“You Shouldn’t Eat Unless You’re Hungry.”
If there’s a more dangerous piece of dieting advice out there, I don’t know what it is.
These sections will be quoted directly from the best-selling book by Yoni Freedhoff, MD, The Diet Fix. I couldn’t recommend this book enough for those who want to take control of their weight.
My experiences have taught me that hunger isn’t your friend. Hunger is 100 million years of evolution that has taught your body to recognize that either you eat or you die. While scientists are slowly teasing out neurohormonal building blocks of hunger, you need not travel any further than the local supermarket to see how powerful they are.
What happens when you go to the supermarket hungry? You buy differently – in terms of both portions and choices.
What happens when you sit down to a meal hungry? Well, it’s just like heading to the supermarket, except that now, rather than shopping from the aisles of chips and cookies, you’ll be shopping from your plate, your fridge, your freezer, your cupboards, or a menu, and guaranteed, you’ll be shopping differently than if you sat down to that very same meal not hungry.
Remember too, that there are many different faces to hunger. Some people will never feel true
stomach-gnawing hunger, yet those very same folks may struggle with nearly insatiable cravings or
emotional eating episodes. As I mentioned earlier, I like to subdivide hunger into body or stomach hunger and brain hunger, with everyone experiencing a different combination of the two. But whether it’s body or brain, hunger is not your friend. The body is not stupid. There’s a reason we don’t crave green salads when we’re hungry; the body knows hunger is its cue to search for calories, and there simply aren’t many calories in green leafy salads. Hunger, whether it’s from brain or body, pushes people toward carbohydrates or fats because both are important stockpiles of energy.
Folks who feel they’re “carb addicts” likely crave sweets when faced with body or brain hunger, while others (like me) crave salty, fatty foods like chips.
Hunger will also affect our emotional interpretation of food. Make a healthy calorie-controlled choice when you’re hungry and the choice will be bittersweet. You’ll be proud that you’ve ordered a lower-calorie meal, but at least a small part of you will feel bitterness toward the “stupid diet” that keeps you from choosing the more indulgent option you probably wanted when you read the menu. Make the very same choice sitting down to eat when you’re not hungry, and now you’ll likely be proud of your dietary discretion because you won’t have had hunger telling you what you wanted.
Simply put, it’s much more difficult to be happy when you’re hungry, and if you’re not particularly happy about what you’re eating, you aren’t going to continue eating that way.
There’s great news here. Hunger is always preventable, and just like going to the supermarket when you’re not hungry, having actively organized your meals to prevent hunger makes it far easier to navigate calorie-controlled, healthful options.
Do you want more great news? As far as hunger prevention goes, what matters most are the frequency and protein and calorie content of your meals and snacks – and not in terms of maximums, but rather minimums. Meaning you’re going to have to worry about eating enough, not about eating too much.
Hunger prevention insists you never again practice white-knuckled eating.
We believe in making healthy, lifelong changes to your daily eating and exercise patterns. Physician’s Weight Control & Wellness’s programs are different from other weight loss programs in that they are specifically constructed by bariatric specialists to meet each patient’s individual needs based on their body chemistry, lifestyle, and weight loss goals. Our individualized programs focus on providing positive alternatives to unhealthy habits and targeting foods that provide your body with the specific nutrients it needs for optimal energy and fat metabolism. Practical exercise and hydration are also implemented into our overall program.
We encourage you to become a part of our successful weight loss program. We offer 50 years of safety, experience, knowledge, and expertise found nowhere else!
Contact us with any questions about Physician’s Weight Control & Wellness Center and how we can help you in your journey to better health.