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Gone Hungry Lately?

I think in the modern world we eat way too much for our own good. I am a firm believer food taste better when you are really hungry. One time I didn't have time to eat lunch and the office ordered Pizza Hut at five PM and I ate the extra large 18 incher all by myself, and it still the best pizza I ever had. Then there was this one time we went camping and after eating pork and beans for a few days when we got off the mountain we went straight to Marie Callender's and I had the Frisco Burger with mash and that's the best burger I have ever had. I wonder in the last 18 months anyone here ever went hungry for the day, then what did you eat afterwards? What did it taste like?

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  1. Not in my experience, I often end up not eating for about a day and a half, most recently this happened 2 daya ago. From what I can tell, a crappy grilled chicken is still a crappy grilled chicken.

    1. i don't feel good when i've gone more than a few hours without eating, so i typically eat many snacks throughout the day and never get too hungry or too full. i find it much easier to not overeat and do something like finish an entire pizza at once. and everything tastes great!

      1. I remember a few years ago and I tried that awful cabbage diet. After a few days you are allowed a potato. I am pretty sure that no other potato had ever tasted as good as that thing.

        I do think you appreciate food in general when you are truly hungry for it. I think of times like at Xmas or other indulgent holidays when I tend to eat more than I ever would at home and you rarely feel really hungry. Sure, all the food is really good, but it doesn't always have the same wow factor as when your belly grumbles for it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: im_nomad

          I believe going hungry on purpose is a human experience we should all partake once in awhile. I center us, it remind us we are animals, we will go for food no matter what, it defines us, we are a being that lives to eat, and eat to live. I went on a salad only thing for lunch for three days, I can tell you I can not wait for dinner to roll around. I was so excited, even for a crappy grilled chicken leftover from last night, but a little butter, spread a little miso, a dash of garlic and paprika, wow, what's not to love?

        2. A long time ago I spent the weekend in jail (its a long story) and for breakfast was served runny instant eggs with watery coffee, and for the other two meals a paper bag containing an apple and a baloney and cheese sandwich, and the baloney had this greenish hue.

          I have never complained about a meal since.

          1 Reply
          1. re: GraydonCarter

            I think for all foodies, they should try going hungry on propose at least once a month. I was in Jakarta during Ramadan one time and I was invited to joint them in fasting until dinner time, I can tell you that oxtail soup I had I can still remember the smell as it came to the table, too much pepper for my taste but who cares, it was the best soup I have ever had. Going hungry for 24 hours brought the animal out of me.

          2. I've just started to get hungry again before breakfast after two years of illness. I do tend to nibble throughout the day and spend alot of time making new and different dishes. I read Chowhound and food blogs to up my appetite and get ideas. I do get cravings for certain fast food items every now and then, though!

            1. No, bad food like Pizza Hut pizza tastes bad to me even if I haven't eaten for hours. If faced with that issue I try to eat something healthful or else I feel crappy afterwards.

              1. There's something to be said for "being hungry".

                Like genuinely hungry.

                Not hungry as in "I haven't eaten in a couple of hours hungry"

                Try not eating for 8 or 10 hours (waking hours only), just to experience what being hungry really feels like.

                In our plentiful society, where our problems seem to be too much food rather than not enough food, we tend to forget what being hungry is all about. We only have the opposite sensation -- satiation.

                I don't know if experiencing hunger will make your food taste better, but it will make you appreciate the mere fact of being able to eat (no matter what it is) that much more.

                A little balance would be a welcome respite.

                4 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Hungry to me is dinner tonight, apples and melons the next day and water water water, nothing till dinner, 24 hours you will feel what I am talking about. 10 hours? Not really, for folks that don't eat in the morning, 10 hours is everyday occurrence. But skip that lunch we are now in that full hunting mode, hunting for the next meal, that to me is attractive, what's not attractive is going to a Chinese wedding banquet and you get so stuff you feel sick. At that time, hungry is just so welcome.

                  1. re: smileyko

                    Not really, for folks that don't eat in the morning, 10 hours is everyday occurrence.

                    I said waking hours.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Yes, then that's dinner time, tough to do, does make you loose weight, but makes me cranky, the last hour I get real quiet, then the food comes, WALA!!! Sunshine again, even Yoshinoya is great. Or a steak rare, needs that blood.

                  2. re: ipsedixit

                    There's something to be said for GETTING hungry. Like "I just walked fifteen miles" Hungry. It's different from "I forgot to eat yesterday"

                  3. jeez, you pikers, try having really violent food poisoning and not eating anything for a week with the exception of a few spoonfuls of broth and a few days later a small bowl of pasta. and a few days later just a light graze of tapas AND while traveling. this was 25 years ago and I still eat like that, never really recovered. I love food, love to talk about it, just can't eat much of it (and the tiny portions let me justify the higher end ingredients)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: hill food

                      Or jello, smoothies, pudding, broth after a pancreas problen and a hospital stay.

                      Never again I hope!

                      1. re: hamboney

                        thanks, good advice. for me the appetite die is cast and I wouldn't wish that week on anyone, but the upside is I don't have the belly my contemporaries do.

                    2. When I wait too long between eating, I become nauseated, light-headed, spacey, overly emotional and I subsequently lose my appetite so no, I can't say that intentionally fasting in order to make a crappy fast food meal palatable is anything I'm interested in doing.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: LeoLioness

                        Yes, I know what you mean. You better stay away from Jakarta during Ramadan, you will be light headed for a month, LOL.

                        1. re: LeoLioness

                          Yep, this is me. I have tried fasting for religious reasons and even that wasn't enough to help me deal with the nausea.

                          I love working up to a hunger with exercise, but fasting? No, thanks. I'm just thankful I have plenty.

                        2. Just this weekend, I worked a long frustrating shift at the hospital where I never had time to eat. An hour drive to and from, 12 and a half hours of working. And I didn't eat right before going in, so at least 16 hours without food, though I did have some coffee. This happens to me every once in a while. No huge deal.

                          I had brought some homemade enchiladas to work with me, but left them untouched and brought em back home. After getting home, I wasn't really hungry and my stomach was still all screwed up from the stressful day, but I knew I should eat something so I heated up half of one of the enchiladas...

                          Man, I must've made some really damn good enchiladas. Woke my appetite right up. I seemed to taste all the distinct flavors more than I did the night I made them. The sauce seemed sweeter and more fragrant, the tortilla tasted more brightly of corn, every spice in the braised chicken filling popped. Was it the hunger or were my enchiladas really that good? I don't know.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: cowboyardee

                            You know Cowboy I do believe your taste buds do come alive more when you are in that States Of Hunger, now if you put that same enchiladas in front of your nose and smell it two hours after that Chinese wedding banquet I think you will find it gross and not appealing at all. This is why I let myself go hungry on purpose just so I can feel that first bite of food, so good!!!

                          2. It's not something I try to do too often since it affects me really badly. But I have been known to go without eating for more then 12 hours at a time. I think the longest I gone without eating was a period of like over a day since I was just deathly ill and couldn't even keep anything down not even water.

                            But I don't think I savor the food as much even after going so long without eating.

                            1. I don't mean to bring this topic down but it's important to be aware that hunger is a real issue, not just something one should choose to experience.

                              My parents were largely absent while I was a child and teenager, so there was little to no food in the house. Growing up hungry meant I made poor choices once I was living out on my own. At parties or eating out at a restaurant, I ate like I was going to hibernate for months afterwards. Sure, I enjoyed the food but it was more about eating as much as possible because I grew up not knowing when my next good meal would be.

                              Over the years I've finally managed to really appreciate food and develop healthier and more balanced eating skills so I don't eat until I burst. The really great thing about this is now I have room to enjoy dessert - and afterwards I don't feel that I need to be rolled out the door at the end of a meal. :)

                              20 Replies
                              1. re: jubilant cerise

                                Thanks. This "let's starve ourselves for fun so that food tastes better" game smacks of Marie Antoinette playing shepherdess.

                                1. re: small h

                                  Yes, there's a world of difference between choosing not to eat but knowing it's available and not having an option. Trying the first gives little insight into the second. I'd rather use my energy to help those in the latter group and be thankful I could be in the first. I tell my kids, as hungry as you've ever been is more full than most of the world has ever been.

                                  1. re: small h

                                    The OP was just asking about whether others have noticed a physiological or psychological phenomenon where food seems to taste better when you're especially hungry. So what? There's no reason to go on a tirade of moral righteousness because of this thread.

                                    I mean, I don't mind being reminded that there are people less fortunate than myself. But it's sorta lame to throw it in people's faces, as though you're not even allowed to mention being hungry unless you've spent years starving in poverty.

                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                      If two sentences - the first of which is a single word - qualifies as a tirade, this Twitter thing has really gone too far. It was this that I was referring to, more than the OP's first post:

                                      "I believe going hungry on purpose is a human experience we should all partake once in awhile. I center us, it remind us we are animals, we will go for food no matter what, it defines us, we are a being that lives to eat, and eat to live."

                                      Everyone's react-o-meter is calibrated differently. I'm not going to apologize for what sets me off.

                                      1. re: small h

                                        I guess 'mini-tirade' would have been better chosen.

                                        I don't particularly agree with the above quote (which I missed on the first reading of this thread), but it's still a pretty harmless sentiment - the OP believes in mild fasting for spiritual or philosophical reasons. So what? Comparisons to Marie Antoinette are loaded, vaguely insulting, and not particularly apt.

                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                          I've been checking in on this thread since I first contributed to it a few days ago. I've seen nothing to change my mind about how I feel about it.

                                      2. re: cowboyardee

                                        I certainly didn't mean any disrespect with my post - just wanted to open up the dialogue a bit and share another perspective on going hungry. Like smileyko stated, hunger reminds us that we're animals. The gluttony that I used to indulge in definitely shows that - for me, anyways. I think I appreciate food much more now that I take some time while eating to really experience my meal, instead of just eating as much I can and as quickly as possible so I can refill my plate again and again.

                                        1. re: jubilant cerise

                                          Understood. No worries. I didn't find your post offensive or disrespectful.

                                    2. re: jubilant cerise

                                      You are right on the hunger issue. My brother and SIL adopted a 16 yo boy from the Ukraine last year. He knew what real hunger was, that is for sure. Our family vacationed at the Outer Banks last year - there were 21 of us. Every night as we cooked, he would hover around the grill or the stove. When it was time to eat, he would PILE his plate with food. He could not grasp that he did not have to worry about where his next meal was coming from. Took him a long time to get over this ( understandably). Broke our hearts. Curious to see how things are when we vacation again this year. he has a year of being here under his belt. Last year it was difficult to communicate with him, as he spoke little English. Just watching him at dinner made us all appreciate how much we really have.

                                      1. re: macca

                                        So true Dear Macca. I lived in LA for 32 years, the last 9 here in Asia, I have lived in 13 different countries here. Now in China I can see exactly what you are talking about. They have these buffets here where the exact scene you describe above happens all the time. Not only they eat until they bust, they also will only eat what they think is the most expansive foods, I can never understand how someone can eat three plates of steam crab and nothing else? I eat mostly salads at these buffets, I get looks all the time like I was a nutcase or something. After awhile I started to understand, this is still mostly a Third World Country, and they have endure years of not having enough food to eat. Now they have money to buy 1/3 of all the Bentley's ever produced, but at the buffet line they think they are still starving to death. Sadly to think, this will never change in their lifetime. Makes me more appreciative when I cut into that rare steak I can tell you.

                                        1. re: smileyko

                                          My parents grew up in a third world country - once I became an adult and started looking at my unhealthy eating instincts, I understood why they always encouraged me to eat as much as possible at family gatherings. So I totally understand the mentality of eating as much as possible and also the most expensive items - it's symbolic of wealth for them but unfortunately, it's really just gluttony.

                                          1. re: jubilant cerise

                                            Now I start to examine my eating instincts I do realized I was born into a family that all eat very fast, the four kids always used dinner as competition against each other. Fights about food were common. Now we are in our late forties and early fifties we are still the same, really fast eaters that always eye ball the other people's plates. Years ago my sister Annie's fiancee KR came out to lunch with the family for the first time. Afterwards he ask if they can stop by Jack in the Box because he went away hungry from lunch with the Fam. My sister yell at him a and said why didn't you eat at lunch? KR told her he couldn't fend off all the chopsticks that to the plates right when it hit the table, we took it all before he could take his cuts. So Annie said if you want to eat, fight for your own food, this sounds really bad I know. The next time he was ready, if he can not compete at lunch he won't be accepted into the Family. So he did exactly what we did, first in first out, last in no food for you. He did OK and they have three kids now that eats fast as well. So we are all products of of our childhood, some of us will always fear there is just not enough food on the table, even though our leftovers can flood two fridges.

                                            1. re: smileyko

                                              I have noticed my friends with multiple siblings (esp all boys) tend to eat really fast and your reason is what I've concluded over the years (even when it's just me grazing slowly through across the table)

                                              1. re: smileyko

                                                My family was the same way. 3 boys, not a whole lot of money. Nobody starved, but the good stuff at the table went real fast. It's been a slow and at times awkward process for me to get used to eating with normal society where stabbing each other in the knuckles with a fork in order to get the last slice of meat is not socially acceptable.

                                          2. re: macca

                                            Sorry to get off topic, but Macca, I'd love to read an interview/descriptive article about your nephew's impressions of food and eating in his new home, with a year under his belt. I'm so glad for your family.

                                            CHOW, you listening? Feature article!! :)

                                              1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                Will do. My sister in law also had a blog while she was gone. I will ask her if it is ok for me to post the link here.

                                            1. I did. I'm on food stamps and when I have my card, I tend to spend like a drunk sailor, my social worker take it until we need to go shopping. I saw her on Thursday the end of last month, and well I didn't see her again until Tuesday. Due to circumstances beyond and in my control (that I couldn't be bothered with) I live on mostly mangos until Monday when my Mom relented and took me shopping for a few things. I have diabetes and I was getting light headed, it was not so good.

                                              1. Going without food for a day does not make the food taste any better to me. I am sure prolonged deprivation, though, works wonders on food appreciation.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Steve

                                                  You know Steve what you said here reminds me of the Adrien Brody movie The Pianist. The scene where he was in the Warsaw Ghetto and in this bomb out house he finds a piano, he knows he has to keep real quiet or he will be found and taken out and shot, but he longs for the sound of his beloved instrument, so he starts to play, but only touching the keys, and not making a sound. That scene I think won him the Oscar. Now when you are really hungry, don't you get the exact same longing for food but you will get no Oscar for it is all.

                                                2. As long as we're opening up the dialogue a bit and sharing another perspective, how about fasting? I've done it, and I'm not very good at it, but it is a surprisingly spiritual experience if attempted with the right motives. Even a 24-hour fast is eye-opening and soul-opening.

                                                  And I remember not feeling a need to cram food in my mouth afterwards, (like I would today if I skipped just lunch).

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                    I skip lunch today in honor of your writing and you know what, I am about to go out after I just ran 50 minutes on the treadmill to eat a HUGE dinner, report back how nasty it will be later!!!

                                                    Hungry? I am way past that point now.

                                                    1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                      Ok, last night after the whole day with no real food but three apples and a Dragon Fruit and running the treadmill I went to dinner with a friend of mine. Just going to the restaurant I was already excited, as if I am driven by nature like those African wildebeest when it can smell the rain coming fifty miles away. We went to a Chinese north eastern style restaurant that features GUGE food and great dumplings. We ordered more then what I thought we can eat, often the case when you are really hungry, like going shopping at Ralph's when you are hungry and getting all kinds of stuff you don't even need. One dish was wide noodles with a sesame seed sauce I normally would never eat, seen other people orders it, never liked it. You know what, I ate it all and it did open my eyes to an new dish, so yes, if you are really hungry you will go after things like the Cheez-It they talk about down below, the next time I am really hungry I will try a bag of that, so bad for you but I bet it's so good too.

                                                    2. I eat only once a day at dinner, though I drink water through the day and I'll do the occasional brunch if for some reason I'm hungry then. I don't overeat, my meal is usually eggs and sausage or a piece of meat and a green veggie. I mentioned this in another CH thread and people were horrified. "OMG, that's SO not healthy, you're gonna get sick!" Still waiting for that to happen ...

                                                      Food definitely tastes better when you're hungry. I was super-poor in the nineties and there were days I went without food because I couldn't afford it (I think the longest was three but I know there were a few two-dayers). Even something like Cheez-Its would taste ambrosial after that.

                                                      10 Replies
                                                      1. re: MandalayVA

                                                        Hate to admit it- but Cheez-Its always taste ambrosial to me! Dont keep them in the house, as I could scarf down the entire box in a few days!

                                                        1. re: macca

                                                          I don't know if it's all the salt, or what but I'm the same way, not so much the original but the white cheddar, sour cream and onions, even the party mix. It's not so much I love how it tastes but once I start, I can't stop.

                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                            have only tried the original. Will have to try the others, though I am not sure that is a good idea for me!

                                                            1. re: macca

                                                              Cheez-it: not just a way to indicate that the cops are coming. ;^)

                                                              Love cheez-its in every form, and actually love raw my cheez-its (I posted recipe somewhere on these boards). Have to laugh because they really are nutritionally a very bad food, my husband insists they're made from the chemical runoff from New Coke.

                                                              Sorry Mandalay.

                                                              1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                My ex hated Cheez-its. I found a recipe for some great-sounding cheese crackers and made them. They tasted exactly like Cheez-its! He didn't eat them.

                                                                1. re: tracylee

                                                                  ...and you're gonna post that recipe over on home cooking......... right........ ? :)

                                                        2. re: MandalayVA

                                                          I'm curious: Is this once-a-day thing because you're not hungry or for fitness/health etc (i'm thinking leangains and eat stop eat)

                                                          1. re: meatnveg

                                                            I eat two times a day now, this way I keep my weight. I can't just eat once a day, I don't like going to bed hungry, even though everyone tells me it's the best way. Once a day will put me in a really bad mood, like I just have nothing to say to no one.

                                                            1. re: meatnveg

                                                              At first it was for fitness/health, now it's "I'm not hungry." I think I just got used to not eating and my body knows when it's going to get fed and therefore doesn't ask for food outside of that time. Sometimes someone will nuke something tasty smelling for lunch and my stomach perks up but the urge is soon gone.

                                                              1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                Ha Ha Ha, I started to eat less after I turned 30. Before then I was a top jazz dancer in Hollywood, doing TV, movies, commercials, stage work and videos. I used to eat four times a day. My after work meal was a T-Bone Steak and six eggs and two beers at midnight imagine that. I had no fat and no cholesterol. After I retired from that life I still was eating like crazy, my waist line went from 30 to 36 in five years, so I had to change my eating habits and deal with going hungry until noon, so everyday I go 15 hours without food or snacks, and two gallons of water a day. Sometimes I really miss those T- Bone and six eggs days.

                                                          2. Maybe I've been watching too much Man vs Wild, but everytime I see Bear Grylls eat a spider or Cody Lundin eat a grub worm, I mentally prepare myself for the day when I may need to eat whatever I find just to survive.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                              That's too funny GC! I am a fan of the two, both shoeless Cody and his wilderness buddy Dave, I also watch the couple show Man, Woman, Wild. These shows makes me so hungry when I flip from watching Ruth eat a sand worm to the cooking channel and WALA!!! I order a huge turkey melt and have a wheat beer, ah, life is good. It's so strange how we want to trick our minds into feeling something more then we naturally would feel.

                                                              When I was younger I used to go night diving for lobster off Southern Cal's coast. My buddies just before we go we would put on the movie Jaws, we scare ourselves silly, then get in the dark waters where we would be watching for Jaws to show, of course it never does, but that heighten sense of aliveness is so deliciously addicting. Watching these shows has the exact same effect on me, it makes me want to eat more, and love food more, and be thankful for every bite.