Hunger… Do you know that feeling? When was the last time you felt it? Are you sure it was hunger? Or were it your cravings telling your brain you really have to eat now? Or were you just thirsty?
One main problem of nowadays western culture is that food is always and everywhere reachable. Well, that’s not exactly the problem, we are the problem in this case:
We are surrounded by delicious food and our stomach isn’t the only organ that manages our eating times: our eyes, that see those treats and our nose, that smell those treats send messages to our brain and totally confuse it as it frequently receives messages from them instead of our stomach. Our stomach is confused as well, as it isn’t empty a lot of times, quite the opposite: it’s always full. We don’t listen to our stomach’s messages anymore and so we loose our hungry feeling.
REGAIN THE FEELING OF HUNGER
It’s sad that so many people have problems with the quantity of food they eat, as they don’t know when to start and when to stop. But our body is equipped wonderfully, and hunger is a great signal to tell you when your body requires fuel and when not. It’s like a traffic light telling you when you can put any foods in your mouth and when not:
TRAFFIC LIGHT SYSTEM – ONLY EAT WHEN IT’S GREEN
- RED: “naah I’m full, don’t you dare put anything more in my mouth, my stomach is still processing the other food! There’s lots of traffic down here!”
FEELING FULL –> DON’T EAT
- ORANGE: ” Okay, traffic is better. Still some food down here. I might soon require some more nutrients.”
FEELING NORMAL, NOT FULL, NOT HUNGRY –> DON’T EAT, but drink lots of WATER when you feel like you could eat something again
- GREEN: “Streets are empty, give me more, I need some fuel. Give me food or I get grumpy!”
FEELING HUNGRY–> EAT: slowly. Enjoy it. Be aware of it. STOP when you are full. Do not overeat!
This seems to be pretty easy, but it might actually be really hard. One really has to relearn how to feel hungry. When you are not sure if it’s hunger or not – drink water (no gas) until you feel full. When it’s really hunger than you definitely will feel it and the feeling will remain even if you drink water.
THE PROBLEM OF EATING AT FIXED TIMES
Another problem might be that most of us eat whenever it is the so called ” breakfast -, lunch- or dinner – time”. But how on earth should fixed times know when you are hungry? Nobody and nothing can decide when you should eat. Only your stomach knows when he needs food and when not. Everyday it’s different as our condition changes daily. Some days we work out, and some days we just lie on the couch and do nothing.
It’s easy when you live alone and when you are freelanced and can set your own working times, but most persons are bond to their working times, family, events and so on.. The trick is to know when a meal is planned. For example: If you know you are eating out with a friend tonight: try to eat lunch earlier or try to eat less. And if you start to get hungry-ish again don’t eat anything but drink lots of water! You are your own boss and you are able to stand over your cravings. From time to time you will notice that you’ll loose those cravings, as your body has relearned the feeling of hunger and your brain can fully trust yourself that you are feeling with your stomach and not with your eyes and nose.