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Hunger pangs
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duckielmp posted:
I have a question I'll bet you haven't heard; I have been trying to diet and exercise for the last 8 months. I have no problems with the exercise; I do 1 hour of aerobics wth interval training at least 5 days a week. My prblem is sticking wth the diet. I have chronic gastritis and my main symptom is hunger; all the time. It doesn't matter what I eat or how much I eat the hunger pangs are always with me. I take Nexium 2 times a day but it doesn't help much. Any suggestions?
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CaseyFae responded:
I'm the same except I don't have the medical reason I'm just hungry!

I'm into my 4th month of diet and exercise, I do between 30 minuets and an hour of aerobic exercise a day and have lost 30lbs so far with another 12lbs to go.

I've recently changed my usual snack foods for nuts; Almonds, pistachios and pine nuts to name a few and find that these high protein food help keep my hunger pangs at bay.

I cant remember if it was on this site or another but I read about how your body has a set 'level' for the amount of calories it expects even if its actually a lot higher than what you need and it can take a good 6 months of you maintaining a new lower weight for your body to reset your level to a more normal one.

I was at a party for a nephew the other day and buffets are my worst nightmare as I could literally just keep going back and back and when they brought out a cheesecake selection I knew I was in serious trouble. The only thing that saved me from a 3rd piece (without trying to excuse myself they were small pieces) was the fact that we had to leave early as our youngest wasn't very well.

The urge to go out and buy some treat or other seems to be constantly in my thoughts, I can just imagine now taking the car down to the petrol station and buying a cake or pastry or chocolate. I had to tape shut the tub of sweets that my husband and I were bought as an anniversary gift just to stop myself going back for more.

I'm consoling myself with the fact that once I've maintained my new weight for a while my head will 'catch up' and realise I don't need so much food and once I reach my goal weight I can have the occasional snack without feeling guilty after.

As for tips:
  • More high protein meals and snacks.
  • Distract yourself as much as possible, do you have kids you could play with, do you like crosswords or writing?
  • Set meal and snack times and stick to them but don't watch the clock, try setting alarms on your phone/watch so you don't have to worry.
  • Eat as slow as you can to draw out your time with what food you do eat and make sure what your eating is something you enjoy.
Good Luck
 
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Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP responded:
Hi and thanks so much for your posting. I assume you are under the care of the appropriatre specialists to get at the cause of the gastritis. Stress is a major cause that is frequently overlooked. A word about your training. In the best of all worlds, you want to do high intensity interval training (HIIT) twice per week separated by 2 days at least. In the interim, you do cardio that is less intense to allow for muscular healing and regrouping after the HIIT days. Also, please add two days of some kind of strength training. It will make your new body composition stick.
Now, turning to the stomach. The appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin is secreted by the stomach. Inflammatory processes in that anatomical region could easily result in some type of dysfunction resulting in a feeling of hunger when you're not hungry. This is why i was trying to get at the root of the gastritis. If that could be resolved or better managed, you may have more relief of your hunger misfires.
In the interim, try this. If you combine protein fiber, you'll get a good sense of satiety and it tends to calm the hunger pangs. Protein and fiber tie up the stomach with necessary food breakdown that takes much longer than simple carbs. Examples: peanut butter on apple slices or a small banana or on a multigrain cracker; low fat cheese with fruit; vegetables with lean protein; carrots with hummus, whey protein shake made with skim milk or yogurt and berries. You get the picture. Usually works to supervene over ghrelin secretion. Give it a try.
Hey, and also, instead of saying that you're dieting, say that you're practicing how to eat more healthfully. Your journey isn't about dieting. It's about living the healthiest lifestyle you can, mind and body.
Good luck!
Dr. Peeke
 
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duckielmp replied to Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP's response:
Thanx for your reply Dr. Yeah, I get the protein wth the carb mix; I eat oatmeal wth whey protein for breakfast and that meal lasts the longest of the day as far as feeling sated. And I do call my eating a "healthy lifestyle change"; simply b-cause i am eating healthier. I am a retired nurse so I understand about the gastritis and stress link but I consider myself one of the less-stressed people I know. The gastritis is a double-edged sword in the fact that not only do I feel hunger pangs all the time but when I eat a decent meal it takes the pain away in my stomach. I try to eat more nuts throughout the day; so far I have incorporated sunflower seeds and walnuts. Thanx again Dr!
 
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Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP replied to duckielmp's response:
Make sure they've looked at any bacterial source for the gastritis as well. You note that a "decent meal takes the pain away" which is great. Another good gastritis remedy is to use dairy products which help to coat the gastric lining and decrease the chance for gastric acid buildup and problems as well. Eat smaller meals and snacks, roughly every 3-4 hours, so you can quell the hunger and appetite.

Remember, hunger is a biological phenomenon. Appetite is a psychological one. It's easy to get them confused. After eating a good meal, it's more likely appetite is the culprit.

Good luck to you!

Dr Peeke


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