This is a principle from the book that I love. I can totally relate personally, and from experiences with clients and patients over the years, to “silencing” one’s hunger cues by restricting what we consume in a number of ways. Learning to truly embrace your hunger is hugely freeing and often ends up resulting in weight loss as a nice side-effect.
The authors state, “Keep your body fed biologically with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise, you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for rebuilding trust with yourself and food”.
They describe a landmark starvation study from World War II in which healthy men who were previously consuming an average of 3,492 calories a day were restricted to an average of 1,570 calories per day for a 6-month period. The effects they experienced were similar to symptoms of chronic dieting:
- Metabolic rates decreased by 40 percent.
- The men became obsessed with food.
- Some reported episodes of bulimia.
- Personalities changed; in many cases, they experienced apathy, irritability, moodiness, and depression.
- At the end of the 6 months, the men were allowed to eat at will. They found it difficult to stop eating, and weekend splurges added up to 8,000 to 10,000 calories.
The authors state, “The first step to reclaiming the world of normal eating, free of dieting and food worry, is to honor your biological hunger.”
My questions to you today:
What does honoring your hunger mean to you?
Are there ways that you find yourself “silencing” your hunger?
If you purposefully skip breakfast (or another meal) or eat very small amounts in order to lose weight, do you find yourself obsessing about food throughout the day? Or eating a larger amount later in the day to compensate?
Have a great day! Look forward to some good discussion about hunger!