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Hunger is weird

January 26, 2010

This semester so far is a killer. I’m taking a full class load, teaching several labs (which includes grading papers), and being an exam proctor/grader for a couple of classes. And my classes are getting harder. Many mornings I have time for a cup of coffee and maybe some instant oatmeal (rarely.) Lunch is often a quick snack if it’s anything at all. Of course, when I am finally home, I am often ravenous, but I’m not finding it hard to eat lots of food at night and stay within where I want to be calorie-wise.

Now, I don’t want to do this long-term. Eating this way makes me feel disordered and I don’t like being as hungry as I am when I finally get home. I’m trying to pack snacks and such to graze on throughout the day this week.

What I find odd though is how my hunger is just not there during the day. When I’m on a more relaxed schedule, I am hungry when I wake up and hungry at lunch and now even when I take a moment to think about it, I don’t feel hungry. That’s why I set reminders on my phone for me to snack. Otherwise, the food just sits in my bag, totally forgotten. I don’t know why, but I find that so fascinating. I hate the idea that hunger is mainly psychological and all we need is a nice bath or a few deep breaths to ‘get over it.’ But I can see how totally entwined psychology and physiology are when it comes to eating. Fascinating.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2010 2:44 pm

    For me, I have a very hard time telling the difference between “I’m bored” and “I’m hungry.” So much so that I have to ask myself this question: “Am I hungry enough to eat tuna salad?”

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t *hate* tuna salad… but it’s not my favorite, and squishing tuna juice out of the can is a pain, and my cats don’t even eat it (which makes me think I have weird cats) and then I have to chop up pickles and etc… it’s “work” as opposed to opening a small bag of chips or something.

    If the answer is “yes, I’d eat tuna salad.” then yes, I am hungry. I am of course then not REQUIRED to eat tuna salad, I *can* eat something else, but it does help me to realize whether or not I’m actually hungry.

    • January 27, 2010 7:06 pm

      I’m pretty good at recognizing when I’m actually hungry vs when I’m bored, but not great at real hunger vs cravings. The tuna idea sounds like a good idea. I try to do the “am I hungry enough to make something?” test when I get random fancies for food at odd times.

  2. stlwtr permalink
    January 27, 2010 11:35 am

    I am exactly the same way. The busier/more stressed I am the more I forget to eat until I find myself shaking. I have a hard time making myself eat at those times though. My overeating tends to happen when I am feeling sorry for myself, hormonal or bored.

    I like Lynn’s idea….

    • January 27, 2010 7:09 pm

      Not eating all day tends to leave me in that state where, if I don’t eat, I continue to feel sort of jittery, but not awful. However, my problem comes in trying to avoid bingeing once I do eat. I mean, if I haven’t eaten much during the day, it’s not like I’m trying to limit myself to a 600 calorie dinner, but I am trying to avoid ordering enough thai food to feed 5 people and eating it all myself.

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