Not so much Hungry as food obsessed

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Not so much Hungry as food obsessed

This topic contains 21 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  MissCLR 9 years, 1 month ago.

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  • Has anyone else found that on a fast day you end up thinking about food more and more opposed to actually being hungry for some? It seems to me that food is taking up a lot of thinking time opposed to hunger pangs or anything else.

    That is how I feel – I said exactly that to my partner yesterday. I seem to miss the act of eating more than being actually hungry! I just keep telling myself ‘tomorrow’, and it works.

    hi dragon,
    old habbits die hard and yes in the early days i was always thinking of what goodies i could have the next day, the tv would drive me crazy with all the fast food adds! funny enough though when my normal eating day came around i no longer craved those goodies.
    over time ive found on this plan my eating habbits have changed and so have my cravings, i think much less about food on my fast days now, keeping yourself busy and drinking plenty of liquid helps no end. xx

    Oh how I know what you mean about the obsession thing. i also suffer from mouth hunger as opposed to being hungry. It is very early days for me yet an dI think that once i get used to it I will be fine. Also found that going out of the house helped too (no kitchen nearby).

    yes, I definitely obsess about foods but it seems to be getting better. if there is something I want, I just remind myself that I can have that on an off day. Right now I’m craving this artichoke, spinach dip w/wheat thins that I made the other day. I’m counting down the hours that I can enjoy food again but not overdue it. I think key to success in this diet is to not overindulge on non-fast days, so I try not to obsess but still track those calories during the day. It’s amazing how one meal out (for me it was a breakfast: eggs, hasbrowns and pancakes) was nearly 1000 calories. I didn’t realize until I was home how bad it was. This is almost my full amount of calories on a non-fast day and it will only make you gain the weight right back that you had lost if you overindulge. I settled for a Boca Burger 90 calories for supper after that!

    Hello everybody, first time poster long time reader here. I have just had my 9th fast day and I did it hard. I read something in the fast diet book about food obsession – it’s referred to as habituation, I think. Obsessing about food is totally normal and OK. I have found that I rarely want what I have been obsessing about the day after a fast. I have driven past McDs and KFC without a glance on non-fast days after fantasising about it just the day before on a fast day. Give yourself permission to think about food – enjoy thinking about it. I actually bake and make my family a lovely meal on many of my fast days – I don’t feel deprived because there’s always tomorrow. I don’t fear my hunger anymore – a fear of being hungry has kept me chubby for over two decades. And before fast diet, I used to think about food (and eat it) all the time anyway, so continuing to think about it while losing weight has to be better than that!

    I have also had the same obsessive thoughts on fast days. And like peppa, I had them before and still do. I’m OK with that. It’s a victory every time I finish a fast day.

    Absolutley! On my first fast day I had a few hunger pangs which I managed to ward off but food was on my mind, even after I ate dinner. I just wanted more. It really is a case of mind over matter.

    I think you are right SammyJ I rarely get hunger pangs but once I start to think about food I want some! Mind over matter definitely. Keep busy it passes I find.

    Actually, I feel exactly the opposite. I find fast days kind of liberating as I do not have to think about food. But this might as well come from my histroy with Weight Watchers where all my thoguths constantly 24/7 criceld around thoughts like “What am I allowed to eat today?”, “How many points might the lunch of colleauge ABC have… wow, and why is he sooo slim, though?” or “Shoot, cinema is on Saturdays but I won’t have any points left. I’ll skip that!” so that I actually felt relieved when starting the fast diet as I hadn’t to endure all those thoughts all the time.

    Maybe it might be easier for you, if you just start in a fast day with the right mindset, thinking about it as what it is a fast day and therefore try to remind you that you can be free from thinking about food. Sorry, can’t come up with anything better than that. But you will find a solution over timer.

    I can’t believe it I have been obsessing about food today, my 4th week of fast days, and they are talking about pork scratchings on Corrie ! Hopefully I won’ t want any tomorrow.
    I think this is because this week I have been trying to eat breakfast – porridge – and nothing but water with lemon until dinner, it’s doesn’t seem to be working for me think I need 3 meals a day. Will go back to that on Monday my next fast day.

    Have you tried missing breakfast, then having lunch and supper?You could have a more substantial meal that way. It might help. Some folk just eat in the evening.

    I cope much better by missing breakfast. Once I eat I start to think about food, especially if I am not busy enough.

    Good idea Annette I might try that next week, I have thought about it but have been worried I will get hungry mid morning and over indulge.
    Evenings are definitely my worst time, I have got my crochet out again to keep me busy.
    Must tell myself not to give up, I have lost 6lbs so far, may be more as my weigh in day is tomorrow, fingers crossed!

    I don’t think about food much on my fast days. I only eat once on fast day, in the evening. I try to choose days for fasting when I know I’ll be busy, which helps a lot. But on my non-fast days, I do obsess about food. It’s never my stomach that gets me in trouble, it’s my brain. I’m hoping that eventually that part will get easier.

    I can completely agree with the idea that it is the brain and not the stomach that I battle. On my second fast day I was not hungry in the evening, but there was nothing to do and I was tired…fatal combination.

    It does get easier as the months tick by.

    I am also obsessing about food but I think in a slightly different way. I have started this new way of life about 12 weeks ago and with it came a hard look at my dietary habits.

    I started to cut out quite a lot of foods that are in my opinion very unhealthy, such as drinking Coke and putting two spoons of sugar in my coffee. I also cut down on my beloved pasta and stopped eating white rice, substituting both with more vegetables and low sugar fruits.

    My obsession with food consists of reading every label of food that I’m buying, making plans what I will eat the next day in terms of healthy food and generally thinking about what I can do to keep my body healthy.

    I use the MyFitnessPal app to track everything I put into my mouth and I spent quite a bit of time to check in the evenings all the nutrients that I have taken in.

    In the past I have never ever thought about food and just ate what I fancied. My family laughs about this and they say I’m on a health trip. I also got myself an elliptical trainer for my home and now I am awaiting the delivery of a new food blender to make healthy smoothies.

    Well…at the end of the day it is for my health and there are worse things than thinking about food.


    Hearing Dr Mosley talk about fasting in relation to our evolutionary past, I am starting to consider food cravings and hunger as two completely different psychological reactions to food. Hunger for survival, craving for creating reserves (fat). I don’t crave food so much on fast days, but on non fast days I do. I think its an evolutionary reaction that in a simplified sense says, even though you’re not hungry right now, eat some food anyway because tomorrow you may not have any. This has become magnified since I’ve started fasting two days a week. I do not eat anything during a fast day except a couple of cups of coffee in the morning with a little milk, about 50 cals and I go about 38-39 hours to take advantage of two nights where my appetite seems to be naturally suppressed between 9:00 PM and 9:00 AM for some reason — lucky me. Plus, even during the other hours I just find it behaviorally easier to not eat anything rather than restrict my input to 600 cals.

    I think my body and mind react to such a strict fast by elevating the cravings when food is “available” to me, so much so that I eat until I’m uncomfortable, which is my biggest problem. Because I give myself permission to eat on non fast days, the cravings are harder to resist (go ahead and eat it, tomorrow you’ll make it up in the fast).

    I’ve stopped losing as much weight per week as I did, probably due to this issue. Hopefully, I’m still losing weight on a monthly basis but it will take some months to see. My BMI is 24.7 currently, which is just a hair below “overweight” and I’d like to be comfortably normal so that is a non-fasting high instead of a fasting low, also understanding that this might be a slightly dehydrated weight. So I have a little more to do before figuring out what maintenance is.

    It is interesting to me that I do not usually crave any food that is not easily available to me, and if I move into a situation where no food is immediately available, the craving goes away. It’s like the little voice says, “well, if it’s there, eat it, if not, don’t sweat it.” Which might be an evolutionary mechanism to get us to stock up if food is available, but not make us crazy if it’s not.

    While I’m not really keeping track of medical research into the appetite, I assume that most of it is associated with hunger, which is a psychologically different process than food craving, and, as is more and more my opinion, is not nearly as related to obesity as food craving. I just wanted to record my observations.

    Naufragar, I think your thoughts are interesting. When I’m thinking of eating something for flavor rather than for hunger on a non-fasting day, my thoughts are that I don’t want to undo the hard work I did on my fasting day. Of course, if your fasting days are not hard work, this kind of thinking would not apply. But I could see someone getting into an a rut of overeating when food is available and allowed if they keep thinking the way you describe. I guess our problem is that ways of thinking about food that made perfect sense in our evolutionary past are not very adaptive in our current food environment.

    Exactly, franfit. A fasting diet only simulates our evolutionary past on fasting days; on non fasting days we’re back in the calories-everywhere present day. Even on plentiful days on the savanna there wouldn’t be an endless supply of donuts.

    I left out the entertainment value of eating as well, which amplifies the craving if your attention is not being diverted by something else — another reason to leverage that extra energy to do something useful around the house. I do, think, however, that at its core the craving is more than entertainment and as fundamental a part of our evolutionary food-strategy as hunger is. I would postulate that, as winter approaches, Grizzly bears are driven to eat more out of craving than hunger, for instance, in order to build their fat reserves for hibernation.

    I’m also not suggesting that it’s insurmountable or even overly burdensome. My main point is that the strategies for dealing with cravings are going to be different than those for dealing with hunger. This might be why appetite suppressants don’t work all that well as they address one and not the other.

    At the current time I’ve been on the diet about eight weeks. I’m just going to see if my body gets used to its new reality enough to calm down a bit on non fast days.

    I haven’t fully started the diet yet, so it’ll be interesting to see how I do.

    Part of the reason I’m attracted to this diet though, is that it appears to be a diet where I can obsess LESS often.

    So, I’m hoping the obsessing on the days off doesn’t happen to me or that if I begin to, I can manage that obsession easier than if I were on any other typical “everyday” diet.

    A MAIN reason I’m choosing this diet is specifically to try and lose weight without having to think about food and eating too often.

    Good luck, NoahMan. I obsess about food all the time, but if I do something else I can actually fool myself that I have eaten. Hunger is DEFINITELY a social construct. You learn to play mind games to avoid the cravings. It does work….have been on 5:2 for a year. Lost 25kg and at my ideal weight. But I am continuing 2 days a week so that I can splurge on other days. That way, I can obsess about food to my heart’s content and sometimes even get to eat it!!!
    Happy fasting
    Purple Vegie Eater

    Thank you guys so much!! The reason I found this forum is because I was obsessing so much about food and needed to find some support! This is my second week on the 5:2 diet and my 4th day of fasting. I find myself imagining eating food in such detail and it drives me mad! I feel so distracted by the thought of food right now that I can’t even settle down to read my book….I bought some ‘smart bathroom scales’ online instead! It feels good to hear your stories and i’m taking comfort in the fact that I probably wont stuff my face to the max tomorrow on my off day like I keep fantasising about! C xoxo

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