Live-it Don’t Diet! Part 4: Eat Only When You Are Hungry?

belly-2473_1920The comedian Jim Gaffigan has tons of material about food and eating. In one of his bits, he’s talking with a friend, here’s the gist of the conversation:

Jim:  Hey, wanna go for a donut?

Friend: No thanks, I’m not hungry.

Jim: “Not hungry?!” What’s that got to do with anything!

Our personal relationship with food is powerful for a number of complex reasons and often, the complexities of the physiological, psychological, and social dynamics that are firmly linked up between our brains, cravings, stomachs, emotions, and relationships, make change difficult if not near impossible.

Another contributing factor to the problem is the underlying economic and political forces at work in hand with the ill-structured and pervasive media misinformation about food, nutrition, health, and beauty.

The links can be incredibly difficult to change, especially when they have created a habituated cycle of poor eating resulting in being overweight, obese, unwell, or just not as healthy and energetic as we could be IF we ate better.

Complicating the matter further is that the misinformation about food, nutrition, health, and weight loss is pervasive and comes not only from the commercial media, but also comes from some scientists, physicians and so-called health experts as well.

Take one example: The popular notion that all you have to do is “eat less calories than you burn to loose weight.” This assumes that all calories are equal, but that simply is not true.  Just think about it: Is it possible that 100 calories of a sugary soft drink is the same as 100 calories of a real food, say a fresh apple or raw almonds? No, of course not. But the pervasive media message as well as so much “expert” advice is to count your calories and burn more than you eat.

It’s just not that simple.

So, what happens when your liver can’t handle the sugar? Well, the pancreas secretes insulin, which in turn makes your body store the excess sugars as fat. Check out this one-minute clip of Dr. Robert Lustig explaining the process.

Now, of course eating is just one part of the puzzle.  I have a 3-part system that I use in to empower people to totally transform their bodies and then their lives.  I’ll have that program available soon so keep your eyes open for it!

For now, let me just give you one incredibly powerful strategy that works beautifully with last week’s topic of Intermittent Fasting.  First, consider two questions. The first question is always asked, and the second one less so.

The first question is “What should I eat?”  And already, you know there is lots of confusion about that, in part because of the misunderstanding that all calories are equal (remember, they are not).  Last week’s post about intermittent fasting helps to circumvent many problems with what to eat because it shifts your metabolism and body into a state that simply burns more fat.

The second question is our Question of the Week:

When Should I Eat?

Simple, Empowering Answer: Eat only when you are hungry.

Now, before you give the Jim Gaffigan answer, “Well, I’m always hungry!” and if that answer is actually true for you, then let’s modify the answer to “Eat only when you are truly and extremely hungry” or “Eat only after you have deeply reflected on the question and decided that you are truly hungry.”

If you still come up with the answer that “I’m hungry!” but you know that your answer is just a response of habit and conditioning, then do the following:

  1. Stop what you’re doing.
  2. Place your hand on your heart and breath.
  3. Take three deep and long breaths in and out.
  4. Be still and fully present with your physical feeling of hunger.
  5. Feel that it is ok.  You are fine.
  6. Take three more deep and long breaths.

How do you feel now? Ask yourself the question again and decide if its time to eat or not.

So what about intermittent fasting?

Well, when you do intermittent fasting, it also takes care of the “When do I eat?” question because you have a schedule and you will be hungry when its time to eat :).

In addition, the what you eat is also framed in a better way so its easier to eat right and eat well.

So, in summary, Jim Gaffigan is funny but don’t follow his example of when and what to eat 🙂

Instead:

  1. Eat only when you are hungry.
  2. If you need to, stop to reflect on the question so you can be totally honest and clear IF you need to eat in the moment, or if it would be better to wait.
  3. Try intermittent fasting as a way to circumvent the question altogether.

Love to all,

Ben

Author of:

5 Steps to a Happy, Healthy, Wealthy YOU! through music, the mind, and meditation.

Natural Healing: seven simple ways to self-healing.

 

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