Dumb Question of the Day

love2eatinpa, 16 April 2010, 44 comments
Categories: Day to Day Stuff
Tags: ,

I’m still struggling a bit with a certain aspect of my hunger cues. I guess all the bingeing I’ve done all these years has my system thrown off a bit.

Like most people, I’m assuming, I feel hungry when I wake up in the morning. The problem is that I feel different types of hunger and I don’t know how to interpret them.

Let me see if I can put what’s in my brain onto this page. I’m having one of those days where I can’t seem to find the right words to express myself (unfortunately, a common occurrence!)….

There are some nights when I eat dinner at my normal time (roughly 6:30 or so) and I sometimes feel a little hungry a couple hours later. Sometimes I honor my hunger and have a light snack, sometimes I don’t.

Then there are other nights, where due to an event or other circumstances, I eat dinner much later than that and on top of that, sometimes eat a little more than normal.

So here is my question …. how do you know if that hunger you feel in the morning is from not eating enough the day/night before, or if it is a different kind of hunger because I ate later at night, perhaps ate a bit more than usual, and I feel like it’s a hunger/craving for more overeating?

Am I crazy or can there be a hunger that stems from not eating enough compared to a hunger from eating enough, perhaps more than usual, that is almost a craving? Does this make any sense at all?

One Day at a Time... Nurture myself... Awareness... Letting Go... Listen to my Body

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Comments

44 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Cammy@TippyToeDiet
    16 April 2010, 9:54 pm

    I think I know what you’re talking about, but I have no idea about how to tell the difference. Metabolism factors in there somewhere, too, just to muddy the waters. For myself, I just have a standard breakfast plan that I follow. It’s based more on fueling the morning rather than satisfying hunger. I’m not sure that’s the right way to go, but it seems to help me control hunger for the rest of the day, anyway.
    .-= Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog ..A Bit of Redirection =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    sheesh, i didn’t even think about metabolism, that’s a good point. maybe when we eat later than normal our metabolism/hunger is super-revved up in the am?

    it’s great you have a breakfast plan that works so well for you! um, what do you eat?

    [Reply]

  2. Karen @ Waisting Time
    16 April 2010, 10:26 pm

    I don’t know the answer either. I am more hungry some mornings than others but have never paid close attention to the correlation, if there is one, to what I ate the night before. Like Cammy, I eat the same thing pretty much every day for breakfast. The timing might vary a bit depending on my hunger. Breakfast has always been the easiest meal for me.
    .-= Karen @ Waisting Time´s last blog ..Food Porn =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    good to know that i’m not the only one! i have two breakfasts i alternate between, but like you, it doesn’t matter how hungry i am. i was just trying to figure out what the hunger meant about the day before.

    [Reply]

  3. Kyle
    16 April 2010, 10:37 pm

    Ok…I don’t follow the many small meals advice…I just don’t. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner..perhaps an afternoon snack or dessert, but usually not both. I try and keep to a fairly consistent meal schedule and eat on that schedule which is usually consistent with my hunger. I’ve gotten “hungry” in between the meal times, but the feeling usually goes away. I’ll only sometimes have a mid afternoon snack and that is usually to provide extra fuel for early evening exercise. Bottom line, like a child, I only feed myself on schedule, not out of feelings of hunger. I find it keeps it in better check that way.
    .-= Kyle´s last blog ..Runner’s Sigh versus Runner’s High =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    everybody has to do what works for them and it’s great that you have found that works best for you on this journey. it’s great that you eat so intuitively (like a child) and not eat emotionally! that is a huge hurdle for most.

    [Reply]

  4. CatLoverinCA
    16 April 2010, 10:40 pm

    Hi. I generally eat dinner fairly late at night (and all those people who tell you that you need to eat before 7 pm or it all goes to fat are full of bunk). If I eat dinner with my elderly parents who eat very early, I am ravenous eight hours later and don’t want to be eating a snack in the wee hours. So this is coming from someone who wakes up 9 hours after eating (no dinner’s not right before bed, I’m a 6 hours a night sleeper who feels awful if I sleep more or less than that!)

    If I eat a balanced, normal dinner that has adequate protein and fat, not just carbs carbs & more carbs, I do wake up hungry in the morning. But it’s a brew some coffee and have cereal & fruit, or a couple eggs–not ravenous, horrible my-blood-sugar-plummeted hunger. If I’ve eaten too much the night before, or what I ate was too carb-oriented, I will wake up ravenous.

    I do have blood sugar issues though–was warned by endocrinologist in my late 30s about pre-diabetes blood sugar levels which I’ve normalized through exercise and normalizing my weight… but sugar on an empty stomach sends my heart rate to aerobic exercise levels, and eating just carbs sends my blood sugar plummeting in a matter of a couple hours…

    I hope that helps you.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    so interesting!!! so it seems like it’s the type of food i’m eating combined with eating a little more than normal at a a late dinner that contributes to the more ravenous feeling. thanks for the info!!!

    [Reply]

  5. Holly
    16 April 2010, 11:10 pm

    That makes complete sense to me….and I wonder the same thing! If I overeat at night, then almost always I’m not ready for breakfast until later. In the morning I *try* to wait until I have that “stomach growling” feeling before I eat breakfast. If not, I feel like that makes me even fuller and sets me up for possible overeating throughout the day, if that makes sense. I read somewhere that if we wake up really hungry, we didn’t eat enough the day before; if we wake up just a little hungry, we ate probably the right amount, and if we don’t wake up hungry at all, we might have overeaten. That is definitely true for me!
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..We’ve Only Just Begun =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    glad that made some sense, i felt kind of rambly, that i couldn’t put the right words together.

    now what you said is interesting and kind of opposite to what catloverinca said. hmmm…. i guess every one is different and as cammy pointed out, metabolism can play a role too. what you read does make sense, so boy this is confusing! maybe my question wasn’t as dumb as i thought it was. =)

    [Reply]

  6. Lisa
    16 April 2010, 11:36 pm

    It is very difficult for people who have a disordered eating past to be able to pin point different levels of hunger. I’m not at all there. My husband is a “normal” eater and it truly amazes me that he has maintained his weight our whole marriage with no effort or regard to what or when he eats. Sometimes he eats early and other times he eats very late at night due to his business. He always says he is ravenous in the morning.

    Gosh…it’s so hard though. Baby steps and I believe you will learn how your body works 🙂

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    so not fair to that your husband can eat what he wants and to have maintained his weight all this time! =)

    seriously though, he is ravenous in the morning whether he eats late or at a normal time, or were you saying he is ravenous in the a.m. only after he eats late?

    [Reply]

    Lisa Reply:

    He is ravenous regardless. I don’t know if it’s due to his nonexistant excess body fat or what? He is thin and has no reserves, that is the only thing I can figure.

    Thanks for all your supportive comments on my blog too…
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Confessing, Ranting, and Questions… =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    oooh, so unfair!!!! lol!!!

    my pleasure, i’m rootin’ for ya!

  7. Mircea
    17 April 2010, 12:18 am

    As with all important things I guess the answer is: it depends. As a general guideline, I try to eat when hungry or if it is time to eat (I do it at regular time intervals and the fact that I am consciously fueling my body is preventing me, at least most of the times, from feeling hungry). Another thing is to try to avoid is emotional eating. When feeling hungry (and again this is very rare since I eat a small snack or a meal every 2-3 hours) I ask myself: what would happen If you didn’t eat now? If the answer is: probably nothing, I don’t eat (I can usually can tell because the hunger “feeling” goes away in 10-15 minutes). If I am really hungry I eat.
    .-= Mircea´s last blog ..Mail Labels =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks for the info, mircea! you sound totally on top of things!

    [Reply]

  8. Diana
    17 April 2010, 12:37 am

    My only other suggestion is to make sure you’re not thirsty. But, I get what you’re saying! People tell you that “real” hunger comes on gradually, but I tend to not notice (since I want to eat all the time) until the stomach is grumbling and completely empty. So not as easy as they make it sound!
    I’m sure its a metabolism thing for you.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    good point! i may just not have had enough fluids on the days/nights that i wake up ravenous the next morning. gosh, i never realized there were so many factors at play here!

    [Reply]

  9. Jess
    17 April 2010, 5:38 am

    Hm, when I wake up, I drink a big glass of water. That usually helps to curb the hunger, but most of the time you wake up hungry because your body is trying to kick start your metabolism. It’s called break fast for a reason! You’re breaking your fast 🙂

    It could be from cravings though. I really don’t know. I think it might be different from person to person. I really haven’t gotten any insane cravings lately. But, I also have NOT been hungry lately. I eat most of the time because I know my body needs it. It’s really strange. I looked it up yesterday and it has to do with running and exercise blocking some hormone that triggers and suppresses appetite. I’m not sure though.

    My best way of testing out my hunger is to drink water. If I drink water and 10 minutes later I’m still hungry, I honor that. That’s legit. That’s my body saying FEED ME. If I drink water and I end up not hungry for 10 to 20 to 30 minutes, then it was my thirst that morphed into hunger.
    .-= Jess´s last blog ..Day 74: Lighting Up Your Tunnel =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    ok, that is another thing to throw into this bucket – i workout four days a week, so that could effect how hungry i am in the morning too (if i worked out the day before). the water trick is great for any part of the day. thanks, jess!

    [Reply]

  10. Alicia
    17 April 2010, 7:23 am

    I think you may be over-thinking it. If in the AM your stomach is grumbling, it means you’re hungry. Your body is a fine tuned machine and will tell you when it needs fuel. Listen to your body, tune out your mind. It’s hard, I know. I too am working through every single thought that you are having while learning to eat according to hunger cues!
    .-= Alicia´s last blog ..cut the crap & 2010 resolutions updates =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    me overthinking? never!! lol!!! um, try always!!!!

    i guess i was just trying to discern the difference so that i would know what to change in the evening in order to not wake up and feel ravenous. i will eat the same breakfast regardless, i guess i was just trying to figure out how it all worked.

    [Reply]

  11. Missa
    17 April 2010, 8:43 am

    Well, I find that if I eat later than normal the night before, I am really hungry when I wake up. Doesn’t make sense, but that is what happens to me. I think you should eat if you feel hungry. Speaking of which, time for breakfast!!

    Cheers,
    Missa
    LosingEthel

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i think that is the case with me too, which is why i wrote about it. eating later at night you’d think would make you less hungry in the morning instead of more. but all these terrific comments are showing me there are many factors at work here. trust me, i eat breakfast regardless. =)

    [Reply]

  12. Losing Weight Daily
    17 April 2010, 10:30 am

    I don’t see how hunger in the morning is anything but the body needing some energy. By the time you’re up and at ’em it’s probably been at least 6 hours since you last had a meal (assuming you eat right before you sleep), and possibly more like 8-10. That’s time for sustenance! Time for fuel. Your body has been burning calories all night – less than during the day but still burning. As far as your body’s concerned, you just fasted (hence the term break-fast). I don’t consider the night before and breakfast to be connected, really.

    You burn calories all day and into the night; eating earlier in the evening and very little after is good because your body doesn’t necessarily need as many calories anymore like it did when you were movin’ and groovin’ all day long. So it needs less fuel, it would just store what it doesn’t use. But come morning, it’s time to rev up and fuel-up, regardless of when you ate the night before. For me, it’s like a reset.
    .-= Losing Weight Daily´s last blog ..Weigh In For April 14 =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i agree, the morning is definitely time to break-the-fast regardless of what was eaten the night before. you have an interesting viewpoint – maybe the night before isn’t connected to hunger in the morning. i’m thinking at this point it’s probably different for everyone.
    thanks for stopping by!

    [Reply]

    Losing Weight Daily Reply:

    If this were an exact science for everyone, there’d be a insta-thin pill! 🙂 Thanks for writing intriguing things to think about
    .-= Losing Weight Daily´s last blog ..Weigh In For April 14 =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    ah yes, the magic pill we all wish they’d invent!!!!! =)

    Lara Reply:

    I have never found a connection between the two. I am always hungry for breakfast when I wake up, even if I had a big, indulgent meal the night before.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    interesting! i’m always hungry too, but sometimes it’s a different, more ravenous hunger and i was wondering if there was any physical correlation. by everyone’s helpful responses, it sounds like it’s a very individual thing.

  13. Christie {Honoring Health}
    17 April 2010, 1:32 pm

    My hunger levels really vary from day to day. But, as long as I don’t overeat the previous day, my hunger is very gentle in the morning. And the days that I get hungry after dinner are typically the days that I haven’t eaten enough grains. I don’t know if that helps but we are each so different when it comes to hunger. One thing I have found now that I eat so many more vegetables and significantly less sugar is that hunger is very gentle for me, I have to go many many hours to become ravenous and I used to live in a state of ravenous!
    .-= Christie {Honoring Health}´s last blog ..The Desire to Lose =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    so you really find a correlation not only with what you eat but also if you have overeaten. thanks for sharing, christie!

    [Reply]

  14. Haley-O (Cheaty)
    17 April 2010, 4:45 pm

    Really good questions. It’s interesting because I always feel hungry after dinner, no matter how much I eat. If I ignore the “hunger” and make it to bedtime without eating, I get INDIGESTION. Which goes to show I’m not actually hungry.

    I like what Caroline Dupont says in her awesome book “Enlightened Eating,” that hunger feels like receptivity, an opening in the back of the throat. Love that. Because we typically think of hunger in the belly….
    .-= Haley-O (Cheaty)´s last blog ..Cheaty Gets a NEW TOOTH! =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    it’s cool that you know your body like that, but ugh on the indigestion!

    thanks for the tip on the book, that’s an interesting perspective. i’m glad you dropped by, haley!

    [Reply]

  15. Jess
    17 April 2010, 10:25 pm

    In my experience, if I eat late I don’t feel hungry until later in the morning. My only frustration is that my hunger cues range wildly. I get the traditional growling stomach, I get nauseous, and sometimes I get a sense I need to eat, though I don’t really “feel” hungry (that’s usually when I’ve drunk a lot of coffee). In the final case, if I eat a small amount it will make the growling stomach reaction start if I am really hungry.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i’m realizing that everyone has different experiences. we all have different body chemistries. this has been an interesting post for me, a real learning experience.

    [Reply]

  16. Rita
    18 April 2010, 12:04 am

    I have entirely the same problem identifying this stuff and just wanted to thank everyone for all the helpful comments, that’s awesome.
    .-= Rita´s last blog ..The girlfriends are coming, the girlfriends are coming! =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    isn’t the blogosphere amazing!?!?!?

    [Reply]

  17. Bobbie @Anonymous Fat Girl
    19 April 2010, 5:10 pm

    Ha ha!!! Great question. I wish I knew the answer to this. I also wish I knew why I overeat so much at night. I think it’s boredom, stress, etc. Still working on that.
    .-= Bobbie @Anonymous Fat Girl´s last blog ..“Look in the damn mirror!” =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    overeating is a bear, but if you hit that with the determination you put towards working out, you will be even more unstoppable!!!! 🙂

    [Reply]

  18. Sagan
    20 April 2010, 4:43 pm

    I’m stumped on this one, too- I know just what you mean. Sometimes, when I eat a large amount one day, I’ll wake up in the morning feeling very hungry. But I know I can’t be THAT hungry, really, because I ate so much the day before.

    What I usually do in this circumstance is still honour my hunger, like you’ve been talking about. Sometimes that means a fairly big breakfast, even though I’ve already eaten lots the day before. I find that it evens out throughout the day, and over the course of the next couple days… at least, that’s the hope!
    .-= Sagan´s last blog ..Moving Update =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    YES!! that’s exactly what i’m saying. i’m so glad it’s not just me. and yes, i would think that it would even out throughout the day. it somehow does for me unless it’s hormone-related. =)

    [Reply]

  19. LovesCatsinCA
    26 April 2010, 7:22 pm

    Hi. I don’t think what Holly said and what I said were actually in contrast at all… I hope she reads this and says if she has a family history of type II diabetes in her family or not, and if she personally has any blood sugar issues.

    What she said is probably true for people who don’t have any blood sugar issues at all, that overeating would suppress the morning appetite and undereating would make you wake up ravenous. But for those of us with blood sugar issues, eating a lot of carbs without balance will spike the blood sugar and then make it fall rapidly, making one wake up ravenously hungry.

    When Dr. Ornish and the low-fat craze were in, I would eat “low fat” and need to eat every two hours.

    My handy-dandy electronic food diary app analyzes my percentage of calories from fat, carbs and protein. What’s been working for me is around 25-30% fat. Protein is 20-25%, and carbs vary 50-55%. A 60 or more % carb calories day will make me markedly more hungry the next.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks for the info. it’s all so interesting how our bodies work, and often work differently!

    [Reply]

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