"Food is an important part of a balanced diet......" FRAN LEBOWITZ
First of all, a huge thank you to all who have joined my Secret Weigh group on Facebook so far. If you haven't yet I will tell you how to at the end of this post.
Hopefully you have read my six posts about why DIETS DON'T WORK to help you understand why diets fail you. They have failed you, you have not failed.
I wanted you to understand why DIETS DON'T WORK as it will be much easier for you to walk away from that way of living once you truly see how destructive it is.
In this post we will start to put in place the strategies that will remind you how to eat like a naturally slim person again - the way our bodies want us to eat. The natural weigh, the bodies Secret Weigh.
To remind you how fruitless dieting is, let's take a look at the 'Diet Cage Cycle' you have been living in...
You begin a new diet
You feel strong and weight loss begins
As you diet you feel more and more hungry and deprived and so you break the diet
You overeat or binge
You regain the weight you have lost plus a little extra
You feel fat and like you have failed (even though the diet failed you) and you hate yourself
You continue to binge and overeat, food actually makes you feel better for a while
You finally put on so much weight you know you must do something about it
You begin a new diet
It doesn't make any sense and yet we all do it, so let's take a look at how the naturally slim eat - how the body wants us to naturally eat and how I have managed to stay the same weight for 20 years without dieting, using the Secret Weigh.
Living The Secret Weigh
Only Eat when you are hungry
Eat exactly what you feel like eating, what you 'feel' hungry for (remember you are no longer on a diet, food is just food, no calories, no sins, just food)
Enjoy your food and focus your attention on what you are eating
Stop eating when you are full up, listening to your body to signal when you have had enough
That's it! They are the only rules I live by when it comes to eating. So let's break them down. Today we are going to deal with 'Eating When You Are Hungry
1. Eating When You Are Hungry
If you were lucky as a baby you were fed on demand. If you were unlucky you were fed every four hours. Babies who are fed on demand learn from a very young age how to identify their hunger. Babies who are fed every four hours are never really given the chance to develope their own hunger instincts. I think it is so important that children are never given hang ups about food whatsoever. It is essential that we teach them to recognise their own hunger, satisfy it and rejoice in it. There should be no focus on good or bad foods, just food.
Listening to your hunger;
When I first discovered The Secret Weigh, this was one of the hardest things for me. I was terrified that I would never get hungry! But I did and I got hungry more than I imagined I would.
I was also afraid that if I let myself actually get hungry, I would be ill and unable to carry out my day. This of course isn't true either. If you let it go too far you might feel uncomfortable but we live in a rich Western world and fortunately for us, food is everywhere so we can always satisfy our hunger. I do always take a snack everywhere I go though, just in case I get hungry mid meeting or mid baby group, but if I'm hungry and I can't eat I wait until I can and honestly it's really not that awful to be a little hungry.
When it comes to hunger we are all different, so we receive the signals that we are hungry in different ways. Some of us feel hunger in our stomachs and some of us feel it in our throats. A few may feel hunger in their heads, I often feel like my sternum is growling when I am hungry, while other times I feel like I have an empty head (although that could just be that I do have an empty head most of the time and so something else entirely)!
All of us eventually feel that rumbling, eager feeling in our stomachs that cannot be denied. This is hunger.
The rumbling full body hunger is the one you are looking for. Not the emotional hunger that starts as a thought in your brain. Not eyeball hunger that starts because you see nice food. Not boredom hunger. Not mouth hunger that starts because you smell the bakery walking home from work.
The hunger we are looking for is the rumbly hunger that you actually physically feel in your body and cannot be denied.
Being hungry is like being in love, if you are not sure then you are not!
The Hunger Games... First Exercise:
Choose a day when you have some time and the head space to pay attention to yourself
On waking, ask yourself, Am I hungry?
If you think you are, eat something small like one slice of toast or a banana
If you are not hungry, go and do something else and wait until hunger comes...
Note (and you can actually write it down if it helps) how do you feel about skipping breakfast?
If you had breakfast - I want you to wait to eat until you are hungry in the same way (even if it takes you well past lunch time) and note how your feel about that.
PLEASE KEEP REASSURING YOURSELF THAT THIS IS NOT A DIET AND YOU CAN EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT AS SOON AS YOU ARE HUNGRY!
Do this for all meals and snacks throughout the day. Wait until you are absolutely sure you are hungry and then eat something.
You may find you only eat one meal that day or you may find you only snack.
Be aware of how you feel when you are truly hungry. Don't panic about it, just embrace the natural sensation of hunger and then feed it.
Try to push your hunger (just for today) until you are ravenously hungry, just to see how it feels. You don't have to do this again (unless it's helpful to you) but I want you to note all the different stages of your hunger, so you can get back in touch with your body's natural instincts for it.
At the end of this day, I'd be interested to know on my Secret Weigh group, how you all did and what hunger felt like for you.
Next we will have a look at how to gauge how full you are.
If you have enjoyed this blog and you want to know more or join my support group for living the Secret Weigh - then you can join me here and please do share the love so others can live The Secret Weigh too