24
Mar
09

Listening to your body. Am I hungry?????

Ok, I admit, I am strongly against listening to my body to see if it is hungry.  Maybe it is just me, but there is no freakin way I am listening to my body about this.  Now I can listen to my body about exercise and recovery, but not eating.  I don’t think it is my body’s fault though.  I think it is my mind.  I can’t tell if it is my body or my mind.  99% of the time it is my mind and I will eat and get fat by doing this with the “listening” method.

My wife says that she feels that her body needs such and such so that is what she will eat.  I just don’t get this.  I am not saying it is impossible or that it doesn’t happen.  My body tells me that I need to eat cheese, and burritos, and reeses peanut butter cups. HAHAHA  A person recently told me that this is all hard wired into me and that I should trust this “instinct”.  That my ancestors learned to live off of this listening process and that that is why they never were fat.  Well, I just to buy it.  I think I have to go on what I KNOW works and that is a science based calories in and calories out.

I think like this.  People waaaaaaay back in the day were skinny because they worked physically hard all day long, sometimes to just catch/grow their own food.  Then, they didn’t have access to food at every second of the day either.  If I worked all day long physically, had no constant access to food, and when I got home I had limited resources so I couldn’t just eat all the food around, then I would have to prepare my food, I would have never of gotten fat.  Now, there were many people back in the day who were really fat.  Who were those people, the rich people.  They had workers that did a lot of the stuff for them.  They had resources to have food and plenty of it at their disposal.  In fact, back then being fat was like a sign that you were doing good in life.  That you had it nice and easy.  These “ancestors” had the same “instincts” that the others had but why did they get fat.  They could have listened to their bodies and stayed skinny but no, they ate to their little hearts content.

Call me an idiot, but I am not even or ever going to consider “listening” to my freakin fat mind about when it is time to eat and what I should eat.  I know my “fat mind” , it is far more powerful than the cues from my body.  I just don’t think I know how to listen to my body when it comes to eating.

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24 Responses to “Listening to your body. Am I hungry?????”


  1. March 24, 2009 at 3:33 am

    I’m totally with you on this one. I’ve listened to my body for years and look where it’s gotten me. 🙂 I know what “they” mean when they say to listen to your body and I do in a sense, but for me it’s more listening to my body when I need to stop eating. I went out to eat with the fam this weekend was getting full and stopped eating. In the past I would have kept eating cause my meal was expensive and forced myself to eat it to make sure I got my moneys worth. That is how I look at listening to my body, but totally with ya on the listening to it to eat. Been there, done that, got fat.

    • 2 run4change
      March 24, 2009 at 5:17 am

      That is a good point Melissa. I do that to (most of the time). I can’t listen to when I am hungry but I am getting better at listening when I am full

  2. 3 maggieapril
    March 24, 2009 at 3:45 am

    Absolutely, totally, 100% right there with you!!! Get out the ear plugs, there’s nothing to hear here!

  3. March 24, 2009 at 4:43 am

    great post, Jason. it’s so hard to discern what is “instinct” and what is just weird habits that we’ve gotten into and beliefs we have that aren’t true.

    • 6 run4change
      March 24, 2009 at 5:18 am

      Brandi, it seems to be a big jumbled mess most of the time to me. If I were to listen to my body it would sound like I was in a coliseum with 1000’s of different directions being thrown at me.

  4. March 24, 2009 at 5:05 am

    I hear you! If my “body” is telling me that I “need” Doritos, then I figure that I’m craving something salty and IF I do listen to it — I try to find a healthier choice. However, there are limited times that I listen to exactly what it’s telling me — like if a banana sounds really good. That one I try to listen to if I actually have bananas around. But guess what? I’ve NEVER made a run to the store just cause I’ve been craving a banana. Those runs have been limited to things like ice cream or some chocolatey goodness. 🙂 So…yeah…we have to know ourselves well enough not to “trust” what may actually be our fat mind masquerading as a healthy body simply craving what it needs. I just take a multi-vitamin and tell my fat mind to shut up. 😉

    • 8 run4change
      March 24, 2009 at 5:20 am

      Jenni- Now that is a perfectly stated point. I have never went to the store for an emergency health food run. Always junk food and in secret

  5. March 24, 2009 at 5:30 am

    I agree with you about our ancestors eating habits.

    Maybe it’s also a gender thing too? There are times when I KNOW my body needs chocolate and people around me know it too! 😀

    Seriously, there are times when I know my body needs sodium, sugar and protein. But those are usually times when I’m feeling ‘off’…not quite sick but not quite right either. I never hear my body say I need brussel sprouts or fish though. Hmm.

    • 10 run4change
      March 24, 2009 at 5:35 am

      Very interesting and that is the point that I am trying to make Amy. I hear my body to be sure, but for some reason it always tells me to eat junk therefore I think maybe it is not my body after all but my mind/emotions.

  6. 11 Michelle
    March 24, 2009 at 6:22 am

    I can’t listen to my body because my fat mind is shouting over it. lol

    My mind really plays tricks on me, especially when I’m bored. I may think I feel hungry but so often it’s just boredom. It’s frustrating but I stick to my eating schedule and I haven’t starved to death yet. 🙂

    • 12 run4change
      March 24, 2009 at 6:25 am

      You bring up the key concept in my opinion Michelle. Having an external program or system for eating is the key for me. Sure, I am the same way when it comes to boredom. I “hear” that I am hungry but I know for sure that I am not. I need my “program” to tell me what and when to eat. So I tend to eat every 1.5-2.5 hours.

  7. 13 Leah
    March 24, 2009 at 7:39 am

    I think that I am a healthy mix of both extremes. I listen to my body but I also make sure I keep it in check by not indulging on impulses. I can tell when I need protein. Or if I am low in iron, I crave beef which I generally rarely eat. I’ve become very good at analyzing whether I am actually hungry or just bored. If I crave something sweet, I allow myself a small piece of very dark chocolate and a swig of milk. If I crave something salty, I go for pita and hummus instead of Doritos. I listen to my body but I choose healthier options to satisfy my cravings. Even a sweet potato satisfies a sweet tooth!

    • 14 run4change
      March 24, 2009 at 7:49 am

      Such a good observation and practice Leah. I talked this over with a person yesterday and came to the same conclusion. If we can eat the healthier “bad” foods rather that the “bad” junk foods when we get these cravings then we are so much better off.

  8. 15 Chris
    March 24, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    So true. If I did listen to my body then after my mediocre workout today grrr (and feeling a little annoyed by that) would have led me to purge my apartment of all things delicious. Which would lead me to feel ashamed, annoyed, and depressed. But most importantly what would I have for dinner then!? 🙂

    Anyways…I don’t believe much in the listening to your body for hunger signals. I do think that many of my hunger signals are actually for water or something…or chocolate donuts and milkshakes.

    I have actually tried to listen more for my satiety signals after eating. My big problem many times is portion control, and so I try really hard to sense how hungry I am after a meal. This helps me with portion size control and keeping within points. Plus, I always keep a nice reward treat to keep any cravings in check. Great post!

    • 16 run4change
      March 24, 2009 at 1:35 pm

      Awesome Chris. You make such good sense here. I try to check my satiery levels too, but don’t trust my feeding signals. HAHAHA Mine are often telling me donuts and milkshakes.

  9. March 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    I agree to an extent…I think what listening to your body means to me is determining whether or not your are hungry, or listening for it to give you cues as to when to eat and when to stop. You’re completely right, if I just “listened to my body” to tell me what to eat, I would probably eat nothing but junk all the time! It’s a little bit of trying to determine what your body needs, balanced with what you know about calories in/out and healthy, nutritious choices. Good post!

    • 18 run4change
      March 24, 2009 at 7:59 pm

      I totally get listening to your body about when it is hungry, just not what it is hungry for. I don’t think my body can do that. Fullness, yes! Type of food, no! 🙂

  10. March 25, 2009 at 5:50 am

    I think your post is really sad. Far be it from me to suggest you do something that you really don’t want to do, but I think that the reason 90%+ people can’t lose and keep the weight off is because they don’t learn to listen to and respect their bodies.

    Just for fun, take a look at a book called “I Can Make You Thin” by Paul McKenna. His system works on four simple rules:
    1. Eat when you’re hungry.
    2 Eat whatever you want.
    3. Eat consciously (very slowly, with no distractions like reading or TV)
    4. Stop when you’re full.

    It’s another way to see things but it goes so completely against your approach that you’ll probably dismiss it outright. That’s your right.

    Best wishes,

    NewMe

    • 20 run4change
      March 25, 2009 at 6:00 am

      New-me: I think you may have misunderstood what I was saying. I have discovered more clearly what I meant as I have read peoples comments. I fully believe without any doubt that I can listen to my body in regards to it telling me if I am full. No doubt here. I don’t think my body tells me that I need protein if I need it. I don’t think it tells me that I need sugar when I need it. Even with the “McKenna” approach you get to eat whatever you want. So it is calling you to listen to your body as it relates to being full or not. This I do and I did not do this before I started to lose the weight. Lets say that I think my body needs sugar. Well, my mind will tell me that a snickers is very good on sugar and that I want one. I might even be hungry for real, but I don’t need to listen to my mind about eating sugar the snickers way. In fact, if I just stopped and ate some chicken I would probably feel full and then I would not even want sugar anymore. So why would my body be telling me to eat sugar if eating chicken will satisfy the craving without having any sugar in it.

      Anyway, Thank you very much for your comment and contribution to the post. It is greatly appreciated to hear all side. HAve a good day. 🙂

  11. March 25, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Hi Run,

    Thanks for your response, which does clarify things to a certain extent. McKenna also deals with cravings, which are learnt behaviours and absolutely uneccessary in terms of our energy requirements. The answer to cravings is actually not cut and dry. If I am truly hungry and one Snickers bar satisfies me and I don’t eat any more, McKenna would say to go for it. However, if I’ve eaten a healthy meal and still crave sugar, he does propose ways to deal with that and not eat to satisfy the craving (which, as we all know, really can’t be totally satisfied…). Or if I eat the Snickers bar, feel full and eat 3 more, again that’s a craving situation and has to be dealt with as such.

    I’ve found that since I’ve been following the McKenna system, I have no cravings for sweets when I’m hungry. I’m only drawn to eat healthy foods. If I’m really hungry, the last thing I want is a piece of chocolate cake. However, I immediately crave sweets after my legitimate hunger has been eliminated. And that is what I’m working on.

    What worries me is when people follow such a strict food regimen that they refuse to eat anything when their body is legitimately crying out for sustenance. It’s absolutely essential to eat when you’re hungry. On the other hand, anyone who’s dying to eat a tub of ice cream is probably dealing with something that actually has nothing to do with hunger (at least after the first few spoonfuls)!

    Nice chatting with you. Keep up the good work.

    • 22 run4change
      March 25, 2009 at 10:05 am

      Newme- Another great contribution. Thanks again. I agree and weight watchers (the program I follow) would also agree with what you are saying. The premise is to not get toooooo hungry so that your mind will not try and take over which could lead to eating junk to satisfy hunger. I agree, eat when you are legitimately hungry and stop when you are not. Great comment.

  12. March 25, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    I agree with you on this. I tried Intuitive Eating for a while. I found that my intuition was really off when it came to what foods I thought my body wanted. I believe it is possible for some people to very well with plans like Intuitive Eating. I am not one of those people.

    • 24 run4change
      March 25, 2009 at 7:27 pm

      Linda- Like I may have mentioned, my wife has this ability to stay lean and fit by intuitive eating. She seems to know what she needs and eats that. Sometimes it is dessert too but she says she just knows. Very foreign to me though. I too am not one of those people


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