Once you start your lifestyle change and are cutting back calories, you will feel hungry. Your body is accustomed to getting a lot more food that you’ll be eating, so be prepared to be hungry. I get grouchy, frustrated, and irrational when I’m really hungry. You’ll come to know what real hunger is when your body is screaming to be filled as much as it used to be. This has got to be one of the most difficult challenges to overcome because you’ll feel the physical resistance to a lifestyle change. You can get through this. You will not die of starvation. Hopefully sooner than later, you’ll come to appreciate what being hungry is.
This issue is likely to arise when you don’t have direct control over what you’ll be eating, such as dining out or going to a party. I was invited to a Thanksgiving dinner with my new boyfriend. I got there to find very few vegetarian side dishes. I was devastated. After all, Thanksgiving was an excuse to eat loads of food, and yet there I was leaving the table hungry. The next year that I went to dinner, I made sure to eat before going to dinner. It turned out a different family member was hosting the dinner. I got there and I found loads of food I wanted to eat—and did, even though I was already full. It was the fear of being hungry that drove me to eat before going, instead of being okay with having less.
As an obese person, I often felt like my body was always working to digest food, while at the same time feeling unsatisfied with whatever I was eating. It wasn’t until I started my lifestyle change that I began to appreciate the value of being hungry. I enjoyed meals and snacks more. I had something to look forward to eating instead of grazing on foods that were often mildly satisfying. Food truly tastes better when we’re hungry.
Coming soon: Tips on dealing with being hungry.