Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hungry Days: Ward off the Nag of the Hunger Monster

In the last 15 weeks I have had very few days where I felt hungry.  However, yesterday was one of those few.  I'm not EXACTLY sure what the driver was for the hunger, but I have a hunch.  I certainly wasn't varying far from my normal routine of breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. . .but nonetheless, I felt STARVED all day long.

The good news is, I made it through my hungry day without going over my points.  I didn't even dip into my weekly points.  I tried a few different things to keep me from dipping into that bowl of chocolate on my co-worker's desk or running to the vending machine for empty calorie snacks.

The first thing I did was looked at my tracker.  I didn't change anything in it, I kept to my plan, but I did compare the 5 points of chocolate vs. the bagel thin, cream cheese, orange and yogurt that equaled the same 5 points.  I mentally compared the value of the two 5 point options and it seemed like a no-brainer.  Of course I ate the bagel, fruit and yogurt!  The nice thing is, I could have made the choice to eat the chocolate, and all would have been fine.  I wouldn't have been blowing my day.  My week wouldn't have been over because I indulged a bit. I would have more than likely still had a loss on the scale, but after comparing the two choices it was obvious I would feel better and remain satisfied longer if I stuck with my healthy choice.

Many times we just eat on impulse.  Poor choices are made because we don't even give the choice a thought.  Mindless eating happens and we are left with the consequences to think about later.  I find if I just pull back, think about those choices, really compare the two - the healthy choice then comes easier.

When I got home, the hunger monster was still nagging.  I ate my planned snack.  I still felt the nag.  So I started reading some of my older blog posts.  I read about good days.  I read about celebrations.  These things seemed to silent the monster.

I also know the nagging isn't so much that I'm hungry, I'm eating a healthy diet, I'm well nourished.  The nag is there because I'm stressed.  I have a lot going on right now with work and school.  The children are all back in school.  Life is spinning so quickly that I get dizzy, often.  This is where the emotional eating comes in.  My stress transfers over to a hunger feeling.  This is a craving of "I need something" and instantly  in my mind and body that "I need something" trigger changes to "I need food." 

Recognition of this, helps.  Willpower, helps.  Looking back on where I have been, helps.  Looking forward to where I want to be, helps.  And when all of these things don't feel like enough, two choices remain - workout or go to bed.  Last night I opted for sleep.  I woke up refreshed and today I'm not so hungry.

Stay well my friends.  If you are on a program of some sort and today is a hungry day - find something that will slap that "nag" in the face.  Fight back!  That's what I'm doing. :)

Everyone has hungry days.  What do you do to stay on plan those days when the hunger monster is nagging?

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