If you every found yourself going for a second serving at Thanksgiving dinner, and shortly after feeling like your stomach could quite literally explode, then asking yourself, “why did I do that? I wasn’t even hungry!” If you said YES, it could be that you’ve been ignoring your real hunger cues for years. I’m going to walk you through how to know when you’re really hungry vs stressed, sad, depressed or happy, and do this all by adopting one very simple habit.
Commit to feeling steady hunger for 30 to 60 minutes before each meal
Before we go further, we need to understand the difference between real hunger, and emotional hunger
Real hunger will build gradually, while emotional hunger will trigger suddenly
Real hunger will come with growling or gurgling sounds, coupled with a hollow or empty feeling in your stomach
If you aren’t sure whether you’re genuinely hungry or not, wait 20-30 minutes and then check back in to your body and see if the cues are still present
Adopting the habit of feeling steady hunger for 30-60 minutes before eating seems scary at first. Considering most of us could actually survive for weeks without food, where does this fear originate?
Often mothers worry, from our very first moments in this world, that we’re not getting enough food. This often translates throughout our childhood. Considering children are sponges to their external environments, this fear quite commonly, accompanies us throughout adulthood, impressed in deeply our subconscious mind
Past, restrictive diets may have given us the feeling of deprivation. You may perceive your natural feelings of hunger as unpleasant and try to avoid them
Many diets promote eating on a schedule. Their explanation is that it will keep your metabolism up or prevent hunger so you won’t overeat. These messages feed into our fear of hunger
Now that you’re clear on the two different types of hunger and why we fear it, you need not panic anymore at the first sign of hunger. Think of it the same way you do when you start to notice when you’re getting tired at night.
You’d never say, “OMG, I’m tired after a long day, I must go get myself checked out!” Right?
It’s simply a physical signal telling you that it’s time to start winding down. Hunger works the same way. Feelings of hunger are signals that you should start paying attention to. They will tell you if your body needs fuel, love, rest, or even fun!
Genuine hunger should reassure you that you are on the right track for weight or fat loss if you feel it at least 30 minutes before eating every time. Likewise, the absence of hunger is a signal that you shouldn’t be eating. As you begin to adopt this habit, you will start noticing differences in your hunger levels depending on your level of activity, or inactivity in a day. The body’s incredible operating mechanisms know exactly how much you need, and when you need it depending on your output. By tuning in, and taking small steps, one meal at a time, it is possible to let the fear go, and enjoy what food freedom really is. As a bonus, you’ll have a much easier time shedding fat.
WORK WITH ME
Hi! I’m Tarrah and I help women end restrictive diets & stay lean. I am a Certified Health Coach and received my training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I learned about more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. I help women create completely a personalized “roadmap to health” that suits their unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals. If you are curious about how I can help you, let’s schedule a free 30-minute consultation. Click here to connect with me.