Disrupted by hunger

not eating in the office

It was a subtle disruption, a slight gnawing in the pit of my belly that disturbed my concentration. I was sitting at my desk at work and checking off the three items that I really needed to complete that day when hunger came knocking.

I smiled as I looked at the clock. It was nearly 2:30 pm. My breakfast had been about seven hours earlier and these were the first twinges of hunger that I had felt. Instead of feeling weak or faint or fighting mad with hunger, I had just a pleasant little knock on the walls of my stomach, followed by a polite, “We could use a little food in here.”

High carb and constant snacking

My desk drawers and credenza have always been full of snacks. In my high-carb heyday I had more packages of crackers and granola bars and low-fat packaged snacks than any respectable corner convenience store. Along with that I always had chocolate or hard candy in case I had a bout of hypoglycemia.

My daily routine was breakfast before leaving home at 7:30 am. The first snack was between 9:00 am and 10:00 am. I would work hard to avoid eating again before lunch, but would often eat by noon. By 2:00 pm, I was having a second snack and often I grabbed one more snack before leaving the office at 5:00 pm so that I could wait to eat dinner with the family at 6:00 pm. The entire time I was cooking dinner, I was also eating. By the time our family ate dinner and the kitchen was cleaned, I was thinking about a bedtime snack, which I ate dutifully by 10:00 pm. On a typical day, I ate six or seven times each day.

Not only did I eat frequently, but I did not eat small meals. After all, there were two Pop-Tarts in a package in spite of the single serving nutritional guide telling me that one pastry was a serving. Eating two granola bars for a snack was not atypical.

I bought them four boxes at a time. Regardless of serving size, I didn’t know that those packaged, processed, high-carb, and low-fat foods were not really feeding me. If anything, they were making me hungrier because they kept my blood sugar in a constant state of highs and lows. They fed my insulin resistance and metabolic disorder, but they did not feed my body the energy it needed. Those foods fed the inflammation that limited my mobility and put me on pain medications and epidural steroid injections for my back. I was hungry, obese, and sick.

No more worrying about snacking

Four years later my desk drawers typically house coconut oil, coffee, canned salmon, pork rinds, and coconut vinegar and avocado oil in case I need a fatty salad dressing. On that day that my work was disrupted by hunger, it was 2:30 pm, so I had a decision to make. Stop and eat or push through to check off my list before I had to leave the office early to pick up my children at 3:30 pm?

It was only another hour and I could eat a real, full meal at home with my family at 6:00 pm. My blood glucose was stable because I have been eating high fat and low carb for so long that I am truly fat adapted. I didn’t need to worry about hypoglycemia. I grabbed a bottle of water and pushed through.

I am grateful that I am no longer desperately hungry nearly every hour of the day. When life is more hectic than usual or plans get disrupted, my focus is not on getting food. When your body is fat adapted, you have easy access to energy in your fat stores. My thighs can feed me well for quite some time! I finally know how true hunger feels, and I am not tethered to food sources nor am I tethered to eating by a clock.

My checklist was mostly finished by the time I walked to my car in the parking lot. The sun felt good on my face. My tummy had stopped grumbling as I considered making dinner for my family, and I looked forward to hearing about their days as we ate together.


Kristie Sullivan

More

A Low-Carb Diet for Beginners

Earlier with Kristie

Ruining the World, One Drink at a Time

The Vault

The Sound of Silence

How a Pumpkin Pie Spice Muffin Can Mean Freedom

Mastering the Waves of Ketosis

My Miracle Oil

Low-carb basics

8 comments

  1. Tiffanee K
    Kristie, my family absolutely loves you. I found you on YouTube last year and have your cookbook and we use the recipes almost daily. My husband is a teacher with his MAT and I have my MSN and am completing Nurse practitioner program right now. My question- one of my kids remains a hard core carb freak. Pasta all the time etc. She is super picky also so only eats very few foods. At 14 is it worth the battle to try and convert her, or should I just allow her to continue making her own foods and hope she will eventually see the light?
    Reply: #2
  2. Kristie Sullivan
    Hi Tiffanee! I'm thrilled that you are using the cookbook and that you enjoy it. Kids can be tough. I have a fully on board 14 year-old and a carbivore 10 year-old who is extremely picky and has texture issues. Meat is a nightmare for him. Interestingly, I have a post coming up about the 14 year old and how she chose to come on board with keto. I was extremely careful when I talked with her because of concerns about body image and disordered eating with tweens. Essentially, I provided information and let her choose. Since then, I've worked diligently to make sure that she has delicious foods that she can enjoy and stay healthy. Social settings can be a challenge, but she's gotten pretty awesome at navigating them because it is her decision and not mine. As parents, and especially moms of daughters, often the best we can do is to BE the example and to provide good information, love, and support when they are ready.
    Reply: #7
  3. Keith
    Hi Kristie, a very good post about sugar addiction and being fat adapted. The message is clear that understanding and beng able to get past short periods of hypoglycemia without feeling any discomfort is an indicator of stamina and good health.
    Reply: #4
  4. Kristie
    Thank you. Over four years later and I am still amazed at how different it feels. We begin to think that feeling hungry and tired is normal. We accept that because we often don't know how ill suited our bodies are for processed foods.
  5. Madelein
    Hi Kristie,
    I love your writing and I sometimes feel like we are twins separated at birth. Most of my life was spent feeling useless as the (clever) fat girl with the beautiful slim friend and of course it was my own fault because I had no willpower. I managed to be slim enough as an adult starving and exercising myself into sugar rages. I've been LCHF for almost 4 years and never looked back. Keep up the good work and looking forward to reading more of your wonderful work.
  6. Cherie
    Kristie,

    You are my keto hero!

    I jumped in with both feet February 2016. Your recipes saved me from so much "what am I going to make for dinner?" Stress.

    I still go to your videos for help and insight. When I saw you on here as an official contributor I was overjoyed!

    Thanks to your insights and recipes and the use of dietdoctor.com I'm officially down 52lbs. Sometimes it's surreal to me that I weigh less than I did in my 20's.

    I'm still on my journey but like you if I never lost another pound I'd stay with this plan because of how good I feel. Living pain free is incredible and 100% because I don't eat inflammation causing foods anymore.

    Thank you!

  7. Tiffanee
    Thanks Kristie! I think this is a great approach. I mentioned what my husband and I do because, like your family and many others, we are a BUSY group! I am always looking to preserve what little time our family has together and use it well. Taking time to educate our kiddos about the lifestyle and offering them options is a great choice and one we will be taking time to do. Thank you again!
  8. Tamarah
    I Love your writings,, they all hit home . But this one was so my past life . Today I follow a LCHF Protocol as well as fast daily . There is so much more to life then eating every hour . Like great metabolic health,, which is where I am at today . Thanks to wonderful folks like you that are not afraid to spread the word . Thank you ,, and thank you everyone http://www.dietdoctor.com

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