We try to get our clients back in touch with proper hunger. I don’t mean starving them, instead reconnecting them with how it feels to be nicely and physiologically hungry for a meal. People need to challenge the ‘why am I always hungry’ voices!
Nowadays people are scared of feeling hungry, frightened to go between meals without having some toast, chocolate, cake or a massive great ‘Graze Box’. But three meals a day is perfectly enough food for the body, whatever the mind or the Graze Box sellers say.
What normally happens is that people get used to grazing; they’re even told that grazing is a better way to eat. This is not true. By grazing you never give your gut time to settle into its job, it’s always in limbo waiting for the next snack to come down and is like “Heyyyy give it a rest mate I haven’t finished dealing with the last choc muffin yet!” You’ll know when your gut is having a chance to clean its house up as you’ll hear some rumbles – this is good, it means it has its hoover out, so don’t go throwing a load of stuff down on it before it’s finished.
Trouble is our world is full of food, it’s everywhere and we’re rarely more than five minutes away from a food opportunity. So we eat because it’s there, not cos we’re hungry. Then our bodies expect food all the time and waiting til dinner time seems so old fashioned and out of order, like “WAAAAA, dinner is six hours away! How can I possibly go SIX WHOLE HOURS without food??!”
Well you can.
Banish the ‘why am I always hungry’ voices
Just like you screen out background noise when you’re talking to someone at a party you can do the same with food. If there are a hundred people at a party you don’t have to talk to them all, and it’s the same with food. Just because it’s there it doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Be selective, you just have quality conversation with a few people rather than raging around the room shouting hello to every single one. Likewise you have three quality meals rather than eating everything in sight.
When you get tempted to graze do a quick mind check. Ask yourself if you are really hungry, or are you:
- Feeling a bit bloated and full. Not at all hungry.
- Comfortable, no acute need to eat. Will not die of starvation in the next few hours.
- Starting to be slightly hungry but could actually wait an hour or two and enjoy the meal more.
- Actually hungry for a proper mealtime.
- Shaky, low blood sugar, headachey hunger.
If it’s 1, 2 or 3: Don’t eat.
If it’s 4: Eat your breakfast, lunch or dinner.
If it’s 5: Eat a meal.
Beware of eating too much, or eating the wrong things. Try not to get to a 5 in fact.
So what are you right now? Are you really hungry? I bet you could eat something even if you’re a two or three, right? And that’s where people go wrong.