apple satisfies my body.

Oh, and not sure if you're into blog awards...but I gave you one on my blog. :)

McB said...

Merry - It's like when you don't really care about something until you've been told you can't have it. Then you REALLY want it.

So it's not so much a body thing as a mind thing. You have to fool your subconcious into thinking the stomach is getting more. That's where crunch and strong flavors comes into play. You have to satisfy the senses as well as the body.

Charlotte said...

Oh I have totally had days like that!! Usually it's hormonally related;) Not to get too personal but is it that time of month? Good luck & I hope tomorrow is better!

BCB said...

Tonight is a full moon. Known to cause all sorts of trouble.

Being hungry is not a bad thing, IMO. If your body goes looking for food in the usual place (your stomach) and can't find it, it will whine a bit (hunger pangs) to let you know it doesn't appreciate the extra effort, but then it will look elsewhere for nourishment (stored fat).

No I am not a doctor, but this pretty much paraphrases what a cardiologist once told me when he said to exercise before bedtime, go to bed hungry and let my metabolism work while I slept.

And what is wrong with squirrels? I love squirrels. They're cute.

tavel: slang for that thing you rest your food on when you eat sitting on the couch instead of at the table

The Merry said...

Squirrels? Cute? Girl, have you clicked on that photo and taken a good look? That squirrel is a crazed psychotic! I wouldn't be surprise if he were holding a teeny tiny chainsaw hidden in his "cute" little paws. He's vicious, I tell you, rotten to the core!

Charlotte, I think it must be something hormonal. I do believe that sometimes hunger is generated from the body rather than the mind.

The Merry said...

Tricia, thanks for the award! I never won nuthin' before. I feel honored :)