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Reconnect To Your Hunger Cues!

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Hopefully, you did some tracking this week and learned a few things about how you feel when you start eating and finish eating. You may have realized that you eat outside of hunger or you eat past feeling satisfied.

Please leave a comment about your experience with Week 1. Were there any surprises, or did you see exactly what you expected?

If I don't see a comment in the group from you by Tuesday, I will give you a call to make sure you are getting my emails and have what you need to participate.

This week we are going to ask ourselves two questions when we eat. 1. Am I hungry? 2. Have I had enough? This exercise will help us become more aware of what we eat, how much we eat, and how it makes us feel. Many of us are moving through life eating on autopilot. Or we might have gotten used to following external diet rules that tell us what to do and when to eat, regardless of how we feel. Or we might be eating while looking at our phones or watching TV while we’re standing in front of the fridge. We might be eating just because it’s dinner time or breakfast time. Or maybe we feel bad wasting food. But it's time to reconnect with how we feel before and after we eat and these two questions will help. So let’s break these down. 1. Am I hungry? Hunger is a slight twinge of physical symptoms. Watch for things like loss of focus, tiredness and yawning, slight belly gurgling or a dull headache. Hunger is not ravenous or feeling like you’re going to starve. If you are not hungry, try to wait. When you think you’re hungry, eat. 2. Have I had enough? The easiest way to do this is to serve yourself less food than usual. Eat that food and then stop and notice how you feel. If you still aren’t satisfied, get a bit more food. Keep doing this until you’re satisfied but not overfull. Another way to work on this is to plan to stop with 2 to 3 bites of food on your plate and take a moment to assess how you feel. If you've had enough, leave the food on your plate. If you are not satisfied, keep eating. If you are satisfied, stop eating. This is a pretty simple system, but it's not necessarily easy. You may have been doing something different for decades. If you've done any dieting during your adult life, you learned to do the opposite of this. So don’t expect to turn it around right away. If you eat when you’re not hungry or you eat beyond feeling satisfied, that’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up. Just try again on the next meal. Take time to build this new habit. Even when you become really good at listening to your hunger cues, and you’re doing it most of the time, it is OK to eat when you’re not hungry sometimes or overeat sometimes - we just want it to be less often and with more intention. At this point, you might wonder, how will this always work? What if I only can eat lunch at noon and I won’t have another opportunity to eat until five? What if I want to have dinner with my family at 6:30 every night, even if I’m not hungry? These are all great questions, and you may need to do some trial and error. Here’s what I mean. Let’s say it’s noon, and you have an opportunity to eat, but you’re not hungry. However, you will not have another opportunity to eat for at least five hours. We do not want you ravenously hungry in five hours. Therefore, you do eat something small at noon. And you experiment until you figure out how much you should eat at noon so that you are appropriately hungry when you next want to eat or have the opportunity to eat. And now let’s go to that 630 dinner example. Let’s say it’s 430, and you are hungry. But if you eat something, you will not be hungry at 6:30 for dinner. You know this from experience. Again, do some trial and error. Maybe eating something very small at 4:30 will do the trick, and then you’ll be right where you should be at 6:30. Experiment - approach all of this with curiosity and no judgment. For this week, I don’t want you to worry much about what you eat. Choose foods you like. I do want you to plan for it, however. Every morning, I’d like you to write down your plan to eat that day. Put plenty of food on your plan, knowing when you might not eat because you will stop eating when you feel satisfied. Planning what you eat daily should take less than five minutes each morning. If you find yourself wanting to eat something that day that was not on your plan, you have two options.

1. Put it on your plan for tomorrow. 2. Eat it, and don’t beat yourself up about it. Remember, we are practicing and don't need to be perfect to improve. I've emailed you a worksheet you can use to plan your meals this week. Plan what you will eat first thing in the morning. Fill out the before and after columns after you eat. Please leave a comment about what you think. How do you feel about trying this? What do you think will be easy? What do you think will be challenging? Share something with the group. I look forward to reading your comments.

If I don't see a comment in the group from you by Tuesday, I will give you a call to make sure you are getting my emails and have what you need to participate.


Listening to your internal cues will help you shift from ext...


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