Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Plant-strong Success Tip #7: Make Friends with Hunger

Make Friends with Your Hunger-It's not the end of the world

What goes on in your head when you start to feel hungry? Do you tell yourself that you had better get something to eat real soon or you are (a) going to pass out, (b) going to get a headache, (c) not going to be able to concentrate, (d) going to get a stomach ache and/or (e) going to die (I am not kidding)?

If thoughts like this go through your mind the minute hunger strikes, you are not alone. Talk to folks who struggle with their weight and you will likely find that there is a pretty intense fear when it comes to hunger. Many people think that they are hypoglycemic. How do I know this? Because whenever I got hungry, I used to think that something really bad was going to happen to me. And eating in between meals was a major source of extra calories in my diet. And that was a major contributor to my extra weight.

What is the reality? It only took a few times of actually experimenting with letting myself go hungry that I found out that none of the above mentioned effects of being hungry actually happened to me. I discovered this experiment when working through the book The Beck Diet Solution by Dr. Judith Beck. I would bet good money on it that if you just let yourself feel hungry and waited until the next appropriate time to eat (ie mealtime) that you would be just fine too.

Now what do I do when my stomach growls? I look at my watch. If it's not mealtime I say to myself, "Wow, Wendy, look how your stomach is growling. Isn't that great? It means that your body is actually out of digestion mode and into detoxification. It's no big deal, you are going to be having lunch/dinner in an hour." Go ahead, ask one of your thin friends what goes on in their head when their stomach sends them signals that they are hungry. I can tell you that they are not thinking that it is the end of the world!  

Dr. Fuhrman does a great job at explaining the roll of hunger in weight loss and healthy weight maintenance. Hunger is healthy. It's good. It's worth your time to read his explanation here. Learning to get comfortable with hunger, downright being "friends" with your hunger, is not optional if you are striving to lose weight and keep it off over the long haul.

What goes on in your head when you feel hungry?

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