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Monday, June 3, 2013

Staying Ahead of the Hunger

I remember getting major surgery several years ago. I came to, screaming and howling, in my hospital room. A nurse, standing nearby, turned and said, "Press the button." "What?" I yelled. "What button?" She replied, "The one in your hand."
I looked down and there it was--a little plastic thing with a tail snaking to the morphine pump. And press I did.
A cartoon of a little brown mouse being chased by a large gray cat with white paws.
If the mouse is me, then the cat is hunger!
After the morphine had dulled the pain (and a smile replaced the grimace on my face), she stayed to feed me chips of ice. She also told me something of great value: "Try and stay ahead of the pain."
That advice is extremely relevant now. That is, if I stay ahead of my hunger, I can avoid many types of pain--like fatigue, poor food choices, and that crushing urge to press the nearest carbohydrate into my mouth, and quickly. 
In the video in yesterday's post, Dr. Merritt talks about the value of staying ahead of hunger, and how not doing so causes excessive adrenal wear and tear. One tool she suggests is eating every two to three hours (Bernstein suggests eating every four hours, but doesn't encourage snacking, as Merritt does). 
For me, hunger was the signal to eat, and now learning to eat without it is difficult. Eating high fiber veg, and protein- and fat-dense foods means I'm satiated for quite a while, and may not be hungry when it's likely a good time for me to eat. There are times when I'm just not hungry--even as I reduce the amount of food I eat.
I wonder what other people who low carb do with this challenge?

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