Concrete Advice On Recognizing True Hunger
Ok, I get a lot of questions about how to recognize true hunger.
You have to block out all circumstantial eating cues such as a clock says it is “lunchtime”, or you see a delicious-looking cookie in a bakery window.
You must wait for biological hunger. You will not need to “look for” true biological hunger! It will find you. It will be unavoidable, and unmistakable.
Is your stomach growling? Does your mouth water the second you think of food? Are you unable to concentrate on what you are doing? Then you are hungry!
If you can easily distract yourself from eating, you aren’t hungry. And if you can’t decide what you want, then you aren’t hungry.
And, as you are learning to recognize true hunger, remember that the first time you feel a hunger pang isn’t an “emergency.”
(By the way, please notice I did not call it hunger “pain.” Do you call it thirst pain?)
It is like when you look at the gas tank of your car and it is on 1/4 full. You don’t feel like you need to immediately stop and get gas. You are just aware that soon you will need to get some. You may plan out where you will stop, how you will pay etc. But you don’t panic and just pull over immediately at some station that has the highest price!
No, you simply recognize that you will need gas soon.
But, if you wait until the red warning light goes on, problems can arise. You can get stuck in traffic, may not be able to find a gas station etc.
It is the same with fueling up your body.
First, you notice hunger, and make a plan to eat soon. Then, when you feel more urgent hunger, I call this Stage 2, and you eat. If you wait too long- Stage 3 hunger- then problems arise. You may feel awful, have no nice food available, and just end up filling up on anything because you are desperate to eat. This isn’t good!
To sum up:
Stage One hunger is noticing hunger. You are not desperate, you just notice you will need to eat something soon.
Stage Two hunger is when you should eat. You have had a few biological cues to eat, you are craving something specific, and you are unable to distract yourself from eating.
Stage Three hunger is when you have ignored your hunger too long. You are more likely to overeat and eat things you don’t even like because you are desperate.
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The pro diet messages are everywhere- be too smart to fall for those messages and stay true to your natural thin mentality.