- Eat foods with more fiber.
- Plan an afternoon snack.
Well, I’ve been doing both of these for a few weeks now. The good:
- My blood sugar isn’t fluctuating as quickly as it was previously.
- My planned snacks are more satisfying than vending machine ones.
The bad: I lost my primary hunger cue. Oops.
I realized this the first week one day at 4pm, a time when I was normally ravenous. I had packed a plum and half of a ham-with-mustard-Gouda sandwich for my snack. I didn’t feel hungry; I didn’t feel full; but the food looked tasty and I ate it. A short while later, I felt much more energized and focused. My productivity picked up too.
My reaction to having eaten was what it it would have been if I’d been really hungry. But I hadn’t felt hungry, right? Um…why not?
On further reflection, I realized that, for years, I’ve been relying on my blood sugar tanking to know when I was hungry. Now that my blood sugar increases and decreases are more gradual, I’ve lost my “need to eat” signal.
Thus has begun a bit of an experiement. How do I know I’m hungry – short of headache and dizziness? (Yes, I’ve had both several times – and am trying to avoid in the future!) To help with this, I’ve taken another suggestion from Health At Every Size: I’ve started noting how I feel before and after eating, so I can look for patterns. This is something I resisted, since on the surface it is yet another “diet diary”… but it’s been a few weeks and I’m still forgetting to eat, so I bit the bullet and replicated Dr Bacon’s format as a Google Docs spreadsheet (easy to update from home or work). The focus is on “Feelings/Moods/Thoughts/Body Sensations Before Eating” and “Feelings/Moods/Thoughts/Body Sensations After Eating”, and does not include amounts, calories, fiber, carbs, protein, or fat grams. So far what I’ve noted is things like “tired; empty stomach; cold” before eating and “warm; comfortable; focused” after eating.
I’m tempted to hold off on posting this until I’ve relearned my hunger cues, but I don’t know how long that’ll be :) So hey, there it is – you know what I know.