People think that eating to live means giving up all your favorite foods, that you'll never be able to enjoy a meal again. This is not true.
Food addiction, mindless eating, living to eat; they’re all related. What do they all have in common? To answer that $100 question, is it because we consume foods that are not necessarily the healthiest choices or the best quantities? Or is it because when we aren’t really hungry, we have that urge to eat anyway. I think it’s important to understand that most of us live to eat, and we need to know why?
We’ve all gone through this. Opening the fridge several times thinking something new has magically popped inside since we last opened it. We feel like we can’t finish what we started to do, or we can’t cope with our stress level, so we try to comfort ourselves by putting something in our mouths.
Do we really know what the Hunger signs are?
Are we really hungry? Do we really feel hungry? It is a feeling that we need to eat something, right? Well, not really.
We “think” we’re hungry because our brain is telling us we are. Or is it? Hunger is the physical symptoms you feel when your body is trying to tell you it needs more fuel. Such as an empty, growling feeling in the pit of your stomach or maybe feeling lightheaded, or even feeling antsy.
How often do you REALLY experience those symptoms? For most of us, not that often. Our brains are being tricked into thinking we’re hungry because we are literally bombarded with external stimuli that make us think we’re hungry. Like all of those food and restaurant commercials, or that work conversation you just had about what they had for dinner the night before. Or maybe it is all those “Facebook” ads that pop up all the time, with recipes to make!
Have you ever gone to a fair or a seminar where there aren’t any food offerings at all? To engage us, to keep us motivated and focused they entice us with comfort foods.
They all engage and suck us into their visions, sounds and smells of what our brain tells us will make us happy if we just eat what we see all around us!
Our body has an automatic reaction to regulate hunger and fullness. For some reason, in those of us predisposed to weight problems, this system doesn’t work very well. We have desires to eat when we’re not physically hungry and we continue to eat when we are full.
So, what do we do? How do we continue to lose weight, or to maintain our weight loss?
I think the answer lies in self-awareness, planning for situations that can put you out of control and surrounding yourself with supportive people you can trust with your weight loss journey.
For most of us, when eating with overweight people, we tend to overeat ourselves.
We have become a culture of laziness. We’re surfing the Internet, playing games online or binge watching the latest episodes of our favorite television series. What happened to getting outside and walking, taking nature hikes, gardening, and bike riding?
So, how do we break out of this vicious cycle? The answer is that it’s not easy. You need to make a plan. You need to first figure out why you’re eating. To do that, you have to figure out what you’re eating and what situation caused you to eat it in the first place.
It’s called journaling and checking in with your self-awareness. Writing down when you feel the urge to snack, or binge eat. What are you feeling at that moment to make you want to eat, when you aren’t hungry? If you don’t commit yourself to writing down every bite of food you put in your mouth, and why you’re putting it in there, you’re never going to find out how to avoid those ruts in the road on your journey to eating only to live.
You have to find ways to cut out unplanned, overindulgent eating. You need a PLAN to enjoy food without gaining the weight that goes with it.
You do not have to think that eating to live means giving up all your favorite foods, that you'll never be able to enjoy a meal again. This is not true. You do not have to deprive yourself of your favorite foods or any kind of foods, you just need to plan ahead.
Once you can figure this all out, and it will take time, (so don’t give up) you are on your recovery road to eating to live, not living to eat!