Feeling Hungry: Evan

Before he started working with us, our dieter Evan had lost a significant amount of weight following an all liquid diet (which we don’t endorse but understand can be useful for some people).  When Evan came to see us, he wanted help transitioning to regular food and maintaining his weight loss.  One of the first roadblocks Evan encountered during his transition phase was that he began to feel an increased level of hunger. While he was on the liquid diet, although he was taking in a very limited number of calories every day, he very rarely felt hungry.  Once he began eating solid foods, his hunger returned.

We discussed with Evan the fact that experiencing some degree of hunger is produce.jpga normal part of life. Most successful maintainers, for example, report feeling hungry before meals. People who have never struggled with weight or dieting know that they can tolerate hunger, that it’s never an emergency, and that if they distract themselves it will go away more quickly.  Evan realized there was a trade-off. Although he now has to deal with the (relatively minor) discomfort of hunger from time to time, in exchange he gets to experience all the pleasures from the rich variety of foods he can now eat.  And, Evan decided, the tradeoff wasn’t even close. 

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4 comments

  1. This was really helpful because I think many of us have an assumption that hunger is “bad”, something to be afraid of, and should not happen to us, rather than it being a balanced natural cycle of health…needing fuel and burning fuel. The key is balance and a little hunger is very pleasant and energizing.

    If you have ever gone through a really traumatic experience in which you lost your appetite, the experience is “flat” not at all as “alive” feeling as when you have your appetite.

  2. I have eaten my way to an excess of 75 lbs because I was afraid of being hungry. Unhappiness in my personal life was eased with eating, though intellectually I knew that the eating simply led to more unhappiness: I was eating too much because I was unhappy, and I was unhappy because I was eating too much. I can remember times when I was truly happy: at these times, I ate healthily and was not afraid of hunger; in fact, sometimes hunger felt good: I have memories of feeling hunger as cleansing, in some ways. Right now (about one hours into the new year), I can feel my stomach doing a little rumble. A week ago, I might have gone to the kitchen to stop the rumble. Not anymore. Tonight I can have a positive thought: “That rumble is normal, and most nights I would be asleep and not even be aware of hunger. This is just my body doing its thing, and I can feel good about this.”

  3. I agree that Hunger Tolerance is one of the most important insights of the book. Being able to just ACCEPT slight-moderate hunger, and also to distinguish between actual food Hunger and a simple Craving.
    Of course we all know this is not about “starving” oneself by not eating all day, but just the normal hunger cycle we feel between meals.
    Its all explained very well in the book.

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