Had the same issue - I have shed nearly a stone in 4 weeks by not dieting.
After years of believing I had the worlds biggest appetite and even worse levels of self control, I took myself to a nutrition seminar run by a qualified nutritionist.
Over the years I had tried everything, weightwatchers and so on. The weight always piled back (and more) on the MINUTE I started to stop starving myself. It was a soul destoying hell so I figured I had nothing to lose by going to this one day seminar.
For years I had been shelling out ££s for the special low fat diet versions of things. I ate little saturated fat. I thought fat intake was the thing that caused weight gain, actually in my case it was something quite different.
Heres what I found out:
Every time you eat, you have a series of hormonal responses that are stronger than drugs. Its sugar, not fat that has the biggest infleunce on fat storage and obesity. I was eating all the low fat products that are loaded with hidden sugar to give them flavour. Sugar is a cheap way to flavour food and is a preservative.
If you like I used to eat a lot of refined carbs - white bread, rice, pasta, noodles, sugary breakfast cereals, cakes, sweets, sugary drinks etc, you get a lot of sugar released into the blood stream quickly. An insulin spike will mop up the sugar, taking it out of your blood so you crave more carbs and the cycle continues.
Unrefined carbs release energy slowly so there is no insulin spike and your blood sugar remains stable. Insulin also tells the body to keep storing fat because sugar is available to use for energy.
So I started to eat unrefined carbs ie brown rice, lentils, wholewhat pitta bread with salads and lean protein and got advice on portion sizes. I upped my water intake massively as I was not drinking enough.
I have never felt better. Cant explain it all here but these changes have made me feel 100% better. All those years I thought I was hungry because of an out of control appetite and poor self control and actually it was food cravings for sugar because of the above.
I dont get hungry now outside of mealtimes and I have cut out a load of processed food (even savoury stuff) that is loaded with sugar.
I still have snacks but here is some stuff you might want to try that has slow release energy and will fill you up:
Nakd bars (holland and Barrett) which are 100% fruit (natural sugar does not cause the same sugar spike)
Nairns oatcakes - cheese are lovely and I find I can stop at a couple whereas Pringles or similar I could eat the whole pot and be hungry at the end of it
Nairms oati bites - these are oat based asnd so satisfy your appetite in a way crisps dont.
For chocolate moments I have a few squares of dark chocolate (you get used to it and I find a small amount is enough)
Anyway, Im not qualified in nutrition but I thought I would share what I found out. I am sure some people have health issues which make this stuff more tricky so I am not generalising by saying this works for all.
But years of dieting have not worked for me and I have been following this plan for four weeks lost a stone and have not felt hungry once. This knowledge has changed my life.
So, perhaps trying the slow release energy snacks and cutting out foods with hidden sugar might help. For example, a well known brand that promotes its healthy low fat yoghurt adds two teaspoons of sugar to every small pot. So I buy greek plain yoghurt now and add something called agave nectar to it to sweeten it. So I am only eating natural sugar, not creating those blood sugar spikes which stops those cravings!
I look at the Carbohydrate of which sugar labels on the back of food packets now.
I feel strongly about this as for years I felt totally helpless about my appetite and self control. Once I gained knowledge about what was causing all of these problems, it was such a relief. It wasnt me being weak, it was my bodies natural response to my food choices.
LW currently reading the message nibbling on a pie I know, I know, bad person. I will try harder. The strange thing is when I eat crudités at a party or have a lovely fresh salad I always think, that was nice. But when I buy food I always buy rubbish.
Shoegirl, I know you are probably more than 10 years younger than I am but you are officially my new adopted Mum. I agree totally, been there done that.
I know what I need to do, I just never do it.
Again must do better.
I think I shall write down a meal plan this weekend and make sure I eat exactly what is on the plan during the week. That might help me with self control and changing habits. I hope.
Paul McKenna''s book and Cd ,I can make you thin,may be worth trying.The message is ditch the diets they don''t work and leave you obsessing about food.Also when you are listening to the Cd.lying down with eyes closed,it''s impossible to eat at the same time!! I found listening to the CD also raised my self esteem and helped me relax too.And I did lose weight without going on a diet.Whatever the problem is food isn''t the answer unless the problem is starvation .I''ve spent my life constantly dieting but I won''t ever do it again.I do need to get back to listening to the Cd again though because being alone is a trigger point for me too and I don''t want the weight to pile back on.