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100 calorie packs and tuned-in eating

Posted by on Feb 9, 2011 in Blog Posts | 6 comments

A great post about 100 calorie packs and how people who are dieting or restrained actually ate MORE. Check out this blog! It gets to the point of eating base on INTERNAL cues of hunger and fullness. When we try to control how much we eat by points, calorie counts, or other externals means, we are pretty bad at it.
This is what I’m talking about when I say we can either feed to strengthen and reinforce those inborn cues of hunger and fullness, or we can feed to suppress them. (Trust vs control model…)

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  1. Jenny Islander

    I have discovered that I can’t always trust my internal cues. If I am up late, I start to crave fatty and/or salty foods, such as cheese, potato chips, hard-cooked eggs, or leftover roast beef. However, if I eat them, I invariably wake up with a headache that derails my entire day. If I fill up on something else, my full stomach keeps me awake longer than would otherwise be the case. If I have a small portion of something else, that blunts the edge of my hunger enough for me to sleep. And if I just have a glass of water and go to bed without eating, I’m asleep within minutes anyway, and I don’t have any extra kitchen clean-up.

    • Jenny Islander

      Argh, forgot the second half.

      However, my generally reliable internal cues tell me that those 100-calorie packs do not satisfy at all. I buy the Oreos version because they do provide a nice flavor hit of chocolate and contain no soy products, which are in just about everything else and cause problems for me. But frankly, they work best as a foil for vanilla ice cream!

  2. Kristy

    This doesn’t surprise me at all! Since beginning to follow this site last year, I have been paying more attention to my body’s cues not only on what to eat, but how much. I used to obsessively count calories, fat grams, carb grams, and keep track of every iota of food/drink that I put into my mouth every day (even a piece of gum), and all it did was make me miserable, always hungry, and fatter! Those 100 calorie packs are awful–they are dry and flavorless and feel so artificial in my mouth. I would much rather have one real cookie than an entire bag of those horrible things.

    Eating those types of ‘diet’ foods has never been the right way for me. It’s a shame it took me 20 years of yo-yo dieting to realize it. Oh well, better late than never! I feel more empowered now with my eating, more in control (as opposed to being ravenous all the time and then scarfing oodles of whatever was most convenient) and SANE around food. I’m currently reading through Ellyn Satter’s “Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family,” and it’s helping me start to make some real changes.

    • katja

      Oh Boy. This made my day. Thank you for writing. I’m so glad you feel more empowered with your eating. I love Secrets! Keep us posted. I wish we could get the word out more, but I am hoping that the people who need to find this message will find it. Think of all the mental energy that is freed up when we don’t worry about calories, or our weight, and ultimately how much healthier we can be…

  3. Twistie

    Hee! I could have told them that was how it would work out, if they’d just had the foresight to ask me.

    Back when I did try to diet, I would choose the low-calorie foods, the smallest servings possible, etc. Anything to try to convince my body that I’d eaten enough. In the end, though, what I really did was look at that tiny bit of food and say ‘well there can’t be harm in having another, since it’s sooooo tiny’ or that low-cal option and say ‘but it’s only got (blank) calories, and that’s not so much to add.’ And the next thing I knew, I’d eaten four times as much as I probably would have if I’d just considered my own hunger and stopped when I was full.

    In fact, I once went on the Slim-Fast diet for about two days. Yeah, after drinking that little shake for breakfast, I would realize I was still ravenous and have another… and another… and another. Next thing I knew, I’d drunk five shakes for breakfast, felt bilious, and knew I’d blown the diet already, half an hour into it. I had a cheeseburger for lunch because I’d already blown it, and tried again the next morning. And did the exact same thing.

    Not being a complete idiot, I figured out this one wasn’t going to work for me and stopped right there. Besides, I was out of shakes. I’d had a week’s worth in two days.

    • katja

      I love this post! I could never imagine “a delicious shake for breakfast!” Made me hungry just thinking about it… You’ve given a great description of why the Diet is the cornerstone for eating more in the first place. That cycle is so sad and damaging. Today I’ll do it! So you’re “good” until maybe the afternoon, then you’re ravenous and eat lots, maybe even a “true” binge, then the guilt, shame, then wake up and do it all over again. I’m glad you’ve figured out it’s not working. Some people take decades to find that out. Telling your story will help others.