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Battling Hunger

I've become so disconnected with my natural hunger and fullness cues that I'm not really sure when I'm hungry and when I just want to eat these days. I'm really working on that right now. But still unless I am starving I cannot tell you whether I'm really and truly hungry or whether I just want to eat.

Some of you completely know where I am and some think it sounds bizarre, but it's where I'm at. It's why I struggle with intuitive eating, mindful eating, etc. I think I'm hungry when I'm just...NOT. It comes from years of alternating between ignoring my hunger in an attempt to lose weight and then eating past fullness habitually. I used to think I was hungry pretty much always, and I either fed that hunger constantly or ignored it constantly. 

That's why I have clung to counting calories in the past. If some chart can tell me how many calories to eat, then there's no more guesswork...just eat that much, period. But that can be a slippery slope to obsession for me. Sigh. Balance anyone?

Lately I am trying very hard to just focus on portions and eating regularly. I know about how much are good portions for me to eat and am trying to just stop there. For some reason this doesn't cause me to obsess like calorie counting, but is obviously much less an exact science as far as weight loss is concerned. 

Since I've been trying to work out how to eat proper portions I often constantly have a nagging 'hunger' feeling even though I've eaten plenty. Sometimes I wonder if I don't just like to be full or even stuffed all the time! 

I have found since starting the Paleo Diet last week I am experiencing the constant hunger less, I am hopeful this will continue. However I've come up with a few tricks to handle these 'hunger' feelings once I know I've eaten enough:

  • I try to drink about a half liter of water 6 times a day. Usually with the meals and snacks that I eat. It give me that full feeling.

  • I snack on apples. They really help me to feel full.

  • Protein, protein, and more protein. By far eating more protein helps the most for me.

  • After each meal is done I immediately clean up and put leftovers away. Keeps me from grazing through what's left just because it's there.

  • At night if I start feeling snacky I brush my teeth. If I still feel bingey/snacky and know I've had enough to eat I simply go to bed. It's usually a sign that I'm up too late anyway. Sleep is a good thing.
What do you do when you've had enough to eat, but still want to eat more?