Saturday, September 8, 2012

Never thought I'd have this problem.

So, I have a question that after a while of debating, I can't seem to answer myself. Lately I've been throwing around whether it is better to just eat when you are hungry vs. eating at the scheduled time. Let me explain.

My current calories in per day is 1200. I break this up into 6 meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, & 3 snacks. The challenge has altered that just a bit, but not by much. I have been finding that at "snack times" I'm not all that hungry. In fact, I could go with skipping it entirely (some days. Now just for total honesty purposes there are some days I'm still famished after all 6 meals.)

The question is: Is it better to eat when you are hungry or should you stick to your schedule regardless of hunger? Much thanks for your opinions.

11 comments:

  1. I don't know what the solid answer to that is. I DO know that for me, I prefer to eat when I'm hungry. I like saving calories (or points in my case right now) so that I can have more substantial (and often more tasty/interesting) meals at lunch and/or dinner. In a way it makes me feel less deprived.

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  2. For me, I eat when I feel hungry, but my days are so varied in timing as to when I'll be home, have food available to me, etc. I don't think I could rightly schedule certain times to eat. I suppose that's not really an answer, but just how I have to do things because of how my daily schedule changes from day to day. :)

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  3. For me I eat at scheduled times. But I don't eat anything between the scheduled times at all. That's where the snacking and slippery sllope thinking came into play.

    For weight loss , I ate 6 times per day. For weight maintnence I eat 4-5 times per day, scheduled times with at least 3-4 hours between meals. And only planned foods. Even if there is something sitting out in the break room ( salad, cut up fruit) I do not snack on it. I might wait until snack time and incorporate it -only if it fits my food template.

    If I have some days when I have larger meals ( family events, holidays, eat out) then I'll cut back or eliminate when I have the next meal/snack.

    One thing for sure, I never trust my "hunger". Because it lies so much. If I unexpectededly take a much longer hike, walk, or stand all day long- then I adjust how much I eat according to my activity level- but I keep it real. I don't overindulege, I might add a little bit more protein or sautee some Kale in coconut oil. I know when the sautéed kale sounds good, its true hunger and not my emotions playing tricks.

    It's good you are experimenting with this. Getting the meals stuff worked out now will be important for loss and maintnence.

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  4. I prefer to eat to the schedule but keep the volumes flexible. Even if I am not so hungry when snack time rolls around, I eat something small and nutritious. If am super hungry, I steal some calories from dinner and eat a bigger meal at snack time. I, too, am eating 1200 calories a day and I usually feel kind of empty (but not ragingly hungry) prior to every meal and snack--maybe that's why I eat every time the clock rolls around ;-) Strict calorie counting ensures that this doesn't go haywire--I bet that folks who do not calorie count would give the other answer.

    On days when I don't snack, I also find that i just don't eat enough. I don't want to eat a heavy meal at the end of the day for the sole purpose of adding needed calories and so my daily calorie total will be loo low--like <800 calories.

    --Emily

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    1. ...just wanted to add that my schedule is 3 meals at about 200-250 calories and dinner at about 500 calories.

      --Emily

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  5. -155 lbs gone, looking great, healthy and getting happy. Asking less focused people what to do ? You know how what to do, don't change what works. You are becoming the authority, don't ask us chubbies...

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  6. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Take care.

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  7. This is where common sense overrules all the rules. If it's "time" to eat but you're utterly not hungry at all, not fueling up for a workout in two hours and not recovering from a workout within the last hour...don't eat. If you're getting hungry often when it's NOT "time" to eat, you're not eating enough (or probably not eating enough protein) at scheduled eating times. Your body always knows what to do.

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    1. I agree 100%. Workout recovery aside skip,it

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  8. Just dont wait to be too hungry, you might overeat. I've found that when I eat at scheduled times is when I lose consistently.

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  9. Personally I tend to stick to my schedule but I also try to make sure I plan ahead my day and check I don't spend more than 3 hours without eating something. I also have tons of liquids daily (mostly a southamerican tea called 'mate' which makes me get to my meals less hungry.

    Have a good one!

    EMILIO!

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