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Old 08-23-2010, 01:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What is "Full"?

Hello everyone. I'm new to the forums but have been using fitday for about a month, religiously. It's been quite a boon to my efforts. I think so, anyway, as I can't find a scale that fits me. Anyway, I have a question for everyone.

What does 'full' feel like to you? I've been such an overeater for so long (I'm 34, 6'1", 355 pounds), that I'm not sure I know what 'full' feels like. There's times that I think my stomach is physically full, but my mind is telling me that I'm hungry. And once that happens, once that thought is in my head, it's a helluva an effort on my part to ignore it, and I'm not even sure I should be. When I have those feelings, should I grab a snack, to prevent myself from overeating at the next meal? I'm just really confused.

I'm trying to eat much slower. It's not helping so much anymore. I don't get that 'full' feeling, or maybe I do and don't recognize.

So if anyone could put into words what 'full' feels like to them, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks,
Jason
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Here's a quote from an article entitled "What Thin Women Know" by Valerie Frankel. Even though its written for a female audience, it might help you re-think some of your feelings about hunger -- it did for me! In the article, the author tries to live with a thin woman mentality for a couple of weeks. Here, she discusses one of the "rules" she sees thin women following innately:

2. Let hunger happen

A pang is not an emergency signal from your stomach or a call to shovel food into your mouth. It's a gentle reminder to eat.

....


[Thin people] just don't have the same complicated emotional relationship with food that perpetual dieters do-and they're better off for it. "It's unhealthy to think of food as bad or dangerous," explained David L. Katz, M.D., an associate adjunct professor of public health at Yale University. Equating a cookie with pure evil will bring on deprivation thinking (not allowing yourself to eat certain foods--or at all). "If you skip meals, all you'll be able to think about is food. When you do eat, you'll binge--and that's a pattern commonly associated with obesity."

Well, yes. Any dieter worth her low-sodium salt knows that you should never let yourself get too hungry, right? You run the risk of falling into a blind, food-shoveling trance and regaining consciousness in front of an empty fridge, covered in barbecue sauce, wondering, How did I get here? But, as it turns out, that doesn't have to happen. Thin-thinkers don't fear hunger or freak out when they feel it, so they're fine with waiting until their next meal--and then they don't binge, I learned from Judith Beck, Ph.D., a cognitive therapist. By contrast, "people who struggle with weight are often afraid that hunger will be intolerable" Beck told me. "They imagine their empty-stomach pangs will get worse and worse unless they eat. I asked people who feared hunger to go without eating for up to six hours and record their sensations on a discomfort scale, rating it from the annoyance of a mild headache up to the pain of childbirth or surgery," she explained. "Even between hours five and six, when the subjects had empty-stomach hunger, their discomfort levels ranged from 'none' to 'mild.'"..."Hunger is intermittent," Beck had tipped me off. "It might last 10 minutes, but then it goes away."


I grew up in a household we had to clean out plates every night. My family constantly was served large portions which we were expected to finish or otherwise risk offending grandma, somehow hurting the family's finances, or risking out own health. The food left on the plate was somehow turned into a representation of negative emotion, fear, or a social faux pas.

As an adult, I've had to reprogram my mind in regards to portion size and eating past the point of feeling full. I still usually cook more than the BF and I can eat in one sitting, but I fill a small plate up with healthy food and eat slowly and without guilt, knowing full well that there's more healthy, home-cooked food waiting in case I truly am hungrier than what I've served myself. Since I cooked it myself, I know exactly what's in it and have full knowledge of the "damage" that would be done with an all out binge. I wait at least 20 minutes after eating to decide if I want seconds and I make sure to drink plenty of water (both during and between meals), as I've discovered that my body is usually more thirsty than hungry, though the sensations are similar. A "full" feeling to me is one where I could wait just a few minutes after eating (like 10-20 minutes) and go do some sort of strenuous physical activity without discomfort related to eating. That feeling of "I'm so full, I can't do (insert normal activity here)" is not allowed to happen on a day to day basis. Thanksgiving might be a different story

I'd say to give yourself a month of "practice". See what it’s like to eat small portions. What emotions do you experience? What are the reasons you have felt the need to overeat in the past? By the end of the month, you should feel more in control.

P.S. Speaking of Thanksgiving -- all those good habits are difficult (at least for me) to keep to when I'm out of my "bubble" of self control at home. Restaurants are fine for me, but going home to visit the family is a challenge. It can be difficult to convince people that your new and improved habits are a good thing, but make sure you stick with it! Don't let anyone (including yourself) sabotage your journey to a better, healthier life!! Congratulations on your new beginning and good luck!

Sorry this got so long…
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Interesting you quote Valerie Frankel

I've read a bunch of her stuff, actually, and had forgotten about that passage. Right now, I'm just working on portion control and counting calories. It's actually going really well for me so far. I just, from time to time, have these feelings that I'm hungry and my logical mind tells me that I shouldn't have cause to be hungry at those times.

I'm definitely going to be doing the 20 minute wait thing, to see what happens. I might even time it on my watch, give me a goal to work towards for it. Make it a game or something similar.

Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it immensely.
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stu33 View Post
Hello everyone. I'm new to the forums but have been using fitday for about a month, religiously. It's been quite a boon to my efforts. I think so, anyway, as I can't find a scale that fits me. Anyway, I have a question for everyone.

What does 'full' feel like to you? I've been such an overeater for so long (I'm 34, 6'1", 355 pounds), that I'm not sure I know what 'full' feels like. There's times that I think my stomach is physically full, but my mind is telling me that I'm hungry. And once that happens, once that thought is in my head, it's a helluva an effort on my part to ignore it, and I'm not even sure I should be. When I have those feelings, should I grab a snack, to prevent myself from overeating at the next meal? I'm just really confused.

I'm trying to eat much slower. It's not helping so much anymore. I don't get that 'full' feeling, or maybe I do and don't recognize.

So if anyone could put into words what 'full' feels like to them, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks,
Jason
Ah yes, the question of how to know when we have had enough food is something that I believe all of us have to struggle with. We must battle past our previous bad habits that dictated we must continue eating until we feel "full." In my case, that typically meant eating so much and so quickly that I often ended the day laying in bed with an uncomfortable bloated feeling and heartburn. I didn't know when to stop eating until it became physically uncomfortable. Often times, I felt like my mouth still wanted more even then, but my stomach couldn't handle any more.

There are two things that have helped me get past this. As SailorDoom mentioned, drink lots of water. I read an article somewhere that suggested that many people in the Western world suffer from chronic dehydration without even knowing it. Some of us have de-tuned our sense of thirst so badly that it is often confused for hunger and we end up eating when we should be drinking water instead. I aim for a gallon of water a day, and that brings me to my second point: have limits and goals and work within them. On my particular nutrition plan, I am allowed 1800-2200 calories per day. I was guessing at (or even ignoring) that rule for the first couple of months on my diet. Once I joined Fitday and started really doing the calculations I discovered that there were many days that I was having more than 3,000 calories, and I shudder to think of how many calories I was consuming on a daily basis before I was following any plan at all. Fitday is a valuable tool for meal planning because you can add and erase things to your food log to see how they are going to fit in your nutrition plan BEFORE you eat them. Personally, I aim for my lower limit of 1800 calories. Then, if I am so hungry at the end of the day that I think it is going to keep me from sleeping, there is room for a snack.

I hope this helps and best of luck!
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Have you ever been in the middle of a meal, sat back slightly, and gave a little sigh of contentment? That's often my sign that I'm about done. My tummy has enough to feel full without that overfull feeling, no bloating, and when I get up I still feel light and energetic and not lethargic and sleepy. If you find yourself doing 'the sigh', slow down or stop altogether and wait until the hungry feeling returns to eat again.

In line with other people's responses, work on those portion sizes. Cut back little by little so you kind of trick your brain over time and don't feel like you're starving yourself.

Babysteps! They work!
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think there's definitely a big difference between being "full" and satiated. I percieve full as being literally stuffed to the point of not being able to eat anymore. When I'm trying to lose weight that's a feeling that I try to avoid, because for me, it means I've eaten too much. At the same time, I hate feeling hungry so I try to stay satiated by drinking water, chewing on sugar free gum, etc.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Jason, all good advice above. I've been a compulsive over eater all my life. Aftrer four months of 1500 calories a day, I am down to about where you are (356 lbs).

I eat fast and don't often feel "full" until well after I stop eating. I have found that a big glass of water before the meal, and one during helps considerably. Also, I try to slow down. I try to keep the protien high and the carbs low--I am a major carb freak--in the past I had been known to actually enjoy the blood rush of a carb high (sad, I know).

Try not to get too hungry--I keep enough calories available to have a mid-morning snack and one while watching TV after supper. Usually fruit or the like--make it healthy.

Anyway, this is what works for me, as they say, YMMV. Good luck!

Michael
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Thank you all so much

Great advice, everyone.

I'm definitely doing better than I was. I'm trying to adopt the 20 minute rule...if I'm hungry, wait 20 minutes. I've actually got a watch with a stopwatch on it, and I'll use that, make a little game of it.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The rule I use is, "am I hungry?" Every 5-10 minutes I'll pause and ask myself, am I still hungry? If not, then I'm done. Works for me
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My rules:
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.

Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Am I Full Yet?

I have been doing Fitday for 4.5 months now and am down 45 of my intended 90 lbs. Within the first week of cataloging my foods and determining that
I would not allow myself to have my traditional "seconds", as I was sure the initial servings were not enough, I had a major epiphany! After each meal I emotionally and habitually longed for more food, but refused to give in to my longings. Then it happened. Somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes after each meal I realized that I was completely satiated and not really hungry at all. In all of my overeating, I had not previously allowed myself time for the food to get into my system and register that I was no longer hungry or even "needing" more food. So over the next few weeks I would eat and literally watch the clock and would laugh each time 45 minutes had passed, because my body was consistent in its message: "Not hungry anymore". I realized my bigger problem was eliminating the habit of expecting to overeat. Admittedly, I am still working on breaking the habit, but at least now I see the "eating 'til full" syndrome for what it is: a mechanistic habit of overeating; and I own the responsibility for changing that habit.

The other thing is that I still enjoy really great food, just less of it and prepared with intention, i.e., fresh herbs (that I grow), very small amounts of [olive or canola] oil and anything else, but within the calorie count limit that I have assigned. If it takes me over my daily limit, it is not allowed that day... maybe tomorrow.
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