Weight Loss Tips For Obese Starving for Lunch Penelope

An 18-year-old student, Penelope had always tried to get through the morning on a diet coke and a piece of toast for breakfast. She was constantly trying to lose 10 or 12 pounds. She thought her trouble was lunch. She was so ravenous by lunchtime that she actually felt shaky until she ate, and often she overate. When she learned about the feast or famine cycle, she recognized this pattern. She started out with cereal at first and graduated to eggs and toast for breakfast. As she learned to pay attention to her hunger signals, she discovered that she was often hungry by about 11. She ate grapes and nuts at 11 and felt comfortable until lunch at 12:30. Her lunches diminished considerably and she enjoyed feeling much more relaxed in the late morning for the first time in a long time.

This small adjustment, along with a couple of bananas or a big bowl of strawberries or pineapple in the middle of the afternoon, transformed Penelope’s eating behavior. Her lunchtime overeating disappeared and she actually started to prepare a meal in the evening for herself without the nagging hunger pangs from a day of reckless eating. Penelope didn’t have that much weight to lose, and she didn’t lose all of it. Her goal weight was too low for her, according to the BMI charts. But Penelope didn’t care. She gradually lost six pounds and was so grateful to be able to eat and feel good. That was seven years ago. The part that just baffles her is how she could possibly have lived three years unhappily stuck and miserable, trying to eat less.

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New Patterns Emerge

New patterns of eating develop for those applying these recovery principles. Again, it is common for these individuals to eat twice before lunch, then lunch and again mid-to late afternoon before dinner (or supper), ending the eating day with dinner. It’s best to have supper on the early side, based on your hunger, and to be done with eating until the next morning, unless you need a snack in order to sleep. People who exercise in the evening are likely to need a snack sometime before bed. Examples of good evening snacks are fruit, juice or any type of milk—bananas are particularly good for this.

You may ask, why is it OK to go hungry after supper? Isn’t this a famine? If you’ve eaten well and enough during the day, the empty feeling you have before sleeping is a good signal that your body can rest from digestion during the night. If you are still overeating or needing to eat a meal at night, this means you are still on the feast or famine cycle and you need to boost your eating quality food on time during the day. After supper, eating anything but a small snack will not only force your body to work to digest this food while you sleep, but it also sends the signal to store fat. Studies show that people who eat most of their calories during the earlier hours of the day tend to maintain or lose weight whereas those who eat the majority of their calories later in the day tend to gain weight.

So it’s beneficial to go to bed hungry. In fact it’s a good goal. The ability to comfortably avoid eating food after supper is one hallmark signal that you are off the feast or famine cycle.

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