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Why I Eat When I'm Not Hungry



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I'm only a few days away from my last appointment prior scheduling my surgery and I've been doing a lot of soul searching. I've been struggling to identify why I eat when I'm not really hungry. I believe I'm eating because I don't feel full and any time I don't feel full I want to eat until I do. I'm 50 years old and came from a time when I had to clean my plate no matter how full I felt. Now I need to figure out how to undo a practice that I've done for my entire life. If not, I'm worried that I'll just keep eating after surgery and not be as successful as I'd like.

I'm interested to know if anyone else struggled with this and what they did to manage it to successfully lose weight and maintain the loss.

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I too am 50 and had the same beliefs of cleaning a plate; no more!

I started off cutting back by using a child size plate so it cute down my portions; then when I felt hungry when I knew I shouldnt be I'd grab a Protein Shake and it took care of my cravings.

It is,can and will be a mind over matter thing and 3 days in I can feel a bit of success already! Tonight I had a quarter of a cup of homemade Tomato Soup and ate it with a spoon slowly and wasn't able to eat it all. But it was so good!

You can do this; tell yourself you aren't going through this surgery only to fall back into old habits! Another trick I've used before when I thought I was hungry but knew there was no way; brush your teeth lol sounds odd but it helps!

Hope this helped!

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I struggled with this long before bariatric surgery was ever hope for being an option and when I fought to lose weight alone. But even when I got there couldn’t stay there. Partly due to lifelong chronic illness and disability, metabolic disorders, inability to exercise, etc. but I struggled with being a member of the clean plate club, with not having a sense of hungry or full which I often wondered had to do with being on the autism spectrum. I also never rejected food if a friend offered. And the one person I trusted and thought was a true friend, like a sister, mocked me for it and turned on me.

I make sure to portion out and prepare exactly what I am going to eat. What will fit my pouch based on the stage I’m in. Does it work perfectly in the early stages? Not as simple since you need to be more aware of how your pouch reacts to foods with each new thing you introduce. Some people advance quick some slow. So it’s different across the board. I tried to be mindful and if I couldn’t eat it, I tossed the rest out the window for the birds (I hate waste)

I use the little plates that came with my corelle dish set, I think they are appetizer plates. And the small bowls. Never prepare and put in front of you more than your pouch can handle and you will still feel that you are cleaning your plate.

i thought I had works on this years ago but now I’m learning to change my mindset on portions. And eating what I need. I still don’t have that judgment of hungry or full so I just track my daily calories and Protein so I stay on track and in my daily goal range, I also stick to low carb options because I know carbs trigger cravings for me. And I don’t want to tempt that monster.

its not easy and I hope to keep this as a permanent way of eating. I honestly thought I had made good changes before but it wasn’t enough without the tool of gastric bypass surgery.

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I think a lot of us can probably relate to this. I sure can. Luckily, I'm pretty good about stopping myself once I get up to the top end of my daily calorie range. Most of the time, anyway. I still have days when I blow it...

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Tamarita, you (we!) are SO not alone in this! Just look at the obesity statistics in our nation. We’re gathered here on this board because we’re the ones who are deciding to deal with it.🏆😃👏💪🙏

We have SO many food options that weren’t there years ago, and supersized everything to boot. We’re eating because we’re happy, sad, bored, depressed, sleep and energy deprived, and boy does some of it taste good. For some of us, food is a drug that, for me anyway, I will own it that food is one day at a time.

Be VERY PROUD of YOUR STRENGTH to BE HERE, brave and determined to conquer this beast before it conquers us as it is doing to so many very good people who sadly, see no way out.😞Today I am implementing tips above from Darktowerdream, smaller plate/utensils and also from Catwoman7, keeping track of what we’re eating and STOP there. WE CAN DO THIS!!🌟

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I ate because I was hungry, bored, tired, stressed.... I was a gold star member of the clean plate club. Most meal I finished in about five minutes going for quantity versus taking my time and tasting things. I was living to eat.

After surgery I had zero hunger. I drank/ate only because I needed to meet my daily Protein goals. So now I am reprogramming my fat brain to eat to live. The only problem is filling the extra time I have now because I no longer think about food that much any more. I still catch myself thinking about eating things I shouldn't, but I can quickly put those thoughts to the side and remember why I had surgery. Which is to remake myself.

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11 hours ago, Darktowerdream said:

..."Never prepare and put in front of you more than your pouch can handle and you will still feel that you are cleaning your plate."

Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Your statement above will be something I will print and keep on my fridge. I too track my calories but catch myself eating when I'm not really hungry but don't feel full. Definitely room for improvement here!

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I wasn’t expecting such response from my comments, thank you. I keep thinking about this. I’ve never been a snacker, I think one thing nutrition guidelines sometimes make the mistake of including the concept of Snacks. I usually have something that’s a healthy version of a treat or snack as “dinner” which is my lightest meal. Compared to lunch. Breakfast is usually tea and half a Protein Bar. I probably am not a normal eater but I never was. dinner is usually yogurt mixed with Protein Powder with a little sugar free land o lakes whipped topping ... or good culture cottage cheese.

i do obsess over buying things that I can prepare in small portions. I’m sure others can food prep and portion things out into containers and that works well too. I don’t have energy for it.

being disabled I’m home bound so much of the time. And have very limited energy. I try to keep busy with my tablet.


I do find myself having the occasional funny dream that I’m eating a lot of food.

i had started writing notes on the notes app on my tablet from my nutritionist class. It turned into a daily log of the date, my weight, and the morning of I try to get some plan of what I will eat, sometimes as I go along making sure it adds up to my calories and Protein range. I’ve only broken the bank a little bit when I ate out. It’s not easy. I also not doctor appointments and any medical issues.

I have a calendar I write my weight on daily. At least the first year. I started with that before I realized I should track my food, calories and protein.

take it one step at a time. Eat to live. Have the three meals and if you find hunger strikes ask. Is this hunger? Is it thirst? Is it pain? Drink tea, or even coffee. BariatricPal makes a protein hot cocoa. They even make a coffee with Vitamins.

I wish the best for everyone on this journey

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