Intuitive Eating: Principle 2- Honor your Hunger

honor your hunger

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!


8 responses to “Intuitive Eating: Principle 2- Honor your Hunger

  1. As a kid,I was always used to eating a huge breakfast(a traditional Indian breakfast and there were no instant/convenience dishes),which kept me going till lunchtime. After marriage(lazy me),I switched over to convenience breakfast items(flakes,etc),all of which had me hungry within 2 hrs. I would either gulp a glass of buttermilk if there was time,or stay hungry till lunch time. So,personally-I need to have a very filling breakfast,then I can taper my meals through the day.

    • angiesappetite

      Sweta- Great point. I think many people get their day started off poorly by eating too little at breakfast. I’m all for a larger, more filling breakfast!

  2. I find that when I eat less at one meal, I definitely eat more later on. Also, if I don’t have enough at one meal, I am constantly thinking about food until my next meal.
    Sweta–I think a filling breakfast is really important too. I find that whenever I don’t include healthy fats (i.e. peanut butter or nuts) with my breakfast, I get hungry much sooner.

    • angiesappetite

      Good points, Jenny! I think what you mention is so important. It’s easy to have breakfast that is just carbohydrate- cereal or toast or a muffin – which is digested quickly and absorbed quickly by the body. That results in a quick rise in blood sugar typically followed by a quick fall. It is so important to have some healthy fat and some protein with each meal. Thanks for the discussion!

  3. I agree with everything, and I have to say I really need to honor my biological hunger more often. I think I do well about 90% of the time, but my problem lies on the days where I know I will be eating out for dinner. I normally try to eat less throughout the day just so I won’t feel bad eating a larger (more fat and calorie packed) dinner. It always back fires, just as I always expect, but for some reason I still do it! I have to work on that, for sure.

  4. I think I couldn’t agree with the third Q more! I mean if I don’t eat my Breakfast, I am a pig at Lunch and it affects all the meals after that! Not only the dietary irregularities, there are emotional impulses too like Binging and Deprivation . We all know that is just like a cycle that just keeps repeating until you get a hold of the Hunger and as you say HONOR it!!

    Thanks for this post!

  5. Hi thanks for visiting myblog and for ur lovely comment. And your blog so impressive with great info and articles. loved reading honour ur hunger and truffles are looking so delicious.

  6. Pingback: I need a treat « Angie’s Appetite for Life

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