Only Eat When You Are Hungry

An often-overlooked but incredibly important rule to healthy eating is acknowledging and responding to your hunger cues. Quite simply, this means only eating when you are hungry, and stopping when you are full. Yes, it is important to eat until you are satisfied (if you are eating healthy food), but eating until you are stuffed is hard on digestion and hard on the body. Those of you who signed up for individualized coaching will recall our precious enzymes that help us digest our food, breathe, move, think, and so on. When you eat in excess, you are essentially asking your body to divert its enzymes, digestive juices, and resources away from repair, restoration, and maintenance and instead, to digestion and moving extra food through the body unnecessarily. While many people eat out of boredom, others overeat for many other reasons, which we can address in one-on-one coaching sessions for those who are interested. Otherwise, ask yourself this question the next time you are in doubt: Do I want an apple? If the answer is no, you are probably not hungry. For health coaching members wanting more tips for navigating non-physiological urges to eat, refer to my article called “Fun Things To Do Other Than Eat,” posted in the members section of my website. This fun and thought-provoking post will provide you with lots of great options that will keep your mind occupied on things other than eating. Here’s a hint: distraction is the best remedy!

Ask yourself, "Do I want an apple?" If the answer is no, then you're probably not hungry.

There are many benefits to waiting to eat until you are hungry. The most obvious of which is how delicious, delightful, and satisfying your food becomes! When you are truly hungry for your meal, eating becomes an occasion for celebration! Furthermore, you have plenty of enzymes and digestive juices available for fully digesting your food, and it becomes much easier to recognize when you are full. Finally, it also prevents excess, undigested food matter from lingering in the gut and feeding pathogenic bacteria, viruses, yeasts, and mold.

Let me be clear: If you are genuinely hungry, you should definitely eat!

Let me be clear, though: if you are genuinely hungry, you should definitely eat. (Just make sure it’s healthy.) It is highly stressful for your body to run on inadequate fuel, and doing so can compromise certain body functions. While fasting has its merits under certain circumstances, it should not be done excessively, nor should it be done every day. If you are interested in fasting and would like to give it a try, consult your healthcare provider so he/she can guide you.

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