Getting Too Hungry

How often do you get extremely hungry? During most restrictive diets I’ve been on, I allowed myself—while believing it was what I had to do—to go through days and nights and weeks of hunger. My stomach growled constantly, and
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Numbers in my Head

Fried Veggie Plate

“It’s hard to look at the menu without thinking of the calories,” I say to my husband, as we prepare to order. When I tell him that I can also estimate the number of carbs and fat grams in most foods, he’s amazed, but I’m not, because those numbers come to mind every time I see food just as sure as the sun also rises. Forty years of dieting taught me well. Perhaps too well.

Although I might be off here and there, here’s what I remember, even after Not Dieting for almost two years. Note: The values in parentheses are ones that I corrected from a trusted source after I jotted down this list.

Deep-fried onion rings (4, in photo):
(200) 240 cals, (10) 16 carbs, (15) 8 fat gms
Cheese (1 oz): (100) 113 cals, 1 carb, (8) 9 fat gms
Baked potato (medium): (200) 168 cals, (30) 37 carbs, 0 fat gms

Slice of bread: about 100 cals, 20 carbs, 1 fat gm, if that
Rice (½ cup): 100 cals, (20) 22 carbs, 0 fat gms
Potatoes (½ cup): (100) 65 cals, (20) 13 carbs, 0 fat gms
Legumes—pinto, kidney, lima beans, etc, ½ cup:
(100) 120 cals, (20) 22 carbs, 0 fat gms

Serving of apple, banana, most other fruits:
100 cals, (20) 22 carbs, 0 fat gms
Serving of raw carrots: 35 cals, 8 carbs, 0 fat gms
Serving of cooked green vegetables:
(60) 45 cals, (15) 10 carbs, 0 fat gms
Lettuce salad with tomato, cucumber, bell pepper: <100 cals, 5 carbs total, 0 fat gms

Ranch Dressing per Tbsp: (100) 75 cals, (2) 1 carbs, 8 fat gms
Oil per Tbsp: (100) 124 cals, 0 carbs, (8) 14 fat gms
Butter per Tbsp: 100, 0 carbs, 12 fat gms

Light yoghurt (I automatically balk at buying any other kind!):
80 cals, (20) 16 carbs, 0-1 gm of fat
Milk (8 oz, 1% dairy fat): 100 cals, 12 carbs, 2 fat gms

Slice of bacon (center cut): (50) 35 cals, 0 carbs, (5) 3 fat gms
Serving of broiled cod: 100 cals, 0 carbs, 3 1 fat gms
Fried chicken leg: (150) 120 cals, (4) 5 carbs, 10 gms of fat
Steak or ground beef (3 oz): (240) 182 cals, 0 carbs, (15) 9 fat gms
Egg: 75 cals, 0 carbs, 4 gms of fat

Snickers: (240) 266 cals, (26) 28 carbs, (10) 11 fat gms
Licorice: 240 cals, 30 carbs, 0 fat gms

Okay, so the numbers in my head weren’t quite accurate. No matter. The point is that when I look at food, I’m still seeing it in terms of calories, carbs, and fat. Of course, I also think, “Yum—that looks good!”

But the first thing I’d like to pop into my head is the question, “How hungry am I?” Only when that happens can I eat according to my hunger.

What’s your first thought when you see food?