Work With Your Hunger, Not Against It…

Couple Walking and Eating Ice Cream

Remember, you are building a thin mentality to replace your diet mentality.

That means we are adopting the behavior of naturally thin people. And what do naturally thin people do that most impacts their weight?  They eat less, overall.  But no worries as I say that!  Don’t make that sad assumption that you will be in denial!  That is your diet brain talking.

When I say “they eat less” you are picturing yourself lying in bed after eating a small dinner and saying to yourself, “Just go to sleep and the day will be over and I will have made it through the day on my diet.”

What an awful, awful way to live


That is not what you will do as you build your thin mentality.

You are going to learn that if you eat when you are hungry, just enough to satisfy that hunger, you will be eating less than you used to. (When you weren’t dieting.)  But it isn’t painful.  Eating less is painful when foods are forbidden and hunger is denied.

If you are hungry and want a cheese danish, you will eat a few bites, and see how you feel.  You may indeed need the whole thing.  But give yourself a chance to be very satisfied and happy eating half.  But if you are hungry for the whole thing, that is OK!!  Just be open to the possibility that 1/2 is enough.  That is what naturally thin people do.  They do not feel an obligation to eat the whole thing!

And be open to other cravings too.  Your body will, yes it will, crave “healthy foods.”  Be willing to accept those cravings as well as the cravings for what you used to consider “bad” food.  Just because I am saying that you can eat whatever you crave, don’t try to talk yourself into a cookie when what you really crave is a crisp salad.

Your thin mentality will allow you to eat less, but enjoy it more.  Way more.  And you will feel powerful, in control, and relaxed around food.

And that is how weight comes off.  And, the thinner you get, the less food you will require.  But that will feel fine to you because it is in complete harmony with your body.  Of course smaller people require less food.

If your goal is to eat as much food as possible, you are stuck in a diet mentality.  A happier goal is to eat when you are hungry.  This is normal, healthful and enjoyable.


Delay, Don’t Deny

happy dessert eaterDoes this ever happen to you?

You enjoy your dinner and then a nice dessert is offered.  It is your favorite and those around you are partaking. You look at the dessert and feel an overwhelming urge to eat it even though you aren’t hungry.

Well it certainly happened to me hundreds of times during my 25 years as a dieter (ages 15-40.)

Sometimes I would be able to resist, and other times I wouldn’t.  If I ate the dessert, it tasted good, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have because I was already figuring out ways to make up for the indulgence or at least just feeling guilty.  And if I didn’t eat it, I would feel left out and even resentful.

Again, does this sound familiar to you at all?  There is a way out of this kind of struggle.

It involves a perspective change, not willpower. Whew, right?

Instead of thinking:

“Wow, I really want that dessert, I feel like I should treat myself, after all I have had a hard day, and I am just going to eat it and deal with the consequences later.”

Tweak your thinking to sound more like this:

“Wow, I really love that dessert.  It is my favorite.  I am going to give myself the time I need to get hungry again so that I will be able to treat myself to this dessert and enjoy it with the most satisfaction possible.  I am not denying myself, I am simply delaying eating until hunger returns.  (Which is many times a day!!)  I will take a portion with me, or make sure that I cut a piece for myself so there will be some left for me or whatever, and then when I get hungry, I am going to enjoy that dessert completely.  There will be no guilt.  There will only be pleasure. And that is how I will treat myself and treat myself well.

I have to remind you that even though you think that when you stop dieting, you will only crave desserts, that isn’t true.  And as you get stronger and stronger with your thin mentality, you will enjoy your food choices, but you will not be held captive by them.

Even waiting ten minutes the first time you run into this scenario will help you to build your thin mentality.  And as that ten minutes turns into a longer period of time while you wait until hunger returns, you will experience the feelings of satisfaction and control that comes with acknowledging you desire for something wonderful to eat, and eating it with no guilt, no regret.

Your thin mentality will destress your relationship with food and allow you to care for yourself by providing your body with the food it craves.   It is not “wrong” to crave dessert.  It is not evil.  It is not poison.  It is a beautiful part of life.

And again, remember, you will nutritious food too!!  Give your body a chance to show you that it knows what you need.




Examples of a Diet Mentality


I was talking about this website to a group of friends last night and I want to address some of the comments they made.

One objection I heard was that if you want to be thin, you need to budget your calories.  For instance, my friend said the if she knows she is going to eat a big dinner, she saves calories at lunch.

If you are the type of person who thinks like this, you are using a diet mentality to manage your weight.  Think about what budgeting your calories means.  It means you live by a rule book that requires you to ignore signals from your own body.  Your body is smarter and more dynamic that any rule book .  Some days you need more calories than others.  And some days you need less.  Some days your body will crave watery fruit.  Some days your body will want a lot of protein.  And budgeting your calories trains you to ignore your body.  And, you create a backlash that eventually will cause you to binge.

Living and using a “thin mentality” looks like this:

At 1 pm, let’s say, the “thin mentality” person realizes they are hungry.  They do not think about the future or the past.  It does not matter what or if they had breakfast or if they have a fancy dinner plans.  They eat to satisfy hunger in that moment.   He or she selects or makes something they like and eats it, and then moves on.   They do not eat based on a future or past event.  Then, if they are going out for a special dinner, they live in that present moment as well.  So how do they go to that big fancy dinner and not overeat?

The “thin mentality” person never overeats because there is NO PLEASURE in that. When you really promise yourself that you will never diet again, your whole approach and attitude to food changes.  You realize that the big fancy dinner is a wonderful opportunity to have bites of things that aren’t always available, to try new things, to choose exactly what you want and have it beautifully served to you.  You realize that the true value of that dinner is not just the food.  It is the people, it is getting dressed in nice clothes, it is admiring the decor.  It is smelling and seeing and hearing.  The actually ingestion of food- no matter how much you actually eat, is a small percentage of time spent at a fancy dinner.

Think about it.  Actual “chew” time is pretty small, whether you eat 3000 calories, or 800.  So, instead of over eating the food at this dinner, you truly enjoy the whole experience, not just the food.  But you do enjoy the food, too.  But you eat in quantities that don’t betray your body.  You are happy and at peace the next morning.   You have no guilt or regret.  You have not surrendered your power and eaten what some book told you to eat.  You know yourself, you listen to your body’s signals, without judgment.

I know I have been at dinners and wished I was hungry so that I could eat more.  But I don’t.  Because I know that I will be hungry again soon.  So I might order a meal, and take it with me, because I know that when I get hungry, I will have something really delicious to eat.  That is living like a thin person.  Shoving food down when I am not hungry is not fun.  It is awful.  Hunger is the best sauce and every time I eat I enjoy it tremendously, and I venture to say that I enjoy eating way more than people who eat a lot more than I do, quantity wise.

Remember that every new day is chock full of more opportunities to create, or buy delicious things that you like to eat, whenever you are truly hungry.   Remember, you can eat anything you want, but you can’t eat it all every day.  And when you cultivate a thin mentality, you have no desire to eat it all every day.  It takes a while to cultivate this, because it has been trained out of you.  But it is possible to get it back.  Trust yourself that you can do this.

Come back to this website for daily reinforcement.  And read “my book” on this site to get a lot of info all at once.


There Is No Such Thing As Fattening Food

VectorToons.comSome foods are more calorie dense than others, yes that is true.

But guess what?

A thin person (not a dieter,) notices that rich food fills them up very quickly.  They enjoy it, are satisfied it, and stop eating.

Does that sound unbelievable to you?

That is because you have a diet mentality getting in the way.

Mother Nature has it all worked out for us.  You eat something high in calories, and you need less of it to be satiated.  You eat something like a salad, and it temporarily fills you up, but because it is low in calories, you get hungry again soon and need to eat more.

How wonderful that we have this great internal monitor to help us know when we need to eat more- hunger!

And yes, you need to learn how to recognize true hunger from boredom hunger, habit hunger, psychological hunger bla bla bla.

You CAN.  It isn’t as hard as you think.

It just seems hard now because you have trained yourself to eat when you aren’t hungry (according to some ridiculous diet plan) and to not eat when you are very hungry.

Please give yourself a chance to enjoy a life in harmony with your instinct to eat and your instinct NOT to eat.

As you are developing your ability to do this, just remember one “rule:”  Eat when you are hungry only.

It is a completely different world than the food/diet obsessed one you are used to.  I know you have doubts.  I did too.  I just got so so so so sick of dieting that I couldn’t do it anymore.  I am so glad that I got to that place and was willing to try listening to myself.

My goal is to share it with you.  I was 40 when I finally figured it out.  I want you to figure it out earlier if possible.  If you already over 40, please learn from my experience.  It is not too late.


How Do You Stop Eating When It Tastes So Good



I understand that you may need help learning when and how to stop eating.  People say stuff like this to me:

  1. Well, it still tastes good so it is hard to stop.
  2. How do I know when I am not hungry anymore?
  3. I am used to eating a certain amount and it feels so strange to not eat the same.
  4. I was taught that leaving food behind is wasteful.
Okay, I get all of these.  Let’s take them one by one:
1.  Yes I know food can still taste “good” when you are not hungry.   But pay attention to how much better it is when you are truly hungry.  And remember the pay off for this is huge.  Eating when you are hungry and not when you aren’t means that you can ALWAYS eat when you ARE hungry!  Keep reminding yourself of that.  For as pretty good as food can be when you aren’t hungry, NOT eating when you ARE hungry is terrible!
2.  It takes some time to reacquaint yourself with your hunger patterns.  Keep listening.  If you eat and are hungry 20 minutes later, you were probably still hungry and perhaps stopped eating a little too soon.  Just keep paying attention.  Practice listening and you will get the hang of it.  LIsten to your body’s voice without judgment, respond and reflect on how your hunger was taken care of and use that information the next time.
3.  Yes, if you are used to eating a certain amount it takes a little while to adjust.  If you always eat soup and salad and bread and dessert, it may take you a while to understand that you don’t need all of that to satisfy your hunger.  Or, maybe you need more?  This depends on you, your body, your metabolism, your level of activity etc.   Listen to your body’s voice instead of old habits.  And when you replace those old habits with new habits, it will be a permanent fix.
4.  You are not wasting food just because you didn’t put it in your stomach!  Put it in your fridge instead!  And as you learn about what amount of food works for you and get your Healthy Thin Mentality strong, you will be better at judging how much food to put on your plate.

Lose Weight, Regain the Joy of Eating


If you are hungry, and eat what you think “should” be enough, but you are still hungry, then your body is telling you to eat more, isn’t it?  Listen to your body and put judgments aside.  Remember all that matters is your voice.  Your body.  In this present moment.  But do not engage in  “deal-making” or conversations like, “If I eat this then I won’t eat that bla bla bla!!”

Really look forward to being hungry. It is great. It is a gift that we can get hungry, and then we get to eat! How fun is that?

We have lost this joy and that is so so sad.  Instead we shove food down in guilt or behind closed doors and then suffer thru under eating later to counteract the overeating.  What a viscous and unhealthy cycle, don’t you agree?

So just remain calm and connected to your body and your body’s signals. It takes time to reacquaint yourself with the cravings and hunger and satiety that you have been trained to ignore !  Give yourself a chance. And remember not to fear hunger.  Learn to satisfy your hunger in the most pleasing way for you. When you understand that hunger is an opportunity and not a problem you will be well on your way to your thin mentality.  Hunger is great. Use it to connect with yourself.

And remember, not eating when you ARE hungry is just as harmful as eating when you are NOT hungry.  Both disconnect you from your body.  Where/when does weight loss occur?  When you learn to keep yourself happily in that neutral space- where when you get hungry you eat enough to quell hunger, but not enough to feel “full.”  

Full is when your body is screaming at you to stop eating.  Don’t make your body scream at you!!!  Respect your body’s calm, “I am not hungry anymore,” and stop eating then.  

If you think that is too hard for you, you are over-worrying.  I promise.  I was worried too.  But the thing is that when you can eat whenever you are hungry, you will stop worrying and calm down.  Dieting has made you fear hunger.  Hunger stinks.  It ruins your day.  Skate in that happy neutral zone and you will feel good, and lose weight.  So normal, so reasonable.  So effective.

How much food will that take for you?  Don’t worry or judge.  Listen to your body.  It will tell you. And as always, think Progress Not Perfection!!


If Your Plate Is ALWAYS Clean…


What are the chances, especially at a restaurant, that the amount of food they put on your plate is “just right?”

For me, the answer is just about never.  Usually, it is more than I need.  Sometimes it is not enough.  But very, very rarely does my hunger match up with what is on the plate.

Think about that.  That is pretty normal, right?  They don’t know me, my size, my activity level etc.  Why would the amount of food be “just right??”

Now, if I am home and make my own food, the chances are much better.  Why?  Because, after years- 15 now, of living as a thin mentality person, I know myself.  But, I still always leave open the possibility that I don’t need everything on my plate.

I need to emphasize here:

When you can eat whatever you crave whenever you are hungry, it is not hard to leave food behind.  I know you doubt that.  So did I.

Just start out leaving one bite behind, knowing that in fifteen minutes if you still want it, have at it.  Just give yourself a chance to get acquainted with how it feels to leave a bit behind.   Just give it a chance.

Eating everything on your plate is simply a habit.  And it is a habit you CAN break because eating according to your hunger instead of what is presented on your plate works with your body, not against it, like dieting.

And constantly fighting your body is what dieting advocates.

Instead, learn to listen to your hunger without panicking.   Relax, take a deep breath, and eat without desperation, or an eye on the future or the past.  Stay in the moment knowing that you will keep checking in with your hunger to see when it is calm.  When hunger is calm, when you are in “neutral,” not “full,” delay eating anymore.   Neutral is where you want to be.  The absence of hunger is neutral. It is a calm, good feeling.  Eating to where you are “full” causes changes in breathing, and a regretful feeling.  Not good.

It is a learning curve, of course.  But it is actually really enjoyable to re-learn how to eat.  Give yourself a chance.  You are not an out of control eating machine.  Your body is just completely freaked out from years of dieting.  It doesn’t know what crazy diet you are going to do next, so when given the chance your body is going to send you “eat more” signals in preparation for the next ridiculous fast you put it on.

Your job is to calm that down by reliably matching hunger and eating.  You can do it.  Give it a try.   One day, no, make that one meal at a time.  Mother Nature is smart.  Let her guide you.


Losing Weight With Your Thin Mentality

cute animal

Losing weight with your thin mentality is permanent and harmonious. You will not get the “I feel empty like I’m losing weight” feeling. That is a short-term weight loss feeling. Thin mentality weight loss won’t “hurt.”

It is a gradual reconnection to your ideal weight range.

As you develop your thin mentality, here is your number one job: Every time you are in a potential eating situation, ask yourself if you are hungry. Then, as you eat, keep checking in with yourself- ask yourself, could you just put it down for a little while? And if you can, just see if you can delay eating anymore for ten minutes. That ten minutes may become two hours or even four hours and that delay in eating allows your body to digest the wonderful food you have given it without having to deal with “extra” food.

From my experience, the second half of this equation- the checking in with yourself while you are eating, takes more getting used to than waiting for hunger.

This is why-

When you diet, you tend to be in a feast or famine mode. So as you are eating, if you are satisfying true hunger and really enjoying your food, you start to hear those voices- “I have already eaten too much, may as well eat more….I have eaten chips which are so bad that I might as well keep eating…I am going to exercise later so I am just going to eat a bit more…”

All these phrases are deeply ingrained in the dieter. Recognize them and refuse to honor them. Instead, pay attention to that fantastic body you have- yes you do!!!!- and wait for more hunger to continue eating.

This is where weight loss occurs: when you have really keyed in to the appropriate time to stop eating (when hunger is gone of course!)

So if you are concerned about making progress with your thin mentality, keep this blog in the front of your mind. Remember, you can eat beautiful food- salty food, chocolate, steak, chicken, salad, etc…. as long as you feel hunger. And then, pay attention when hunger subsides.

Thin Mentality people know this important concept:

It takes less food to satisfy you than you previously thought.

But again, please, please, please don’t let that scare you. Dieters are scared of not eating because they can’t eat when they feel hunger. But you, my thin mentality friend CAN. NO fear. NO deprivation. Just a wonderful life reconnecting eating with hunger.


Can’t Decide What To Eat?

stock-footage-black-woman-looking-in-refrigeratorWhen you look in the fridge, or cabinet, or pantry, or on the menu, and you can’t decide what to eat, guess what?   You probably aren’t hungry.

But relax!  That doesn’t mean you have a long day or night of “diet style denial” in front of you!

That just means that you should wait until your hunger comes alive enough to give you a real appetite for something.

Over time, you will learn that it is no big deal to postpone eating until you are truly hungry.

You are just in a habit of, for example, eating breakfast before you leave your house.    But if you aren’t sure what you want, your body is trying to tell you something.  It has no appetite for anything.

But again, guess what?  Very soon, you will. And your eating experience will be far more enjoyable and satisfactory because you waited for your body to provide you with an appetite.

There is no pain in turning down food when you have no appetite.  Dieters turn down food when they are hungry.  And that is why they fail to keep weight off.  They aren’t working with their bodies, they are working against them

And the way to be thin forever is to build harmony between you and body.   Eat when you actually have an appetite for something!  No big deal.


Dr. Oz and the Apple Test


Dr. Oz had “expert” on his show to tell you how you know when you are hungry.

She said that if you don’t know whether or not you are hungry, test yourself with an apple.  If you don’t want the apple, then you aren’t hungry.

Okay, I just know that wouldn’t work for me.  When I am hungry, I am not just “hungry.”  I am hungry FOR something specific.  It is extremely variable, and I believe reflects my activity level. have For example if I worked out and perspired a lot, I probably crave salty food.  Just an example, whatever.

If I tested myself with that apple, it would make me feel bad.  Okay, I don’t want that apple.  So I am not hungry?  NO!  I am not hungry for an apple.  I need a big hunk of cheese.  Or I want a cold pickle.  Or I need a bowl of cereal with milk and bananas.  Whatever.

If I waited until I wanted that apple, I would be in what I call stage 3 hunger, where I am really really hungry, and I lose my ability to be picky and select food that I want.  (An example in my book is when I get to a restaurant and I am in stage 3 hunger so I just eat some bread I don’t even like because I am that hungry)  That is not a good place to be.

Stage 2 hunger is where you are distracted from your life by your hunger, but you aren’t desperate to eat (an apple for example!)

So, my advice to you is that you should get better at really listening to your body and not “threaten” it with a apple you don’t want.  That creates mistrust between your body and you.  It smells of a diet mentality.

I know why this doctor is saying this, however.  She says she does the apple test for herself many times every day.  Oh come on, now, that is no fun!!

She doesn’t trust her own body to steer her to nutritious food.  But think about it.  Your body wants to be able to repair cell damage, grow lustrous hair, have good energy.

When all threats of unwanted apples and diets are gone, the wisdom of your body will emerge!

No get quiet and listen…