When I teach people how to lose weight and keep it off without dieting, I say things like:
People will say to me, “My body says all brownies all the time” or “If I ate what I wanted, I’d eat all the junk that was within reach.”
Responses like that tell me that many people don’t understand the difference between the bodily sensation of hunger and the emotional feeling of hunger. They don’t understand the difference between wanting to eat and needing to eat.
If you want to lose weight without dieting and you want to keep it off, understanding this difference is crucial. To repeat, real bodily hunger is a sensation. Emotional or “head hunger” is caused either by an emotion or some external cue.
Think about a time when you went too long without eating. When you felt really hungry. Remember what it felt like? Maybe you haven’t experienced that for a long time.
When I feel physically hungry, I feel it in my stomach. It is clearly a physical sensation. My stomach feels empty. Sometimes it makes noises like a rumble. It is a feeling I get even when there is nothing I like to eat available. When I think about what to eat when I am physically hungry, the answer usually is something I love but that is still fuel for my body. Healthy and delicious food. If I don’t eat soon, I get hungrier and cranky.
Some people may get a hunger headache, feel low on energy, or be grumpy.
Whenever you want to eat because you see or smell something tasty and you haven’t noticed that you were hungry before that, it is probably head hunger. Head hunger can be eating out of habit, like always eating breakfast first thing in the morning, having lunch at noon every day, or munching while watching TV. It can be part of a search for pleasure. Maybe it is based upon a belief that you’ve held for a long time, like, “I’ve loved candy corn since I was a kid.” Or maybe you’re watching a commercial for ice cream, and you suddenly feel “in the mood” for some.
When you eat in response to external cues or emotions, you consume food your body doesn’t need, so it stores it as fat. The more you do that, the more weight you gain.
If you eat when you are hungry, and tune into your body, your body will tell you what it needs. Maybe it will sometimes say brownies, but I promise you it won’t tell you brownies all the time. If all you ate were brownies, you would feel sick. Your body is too smart to tell you to do that!
You have to learn to listen carefully to your body’s signals. Not your brain’s. You have to learn to trust your body.
Then magic starts to happen. You start to feel satisfied with less food. Your cravings begin to go away. Your desire to overeat fades. The weight starts to drop without depriving yourself of the foods you love.
I'm passionate about helping foodies learn how to drop their excess weight for good without dieting. I help you discover what is really causing your weight problem (it isn't that you love food!), and teach you how to enjoy the foods you love while permanently losing your desire to overeat. I'd love to teach my method to you! I’m also a gourmet cook and baker who struggled with my weight for 40 years before discovering the secret of how to stop emotional eating and overeating. I am a certified life coach, arbitrator and mediator, and I live on the coast of Maine.