Hunger #3

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For me, there are three types of hunger:  (1) "I haven’t eaten enough fuel!"-hunger; (2) "I’m bored and I just wanna eat"-hunger; and (3) "I’ve eaten enough calories today, but for some reason I still want to gnaw off my arm"-hunger.


I am suffering from Hunger #3 today.


My day started off normally enough, with a nice mid-morning snack (2 plums).


And for lunch, I made a baked tofu + 1/4 cup cottage cheese + romaine lettuce + tomato wrap.


I also had two sweet carrots for a little CRUNCH.


It was a warm, delicious, and filling lunch…. or so I thought.


Not even 20 minutes later, I needed a snack.  My stomach was actually growling.  I always listen to my hunger cues, so I happily ate a Z-Bar (hello, my name is Caitlin, and I am a Z-Bar addict).


But the Z-Bar didn’t even put a DENT in my hunger. I drank a big glass of water and waited another half an hour (I ate lunch around 11:30!). 


No DICE — I was STILL hungry.  I had technically had "enough" calories for the morning, but again — I’m not one to ignore my hunger cues.  And, I’ve noticed that I will sometimes end up binging if I hold off on eating when I’m legitimately hungry


Also, I’ve observed that if I don’t give into whatever I’m craving (like trying to substitute a desire to eat a PB sammie with a piece of fruit), I’ll usually just keep eating until I fulfill my original desire.


So, I ate my mid-day snack…. around 12:30. :)  I had a filling bowl of 3/4 cup granola and 3/4 cup yogurt.  This 350-calorie snack did the trick!


Whew!! Glad that’s over with!  I’m satisfied now!


What about you?  Do you try to ignore Hunger #3 ("I’ve eaten enough calories today, but for some reason I still want to gnaw off my arm"-hunger) or do you just eat if your body tells you to?


Back to the grind! Deadlines beckon!



  • VeggieGirl October 7, 2008, 10:26 am

    Mmm, plums and carrots! :0)

    I listen to my body as much as I can, and if time permits.

    Good luck with the rest of your workday!!

  • Amanda October 7, 2008, 10:37 am

    I often try to ignore Hunger #3, but fail miserably. And just like you, if I don’t give in to what I’m craving I usually a)eat too many random calories trying to ignore the craving and b) end up giving in to the craving anyway, thus DOUBLING the problem calories. Lesson is – if I want a chocolate chip cookie, I should EAT a chocolate chip cookie. Just not five of them.

  • MizFit October 7, 2008, 10:40 am

    Im with you on number 3 today as well.

    for me it’s the TIREDCRAVINGSUGAR hunger.

    as if *that* will propel me through the day.


  • cbinkc October 7, 2008, 10:45 am

    I listen to my body, I figure if I’m at “hunger 3” there is probably a good reason for it….

  • Meghann October 7, 2008, 10:49 am

    I try to ignore those hunger with gum, but sometimes that doesn’t do the rick. I probaly would have taken all of the same steps as you to make sure the hunger was one that really needed to be satisfied.

    Wor sucks here too. We FINALLY launched registration today adn I have been flooded wiht e-mails all day. Time for my busy season to get underway.

  • Fitnessista October 7, 2008, 10:55 am

    i usually chug a huge glass of water and think about it for a while.. if i'm still starving, i'll totally eat.
    i'm also a z-bar addict, but they don't hold me over AT ALL> they just taste wonderful ๐Ÿ˜€
    happy tuesday!

  • Meg October 7, 2008, 10:59 am

    I suffer #3 all the time. I try to eat when my body asks me to due to blood sugar issues!

  • ms October 7, 2008, 11:06 am

    Pretty much, the only kind of hunger I try to ignore (though I’m not always sucessful) is the boredom hunger. Everything else, I’m listenin’.

    Where do you get your Z-bars? I’ve looked in my Publix, but am only able to find them in Target. I’d like to find somewhere else to buy them other than Target because I’m convinced Target pumps something through their air ducts that puts me into a spending stupor.

  • shawna October 7, 2008, 11:06 am

    YUM, those plums look so good!

    I try to ignore Hunger #3. It doesn’t happen often, and usually it’s because my mind has too much going on so I’m focusing on my hunger. If I still have the craving after I eat my meal, I give in to it.

  • Betsy October 7, 2008, 11:11 am

    I suffer with #3 too! If I don’t get it off my mind, I will eat, so I try to do something Naturally, it doesn’t always work!

  • Caitlin (see bride run) October 7, 2008, 11:12 am

    amanda – hahahah EXACTLY!!!

    ms – i get mine at publix, but i’ve seen them at WF as well. you could ask your publix to carry them, they are receptive to that sort of thing.

  • runningwithfood October 7, 2008, 11:18 am

    I’ve gotten better about listening to my body … if I don’t, it ends up biting me in the you-know-what and I wind up inhaling the fridge!

  • Nicole ( October 7, 2008, 12:12 pm

    Your sandwich looks really good!

    I try to listen to my body as best I can.

  • chandra October 7, 2008, 12:19 pm

    I kind of do what you do. I’ll try to drink some water and wait to make sure the hunger is legit. If it is, I’ll try something small and see how that works. Obviously if my body is telling me I am legitimately hungry, it needs some fuel! And I am the same way with cravings – I might as well just have a little of what I’m actually craving or I’ll just try to sub and not be satisfied until the original craving is met anyway!

  • Andrea (Off Her Cork) October 7, 2008, 12:33 pm

    For me it depends on what time it is. Sometimes I try and hold out until my designated meal/snack time. If I can't then I have it early. If it's at night I try and not eat but if my stomach is growling then I try to make a smart choice and have something healthy (like fruit or yogurt).
    I've just started experimenting with making dressings. A real simple one is balsamic, dijon, S&P, honey and EVOO. The amounts are to taste but it's a good combo to start with. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • whatiateyesterday October 7, 2008, 12:35 pm

    I listen to my hunger, I just eat when I am truly hungry.

  • Becca October 7, 2008, 1:03 pm

    This is an absurd proposition. “Eat when hungry, even if had “enough”?” …even the fact that enough was placed in quotes belies how problematic and EDish the question is. If there is legit hunger, why wouldn’t anyone feed it? Your body’s daily needs do fluctuate from day to day. Caitlin, you claim to not “really” count calories, but it’s obvious that you do very stringently. And, honestly, a girl who just ran a half marathon does not need to go into a buffet with a “game plan” and here I AM quoting you. A girl who just finished a half can eat whatever she damn well pleases until she bursts. Your rhetoric is not always in keeping with your actual practices. You have one of the best blogs in my opinon, and you are intelligent and dedicated in your responses to comments, but there are nevertheless some very suspicious behaviors that peek through from time to time.

  • bitesoflife October 7, 2008, 1:04 pm

    If I’m at the point of hunger #3, it’s definitely time to eat for me.It;s just easier to give into the craving instead of binging for me! My problem is I need to go back to eating when I’m hungry, not eating when I’m bored. ๐Ÿ™

  • Erin of Care to Eat October 7, 2008, 1:09 pm

    I try to listen to my body, but often I get confused. If I feel confused I usually wait 15 minutes to see how I feel. It’s kinda hard to give in when you’re not sure what your body is trying to tell you!

  • Caitlin (see bride run) October 7, 2008, 1:36 pm


    Normally I try to respond to comments such as these in a very calm manner, but I have to say that your comment was very attacking.

    I try to be honest in my posts about how I approach food. I’m not a robot that naturally eats perfectly everyday. It requires thought and dedication to a healthy lifestyle that didn’t come naturally to me for many, many years. So, I’m sorry if you somehow found this post offensive.

    Apparently you are inside my head, because you know I count calories. I have no idea why you think I am a stringent counter. I do ballpark calories for SOME meals, and this is how I have successfully maintained my weight loss, so I’m sorry if you have a problem with this healthy habit.

    In my opinion (and judging from other people’s responses to this post), it is perfectly normal to feel confused about the “hungry when I’m not suppose to be” feeling. Calorie needs DO fluctuate from day to day, of course. But it’s really easy for many people (and myself included) to confuse real hunger with boredom hunger, especially when I haven’t done anything to make me NEED more calories for the day.

    Lastly, I think it is very disrespectful to essentially accuse me of having an ED. I don’t have an ED–in any way, shape, or form. Furthermore, to make light of how intense EDs are is insulting to people who suffer from a horrible ailment. I’m not sure why you would want to accuse me or anyone that you don’t personally know of having an ED.

    – Caitlin

    PS – In case anyone was wondering about the reference to the “game plan” at a buffet, my “game plan” was to get in an adequate amount of healthy protein, veggies, and carbs without falling prey to the fried crap that typically litters a Golden Corral buffet. Sorry if this line in my post was confusing for anyone!

    • Heather May 13, 2010, 11:13 am


  • Natalie Rae October 7, 2008, 1:52 pm

    My body tricks me into thinking I need food sometimes or that I am hungry- I think that it is due to my insulin and also issues with food.

    Also- Those Z-bars are dangerous ๐Ÿ™‚ I found them at Costco as a snack to take to work but before long they were more like a dessert. Love them! They Do make great starter breakfasts in the car and are hearty for how little they are. Plus- not packed with calories*

  • Allison October 7, 2008, 1:54 pm

    Don’t worry Caitlin, people like Becca are usually jealous of people like you who are able to understand what your body needs at certain times. I don’t think finishing a half marathon is a free-for-all to eat whatever you want. Actually, unless you were literally starving, I don’t think you should ever eat ANYTHING you want. When I say anything, I mean nasty, unhealthy food. I think you were perfectly right on having a game plan of what to eat after running…you need to refuel with the right things!!! And like you said from everyone elseรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs comments, it’s normal to be confused by hunger 20 minutes after finishing a meal. Don’t worry about Becca…she’s clearly the one that needs help.

  • Anonymous October 7, 2008, 1:54 pm

    thanks for standing up to that comments Catlin. I’ve had a ED before and it is a serious disease that controls your life and every move. You in no way have a ED- you just love running and healthy food which I think is AMAZING! You are my inspiration- please keep up the great, honest work

  • BOBBI McCORMICK October 7, 2008, 1:55 pm

    wow do I so know what you mean! I have that a lot so what I do now is anticipate being hungry about an hour after lunch and have that 1/2 glass of chocolate hemp milk ready!!! But I do try and ignore it if I am still hungry after that because I know I am going to have another mini-meal in 2 hours!

  • Amanda October 7, 2008, 2:00 pm

    Sorry about the “Becca” comments. Sigh, people.

  • Bridget October 7, 2008, 2:38 pm

    First I make sure #3 isn’t really #2 and drink some water, wait it out, etc. If I’m still hungry, it must be legit so I go for a small snack (or eat my next meal earlier) and make it a healthy one. I find that if I don’t listen to that hunger, I’m more likely to fall into an eating-everything-in-sight situation later.

  • teacherwoman October 7, 2008, 2:40 pm

    This post hit home to me today. When I was reading this post at work (ahem… after the students left my room)… I realized that I have similar hunger issues. AND… I was struggling with #3 today. I was hungry less than an hour after lunch and I didn’t have anything (good) to snack on at work. It’s all about being prepared with proper nutritional snacks and I would be fine!

  • Jewels October 7, 2008, 3:48 pm

    Good response Caitlin, that comment was uncalled for. Its clear how much time and thought you put into this blog. I don’t comment often I hope you know you are a great motivator and have a very interesting blog

  • Becca October 7, 2008, 4:04 pm

    I did not intend for my comments to be so inflammatory. And, I did try to temper my overall criticism by pointing out my praise for Caitlin on the whole. My thing was that you had already said that your hunger was 3 and not 2, so, by your previously set-up definitions 1-3, you weren’t falling prey to boredom hunger, but were legit hungry. The confusion behind hunger #3 makes sense, but tacitly implying that one could in theory wait out hunger #3 is what I find troubling. You chose to listen to your body and I think that’s great, but posing the dilemna as a question tacitly implies for some readers that in what I consider a no contest scenario-eat food- that perhaps there was the alternative to not eat. And to anticipate my criticism, I am talking real hunger and not thirst, boredom, emotions or any of the usual suspects. Finally, I remarked that a question you posed was EDish. That is a far stretch from accusing you of having an ED. That being said, I fully agree that it is a serious matter and not a term to be slung about lightly, and so for that, I sincerely do apologize to you and any readers who were offended. I still stand by that I do think you are more calorie aware than your posts suggest. I may well be wrong there. Your post in response to mine could be read as overly defensive and thereby validating my suspicions….OR I could just once again be misreading your words. I don’t want to presume to be in your head. Anyway, I do think you have a great blog, and I DEF appreciate that you permit polemical posters such as myself. I re-read your post about the buffet and on a second, closer read, I’ll admit that what you said was good in terms of what to eat. I just was offput by that you said “buffets typically freak me out because portion control is so difficult” I just thought that portion control after a half is not of concern. Plus, a dining situation should not “freak out” a person. Does this mean that extra caution should not be used? Of course not, generally speaking a buffet game plan is sound advice for healthy eating.

  • Alex October 7, 2008, 4:51 pm

    I am going to try to stay out of this little comment war, but I would like to point out that even someone who has just run a half-marathon still should keep portion control in mind. It’s not carte blanche – running 13.1 miles doesn’t burn THAT many calories.

    I’m sorry, but I did want to stick that in there – I think a lot of people assume that distance runners can just eat whatever they want, when in fact your body will only rarely need significantly more calories (this is why many people who try to lose weight while training for a marathon are not successful).

  • Caitlin (see bride run) October 7, 2008, 5:00 pm

    natalie rae – ahhh i could never buy z-bars in bulk from costco. it would be all over! i would eat them morning, noon, and night!

    anon – thank you. that means a lot to me!

    becca – thank you for thoughtfully commenting!

    alex – haha! you are right… a half marathon isn’t a free pass to do a free for all. but i was really suprised on how i actually almost DIDN’T make up my calorie loss during my half marathon! i felt like i had been eating alllll day, and i was still 400 calories short by the end! in retrospect, i shouldn’t eaten more calorie dense foods after, like pizza. ๐Ÿ™‚

    and you’re right, many people actually GAIN weight during marathon training. i gained a few pounds during my half marathon training! it’s certainly a hot topic on the runners message boards!

  • Caitlin (see bride run) October 7, 2008, 5:01 pm

    oops, i mean i SHOULD’VE eaten more calorie dense foods after my half marathon. ๐Ÿ™‚ obviously!

  • Anonymous October 7, 2008, 7:08 pm

    PS, congratulations. A “comment war” is a sign that you have arrived!

  • Caitlin (see bride run) October 7, 2008, 7:26 pm

    Anon –

    thanks for reading!! good luck on your recovery. with a good attitude, you can accomplishmentg anything!

    your PS cracked me up.

  • HangryPants October 7, 2008, 7:35 pm

    I am not sure I’ve had no. 3. I will have to pay more attention, but I want to say I am really impressed by your ability to listen to your hunger and do exactly what you think you should do. It’s great and refreshing!

  • greendogwine October 8, 2008, 8:34 am

    that wrap looks AMAZING – and its a sweet picture too – because of the natural light it looks right out of a magazine! ๐Ÿ™‚

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