The Difference Between Full and Not-Hungry

What’s the difference between full and no-longer-hungry?

I have out-of-town friends who have both changed their way of eating. We will call them Dick and Sally. Dick’s primary interest was to control his blood sugar because he is a diabetic. Sally, on the other hand, was just being a supportive wife but she wouldn’t be unhappy if she lost some extra pounds.

This new way of eating (WOE) eliminated or almost eliminated processed food and sugar, pretty much a whole food diet of meat and vegetables. You know, the food that is around the perimeter of the grocery store.

This diet is low in carbohydrate content because the majority of the carbohydrates (and calories) in most folks diets are from processed food. That’s the food in the center of the store. All those extra carbohydrates are the cause of Dick’s high blood sugar.

Most people are almost guaranteed to lose weight eating this way and both Dick and Sally had extra pounds they wanted to get rid of   Plus it is certainly easier for the cook in the family if everybody is on the same diet.

So this remarkable thing happened. Her weight has just fallen off and he is at what dieters usually call a “plateau.” He isn’t gaining weight but he isn’t losing either. The new WOE (low carbohydrate) has accomplished quite a lot for his blood sugar but not doing much yet for his extra pounds.

Now why would that be?  They are eating the same things. Turns out it has to do with the difference between full and no-longer-hungry.

He confesses he eats, frequently with second helpings, until he is stuffed while she eats more slowly and stops when hunger disappears. The stuff just tastes so good; someone is a great cook. And that seemed OK to him because, after all, it was the right food.

And then there is this. Dick tends to be a snacker, not because he is hungry (I’ll explain that later) but because he like to be “tasting,” something. Not really bad snacks, food wise. Just a goodly amount. Too much at meals and snacks are getting in his way.

Here is some stuff Dick had to think about:

It is not really necessary to eat 3 meals a day unless you are hungry. And this way of eating, unlike high processed food eating, minimizes hunger. Eat when you are hungry, otherwise not.

If you eat fast you can shovel in a lot of food before your stomach balks, AFTER you are already “stuffed.”  Eating fast is a habit that requires sometimes swallowing food almost whole. What this does to your digestion is another discussion. The best way to eat slowly is to chew a lot, more than seems even necessary. You will then know when you are no longer hungry BEFORE you overeat.

And just don’t go back for seconds no matter how good it tastes. Savor what you have slowly.

And as to snacking, Dick really isn’t hungry because the protein and fat in his meals take a while to digest and keep him from being hungry. But if you can’t overcome the need to taste something, just make a snack have two important characteristics.

First, eat something with protein in it like a piece of cheese, a hard-boiled egg, or nuts. And secondly, make it a SNACK, not another meal – a handful, not a cup.

As to Dick, he has some adjusting to do because he wants to catch up with Sally. They both want to buy new clothes.