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Old 05-01-2014, 12:36 PM   #1
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What does your true physical hunger feel like?

Hi Folks

This may seem like a simple question, but for some of us, it's a new concept altogether.
Knowing when we're truly physically hungry seems to be elusive for a lot of us. (It was for me.) Instead, for whatever reasons, we have clobbered our ability to discern true physical hunger.
I realize that your responses will be anecdotal and might change (mine has), but...
"What does your true physical hunger feel like?" or
"How do you know when you're truly hungry personally?"
(A shout out of thanks to LCF member CarolinaCoast for letting me bounce this off of her as an idea and where to post it!)

My true physical hunger:
When I lost the first time, my hunger manifested as nausea. I guess I was pretty messed up even then and wasn't aware.
Fast forward >7 years and...
Starting JUDDD, my insides were so messed up (adhesions, fat, probably screwed up nerves along with more mental junk), actual hunger was actually painful for the first few weeks of JUDDD. It wasn't a "polite and warm" feeling in my stomach like Josie Spinardi said (in her book Thintuition: How to Have Your Cake and Skinny Jeans Too) at all. Not at all. Instead, it was an ache/pain in my stomach that radiated in the form of low-moderate grade pain all the way across my diaphragm. (My doctor chalked this up to my abdominal adhesions/scarring).
I am happy to report that it has since become the nice "gentle, polite and warm" feeling Josie said it would be, but this was probably part of why I was always eating trying to avoid that nasty pain. My true physical hunger doesn't match a time schedule at all right now.

(While I see myself possibly posting another question of you down the road a bit regarding what physical hunger satiety feels like for you, it's beyond the scope of this question at this time. )

So, what does your true physical hunger feel like?
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:16 PM   #2
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Mine feels like an emptiness. It's not painful or stress-inducing (anymore, though it used to have me in a near-panic!). I just feel empty and in need of something to fill me. If I let it go on for too long, it becomes more like a stomach bug. I feel nauseated and weak, and even get the whole salivation thing going on, like before you vomit. That's when I know I NEED to eat. That's also when I'm prone to overeating, so I try not to let it get that far.

Sorry you asked?
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:23 PM   #3
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...Sorry you asked?
Nope! I'm not at all sorry! I think we may all have some varied responses.
Yours reminds me of the nauseous feeling I used to get, but yours sounds more 'normal' since you are recognizing cues before it gets to that point.

I hope this thread helps people think about their own true physical hunger and allows all to reflect on how others perceive theirs if they're in doubt and "out of touch" with their own (as I was).

I thank you for helping kick this thread off, Dawn!
I'm looking forward to seeing other people's descriptions, too!
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:29 PM   #4
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I've found true physical hunger to actually be pleasant--and was one of my 'discoveries' with JUDDD.

Initially, it's a rather pleasant 'empty' feeling. If I don't eat, I then continue feeling empty but I also lose my appetite. That is, I never eat because I 'need' to. I recently traveled and fasted from early morning and had no desire to eat dinner. My appetite returns when I eat again.

However, I don't do this often. My typical practice on a low-calorie day (I don't do strict JUDDD in maintenance; I informally cycle calories) is to eat about 200 cal in the morning, and two or three 50 cal snacks during the day.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:08 PM   #5
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This is an excellent question MsKitty! I'm very interested in seeing the responses, because I'm not sure I really know myself. Even with JUDDD, and with very low calorie DD's, I'm not sure where hunger starts and complete emptiness begins. On UD's it's even trickier. I'd like to learn though.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:30 PM   #6
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Leo41: Thank you for your response. The "pleasant" feeling I have also now noted to exist in my own body just as of today. I'm glad to hear that it is more than just my own wishful thinking based upon things I've read!

deedee: That was me too, sister! MadMarsha talked of it a bit, so I found a couple of people doing different threads that have been super helpful to me:
Taming The Hungry Beast
and
Intuitive Eating 2014

I've read several things suggested in these threads, with I think, great success thusfar. I've learned about myself a bit, and I think it will seriously help me. It was a piece I'd not considered much at all. Seems the simple "what is hunger to me" I'd never really answered!

LCF member, KeirasMom/Dawn, has also begun her own weight loss journal chronicling her own personal quest with HDE/IE.

I love this feedback.
Many thanks to any future respondents of this question.

I'm thinking HDE/IE does fall under "other plans," except it isn't another "plan" at all (and this has psychological ramifications). It also doesn't fall under JUDDD, but a lot of the people interested in JUDDD seem interested in HDE/IE, so asking here seemed the most logical. It would be nice to find it in one place instead of spread throughout the forum.
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:37 PM   #7
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It was painful for me in the beginning too, and I thought it was torture sometimes to not eat lol. I'm not sure it's that much different now, except that I recognize it for what it is and also know that I will not *die* if I don't eat. It's an empty feeling at first and then a gnawing feeling in my belly. If I go long enough or get busy doing something, I can ignore it completely. Occasionally it does cause a little nausea, but not often.
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:49 PM   #8
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It is usually a pleasantly energized feeling. I fast from bedtime to bedtime many days. I know I've let it get to far when my thinking gets fuzzy and I start salivating. This only happens when say Tuesday was a DD and I ate 250 calories and I wait till 7pm on the UD to eat.

I've done this more than I care to admit and usually involves me being in a fowl mood to poor DW.
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Librarygirl View Post
It was painful for me in the beginning too, and I thought it was torture sometimes to not eat lol. I'm not sure it's that much different now, except that I recognize it for what it is and also know that I will not *die* if I don't eat. It's an empty feeling at first and then a gnawing feeling in my belly. If I go long enough or get busy doing something, I can ignore it completely. Occasionally it does cause a little nausea, but not often.
I am pretty sure some would not understand hunger eliciting actual pain, and not that I am "glad" to see that you experienced pain, it does make me feel a little better knowing someone else experiencing something similar to what I experienced. Thank you for that.
I agree. I think the starting to feel hungry thing was putting me in a panic mode (primarily since I wanted to avoid pain). JUDDD has helped me with this "patience" issue a lot.
When you say "gnawing feeling in my belly," do you mean in that fist-sized area where your actual stomach resides (just above your navel) or is it a more diffuse-type of "gnawing" feeling throughout your abdomen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carly View Post
It is usually a pleasantly energized feeling. I fast from bedtime to bedtime many days. I know I've let it get to far when my thinking gets fuzzy and I start salivating. This only happens when say Tuesday was a DD and I ate 250 calories and I wait till 7pm on the UD to eat.

I've done this more than I care to admit and usually involves me being in a fowl mood to poor DW.
I hope my reaction to hunger will evolve into a more energized feeling. Thusfar, I can't tell since I'm just so happy to be feeling true hunger rather than pain, so my judgment is colored.
You and Dawn both mention the salivating thing which leads to nausea as being your trigger point when you know hunger has gone too far.
I think these are interesting signs to make a note of.
Thanks for your input!

to you both!
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:23 PM   #10
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This is very interesting. What I always thought was hunger was, I think now, the end of digesting what I had previously eaten. Like maybe a stomach acid feeling. But that passes, and then I'm left with the wonderful, empty feeling I associate with good DDs. I don't think of that as being hungry, because I enjoy that feeling and like to prolong it. I do get slight gnawing feelings and grumbles, which I think are hunger, but I can ignore those too, most of the time, and get back to the nice, calm, empty feeling. When I know it's gone too far is the nausea and lightheadedness. But actually, that passes too! I've never done a zero calorie DD or fasted for any length of time past one day, but I do know that it's not unhealthy to do so, for most healthy people.

I'm much more familiar with my appetite, or head hunger, than I am with actual, demanding physical hunger feelings.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:57 AM   #11
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...I'm much more familiar with my appetite, or head hunger, than I am with actual, demanding physical hunger feelings.
Thank you for responding.
I agree. I think I was much more familiar with my appetite/head hunger than with physical hunger.

We seem to spend tons of time on diets, WOEs, manipulating calories/fat/protein/carbs/supplements/exercise to try to reach our nirvana of goal weight... yet I'd wager a rather large percentage of us has not nailed down what our true hunger really is. We avoid feeling and experiencing it for whatever reasons, and I think there are likely many.
I didn't like experiencing the initial pain that I had, but I am very grateful to have found JUDDD and was challenged to do any type of fasting to help push me to experience true hunger. It still seems to be evolving for me as well.

I'm thinking this may be a rather important key in success: determining what each of our own true feelings of physical hunger really are.

I'd hoped to have gotten more respondents for everyone's reference here, but it may be that feelings of true hunger do elude many and/or perhaps they just think it's a silly question altogether? I'm not sure.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:22 AM   #12
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I used to think of it as painful, or sometimes it just felt desperate. But it's not like either of those things for me anymore. Before I either ignored it too long until my body was screaming at me, or I confused craving with hunger.

In "Skinny Jeans" she says it's about as painful as the urge to blink. And I can honestly say that's about how it feels now. I think hunger is the difference between being indifferent to food and being interested in it.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:33 AM   #13
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I'll ask a strange question that I haven't seen addressed anywhere, but I have experienced it my entire life. Here's what happens:

I'm going along with my day, busy, relaxing, whatever. Not thinking about food or eating. Then I'll get a whiff of the aroma of something to eat out of the blue, and I'll want that food. It's not real. I've always thought of it as "inside my own nose" and I've thought of it as a sudden craving for something very specific. It's usually something that's not easy to get to at that moment, or requires a lot of preparation, and so normally I can't indulge the craving at that moment. But sometimes it's something very mundane that I just immediately go to the kitchen and eat it.

This doesn't happen often, thankfully, and much less than it did when I was younger.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:28 AM   #14
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I used to think of it as painful, or sometimes it just felt desperate. But it's not like either of those things for me anymore. Before I either ignored it too long until my body was screaming at me, or I confused craving with hunger.

In "Skinny Jeans" she says it's about as painful as the urge to blink. And I can honestly say that's about how it feels now. I think hunger is the difference between being indifferent to food and being interested in it.
What do you think changed that the caused your perception of pain to change?
(I think it's awesome that your feelings of hunger have evolved to this degree, btw. )

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoCarbGal View Post
I'll ask a strange question that I haven't seen addressed anywhere, but I have experienced it my entire life. Here's what happens:

I'm going along with my day, busy, relaxing, whatever. Not thinking about food or eating. Then I'll get a whiff of the aroma of something to eat out of the blue, and I'll want that food. It's not real. I've always thought of it as "inside my own nose" and I've thought of it as a sudden craving for something very specific. It's usually something that's not easy to get to at that moment, or requires a lot of preparation, and so normally I can't indulge the craving at that moment. But sometimes it's something very mundane that I just immediately go to the kitchen and eat it.

This doesn't happen often, thankfully, and much less than it did when I was younger.
I'm not sure, but it sounds like the aroma is giving the suggestion to eat and your lower brain then demands the food. The few things I read (one suggested by LCF member Ouizoid) mentions that we can re-wire our brains by ignoring such primitive meaningless chatter. It then basically becomes a habit to only listen to (and act on) real physical hunger cues. Another great topic for further conversation!
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
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I used to think of it as painful, or sometimes it just felt desperate. But it's not like either of those things for me anymore. Before I either ignored it too long until my body was screaming at me, or I confused craving with hunger.

In "Skinny Jeans" she says it's about as painful as the urge to blink. And I can honestly say that's about how it feels now. I think hunger is the difference between being indifferent to food and being interested in it.
I totally agree with the bolded portion.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:55 AM   #16
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What do you think changed that caused your perception of pain to change?
I have felt the kind of hunger dreamingisfree mentioned back when I would have double DDs. There is a strong feeling in the mouth and throat. It is very uncomfortable.

What changed my perception of pain was eating before hunger goes too far. You can be sleepy and you can be exhausted, but you don't have to wait until you're exhausted to need to sleep. Being sleepy is a good enough indicator that it's time to go to bed. Hunger is like that.

Now when my body needs food and it awakens an interest in me, I act on the need. I don't have to rush into the kitchen and satisfy my hunger right away, but I start thinking about it. Since I'm not desperate, when I eat I pay attention to my body and stop when I'm no longer hungry. I don't need to be full. And I end up eating a lot less.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:04 AM   #17
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...What changed my perception of pain was eating before hunger goes too far. You can be sleepy and you can be exhausted, but you don't have to wait until you're exhausted to need to sleep. Being sleepy is a good enough indicator that it's time to go to bed. Hunger is like that...
(The rest of your post is valuable as well, but I am only making further comment to the above quote directly.)
Recognizing true hunger, then acting on it before it becomes painful, is what "experts" seem to be saying as well. By recognizing cues of your true hunger (not listening to your head hunger), one can better manage hunger before it becomes and emergency - and cause you to possibly binge. This has a domino effect then of also avoiding bad eating choices because you're listening to yourself better.
Now if we can all just listen and qualify what true hunger means to each of us, it seems we have better success managing our hunger.

I hope this thread helps us all head in the direction of knowing our own hunger better. Not being afraid of the initial "pain" and re-experiencing it, and using it as a tool.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:27 AM   #18
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To me, real hunger feels like a warm slightly empty feeling. Not really unpleasant and sad to say I went for years being terrified of ever feeling it. The difference between that and head hunger for me is head hunger wants a specific thing, like chocolate or something sweet and carby. Head hunger is kind of like, "I want something to eat but not sure what." And if nothing sounds good, I sit down and soon the urge to eat goes away. Real hunger, for me, is satisfied by some protein.

Not the best way of describing it, sorry
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:37 AM   #19
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...Not the best way of describing it, sorry
Thank you, and don't be sorry - it's what you feel! It's difficult to articulate, I can totally understand.

This whole thread is more/less an exercise to try to articulate our personal true physical hunger as we know it. It just might help someone have the courage to experience their own and/or assist them in even recognizing their own!

Every differing detail of description might be helpful to someone.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
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(The rest of your post is valuable as well, but I am only making further comment to the above quote directly.)
Recognizing true hunger, then acting on it before it becomes painful, is what "experts" seem to be saying as well. By recognizing cues of your true hunger (not listening to your head hunger), one can better manage hunger before it becomes and emergency - and cause you to possibly binge. This has a domino effect then of also avoiding bad eating choices because you're listening to yourself better.
Now if we can all just listen and qualify what true hunger means to each of us, it seems we have better success managing our hunger.

I hope this thread helps us all head in the direction of knowing our own hunger better. Not being afraid of the initial "pain" and re-experiencing it, and using it as a tool.
This has always been what I've read in magazines, or saw "experts" say on t.v. I.e., "Don't skip meals, or you're setting yourself up to binge or overeat later," and "breakfast is the most important meal of the day, because it keeps you from overeating the rest of the day..." JUDDD has taught me that I can actually *be* hungry and not eat, and be okay.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:06 PM   #21
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I was thinking of this thread just now. I was driving along and I felt what I call unmistakable hunger. Straightforward stomach pangs--that's how I'd describe them. I've discovered that I can ignore them and they'll definitely go away, but this time I went ahead and had a piece of jerky once I got home. Just makes it easier.

For a different kind of hunger--one I almost wouldn't call hunger--this morning I ended up eating a protein bar earlier than I normally would eat anything on a DD like today. I had noticed a physical feeling of emptiness--something I almost always just ignore and let happen on a DD--but because I had some really serious work I needed to be able to concentrate on completely, I got out a bar and ate it.

So I would say that for me there's more than one kind of actual physical hunger.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:51 PM   #22
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Overall, one of the most valuable things that I have learned through my JUDDDing is that Hunger is NOT an Emergency! I will not die if I don't eat for 1 day. I will not starve to death, I will not faint, I will not become a bumbling idiot. I eat healthfully at least EOD and my body is just fine when it doesn't get a constant stream of food. In fact, my body is extraordinarily grateful that I fast at least 2 days per week. I have ceased being a diabetic that required an injection 2x a day thanks to fasting EOD.
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:58 AM   #23
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The first month of JUDDDing, hunger was uncomfortable. Not bad, easy to handle, but not comfy.

Then it changed. I am rarely aware of hunger now. Oh, sometimes there is a little tummy-tweak. Like my body is saying, "Hey, I need some energy. Are you going to feed me? 'Cause if not, I am gonna burn some fat." NBD

Hunger is not an emergency for me.

Like Carly, I do find I can extend the fast too long. If I don't eat a salad or something for lunch on UDs, I don't feel as much energy or, just generally, I don't feel good. S'okay. I love salads.
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:41 AM   #24
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LibraryGirl/Cindy: Yes. I'd always seen the admonishment of "Dom't skip meals" and "breakfast is the most important meal of the day". Binge avoidance. For some reason, I didn't (and I'd guess many don't) still equate that skipped lunch yesterday to the binge today. Mental thoughts of deprivation/scarcity seem to make for a lot psychological drive, as both Spinardi and Stevens have stated. Johnson talks of it as obsessive/compulsive eating. While that may be true, I guess it is obsession secondary to thoughts of deprivation/scarcity anyway.
Then and now, I was always encouraged to skip a meal if I wanted to lose any weight, and while I love breakfast foods, I really have a difficult time thinking of food right when I wake up. It's usually several hours until the thought of food doesn't put me off.
Now, I wait to be hungry (period). I don't/won't purposefully skip meals, and will eat breakfast, but not until I'm hungry.

UtahDesert: Thank you so much for giving this thought! You have two distinctly different cues for your physical hunger. See, it's stuff like this that's interesting too.

Carly: Initially, for me, it still felt like an emergency (due to pain, but not like I was going to die from not eating), but pushing through that it keeps getting easier and I no longer have the pain. DDs a day at a time have been a good training ground, it seems. You're right, it has certainly redefined what food "emergency" means. It not only is not "emergency," it's seldom "urgency" at all. It's so awesome that you have changed your health status so profoundly. I don't see where you've said anyplace, but what does your DW think of these sweeping changes in you over this last two years?

gotmesomeold/Nancy: "Hey I need some energy. Are you going to feed me? 'Cause if not, I am gonna burn some fat." I hear mine saying that too!!! NBD - but it is actually HUGE to get to that realization. It makes it pleasant that way because if you aren't going to eat, you actively hear your body's intent to go off and burn fat for energy (I'm LCing while doing JUDDD, too.)

So this makes me wonder: Perhaps hunger cues might even be different depending upon people's WOEs (not necessarily a diet "plan" but individual eating habits). For example: It reminds me of when I drink diet sodas, I get that "empty" (rather horrible empty feeling - not like a nice/light empty feeling) like my stomach is eating itself. I hadn't thought of it until now, but it's part of why I don't consume any diet sodas - because of the way they make me feel. It might be something that effects our perception of hunger and causes it to seem more emergent than it really is? (Not something I'm willing to test, btw) LOL

Last edited by MsKitty; 05-03-2014 at 08:43 AM..
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:49 PM   #25
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When I met DW I weighed 112 pounds. I didn't know this at the time, but secretly she thought I was too skinny. She didn't mind that I gained weight and could have cared less if I lost it, but she did see how unhappy and unhealthy I was with the excess weight so in that regard she is happy that I'm much healthier and she knows I'm so, so much happier.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:08 AM   #26
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This has always been what I've read in magazines, or saw "experts" say on t.v. I.e., "Don't skip meals, or you're setting yourself up to binge or overeat later," and "breakfast is the most important meal of the day, because it keeps you from overeating the rest of the day..." JUDDD has taught me that I can actually *be* hungry and not eat, and be okay.
So, so true for me, too, Cindy!

As I'm reading through this thread, I'm remembering my first few days of JUDDDing, and I didn't think I'd be able to tolerate the DDs. But then I found out that I could really appreciate my 500 DD calories so much more because the food tasted so wonderful as there was so little of it. Don't know if that makes much sense, but it's true for me!

I have nearly always done 500 calorie DDs as I've found that lowering them doesn't work any better.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:31 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by shirlc View Post
So, so true for me, too, Cindy!

As I'm reading through this thread, I'm remembering my first few days of JUDDDing, and I didn't think I'd be able to tolerate the DDs. But then I found out that I could really appreciate my 500 DD calories so much more because the food tasted so wonderful as there was so little of it. Don't know if that makes much sense, but it's true for me!

I have nearly always done 500 calorie DDs as I've found that lowering them doesn't work any better.
Shirl, how many DDs do you have now that you are in maintenance?
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:41 AM   #28
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I'll ask a strange question that I haven't seen addressed anywhere, but I have experienced it my entire life. Here's what happens:

I'm going along with my day, busy, relaxing, whatever. Not thinking about food or eating. Then I'll get a whiff of the aroma of something to eat out of the blue, and I'll want that food. It's not real. I've always thought of it as "inside my own nose" and I've thought of it as a sudden craving for something very specific. It's usually something that's not easy to get to at that moment, or requires a lot of preparation, and so normally I can't indulge the craving at that moment. But sometimes it's something very mundane that I just immediately go to the kitchen and eat it.

This doesn't happen often, thankfully, and much less than it did when I was younger.
I read about this a long time ago, but I think it said that when we smell food that smells appetizing to us, our digestive process starts and the body starts "asking" for food. I'm not sure if that's true or not. I can sometimes just think of a food that I really like and have phantom odors of that food in my head lol.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:52 AM   #29
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Shirl, how many DDs do you have now that you are in maintenance?
I have to confess, my maintenance doesn't work the greatest because of UUADs that usually turn into two or three. So mostly, I'm having to do EOD when it works out for me. But this method is working!
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Old 05-17-2014, 01:20 PM   #30
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Interesting reading what others describe as their "hungry feeling". Mine starts in my head, I feel woozy, lethargic, and irritable. Almost like I feel when I am car sick, then I go into the fight or flight panic mode and feel the NEED to eat. Its a physical need as well as mental. It starts in my head far before i feel it physically in my belly.
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