Sunday, September 5, 2010

Not Hungry

I would like to hear from some of you who eat "mindfully" "intuitively" "according to appetite."  Since there aren't a whole bunch of those types of bloggers who follow me (or at least I don't think there are), I hope if you do you'll go get some friends and answer these questions for me:

1.  If you went a whole day and were never hungry, what would you do?

2.  If you feel hunger and can't figure out what to eat - i.e., nothing "sounds" good, what would you do?


  1. Hey! Just found your blog but I love questions about intuitive eating...

    1. If I went a whole day and was never hungry, I would probably be a little worried. I get hungry regularly and I eat regularly, so that would be "weird" for me. Even if I felt fine, I'd probably still have a bowl of cereal or something just in case. I have had days where I've "forgotten" to eat for 8-10 hours and I usually feel like crap. If I felt great though, I probably wouldn't notice and I guess I just wouldn't eat anything.

    2.If I feel hungry, really hungry, something usually sounds good. If 'nothing' sounds good, but I'm hungry, I'll have a glass of water. If I'm STILL hungry and can't decide, I'll start asking myself questions and wait for a response: "Do I want sweet, salty, savoury? Crunchy, mushy, crisp, soft, chewy? Do I want meat, fish, veggies, fruit?" And I imagine what each of those things would taste like. Sometimes I'll just have a little bite of things - one pickle, two chips, half an orange, a spoonful of icecream - and that will usually seal the deal.


  2. First, LOVE LOVE LOVE your new profile picture. You look absolutely skinny!

    Nope, I'm not a mindful eater. I've read all the books, I've tried it, will try to do it sometimes, but if left to the practice of eat when I'm hungry, I'd be eating 24 x 7. For me, I just have to be hungry sometimes. It feels like real hunger, but every book tells me it's not. Whatever. If it feels real in my book it is real.

    However, it sounds like you're not feeling hungry. Which isn't natural. Maybe you're coming down with something?

    I hate to admit this, but when I don't feel like eating, I don't eat. I figure it's like some sort of little miracle and I take advantage of it. That's why when I get the flu, I drop seven pounds in a week. I don't want to eat, so I don't. I'm sure that's not healthy, it's probably best to eat a little something. Supposedly our bodies need to eat every day. So the experts say. :)

  3. Even if I'm not hungry, I eat at mealtimes, because I know my blood sugar will drop and then I will become cranky and lethargic. That said, if nothing sounds good to me, I usually end up making a protein shake, or having a bowl of cereal. Nothing exciting, but it gets the basic nutrients into my body. Hope you aren't getting sick!

  4. These are interesting questions because I have found myself feeling the same way (not hungry for a long time after I wake up and finally telling myself I should eat something, and sometimes not knowing what I really want to eat).

    I think experiencing these feelings is part of developing an intuitive eating process. It's not like there are specific rules to fact, it's almost the opposite. It's trial and error, seeing what works and what doesn't...for YOU. It takes time and practice and self-trust. We've had so many reasons not to trust ourselves that it's scary and confusing when you first start out with intuitive eating. I've never been a rules and guidelines girl but it's taken me forever to just embrace that about myself. Before I constantly looked outside myself instead of trusting that I could develop my very own set of guidelines that work for me.

    I'd say if you went one day without food because you truly not hungry you'd be certainly wouldn't kill you. Try it and see how it feels...sit with it and analyze the thoughts that go through your head, and how you feel physically. It takes time to really start knowing what our bodies are saying. And just like they say "you didn't gain the weight overnight, you won't lose it overnight" the same holds true for intuitive eating. It's not like you decide, okay, I'm going to adopt this and voila, you're doing takes time!

    that said, I'm like Shelley, I will have a protein shake (I add a little fruit and spinach) if I don't feel like eating anything.

    I also wanted to respond to Diana and say that I used to feel hungry all the time and once I got my hormones in balance, that all went away.

  5. I was about to write that I was a partially intuitive eater, but then I realized that is not true. I tend to eat at specific times, but the amounts vary. I could easily justify not eating if I didn't feel hungry though. Your second question is the one I struggle with. If I am hungry and nothing sounds good, then I tend to overeat terribly.

  6. I am trying to be intuitive. It is tricky when I don't know what I feel like. I do try to get protein in because it helps me be full and lasts longer.

  7. Ah Helen, I am SO with you on intuitive eating - I believe it is the best way to find our true shape. That said, I need to get back into it, so here's my hand, let's do this!

    The one thing I know is this: Trust the body. Trust the process.

    I agree with Karen: We've learned to distrust our bodies. If your body is not registering hunger, it is for a reason and respect that. Animals in the wild eat when they're hungry, not because they are filled with scientific knowledge about metabolism, etc. etc. If you worry that the hunger might suddenly 'switch on' and make you all weak and craving and cranky, just take along a handful of nuts/raisins/seeds.

    If you're hungry but nothing sounds good, a glass of water is a good start, and I'd stick with a small fruit.

    I am committed to make this week about intuitive eating, really enjoying what I eat with all my senses, instead of abusing food for emotional reasons.

  8. love the questions!!
    the first I struggle with as I cant imagine (seriously) I do think I would eat something (?) as I know if I wait too long I do become a MESS emotionally as well as physically.

    Im one who doesnt lose her appetite (even when sick) but I guess if I really werent hungry---Id not eat?
    (see you have my brain spinning now :)Ill be back)

    and if Im hungry and nothing sounds good FOR ME THAT IS AN INDICATOR IT IS NOT HUNGER BUT EMOTION.

    for *me*.

  9. Sorry, cant help you on this one.... seems like I am always hungry.... although when I eat the 6 small meals a day, I tend to get over that feeling.

  10. I have been working at the intuitive eating. So I will try to answer the best I can.

    1. If you went a whole day and were never hungry, what would you do? I think it's important to drink water through out the day and avoid sugary juices. The water will help your stomach cues be louder or more noticable to you. I have eaten at 5 pm with my family, when I hadn't felt hunger pangs yet. I don't want to wake up in the middle of the night starving. I justify it by eating a small amount, very slowly. Normally, however, I get hunger pangs before noon. This, of course, depends on how much I ended up eating the day before and how late I ate my last meal. I agree that we need to trust our bodies, become more attune with them, and have faith that we aren't going to starve if we wait for hunger. You need to be honest with yourself and not ignore true hunger. And eating a small snack in the evening on a day that you haven't felt hungry isn't going to plummet you into obesity.

    2. If you feel hunger and can't figure out what to eat - i.e., nothing "sounds" good, what would you do? I taste small amounts of any left overs I have. Maybe my taste buds just need woken up? There are certain foods that I feel drawn to before hunger hits and I have them planned out ahead of time -- Maybe a resonable amount of a rich dessert? I have been eating fruit a lot. Biting into a perfectly ripe peach sure perks up my senses and helps me to decide on what else sounds appetizing. I think it's important to eat when hungery, even if it's just a warm drink or a handful of nuts.

    I have recently limited the types of food I will put in my body and that has made it a little harder to find the right flavor and texture for my cravings but I am getting the hang of it. It is working for me and my favorite part is that I don't have to fight with food anymore. I use to eat according to my planned meals, top out on calories, and then my mind wanted to have the kinds of food it was craving too. It was a hard battle.

    As an answer to emotional vs. physical hunger: if I feel drawn to eat and nothing sounds good then yes, I wait. But if my body is calling for food (i.e. my stomach is growling or cramping with hunger pains) then I know I had better find something to eat even if nothing sounds good.