I Can Has Food?

Lately, I’ve been trying really hard to do the “only-eating-when-I’m-hungry” thing in an effort to move from calorie counting to intuitive eating. And, it’s a nice thing to get back to; I loved just listening to my body when I had my first whack at maintenance, and I can totally relate to a point Quix recently made in a blog post regarding how she’s “tasted freedom” and having difficulty going back to calorie counting and not just eating the food she wants/feels is necessary to nourish her body. When I gained back the weight after my last maintenance stint, it felt totally unnatural to be eating according to my “diet style.” And, my body wasn’t too keen on the practice either and essentially turned into a screaming toddler for the first few weeks of the next dieting attempt.

Body: “HAI AN EGG SAMMICH IS WHAT WOULD FEEL GOOD IN MY TUM LET’S EAT IT.”

Me: “No, sorry, we have 280 calories scheduled for breakfast and that means cereal.”

Body: ” … But I want an egg sammich. RIGHT NOW.”

Me: “Sorry, dude.”

Body: “SAMMMMICCCCCCCCCCCCH.”

And, so on.

Anyway, while I know all the intuitive eating guides say “ZOMG ONLY EAT WHEN YOU HAVE A HUNGRY,” I’ve been having difficulty shaking a few non-hunger-oriented eating habits. But, I have to wonder; is it OK to eat when you’re not hungry, sometimes?

At this point, I’ve gotten to be pretty good about lunch and my snacks (I eat breakfast right after exercising regardless of whether I’m hungry, because I know I need the fuel), in that I wait until I’m hungry to eat lunch and I don’t snack even if I feel I “can” have one but I’m not hungry (yesterday, for instance, I waited until 1:30 p.m. for lunch and when I became hungry at 5 p.m. I just had an apple to tide me over until dinner). But, I still eat dinner at a scheduled time regardless of whether I have a hunger, which according to intuitive eating’s principles is TEH BAD. But, 6 p.m. is just dinner time for me, and I don’t like to eat a heavy meal too close to bed. Likewise, I don’t like to eat dinner before 6 p.m., even if I am hungry, because I don’t like to eat that early (Does anyone else feel that way about meal times? I postpone lunch sometimes, too, because I just don’t like to eat a lunch before noon). That, and I have always an evening snack at 8:30 p.m., again, regardless of whether I’m hungry, because I don’t want to wake up mad famished.

Am I doin’ it wrong? Do I always need to be hungry when I decide to eat, or are these practices OK? It’s not like if I’m not super hungry I chow down on a gabillion calorie snack at the end of the day; most of the time, I nom something like yogurt. And, even when I am hungry but wait to eat until a scheduled meal time, I don’t usually wait for more than a half an hour. Also, should always eat a certain amount of calories a day (e.g., my BMR) so I don’t get my fainting on?

I should probably invest in some kind of nutrition book, but I’m cheap. Regardless, I’m trying to get away from eating a certain food because I have a certain amount of calories, but this is the diet habit I’ve had the most trouble kicking.

In other news, don’t you hate it when you have a day to sleep in, and your body decides it just doesn’t want to do so that morning? I definitely didn’t have to get up until 7 a.m. today, but at around 5:45 a.m. my mind just went “I’MUPUPUPLET’SWORKONESSAYS!” and then when I actually tried to work on my essays this early in the morning my mind was all, “Oh no my bad I’m not actually conscious enough to do this right now lol.”

For those of you who have/are making the transition to intuitive eating, do you have any tips? Did you have difficulty kicking certain “diet habits”?

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1 Comment

  1. Quix said,

    May 11, 2010 at 7:59 PM

    Thanks for the linky. Ha! Your conversation with yourself sounds a lot like mine. I’d like to say I have it figured out after years but I sure don’t. I generally try to stick with eating at specific times (breakfast around 10, lunch around 1, snack around 5, dinner around 8, SMALL snack around 10), but I really try to stay tuned into my bod. If I’m super hungry early, I’ll eat and it usually works out ok. The only problem is eating dinner too early screws me up, and I’ll want another meal later, or if I stay up past midnight the bod always wants more food. I’d say I never let myself eat below 1200 calories but this is never a problem for the calorie compactor which is my bod.

    Good luck – if you get it figured out let me know, I sure could use some advice. 🙂


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