Hunger And Weight Loss

Ah,’tis the season for diets, resolutions, and a overwhelming flocking to the gym.

Along with all of that comes the need to follow fad diets or whatever current trendy diet Karen at the office is on.

With diets come lots of myths. One of those being you must be hungry (constantly) to lose weight.

Let’s look at two sides to the hunger games ūüėČ

First, being hungry isn’t bad and won’t kill you….well eventually it would but I’m pretty sure you won’t get to that point.

Hunger, at the base level, is our God given, natural signal that our bodies need food. It’s like the low fuel light in your car.

That light comes on, you know you’ve got a number of miles before you run out of gas.

In a similar fashion when you start hearing those growling bear noises or feel that ache your body is telling you to fuel up.

Hopefully, you’ll give it good quality fuel…

Ideally, we would all follow our bodies cues.

Hunger like this is really ok and very normal.

Eat just enough to satisfy hunger and be comfortable and go on with your day.

Realistically, I doubt a lot of people even experience true hunger anymore as we’ve made habits to eat whenever time dictates we should, regardless of our bodies cues.

Eating more than we need with poor food choices is quite apparent with obesity at an all time high, and unfortunately in kids as well.

We eat regardless if we feel hungry. We eat for a whole lot of reasons… the clock says to eat, or our emotions, boredom, loneliness, etc none of those associated with true hunger.

In a perfect world we listen to our body and eat when we are hungry. We would allow ourselves to become hungry 30 minutes to an hour out from meals so we truly appreciate what we eat.

It’s really ok to leave food when your hunger is satisfied

We would eat enough, but not over eat because it tastes good. We again would listen to signals indicating our hunger is satisfied.

I always tell hubby food tastes so amazing to me when I’ve finished a hard workout, and by the time I’ve cleaned up my hunger is in full force and food truly tastes so much better when I’m honestly hungry.

**being hungry is ok and a normal feeling for our bodies indicating we need fuel.**

The other side of hunger

I follow a womans page on Facebook that has discussions on various topics.

One day a post came up with someone asking for the “best appetite suppressant”

Me….being me….responded with this….

“Eat adequate food.”

Listen, if you feel you need to suppress your appetite because your hungry, something isn’t going right.

If you feel the only way to lose weight or keep a certain “number ” on the scale is to constantly be hungry and not feed your body, something isn’t going right.

If you need a suppressant ( that can look like alot of things: filling up on liquids like coffee or water, using mints or gum, or an over the counter drug) something isn’t going right.

If you seek to supress your appetite, you’ve not had adequate food to satisfy your hunger and nourish your body. If you are hungry a small healthy snack usually does the trick.

Then move on with life.

You should not be in a state of ongoing hunger thinking about food, or how you can’t “have” food in a quest to lose weight.

**being hungry and withholding food or feeling we need to suppress our appetite isn’t a healthy way to live.**

A proper balance

Yes, when we begin a plan to drop a few pounds and reduce our calories a bit and make other adjustments we will feel hunger. (Refer to part one of post)

This would be the normal signals our bodies give us to eat. You will go through a learning process as your body adjusts. You can lose weight, eat adequate food, and go between meals without being hungry.

If you are you may need to examine…..

1. How much did you eat? Was it enough?

2. What did you eat? A meal rich in protein and healthy fat will keep you satisfied a long time. Empty calorie foods or meals lacking adequate protein with healthy fats will leave you hungry, sooner.

You don’t need to…

Feed your body minimal food that doesn’t satisfy your hunger and leaves you feeling like you need to “suppress ” your appetite.

Greatly restrict your calories to have a slow and steady weight loss. In fact doing so may actually slow your weight loss efforts.

Ignore your bodies natural cues to fuel it adequately. This deprives your body, and leaves you without adequate energy from not fueling yourself effectively.

Once you learn to follow your body you will eat when hungry, you will learn to eat just enough to satisfy you without over eating ( this can take a bit of practice) and you won’t feel a need to find ways to supress a natural appetite or use other unhealthy behaviors for weight loss.

Your turn…..tell me….have you learned to listen to your body when it comes to eating and keeping it satisfied? Or do you feel you still need to work on it?

Food And Dysfunctional Thinking

You don’t have to read to far, turn on the tv, or surf the¬†web to see¬†statements like this screaming at you…..

“Grains are bad for you!”, “Bread is bad for you”, “Dairy is bad for you”, ” Sugar is the devil and will kill you”, ” Starches are bad for you”, “Carbs are bad for you”, “Detox your body from poisons (bad foods)”, “Do a “cleanse” to help your body”, “You have to be hungry to lose weight”, “You can’t lose weight unless you cut out “these” foods” “You must only eat organic foods”, “You must eat only pricey beef or other foods” ( for the best health) “Skipping meals will help you lose weight”, “You need to do this “diet” to lose weight and be successful” “I ate to much yesterday so¬†I need to workout really hard today to take away those¬†calories” (as if) ¬†“Gluten free!”¬† “Fat free!” …..

food good or bad
Truth.

 

 

Oh, I could go on but I won’t ’cause I want you to stay with me.

You get it. You’ve heard it.

So many times when I hear these things, I roll my eyes. I can’t help it, when I hear nonsense, it kinda just happens.

My mom¬†used to yell at me when I did if for something she said… haha

What on earth has happened to us that we buy into and believe such dysfunctional ¬†thinking with food and our bodies? Why are we made to feel bad or guilty for eating food and satisfying a natural hunger? ¬†Why are we taught food is bad?¬†Why do we believe foods are “bad”? ¬†How do some¬†learn to obsess over everything¬†they eat and feel bad for it?¬†¬†How do we develop this¬†dysfunctional thinking ?

Worse yet, why do we follow along with an ideology or a certain camp of thinking, especially if it’s the current trendy thing to do, or our friends are doing it?

Sometimes, maybe we are a bit like sheep, eh?

First things first.

I want to address the fact that for some people, on a completely legit level, may have particular food allergies that necessitate removing particular foods. There are a small percentage of people who truly have celiac disease and have to live a gluten free life. Some may have experimented and realized maybe they feel better without certain foods than having them.

Real food issues that involve real health issues are important and need care and attention.

This is not what I’m addressing here.

Now that issue is settled….

Food isn’t bad for you.

Seriously. Food isn’t bad. Saying something is “bad” for you is¬† more disordered thinking of the world we live in and the¬†lies we’ve bought into.

We’ve bought into feeling¬†guilty over food. We’ve bought into thinking we should feel bad about what we eat. We’ve been taught we have to obsess over calories and most of all, there has to be a level of suffering involved with losing weight and how much food we get. We’ve been told if we eat, we’ll get fat so we learn to deprive ourselves and be miserable.

diet cycle
How dysfunctional thinking begins

 

 

Where has such wrong thinking come from?

Yes, many foods do not provide the best nutritional quality for your body. Having a soda over a glass of ice water is hardly a good nutritional choice. But if you only have one when you eat pizza and you have pizza maybe once a month, then it’s really not a big deal.

Daily sodas can pack on serious pounds fast, in that situation you need to assess, is that good for you ? Are sodas impacting your health.

Soda in and of itself isn’t “bad” used in moderation. ¬†Not the best choice perhaps but not some evil thing.

Oh those carbs

I guess one of the comments I hate hearing is that “carbs” are bad for you.

I guess if we’re gonna split it out, let’s define those carbs.

Simple carbs that are found in those “not as¬†nutritional food choices” would be carbs found in cakes, cookies, pastries, muffins,¬†chips, fast foods, sodas, candy,¬†sugared drinks, etc.

You should only consume those products minimally for optimal health.

Complex carbs, now those are a different creature. Fruits and veggies are loaded with complex carbs that are good energy sources for our bodies providing tons of vitamins and minerals which also helps protect against diseases, build cells, protect our vision. help our digestive system and major organs, fill us up for minimal calories, and so many offer anti-aging benefits as well.

Whole grains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans etc also offer up a dense and nutritionally packed power punch for energy.

Sadly, these carbs are often viewed as the bad and shunned. Worse yet some “diet” plans entirely¬†remove these food groups.

Real, natural, whole food labeled as “bad”.

Oh that sugar….

if there’s one thing that’s been heavily demonized is sugar. Again, as I mentioned, there are things we need to be mindful of in our daily diets. You shouldn’t be consuming a lot of sugar. That too, will pack on¬†pounds if you’re eating those cookies and muffins on the daily. Don’t forget your sugary drinks you might enjoy as well.

Sugar in a modest amount isn’t “bad”.¬† If you have a weakness for it, then it might be that you make the choice to purposefully limit or stay away from it if it cause you to stumble in your health goals or to binge.

And fat free….

speaking of sugar, it leads me to the “fat free” thought. Get rid of fat it’s “bad” for you. Don’t eat fat.

Again like the carb lies, there are good fats and “bad” fats. Ironically, the fats that are not in your best health interest are also in many of the simple carbs I listed as well.

Years ago when the fat free rage was at it’s highest point and I was beginning to navigate the waters of health I learned a sobering truth while reading a label on some “fat free” cookies.

The calorie content was ridiculous! But why?? These were fat-free.

Listen, when you remove necessary fat from baked goods, you get essentially something that tastes like a cardboard shoebox.

To sell their product it had to have some taste so they majorly upped the sugar in their “fat free” cookies.

And the people eagerly bought into it. Because  fat free certainly must mean calorie free.

I realized if I wanted two “normal” cookies, I could do so with less calories involved. But then hey, the trend was normal cookies were “bad”.

Those other things I listed….

Cleanses and detoxes are awful for your body. Those are bad. Don’t do them. They just feed our disordered thinking on food and nutrition.

Skipping meals will not help you lose weight. You WILL be hungry and think about food all the time… so it’s a bit dysfunctional to ignore your bodies physical needs.

You cannot hit the gym the next day to “work off” food and drink from the day before. You can’t “negate what you ate”.¬† What you can do is get back on track with your eating and do sensible exercise. Again, more disordered thinking that we could actually lose calories we sucked recklessly in the day before.

There is no diet that is some magic wand to help you lose weight. At the end of each day, you have a calorie deficit. THAT is how you lose weight. Run away if some product or diet is making wild promises. It just isn’t true.

You don’t have to eat organic or buy meats that cost you a weeks worth of pay. For many people, it is way out of their budget to do so. ¬†I might suggest if you started eating more fruits and veggies you’d be on the road to a healthier lifestyle and wellness. Again, we’ve been conditioned to “believe” these things by a select group.

Foods that don’t fall in those categories (organic etc)¬†¬†aren’t “bad” or “robbed” of nutrients.

Could I make a radical suggestion here?

If food in general isn’t “bad”, perhaps it’s our behaviors with certain foods that are “bad”.

Perhaps we lack a level of control with certain foods. Maybe the mere taste of something pushes us to eat more. There might be foods that trigger our eating.¬† Maybe our emotions are what cause us to indulge in things we don’t need or eat excessively. Perhaps our mouth just wants to eat even if our stomach isn’t physically hungry.

These are behavior issues we have. The food, is what’s¬†used to support those behaviors.

Withholding food from ourselves or over indulging in food is dysfunctional thinking. We can’t medicate with or without food.

We have to get real with ourselves and know where our weak areas are.

It has been easier in the world¬†to make food be “bad” then it is to examine¬†issues that cause bad behaviors with food.

The bottom line

We have to change our thinking with food and how we interact with it. We have to stop thinking of it in negative ways and look at our own behaviors with it.

If you realize you may have some struggles with how you view food or the choices you make you might consider writing those things down and then setting small goals for yourself in ways to changes those behaviors or thoughts. Perhaps you might need an accountability partner, someone who you can confide in and you could walk with you and help you with those changes.

Listen, I believe eating well the majority of the time is important to living a healthy life, having energy and looking good.

I also like cake and occasionally some French fries.¬† I’ve grown in my understanding and relationship with food to not have any guilt connected to it. Life is to be enjoyed and sometimes it means having fries or cake or whatever may float your boat.

There are things like alcohol, processed foods, excess sugar, and high fats ( not the good kind) that not only aren’t good for your health, but contribute to your aging process as well. Again, those should all be used cautiously.

Keeping a  healthy balance in your daily nutrition not only will keep you from dysfunctional thinking about food, but will let you have your cake and eat it too.

In moderation, of course ūüėČ

cake