Eat when your hungry, stop when your full.
Sounds pretty simple, but for many of us we lost the ability do this as children. In the last year and a half I have gotten much better at recognizing when I am truly hungry and when I am not. Knowing that I am not really hungry for chips, but rather something to do because I am bored, or that what I am really hungry for is a drug to calm me down after the kids push all the wrong buttons. When I am hungry, I eat. I try to eat nutritious food. I try to stop when I am full. When I am not hungry I am usually able to stave off eating....sometimes until I have convinced myself that I am really hungry and actually made my tummy rumble (oh the power of the mind).
Lately, I find myself truly hungry much more then normal. I am working out hard as always, but I have changed things up a bit, I am lifting heavy weights, and doing more interval training, as well as hot yoga. All of which crank up the old metabolism. So I have done what your supposed to do and eaten and for the most part have eaten healthy nutritious food that will help me preform better. I've mentioned before, that one of the tools that I have been using to help me loose weight is a program called My Fitness Pal (MFP). Basically, its an online tool where I can track calories in and calories out. I struggled a bit with the program when I first started using it because I went to the crazy place. I took a little break, had a stern talk with myself and was able go back to useing it with great results. I even had Ryan using it too, for awhile. As I get closer to my goal weight (93 pounds lost...7 to go...funny enough 158 pounds puts me at a normal BMI) I am trying to find more balance and to ease my way into more of a 'maintenance' kind of mode. I am relaxing on weekends, enjoying wine, and foods that are higher in calories in moderation.
But I am increasingly beginning to think that MFP is no longer right for me, at least for now. This past week, as I mentioned I found myself very hungry and almost every day I was at 1200 cals by 1:00 in the afternoon. Now those 1200 cals were packed with protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, and fiber (trying my best to stick to a whole foods diet). I am fairly certain my body needed those calories, as I found myself feeling achy and twitchy even in my muscles. Many days last week I found myself over my daily net calorie allotment, which means that I ate A LOT, as I ate all of my exercise calories and I burn on average maybe 700 cals a session depending on what I do. Here's the problem, on those days I would go to bed and feel a wee bit guilty for going over even knowing that I was doing the right thing listening to my body.
So I it looks like a change is needed, and yet I have come to look at MFP as a bit of a security blanket, it helps me feel in control. I'm not sure I am ready to just go cold turkey. I like keeping track of what I eat so I know I haven't gone completely over board, although after about 5 months of tracking what I eat I think I have a pretty good idea of what to eat and what my body needs. I think I could fly blind if I trusted myself. So my ultimate goal is to do just that, fly blind, listen to my body, eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. But I'm not quite ready....so I have an idea though, an experiment if you will. I am going to adjust the MFP goal to maintenance so that my net daily calorie goal is higher, and more realistic for my energy requirements. Will give this a try and see how it goes. After all, this all about finding what works for me on this journey to living a healthy life.