Welcome to The Fast Diet › The official Fast forums › Mind › Coping strategies for hunger › getting harder to fast
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19 Sep 13
I would love to know if anyone else has had this problem and what they did about it. I have been doing the 5:2 since the end of May and lost about 7 lb in the first six weeks. I am now at a weight I am happy with and usually do just 1 fast day a week, occasionally fitting in another if I have crept up a 1 lb. At first the fast days were pretty easy but over the last three weeks I haven’t had an easy one. I have been getting incredibly hungry and keeping busy or exercising doesn’t work to diminish it……any help would be gratefully received.
“At first the fast days were pretty easy but over the last three weeks I haven’t had an easy one. ”
What did you do differently when you were doing well?
I don’t think I have changed anything. It’s probably just my body trying to put the weight on again which it normally does.
For me the short amount of time we need to go without food on 5:2 isn’t long enough to become really “hungry”. I find the biggest help to overcome the desire to eat is my mind.
When I want something to eat on a fast day, I ask myself if it is really hunger or something else. Like boredom or desire for something that I especially like. Usually I just want to eat because I want to eat. Not because I’m hungry.
“I ask myself if it is really hunger or something else. Like boredom or desire for something that I especially like. ”
I get it .
How about, “Is it hunger or do I want some water & then a quick nap?”
My answer was – Yes.
30 Sep 13
Hopefully someone can relate…..I started 5:2 around 16 weeks ago, and lost 21 lbs. in 8 1/2 weeks. Have REALLY been struggling the last 6 weeks, and am not sure how to shake it.
Stuff happens in life, and I’ve been very stressed. Discovered I am an emotional eater. So, I eat, eat, eat, with no control whatsoever. Want to get back on the 5:2 wagon, because I never felt better and I actually lost most of the weight. But……need some strategies to help during the difficult transition back. Not difficult because 5:2 doesn’t work, but difficult because being emotionally hungry is sooooo hard to overcome.
Know all the good stuff like eat more fruits /veggies, exercise, drink lots of water, taking certain vitamins to help curb hunger/cravings, etc, etc, which I still do, but has anyone experienced this, and figured out some strategies that work when your body is full, but your mind is screaming at you to eat junk? It truly is an emotional hunger, not physical at all, as a lot of the time, I eat when completely stuffed!
It’s hard to read all the successes sometimes, not because I’m not thrilled that 5:2 is working for others, but because it feels like I’ve lost control and like no one else would know or can relate to what I’m talking about, (which I’m sure really isn’t the case).
Wish there was a chapter in the book that would address this problem, as I am sure many actually can relate to it, as most of us are doing this due to being overweight in the first place , I would dare say many, out of emotional eating….any thoughts/advice?
“Know all the good stuff like eat more fruits /veggies, exercise, drink lots of water, taking certain vitamins to help curb hunger/cravings, etc, etc, which I still do, but has anyone experienced this, and figured out some strategies that work when your body is full, but your mind is screaming at you to eat junk? It truly is an emotional hunger, not physical at all, as a lot of the time, I eat when completely stuffed!”
Hi TidyChick, all that good stuff you quote can work well for physiological hunger, but as you realise, the cravings you’re experiencing are coming from an emotional response. I found the following link recently:
which deals with a holistic approach to emotional healing. Hope you can access this as it may well give you other options than food to ease your pain.
Thinking of you, Annie x
You are most definitely not alone, TidyChick! For me, I wouldn’t even class myself as an ’emotional eater’, more of a ‘greedy eater’. I eat when I’m busy, bored, happy, upset, socialising, alone… you name the situation, and you can be sure that my mind associates it with eating.
I reconciled myself to the fact that I am addicted to eating a long time ago and that I will have a lifelong battle with it. Up until embarking on 5:2 I was either ‘dieting’ or ‘failing to diet’ – that’s how I class every moment of my life up to this point. Name the family occasion – weddings, funerals, christenings, holidays – I might not be able to remember much about the event but I’ll be able to tell you what weight I was at the time!
5:2 has relieved the pressure somewhat, in that I only have to ‘diet’ two days a week. The rest of the time I eat what I want. And if that includes stuffing my face with all the things that I wouldn’t normally dream of touching in my hitherto ‘dieting’ existence, then so be it. Yes, my weight loss is virtually nil (3lbs in 4 months, and most definitely no inch loss), but for the first time in my adult life I am eating what I want and not piling on the pounds at a rate of knots. Most of the time I eat healthily anyway, but if I want two custard tarts in one go (like last Saturday!), then I allow myself to without feeling hideously ashamed afterwards.
So, don’t be down, TidyChick – hang in there! Given that the majority of us on this forum are overweight to varying degrees, and also given the small (but not insignificant) number of us for whom a significant weight loss has not been apparent, you can be sure that you are most definitely not alone 🙂
You made me laugh, Thanks, I needed that!! At a rate of knots…..
I think a key thing you said, not feeling ashamed afterwards, or guilty even. That just makes the cycle worse, or I suppose that plays a huge part in the cycle.
There is always food everywhere, like you said. That is how I started to get into trouble in the first place. No matter what function, food! And usually not the healthy kind.
Argh, this fight with food! Gotta figure out a way to embrace it and make it work for healths sake, and not have it be such a struggle and fight.
It IS a fight, but at least we can fight together! We might not ever win but at least we can congratulate ourselves for not surrendering in the tougher times. Happy fasting everyone 🙂
“There is always food everywhere, like you said. That is how I started to get into trouble in the first place. No matter what function, food! And usually not the healthy kind.”
Yes, there is food at functions. Usually it’s foods that are there to impress and not to digest necessarily.
I’ve always thought that the importance is the event or the people attending.
It’s an effort for me but I always eat before I eat. Meaning that I choose to feed myself the foods that are good for me before going to a function that includes food. I have struggled with that because I’ve felt that I have paid for the food with some entry fee. It’s a scarcity mentality. My wife has helped me overcome that as an example of how to act.
Good idea! Cauliflower and carrots fills me up temporarily, and that might help out before a function.
Now I just gotta figure out what will fill up that part of my mind that seems to be holding be back a bit.
Found the emotional healing toolkit. It’s definitely giving me something to think about, thank you. Will print this and keep it handy!
“Now I just gotta figure out what will fill up that part of my mind that seems to be holding be back a bit.”
I had not thought about this until you mentioned it.
I’m finding a struggle to keep engaged in something interesting. In some cases, my business activities are not challenging me mentally enough. With boredom, food becomes a comfort source.
I’m aware of this dilemma and I’m resorting to bananas and mints as comfort foods, in the meantime.
I’m also resolving to read more books that I’ve postponed for the summer.
1 Oct 13
You offer some great insights on this forum. Let me ask you, how do you deal with stress? I just need some different strategies….
” Let me ask you, how do you deal with stress? I just need some different strategies”
I struggled with responding correctly. I didn’t want to disappoint you.
It then occurred to me that disappointment of ourselves and others are our deepest fears. And it happens often. We are wired for both success and failure. They coexist. Without failure, the success would not be a success. Success produces joy. Failure gives stress.
So it is a cycle that comes in waves. Like fasting. Like feeding.
This has allowed me to moderate my emotions, so that I’m ok with failure and ok with success. An attitude.
I then prepare for a better success.
Starting with a mental goal, visualization, and physically prepared with rest and healthy body.
I wonder how you and others would answer this?
I was remembering that when I trained as a Samaritan I heard a talk on maintaining psychological well-being. The expert purported that there were only ever 2 ways of dealing with every situation we face:
a) Go into problem-solving mode
b) Go into emotionally-focused coping mode
Each of us have our favourite of the two approaches and the key to A1 emotional health is to make the switch to the other when appropriate.
So, if you have a solvable problem, you do a)
If not, switch to emotionally-focused coping. Now in this mode, many of us on this forum I suspect turn to food to make us feel better but there are other ways eg talking it through (which is where the Samaritans came in).
Worth thinking about?
a) Go into problem-solving mode
b) Go into emotionally-focused coping mode”
b) Flight – and eat some food to sustain it.
This may explain why the flight involves exercising (and food) for me.
I like b) go into emotionally -focused coping mode. This denotes having to deal with a problem head on and allowing yourself to feel whatever emotion is going on, rather than trying to suffocate and stuff the feelings, emotions, etc with food. Instead of being scared about dealing with your problems, challenges, what have you, you take things head on. If anything, food/junk just compounds the issues and is very much a part of the vicious cycle.
My mother-in-law always says, “It is what it is”. (My husband hates that saying ), but I really like it. It means you may not always be able to control “what” happens in life, but you are in charge of “how” you deal with what comes your way. Although, it sounds easier said than done, I’m sure it can be mastered and done. Baby steps, I suppose, like everything else in life.
This 5:2 sure is a life changing and eye opening experience in so many ways. More so than just the physical changes. Thank you.
What a great notion! I like what you said, “This has allowed me to moderate my emotions, so that I’m OK with failure and OK with success. An attitude. ”
I have always been very hard on myself and want to please others around me. And take on a lot of unneccessary worry and guilt, etc. Guess it’s part if my obssessive personality. And you’re right, success cannot be so without failure, and vice versa.
This is something I will think about and remember when I go to reach for something to stuff my face and emotion’s with, when faced with stress. Thanks for sharing.
TidyChick, I don’t know if this image will help you at all but I’ll describe it just in case. I was talking to a support person in my GP’s office. She is a psychologist but we were just talking: talking about how to eat better (less) and get control of emotional eating.
She said, if I had a friend who was making irrational demands of me and putting me in danger, but who I liked very much, what would I do.
I said that I’d probably still see them, but less often and try to avoid them when they were being demanding/bullying.
She said, eating is like that friend. You don’t have to stop seeing them completely (ie say I’m never going to eat chocolate EVER again!) but I should recognise they want me to do things that are harmful, however enjoyable it is to be with them and limit the time I spend with them.
I found that idea really helpful. That (over)eating wasn’t something me but a something that I had let control me.
Rather like Gollum in Lord Of The Rings. He loves his precious – but it was killing him! Emotional eating is like wearing The One Ring!
And that’s so great about 5:2 that you don’t have to completely break off your relationship with nice eating things but you can keep them at arms length sometimes.
Maybe it sounds loopy but this image of eating as a sometimes bad friend has really helped me and when I suddenly crave more and more of something naughty but nice (as you do!) I say to that craving; Nah! Enough of your bad influence. I’ll see you tomorrow – but enough for today.
Just a way of looking at things that is helping me.
Thanks for sharing that, Speedy. Very interesting – food for thought, even! 😉
“She said, if I had a friend who was making irrational demands of me and putting me in danger, but who I liked very much, what would I do.”
This is not a friend and should be eliminated quickly.
I learned a strategy that would eliminate ANY food immediately from being eaten. I’m surprised that no one ever uses that visualization strategy or even mentions it. It’s worked for me and for my wife, lasting for several years. Enough time to find better alternatives.
It saves much struggling over eating unwanted foods.
It’s an experiential process and is quick. Describing it does not do it justice.
If there is an interest, search for a technique that does as I describe and it will serve you well.
Well I’m certainly very curious Rockyromero! I’ve tried all sorts of visualisations – some quite horrible 🙁 but so far none have really put me off chocolate etc.
The point of my story was more that the ‘friend’ let’s call them chocolate, is not good for you but isn’t something I want to really eliminate – I don’t want to live without chocolate or ice cream; I just want to be in control of them and enjoy them when I want to – rather than the other way round.
So many, many times before I’ve tried to eliminate the ‘bad’ foods but it never works.
The only aversion to a food I have ever had lasted about 6 months and it was a very very salty pizza I partially ate when I was ill. The thought of pizza after that was repugnant to me. Well, it was for 6 months 🙂
Are you talking about a sort of self-hypnosis I wonder?
“I’ve tried all sorts of visualisations – …I don’t want to live without chocolate or ice cream; I just want to be in control of them and enjoy them when I want to – ”
My wife wanted to stop eating ice cream, and after doing the visualization, it worked for about 9 months. Good enough. We could have done the visualization again but her desire for ice cream was greatly diminished.
“The only aversion to a food I have ever had lasted about 6 months and it was a very very salty pizza I partially ate when I was ill. The thought of pizza after that was repugnant to me. Well, it was for 6 months ”
You’re on the right track with this. Create an effective visualization that works for you with a food that you want to eliminate. Test. Modify. Test. Done.
“Are you talking about a sort of self-hypnosis I wonder?”
No hypnosis, although, in a way, visualization is very powerful.
Play with it and come up with your own strategy. I believe in people’s creativity and imagination.
I’m here to testify and suggest this possibility for everyone.
2 Oct 13
What an great comparison!! Never thought of overeating in that way before, but you are so right. I would imagine most people are aquainted with someone who is not that great a friend to them (I have a few people like that in my life, family members included), and you do need to keep them at arms length.
Will try this next time I have a hard time. I do think it will help! Thanks!
To add to the reflections on visualisation, I have had success with visualising myself enjoying healthy foods (for me it’s a picture of myself in really nice fitness wear eating and really enjoying a crunchy apple). I really want to be that girl.
@ Annie Somerset
” I have had success with visualising myself enjoying healthy foods (for me it’s a picture of myself in really nice fitness wear eating and really enjoying a crunchy apple).”
Great direction, Annie.
How can you make it vivid and real for you?
Spooky, rockyromero, I had a feeling you might come back and ask that and I’ve been considering my answer! Still working on it.
@ Annie Somerset
Annie, it’s no spookier than losing 14 lbs with 5:2, when nothing else has worked.
I have been on the “fast diet” for seven weeks. I have approached it as a change in lifestyle rather than a diet. I have been reading the post on several of the forum strings. This is an interesting string. It really fits in with the lifestyle of reduced calorie living. Michael ideas came from longevity research. I would say that longevity is probably for most of us a deep seated goal. Keeping the long term in my mind helps me with the “hunger”. I appreciate the ideas that all of you have given me. Hopefully in a year we will all be much more comfortable with the new lifestyle. I certainly didn’t get to be a 100 lbs overweight overnight, so I can not expect of get rid of the weight overnight. Hopefully thoughts of the long term will keep me on track each day.
I enjoyed the “Lord of the Rings” comment. Read the entire series when I was in college in the 60’s.
In it for the long term.
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