I know it seems obvious, but learning your hunger signals is key to eating healthy. Most of us have no idea what hungry feels like.
Why We Eat
Society has programmed most of us to eat breakfast before work (or worse on the way to work). We eat lunch during our lunch hour.
Then, we eat dinner on the way home or on the way to whatever evening activity we’re committed to.
Most of us don’t even know what hunger feels like. We just eat when we’re supposed to.
Sometimes, we eat because we’re in a social situations. We go to dinner with friends or to a holiday party with a giant buffet, and we shovel in the food.
We’ll insult people if we don’t eat, right?
Learning Our Hunger Signals
One of the reasons, I recommend keeping a food journal is to learn our hunger signals.
Eating when we’re hungry instead of when we’ve been programmed to eat means shifting from emotional eating to fueling our bodies.
I know I was really resistant to the idea when I first read about it in Geneen Roth’s book Breaking Free from Emotional Eating. But it ended up ringing true for me.
As I started trying to apply her principle of only eating when I was hungry, I realized I didn’t actually know what hungry felt like.
I knew what it felt like when I would skip a meal and wait until the next meal to eat, but I didn’t know what normal hungry felt like.
It was only in keeping a food journal and paying attention to how I felt before, during, and after eating that I knew what if felt like to be hungry.
Eating When We’re Hungry
Learning to eat when you’re hungry means learning to fuel your body with food. That’s the basis for a healthy relationship with food.
But keep in mind that learning to eat when you’re hungry takes time and getting to know yourself.
We’re so programmed to eat based on social standards that it’s hard to rewire ourselves to listen to our bodies, but it CAN be done!
Wait to eat until you feel changes in your body. Keep track of those feelings in your food journal.
Before long, you’ll be a pro at recognizing when you are and aren’t hungry. Then, you can make the choice to eat only when you’re hungry.
How are you doing with the Love Your Body Challenge? Contact me, and let’s talk!