Quick rant: Hunger isn’t all in your head
For people who have struggled with overeating/dieting/ED/living in this messed up culture, it can be hard to distinguish true hunger from other kinds. I don’t subscribe to the idea that the only or best way to view food is as fuel, but I do think part of healing one’s relationship with food involves understanding why we’re eating and why we choose the foods we do.
That’s to say that I get that for some people part of that healing process will involve finding ways to cope with stress/depression/boredom without food. I also get that learning not to reward oneself solely with food is a good thing.
However, I read too many weight loss blogs where people constantly treat hunger like it’s all in their head. It’s 7pm and they’ve hit their ridiculously low calorie limit for the day. Problem is, they’re still hungry. What should they do?
EAT SOME DAMN FOOD.
Don’t take a bath or reward yourself with a good book. Don’t meditate or put in a new DVD.
EAT SOME DAMN FOOD.
Take a bath to deal with stress instead of bingeing, by all means. Carefully consider whether or not you’re actually hungry or just bored before you make a snack, sure.
But to be frank, if you truly cannot tell the difference between the hunger you feel when you’re trying to get by on far too little calories and the kind that is the result of being bored/depressed/etc… then consider doing that work first before you start cutting calories all over the place.
Because, in the end, fighting real hunger is a losing battle. For most people, it will result in metabolism slow down and/or an increased likelihood of binge eating not to mention absolute misery. Taking a bath when you’re body is short 1,200 calories for the day isn’t going to stop you from being hungry. It is a good way to make yourself miserable though.
Hunger is complex. And yes, it does have a psychological component, but that doesn’t mean you can willpower or think your way out of needing more than 1,200 calories/day. Baths are nice, but they can’t fuel your body’s processes, ok?