From always hungry to almost never hungry: How my world has changed

 

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I’ve written before about my new weird problem, not getting hungry. I used to be the person who got hungry an hour after eating a satisfying lunch. My stomach growling in the morning was my alarm clock. I often went to bed hungry. So hunger was a familiar feeling for me. But now I’m rarely hungry, though I still love food and have to eat to fuel the activities I love so much. My world has changed and I have a whole new set of problems! The biggest one is forgetting to eat. I have a bike trainer class this afternoon, at 5 pm, and I’ve set an alarm to remind me to eat before I got to class.

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I’m not ‘always hungry’ me anymore, thanks to thyroid medication. But I’m also not like the person writing in the Globe and Mail, I Hate Food, who just views foods as sustenance. Kevin Van Paassen writes, “But there’s something else affecting my brain’s reward centre. It’s not that I don’t get hungry, it’s that I’m apathetic as to how that hunger is satiated – protein bar? Steak frites? Whatever is easiest and requires the least amount of work. (You’ll never see me with chicken wings: It’s too little meat for the amount of work and cleanup required.) What is it that’s playing with my pleasure receptors? ”

Van Paassen gets hungry but doesn’t care about food. I love food but don’t get hungry very often. We’ve got almost opposite issues. I’m eating for pleasure these days, and for fuel, and to a much less extent, for hunger. I am trying to choose foods that taste good and are healthy and that meet my nutritional needs. I guess one blessing of the end of the ravenous hunger that’s been part of my life is that I can be more deliberate about my food choices. The downside is sometimes having to lure myself into eating because I just don’t feel like it.

Where do you sit on the hungry/not hungry scale? How about the love food/don’t care much about food scale? Is eating a chore or one of life’s great delights for you?

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About Sam B

Philosopher, feminist, parent, and cyclist!

5 thoughts on “From always hungry to almost never hungry: How my world has changed

  1. cdaigle says:

    I find that I am much less hungry now than I used to, less quickly after meals anyways. But I attribute that entirely to my change of diet. Eating better quality food and food that agrees with my body makes me feel satisfied for much longer than before.

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  2. Julia says:

    I differentiate between feeling hungry and having an appetite for food. When I am sick, I will feel hungry and so eat to survive. But when I feel well, I will also have an appetite for food and so desire certain kinds of food. When I had chemotherapy back in 2009, I got to the point where only fresh cut pineapple was at all satisfying in terms of appetite (taste, smell, texture.) I just got over a cold on the weekend, and realized that I had no appetite, but could be hungry. It’s interesting!

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  3. Liz says:

    I am definately a ‘non-foodie’ or, don’t care about eating. Not that I don’t get hungry, I do but food doesn’t really excite me…this has its downsides as when I’m feeling snacky I often will just eat what is at hand rather than go to the effort to make or find something nice (as a result I eat a lot of toast!). The upside is I will pretty much eat the same thing for dinner every night because I know it’s nutritious and easy to make and I don’t really get bored with it. I wish I have favourite foods I look forward to but they are all pretty basic things. I really just see food as a way to stay alive I guess!

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  4. natalieh says:

    I truck along feeling fine then suddenly I’m ravenous. I am at my best when I stick to a schedule of light breakfast, lunch & dinner about the same size and a light snack at night otherwise I get HANGRY. hungry/angry

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  5. Jean says:

    When I cycle beyond 8-10 km., I am more conscious of ensuring I drank/ate something prior to jumping onto bike.

    Honest, I don’t eat lunch often at all..and haven’t for past few years. But I do end up eating 2 mini breakfasts….. cornflakes or oatmeal with plain yogurt with fruit and tea very early in morning. ie. 5:30 pm. Then I have coffee with muffin or scone or fresh fruit at work, about 2 hrs. later.

    I don’t become raveneously hungry/weak in energy unless I am on a long/hard bike ride for several hrs.. “Hard” meaning….distance wise with some hills/higher winds. So dinner for me can be anytime between 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm. I rarely experience hunger pains when I’m not cycling. I just know I need to keep feeling healthy and good by eating properly. Habit I guess. Otherwise the next day I’ll just feel abit “off” or more tired.

    With occasional large business lunches, I end up with a snack for supper or soup. That works fine for me. It’s not unusual, this is how some traditional Europeans have handled their meals: bigger lunches, very small dinners. Makes a lot of sense when we burn more energy during the day.

    I am a foodie. That’s not a decadent nor bad thing: I enjoy food and would be an idiot not to say so (it would discredit all that I’ve learned from my mother)…because for me, food is cultural memory. For some of us, who have lost mother tongue fluency, and have non-European background (in Canada), then ancestral cuisine becomes one of the things one can practice, evaluate and explore. I appreciate excellent execution of dishes, flavours, innovative fusion of cuisines. If it’s healthy, that’s a super bonus, if someone has prepared that meal for me. (though I don’t “ask” that of family members. And not even from my partner. He just happens to cook healthy 85% of the time. So we are compatible. 🙂 ) I also come from an extended family, where several people have worked in restaurants. You’ll find ALOT of Asians in the big Canadian cities are foodies… It cuts across all socio-economic classes. . There’s a reason for this… in Asian countries, a lot of family memory, experiences and conversation revolve around food gatherings. It’s cultural and this why I refuse to see food as “bad” or something to be ignored.

    There is a line of traditional Chinese gastronomy and cooking where food is medicine. All the stuff about yin and yang of food…is from this line of thinking.

    So the problem of healthy eating..isn’t a problem when one realizes that food can be prepared in ways that’s interesting and nourishing without huge effort. (I always wonder about people who don’t have children, complain about the effort of cooking. Seriously? We have a stove, we’re not doing backbreaking wood gathering/chopping, stoking fires….)

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