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How do you manage/control hunger?

Old 02-25-20, 11:26 AM
  #1  
Sito
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How do you manage/control hunger?

I am a freelancer which is great in so far that I have the flexibility to go on mid-week bike rides while others are stuck are work (I just work longer in the evening). However, there's also a downside: my home office desk is only a few feet away from the kitchen and fridge. I often find myself constantly getting up and getting something to eat or drink while I am at my desk. I know that often part of it is avoiding to start some dreaded task or reply to some unpleasant email or something along those lines. But I also always feel kind of hungry, especially after big rides.

Last weekend I did some big miles (almost 300km) and Monday/Tuesday I just could not stop eating. I am not hungry because my body needs calories and nutrients (those should have been replenished with my regular meals), I just feel peckish all the time, it's almost like an addiction. When I am ill and don't ride for a few days eventually that feeling goes away but while I am regularly riding I can't stop eating while at home/working from home.

I am by no means overweight or anything but I am pretty sure I could drop a few kg if I'd find a way to be more disciplined in terms of food while working from home. Btw, it's no problem at all when I am traveling for work or am otherwise away from home and busy doing things. It's really only problematic when I am stuck in front of my computer at home....

Does anyone here have any recommendations on how to control this feeling of hunger and withstand the desire to get up and go to the fridge? Would be very interested to hear them

Lars
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Old 02-25-20, 01:24 PM
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The usual recommendations are to drink a lot of water and choose low calorie density foods like fresh vegetables with a bit of lean protein. I work from home every once in a while and make a cup of black coffee when I need a little break but don't really need to eat.
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Old 02-25-20, 01:33 PM
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Hot tea tends to curb my snacking in between meals. Otherwise I just try to do like mentioned above and grab something like a carrot, celery, apple, pear, plum. But other times nothing beats a bowl full of potato chips or cheetos.

I'd probably fight over a piece of chocolate right now..... <grin>.
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Old 02-25-20, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
...But other times nothing beats a bowl full of potato chips or cheetos...
I keep a big jar of popcorn around for a little lower-cal version of chips.
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Old 02-25-20, 01:53 PM
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Ask yourself, when your fist is stuffed full of calories, “Will this make me faster or slower?” Then, think about how good you’ll feel later for NOT eating those wasteful calories. If that doesn’t work, but a pair of new bibs one size too small and stuff yourself into them, and look at your disgusting image in the mirror. If that doesn’t work, go for a ride.
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Old 02-25-20, 01:56 PM
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I'm better off on a different floor of the house (away from the food)
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Old 02-25-20, 02:07 PM
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For ordinary day to day living, I find I will eat everything on the plate, and control the portion sizes I make to control my eating. Also I just don't buy a lot of sweets and finger food.

For long rides (100 to 200 miles), like you, I find that I will eat everything in sight on the day of the ride, and the day after. Those long rides are stressful on the body!!! Plus, there are benefits of mid-ride caloric boosts!!!

Go to Strava and look at the "calories burnt".

One of my longer and more intense rides, Strava estimates at 6,937 calories. And, I believe that Strava may well have underestimated. Nonetheless, that is 3x, maybe 4x my daily caloric consumption.

So, unless you are on a strict weightloss regimen... EAT SOMETHING!!!
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Old 02-25-20, 04:06 PM
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I worked at home for years, so I know what you mean about a refrigerator having the gravitational pull of a black hole. It’s often easier not to eat at all than it is to control what you eat once you’ve started. If you go without food until lunch or early afternoon, you might find the feeling of hunger is not constant, but subsides. Check out this article on intermittent fasting: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/17/w...e=articleShare

As for riding/eating, I agree with CliffordK. Here’s more info:


https://www.roadbikerider.com/cyclin...n-after-rides/
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Old 02-25-20, 04:07 PM
  #9  
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Willpower is done while you're grocery shopping. Make sure you only buy healthy food and low calorie snack options (fruit, veggies, pop corn are all good ideas). That way, you don't have junk food that is easily accessible in the house when you are bored or have a craving.
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Old 02-25-20, 04:31 PM
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Start your day with a big breakfast. Eat more calorie dense foods, they will keep you full longer...It almost sounds like you're not eating enough calories. Make a commitment to eating 3 larger meals per day, breakfast, lunch and dinner and no snacks in between. It will take some discipline to accomplish that... If your meals are done right, you shouldn't feel any need to snack in between and constantly eat all day.
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Old 02-25-20, 08:40 PM
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Interesting. Curious, you said you’re not overweight. Does that mean you’re happy with your weight? If you are....keep eating!

Otherwise, eat a good fill for breakfast and lunch. Then, just a snack, in between. Then big dinner.

Not sure what else you can do besides just be more disciplined
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Old 02-26-20, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by CyclingBK View Post
Interesting. Curious, you said you’re not overweight. Does that mean you’re happy with your weight? If you are....keep eating!

Otherwise, eat a good fill for breakfast and lunch. Then, just a snack, in between. Then big dinner.

Not sure what else you can do besides just be more disciplined
Thanks to everyone for all the advice. I think I am doing most of the things you are suggesting, I am pretty much constantly drinking water or green tea, sometimes coffee. I'd say I eat quite healthy for my main meals. I eat a big bowl of oatmeal with fruit for breakfast every morning, quite often vegetables with rice or pasta for lunch/dinner, sweet potatoes, fish, not so much meat...generally trying to eat healthy.

So I think my main meals are fine, it's the cravings inbetween that are the "problem". I don't generally eat potato chips or cheetos or anything like that but nuts, sometimes a few cookies, peanut butter and jam rice cakes, fruit, maybe some Jamon Serrano or Cheese (I live in Spain!)...not totally terrible stuff but it's the amount that I want to reduce

And yes, I don't have any problem with my weight at all in terms of health/appearance. I am 1.94 and about 85kg right now, so pretty slim. This whole thing is mostly about cycling performance. I ride a lot and train pretty hard to keep up with the crazy guys in my weekend grupeta...,when I am in shape I have no problem doing so in the flat and shorter climbs...but I can't keep up with the lighter guys on the longer climbs. If I could control my eating a bit better and lose 2 or 3 kg I could stay with the front group a little longer on those climbs I know, sounds ridiculous, but it sucks to train hard all the time and then sabotage the whole thing by eating too much
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Old 02-26-20, 07:43 PM
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According to this thing, you're fine.

That chart says I'm close to the size of cyclist Krisztián Lovassy. Close enough.

Actually, I could stand to lose 3-5 lbs to be at optimal weight for competition. But I'm not competing so I'm not worrying about it. And if I did lose another kg I'd be the same size as fencer Anna Bentley.

I snack a lot too but I try to keep healthy stuff around. Try. I don't always succeed, but I've cut way back on the sugary stuff and junk carbs like beer and wine.
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Old 02-27-20, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Sito View Post
Thanks to everyone for all the advice. I think I am doing most of the things you are suggesting, I am pretty much constantly drinking water or green tea, sometimes coffee. I'd say I eat quite healthy for my main meals. I eat a big bowl of oatmeal with fruit for breakfast every morning, quite often vegetables with rice or pasta for lunch/dinner, sweet potatoes, fish, not so much meat...generally trying to eat healthy.

So I think my main meals are fine, it's the cravings inbetween that are the "problem". I don't generally eat potato chips or cheetos or anything like that but nuts, sometimes a few cookies, peanut butter and jam rice cakes, fruit, maybe some Jamon Serrano or Cheese (I live in Spain!)...not totally terrible stuff but it's the amount that I want to reduce

And yes, I don't have any problem with my weight at all in terms of health/appearance. I am 1.94 and about 85kg right now, so pretty slim. This whole thing is mostly about cycling performance. I ride a lot and train pretty hard to keep up with the crazy guys in my weekend grupeta...,when I am in shape I have no problem doing so in the flat and shorter climbs...but I can't keep up with the lighter guys on the longer climbs. If I could control my eating a bit better and lose 2 or 3 kg I could stay with the front group a little longer on those climbs I know, sounds ridiculous, but it sucks to train hard all the time and then sabotage the whole thing by eating too much
Many cyclists have found that when they eat adequately on the bike, their post-ride hunger is less. I frequently have a hard time eating much after a ride or even the next day. On those hard days, be sure you're getting ~60g of carbs/hour. I find it most important to be getting that much right from the start. That should give you about 1/2 your burn on a hard ride like you describe. I follow the Hammer recommendation to use about 15% protein (chocolate whey in my case) and drink my calories, but everyone's different on that. I mix a 750 calorie bottle and finish it in ~3 hours. If the ride is longer than that, I bring powder - there's always a stop at least every 50 miles.

I use a recovery drink immediately after the ride, then have a beer, some vegetable soup, and a bit later a bagel. I weigh ~148. On normal days, I also have between meal hunger. I try to eat 2 apples a day as snacks, and usually one tall glass of milk. The apples work great. Lots of fiber, few calories. My gut likes them. We buy them by the case. We keep our portion sizes down to where we do have between meal hunger, on purpose. We have zero non-healthy stuff in the house. We don't buy it. Sometimes we have a dinner party and have to suffer through eating the left-over dessert because we can't stand to throw food away. That's always a weight-gain disaster, but what the heck, life is short.
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Old 02-27-20, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
According to this thing, you're fine.

That chart says I'm close to the size of cyclist Krisztián Lovassy. Close enough.

Actually, I could stand to lose 3-5 lbs to be at optimal weight for competition. But I'm not competing so I'm not worrying about it. And if I did lose another kg I'd be the same size as fencer Anna Bentley.

I snack a lot too but I try to keep healthy stuff around. Try. I don't always succeed, but I've cut way back on the sugary stuff and junk carbs like beer and wine.
yeah, I know : ) I think I have a similar body type to some of the classics type riders or the guys that pull at the front of the peloton all day. Christian Knees from Sky for example is pretty much weight/size.

As I said, I am not really worried about my weight, I guess I'd just be able to control my cravings better. Sometimes I eat so many snacks during the afternoon that I am not hungry at dinner anymore. I'd much rather snack less and eat a proper dinner Part of this particular issue is that I live in Spain and here we hardly ever have dinner before 9pm. I am not originally from here and grew up having dinner around 7, so I find it impossible to not eat anything before 9pm....but my wife comes back from work only around 8...everything's happening later here, cultural issues

Edit: just checked, Christian Knees if my height but only 81kg, I have been at that weight when I am in absolute top-shape but not right now
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Old 02-27-20, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Sito View Post
..but I can't keep up with the lighter guys on the longer climbs. If I could control my eating a bit better and lose 2 or 3 kg I could stay with the front group a little longer on those climbs I know, sounds ridiculous, but it sucks to train hard all the time and then sabotage the whole thing by eating too much
If it is important to you I would limit yourself to 3 meals only and stop buying things you are tempted with between the meals. I would not even have them in the house. Willpower sometimes need help. I would also get an app like MyNetDiary or MyFitnessPal to monitor calories.
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Old 02-27-20, 02:02 PM
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I would check out this thread and especially post #26 by Emilio700.
Getting lean as a Masters rider
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Old 02-27-20, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Sito View Post
Thanks to everyone for all the advice. I think I am doing most of the things you are suggesting, I am pretty much constantly drinking water or green tea, sometimes coffee. I'd say I eat quite healthy for my main meals. I eat a big bowl of oatmeal with fruit for breakfast every morning, quite often vegetables with rice or pasta for lunch/dinner, sweet potatoes, fish, not so much meat...generally trying to eat healthy.

So I think my main meals are fine, it's the cravings inbetween that are the "problem". I don't generally eat potato chips or cheetos or anything like that but nuts, sometimes a few cookies, peanut butter and jam rice cakes, fruit, maybe some Jamon Serrano or Cheese (I live in Spain!)...not totally terrible stuff but it's the amount that I want to reduce

And yes, I don't have any problem with my weight at all in terms of health/appearance. I am 1.94 and about 85kg right now, so pretty slim. This whole thing is mostly about cycling performance. I ride a lot and train pretty hard to keep up with the crazy guys in my weekend grupeta...,when I am in shape I have no problem doing so in the flat and shorter climbs...but I can't keep up with the lighter guys on the longer climbs. If I could control my eating a bit better and lose 2 or 3 kg I could stay with the front group a little longer on those climbs I know, sounds ridiculous, but it sucks to train hard all the time and then sabotage the whole thing by eating too much

I eat lean meat protein, big portions, twice a day. I understand that it’s carbs that are the main fuel source for cycling so I know if you ride a lot, you gotta eat lots of carbs. I don’t cycle anywhere near what most guys out here do, so take it with a grain of salt, and maybe it’s because I spend as much time lifting weights as cycling, but I just need couple of nice servings of lean protein a day to feel satisfied.

Like for lunch, I’ll need a good portion of salmon or turkey, big serving of veg, and some potatoes or rice.

Im wondering if you add some animal protein for lunch, you’d feel more satisfied.
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Old 02-29-20, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Sito View Post
How do you manage/control hunger?
For me, these generally work well: smaller portions; more-frequent "meals" during the day; a greater amount of proteins+fats at each sitting; a wide range of vegetables and leafy greens, which helps to take up space without providing many calories; and, remaining well-hydrated. A good sleep schedule also seems to help ... in that when I'm well-rested and not jerking around my schedule I tend to find it easier to stick with "the plan." Combined with daily exercise of sufficient intensity to keep the "fires stoked," I do pretty well curbing hunger.

With food choices, I've found that the longer-lasting energy sources come from proteins and fats, and that so long as I have a good proportion of a "meal" from those then it takes longer to feel hungry and hunger "pangs" are much-reduced.

Example: a smaller breakfast of oatmeal and an orange results in my feeling hungry again in about 2-3hrs; whereas a smaller breakfast of oatmeal, yogurt, sunflower seeds, avocado (though of roughly similar overall calorie content), results in curbing hunger for 4-5hrs or more. Only difference is: the yogurt/seeds/avocado content (proteins+fats). Same schedule, same workout, but different energy levels and almost twice the length of time I can go before feeling hungry again. Anecdotal, sure, but ...

Another trick I often do is to consume a smaller salad prior to a meal's "main" courses. Fills me up a bit, and adds another 20+ minutes of eating prior to the "main" dishes coming. I don't tend to eat much volume, so it can make a difference in turning off the hunger "switch" for me.

I've heard some people have results from drinking a good amount of water in the hour prior to a meal. While it seems to help a little, for me it's not a major driver of my feelings of hunger.

YMMV.
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Old 03-01-20, 09:22 PM
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One solution is to remove all the "bad" food from the house and don't buy more. Then when you get up to snack all that you find is carrots and black tea. But this only works if you live by yourself.

I don't live by myself and the house is filled with to much stuff. The best I can do is to always make sure there is low-calorie food available. So I'm trying to avoid some work and walk into the kitchen. I found a bag of broccoli and made a huge bunch of stir fry. I have a Keurig coffee machine and many times I make black coffee. The trick is to have a lot of low/zero calorie options.
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Old 03-02-20, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
We have zero non-healthy stuff in the house. We don't buy it.
This is my best approach. If it's not in the house, I won't eat it. Unfortunately, my wife doesn't understand this. She'll try and be helpful but doesn't realize the frequency that she brings junk food into the house. On top of that, she'll buy a Costco size container and stick it in the shelf. Then, for the next week I can hear those chips or ice cream bars screaming out my name. Keep it out of the house and I'm fine.
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Old 03-02-20, 10:01 AM
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I took this same issue to a nutritionist a few months ago because I have the same battle. Bike hard and the next day or two I can't eat enough. Bottom line is to even out the calorie intake for all days by upping the amount on the days you ride to prevent the up and downs. Still working on getting mine ironed out for the make up of those calories since I also play hockey and other workouts depending on the season.
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Old 03-02-20, 02:00 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Wolfhaven View Post
I took this same issue to a nutritionist a few months ago because I have the same battle. Bike hard and the next day or two I can't eat enough. Bottom line is to even out the calorie intake for all days by upping the amount on the days you ride to prevent the up and downs. Still working on getting mine ironed out for the make up of those calories since I also play hockey and other workouts depending on the season.
See post 14. AFAIK everyone who does this doesn't have that hunger problem and are usually quite slim. Everyone I ride with eats adequate calories during a ride in one way or another. "During" is what's important. Sometimes group think works.
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Old 03-06-20, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Sito View Post
Thanks to everyone for all the advice. I think I am doing most of the things you are suggesting, I am pretty much constantly drinking water or green tea, sometimes coffee. I'd say I eat quite healthy for my main meals. I eat a big bowl of oatmeal with fruit for breakfast every morning, quite often vegetables with rice or pasta for lunch/dinner, sweet potatoes, fish, not so much meat...generally trying to eat healthy.

So I think my main meals are fine, it's the cravings inbetween that are the "problem". I don't generally eat potato chips or cheetos or anything like that but nuts, sometimes a few cookies, peanut butter and jam rice cakes, fruit, maybe some Jamon Serrano or Cheese (I live in Spain!)...not totally terrible stuff but it's the amount that I want to reduce

And yes, I don't have any problem with my weight at all in terms of health/appearance. I am 1.94 and about 85kg right now, so pretty slim. This whole thing is mostly about cycling performance. I ride a lot and train pretty hard to keep up with the crazy guys in my weekend grupeta...,when I am in shape I have no problem doing so in the flat and shorter climbs...but I can't keep up with the lighter guys on the longer climbs. If I could control my eating a bit better and lose 2 or 3 kg I could stay with the front group a little longer on those climbs I know, sounds ridiculous, but it sucks to train hard all the time and then sabotage the whole thing by eating too much
We do need a certain amount of fat in our diets. Your description of your daily meals does not include much fat. This may be part of why you are craving those snacks; nuts, peanut butter, jamon, cheese.

Might be worth trying to add a little fat to your regular meals.
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