Focused vs. unfocused hunger

Why is it that on some days hunger can make me feel focused, while on other days it can make me feel stressed and out of control?

I think it has to do with whether hunger is part of my “plan” for the day. On days when I purposefully want to eat light, I tend to focus on something I’m looking forward to. Yesterday I wanted to hold myself to 1,200 calories, culminating in a big bag of Buffalo cheese-flavored Combos. That’s nearly 800 crappy calories in one sitting, but the idea of “earning” such a decadent dinner – after yet another set of running hills in the afternoon heat – kept me focused all day.

Not eating on a day like that, where I’ve got a plan (even if it’s a bad one) makes me feel light, lean and unencumbered by distractions.

The problem is the days when I don’t have an eating plan. Once upon a time I preferred it that way. I liked the flexibility of being able to eat whatever sounded good in the moment, so long as I was recording my Weight Watchers points and cutting myself off when I got to my limit.

But now such free-form eating tends to stress me out. If I don’t have a plan — if I have to consider every plate of cookies somebody brings into the office, every food opportunity that presents itself, and decide whether or not to partake — then I tend to feel “hungry” all the time, even when I’m not.

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2 Responses to Focused vs. unfocused hunger

  1. bgddyjim says:

    I hear you. I get that way still with deserts every now and again… I just roll with it best I can.

  2. tischcaylor says:

    Wish I had your willpower, but I’m working on it.

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