We were out recently with a couple of Ann’s relatives, and they sometimes do something that is totally unknown in my family – they forget to eat! We were out walking with them, and the time for lunch came and went, with no mention of when and where we were going to eat. I was starving, but they didn’t seem to be hungry at all, or at least not hungry enough to bother to do anything about it. This reminded me of how I can’t stand being hungry, and then it struck me that I have lived with hunger most of my life, but nowadays I rarely experience it.
In fact if there is one single thing that has made my weight loss possible in the last couple of years, it is that I have avoided being hungry. All of my previous ‘diets’ have involved some sort of portion control – in other words eating less food. But I have been hungry most of the time on regimes like that, which I did not like at all, and there was no way I could consider that with my new normal eating pattern. I was simply itching to hit my target weight, so I could get back to ‘proper eating’.
What I did, therefore, from the start of changing my eating habits was start to eat a lot – probably more than I had ever eaten in my life before – but eating a lot of low-calorie food. In other words, concentrating on ‘low energy density foods’. If I was still hungry during the day, I ate even more. And it worked, although eating such a lot could take quite some time, such as more than 30 minutes to eat my lunchtime salad!
I also found a Nutracheck article about low GI (glycaemic index) foods; among other benefits, these foods keep you fuller for longer. They are foods such as oats, sweet potatoes, and wholegrain foods. I started to eat these a lot, while still keeping an eye on the calories in them.
So my new normal diet is eating a lot of low calorie dense foods and, if they are not low calorie, then I try to make them low GI – it may be not surprising that I am very rarely hungry nowadays. But maybe it is surprising that I am maintaining successfully, despite eating such a lot!