What does it mean to honor your hunger?
For starters, keep your body adequately fed with energy.
The problem with suppressing/ignoring hunger whether, through willpower, caffeine, high volume “air foods”, or other hacks is that you can’t fight a biological drive for long. Once excessive hunger sets in (and it inevitably does), all intentions of moderate, conscious eating often go out the window. Learning to honor this important, self-preserving biological signal sets the stage for rebuilding trust in yourself around food.
In fact, if you’re struggling with binges or overeating, this is an important step in the process of dealing with that! Some structure to your eating times can really help with this (and is super-important for our kids and teens).
If you’re a chronic dieter, you may have a difficult time recognizing different levels of hunger. This is very common with clients I work with. It’s often 0 to 100 in a matter of minutes.
When that happens, it’s very difficult to eat in a way that is right for you, whether that be foods that are truly satisfying to your tastebuds and body’s nutrient needs or the total amount of food.
Keep in mind that there are various aspects to satiety, hunger, and appetite. As we eat, our stomach stretches giving us a feeling of fullness and decreases the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
However, there’s more to satiety and hunger than just the growling in your stomach or hunger pangs.
Have you ever been so hungry that even after eating an amount that would normally be enough for a meal, you still have a strong drive to eat more? It takes a little time for your food to digest and to get those hunger and satiety hormones to send out their messages to the rest of your body.
When hunger is gentle or moderate, it’s easier to eat the amount of food that is right for your body’s current energy demands. We also tend to enjoy our food more when hunger is not at an extreme level.
Honoring your hunger means that if you’re hungry, you don’t try to trick your body. You honor that signal and respond by giving your body what it’s asking for.
Are you ready to learn about principle #3, making peace with food? Click here to continue reading.