Pls help a ravenously hungry person lose weight

It’s barely been six weeks since I stopped smoking, but I’ve already gained 12 pounds.

That’s 12 pounds more than the 30 pounds I had gained while trying to stop smoking before I actually managed to do so. I know that being a non-smoker is more important, health-wise, than being overweight, but geez, I’m starting to feel like my skin is about to burst from all the fat.

I can manage to get more exercise, but not as much as I should be getting, because of work and other responsibilities, but I think the real problem is that I’m simply a hog. I am utterly ravenous and especially so when I cannot smoke.

I’m particularly craving carbs and fats, of course — bread, cheese, pudding, cake, ooooooohhhh…… mmmmmmmm……

Oh. Sorry. Um, where was I? Right. So I’m thinking I need to focus more on veggies. Hence, my visit to the Dope.

On the weekend, I visited the grocery store and grabbed every leafy green in sight. Then, using some lean chicken, I cooked up some stir-fry and have been eating very large bowls of it for lunch. It’s filling, healthy, and seems to quell the appetite for a while.

But it’s not enough. I’ve added plastic containers full of sliced cucumbers and celery sticks (Too much like rabbit-food!); hard-boiled egg whites (low-fat, high-protein and almost like chewing real food); low-fat high-fiber snack bars (a bit of carb — getting there!). It’s still not enough. I find that, the moment there’s a carb within my line of vision, I lose all control. And my weight is creeping up, bit by bit.

(I did buy some radishes, having read somewhere that, if you saute them with a few onions, they taste almost like a potato. Haven’t tried that yet.)

What I’m hoping for here are some recipes or ideas for make-ahead dishes — low carb, low fat and yet filling. Something I can shovel in my mouth recklessly without adding more pounds. Any ideas? I’d really appreciate some help.

Well, what worked for me is the old advice about splitting up the meals into five or six meals a day. It’s not really practical for a lot of people, but it sure did work for me. I would keep each meal around 2-300 calories (and it’s surprising how much food you can get for around 300 calories if you watch it), and simply not snack. When your next meal is just a couple hours around the corner, it makes it that much easier to just wait. I can’t say what will happen to you, but for me, I got used to these portion sizes and actually felt sated throughout the day. I now usually eat on a 3-meal-a-day schedule, but I keep breakfast and lunch to around 300 calories.

The types of foods I would eat on those small meals would vary: I found Fiber One with yogurt always helped me through a couple of hours. A can of tuna doctored up, served with some low calorie bread or crackers. Cheese and a small handful of nuts. A decently large turkey sandwich with low-calorie bread (depending on the brand of turkey and bread, you can just about make a 1/2 pound turkey sandwich at 300 cals–that’s a lot of turkey.) The key for me was to keep the variety going. I also like spicy foods, and find that loading up on hot peppers helps keep me sated for longer, too.

Low carb AND low fat? Dude, the only thing left is protein. Sooo … high protein foods are your friend! We just had two or three nearly concurrent high-protein threads here recently.

Lean meats (chicken, fish, certain cuts of pork and beef), nuts, yogurt, etc. etc. etc.

I’m not sure my diet plan was healthy,but I lost 70 pounds in 10 months.

I was on a high carb,no fat plan.Lots of potatos,rice,bread,pasta,fruit and water.if I had 10 grams of fat a day it was unusual.I ate 6-10 times a day.

La Choy Chow Mein with a cup of rice(before cooking) is very filling(and reheats well),also made little pizzas using english muffins for the crust,fat free sauce,low fat cheese,mushrooms and onions for toppings.Baked potatos with low or no-fat sour cream.Sweet potatos and squash are like candy.Tuna on high fiber bread with fat free mayo and onions.Lots of beans.

Most of these aren’t low carb but worked great for me.

I’m impressed that you’ve gained two pounds a week, that’s like 7000 calories extra a week.

Anyway, look into raw fruit. Some of the yummiest fruits are very low in calories. You know those pint boxes of strawberries at the grocery store? The whole container has less than 120 calories. The same size box of blueberries has 230 calories. A four ounce container of raspberries is less than 50 calories, blackberries even less. A cup of seedless green or red grapes is just 110 calories. This calorie calculator can help you think of others you might enjoy pretty much guilt free too.

Water, and lots of it. Seriously, your body can mistake thirst for hunger, if you’re full of water you can’t eat as much, it gives you something to do (go get water, drink the water), and it will help you flush the cigarette toxins out.

Also, try to eat protein with every meal and snack. Protein digests slower than carbs, so you’re not on the blood sugar roller coaster from morning to night.

And gum. Lots and lots of gum. :slight_smile:

ETA: And raw turnips cut into sticks, if you like the taste. I like the way they crunch, and can snack on them for a long time.

Thanks, guys. The only reason I specified “low carb” is that I have found, in general, that if I’m not focused on carbs, I will gain SO-O-O much weight. But I’m afraid I haven’t been clear: I AM RAVENOUS. A Fiber One bar and yogurt won’t get me through “a couple of hours” — au contraire, it will get me through twenty minutes.

Maybe I just need to suck it up and be hungry? I had hoped there would be something better.

ETA: Ah, turnips. Hadn’t thought about turnips. (Good idea to add to my veggie line-up!)

Low carb, high fat, high protein is the way to go if hunger is your biggest problem during weight loss. I find that if I eat 1600-1800 calories of high-carb, low fat foods, I am starving, but the same amount of high fat, high protein, low carb foods will keep me full all day. Mark’s Daily Apple is a great resource for the type of diet I’m talking about. I’ve lost over 30 pounds on it so far.

You may need to get used to a sense of hunger for a while until your body recognizes that it’s normal. You’re not really hungry, you’re just not full.

I find that I want to eat all day quite often. It’s a big problem and pretty much the reason I also weigh more than 40 pounds too much. One of the things that helps me to is to remember to eat what I have very slowly. My brain wants me to spend a certain amount of time eating, so if I spread it out, I get less in. I’ll take a long time to eat a meal; I’ll cut an apple into eight pieces and spend 30 minutes eating it a slice at a time; I’ll eat one square of chocolate but I’ll spend 5 minutes eating it.

If you want to eat all day. Fine. eat all day. Just eat very, very slowly and enjoy every single bite.

Wow, that’s a lot. Well, I did use the word “ravenous”, didn’t I?

Here’s what I’ve eaten so far today:
1 Fiber One bar;
1 c. red grapes;
1 apple;

10 rice crackers;
4 oz. low-fat cheddar cheese;
1 c. stir-fry veggies (broccoli, onion, peppers);
two sugar-free lollipops;

5 c. stir-fry (many, many greens with lean chicken);
1 long English cucumber;

Early afternoon:
1 Fiber One bar;
90 gram box of chocolate-covered almonds (carb attack — a woman at the office was selling these as a fund-raiser. The box was 575 calories, 37.5 gms fat, 47.5 carbs, 5 gms fiber. This is what prompted me to post.)

I still have two hours at work and then have to get through the evening at home. The afternoons are when I really get hungry!

Fill up on as many raw veggies and fruits as possible. Believe me, I know it’s not as tasty as with carbs. However, a little dip on the side goes a long way! Hummus, baba ganouj, peanut butter…Those are packed with protien and can help keep you full while providing some flavor. There’s also condiments like salsa and mustard. Heck, I like carrots and cucumbers with just some salt and garlic powder!
I love carrots, apple slices, or celery dipped into some peanut butter, or baby cucumbers and celery with baba ganouj or hummus. If you’re feeling the need to graze, it’s best to stick with things that are more fibrous/nutritious than for satisfaction/flavor, if that makes sense. Eventually you’ll get tired of chewing on all that raw stuff and your brain will say “Hey, I’m fine now, let’s take a break.”

I find that the more carbs I eat, the more I want. Protein and fat don’t have that same effect on me (in fact, a dish that’s too rich in fat will make me feel queasy before I’ve even filled up). I’m still struggling with wanting carbs, though - I want 'em bad, too.

I agree with eating small meals all day long - it’s called “grazing” in the diet world, and there are those who say it’s a more natural way for a human being to eat. You might also find that you’re hungry parts of the day more than others - I eat a lot in the morning, then taper off for the rest of the day. If you satisfy your hunger when you’re really hungry, do you think that would help you not be so hungry the rest of the time?

Of course you’re hungry – look at all that insulin-spiking food! And hardly any fat or protein.

Cut out the Fiber One bars (full of sugar), the low-fat cheese, the rice crackers, and the fruit. Add meat and/or fish, eggs, nuts (not honey-roasted or chocolate-covered), plain Greek 2% or full-fat yogurt, and full-fat cheese. You will feel full much sooner.

Yeah, for me, that would be not enough protein and fat to keep me sated. I don’t do low carb, but when I was reducing, I made sure that pretty much every meal contained a significant amount of protein, and some fat.

Why the cheese? It’s a source of fat and protein too. The rice crackers might also be sensible to keep in to satisfy a craving for carbs and savoury foods. But yeah, changing to the protein sources you’ve suggested would help a lot.

Someone up above mentioned drinking more water: that’s great advice. But it doesn’t have to be water. Fizzy drinks (diet ones, obviously) aren’t very good for you, but they do help you feel full, and one a day may not be as bad as eating such a huge amount of food. Pots of tea - black, green, herbal, fruity really help you feel full too, and lo-cal hot chocolate can help satisfy a chocolate craving.

Seriously. You could probably replace your entire day’s worth of food with a handful of almonds, 2oz of real cheese and 32oz of water and be more satiated with what you list there.

You need to learn what “low carb” means because what you are eating isn’t that.

Oh and WRT quitting smoking - don’t put anything in your house that you can’t keep yourself from eating and if you feel antsy just go to bed. Take some Tylenol PM if you must. No reason to stay awake and stuff your face.

Reduced-fat cheese often (not always–check labels) has binders added to it to replace the fat – you don’t need those, and the fat in full-fat cheese is not something you need to avoid, anyway. Rice crackers, in my cite-less opinion and experience, are no better for your blood sugar than potato chips and are empty calories.

I’m the very same. It is a struggle! A coworker brought in home-made peanut butter-filled dark chocolate Easter eggs, and out of politeness I had one. Well, in 2 seconds I went from not wanting the candy at all to feeling like I could eat the entire box in one sitting. Thankfully, politeness also kept me from asking for seconds, so my pancreas was saved to live another day. :slight_smile: But that’s why I can’t keep that stuff in my house – one taste and my self-control runs for the hills.

You might want to try oatmeal (preferably, the stuff in the tube). It’s carbs, but it takes your body a while to break 'em down, so it won’t spike your blood sugar the way simple carbs can. And, it’s pretty good at satiety (i.e., making you feel full longer).

Ah, fair enough about the cheese then. Rice crackers are way, way lower in calories than potato chips and far less moreish because they’re not as nice. If someone’s used to eating a lot of simple carbs, it is good to keep some in the diet in a controlled way, because otherwise they’re likely to eventually give in and wolf down 2000 calories worth of junk in one sitting.