Defining Need

If you continue to attempt to lose weight, but can never quite make it happen, there is a very good chance that you are still consuming more than you need. But "need" when it comes to food is a difficult amount to define.

Most of us have no clue how much we actually NEED to eat. Something important to keep in mind: if you are currently overweight or obese, you are carrying around a lot of excess calories, in the form of bodyfat, which you are not accessing. And as long as you continue to take in as much or more than your body burns, there is no way you will even begin to access your own stored fat as a fuel.

Here's one part of the problem: you are accustomed to consuming a certain amount. You may eat 3, 4, 5, or even 6 meals per day. You usually eat at certain times of the day. And you normally eat a particular amount of food. So when those mealtimes roll around, you automatically feel hungry. This has nothing to do with what your body really NEEDS. This has more to do with habit.

Hunger can be an uncomfortable feeling for many of us. It signals NEED, even though actual need may not exist. What would happen if you missed a meal? Well, you'd probably experience low blood sugar. Maybe get cranky or get a headache. Or possibly nothing would happen. If you have never skipped a meal, you really have no clue how your body and mind might react.

Are you currently a slave to your hunger? Do you think it might be possible to experiment, in a safe way, with overcoming your fear of feeling hungry? It is possible you might discover that you are able to eat less, fewer meals per day and/or less food per meal, without actually suffering.

I find distraction to be a very effective tool when dealing with hunger. Get yourself out of the kitchen, out of the house, away from the fast food restaurants, and get absorbed in something fun and fascinating. Go for a hike or a bike ride. Go swimming or skate boarding. Take a bootcamp or dance or pottery or rock-climbing class. Grab an easel and do some plein-air painting. Get absorbed in your work or in a great novel. Forget about food for a few hours. Choose the best time of day for your personal life-style, the time when you feel you will have the best chance of success. You might be surprised at how easy it is.

Then refuse to add those calories you skipped back in at your next meal or snack. Pretend you already ate them. See if you can fool yourself. Pretty soon, you will be eating less out of habit. Try it this week. Let me know how it works for you!