Craving VS. Hunger
Once you understand the dynamics of what makes you eat vs. over-eat, it’s not the big bad monster you think it is. Clarity will go farther than will power in this case, trust me.
Let’s first separate the craving/hunger monsters by two things; mouth satisfaction and stomach satisfaction.
This is a myth. There is no ‘mouth’ or ‘taste’ satisfaction. Your mouth is pretty much ‘all on, all the time’ and always up for a fun taste party at a moment’s notice. A piece of chocolate cake will not stop your mouth from wanting another piece of chocolate cake, or better yet, some other new and different taste sensation. This is why buffets and 17 course meals are bound to confuse your senses into overeating. They are all about tasting, not satisfying. Getting fat on buffets is similar to getting drunk at wine tastings. It seems unfair. ” But I only took baby bird portions..?” “But I only took teeny sips…?” (like 100).
Bottom line, your mouth and sense of taste are not designed to regulate adequate intake. They will never say “stop.” They will never lose their desire for chocolate cake no matter how hard you try to sell them on the sweet crunch of carrot sticks. They’re not stupid. They know what they like.
We have to understand that food today has been designed and enhanced to be a taste sensation, rather than a nutritional source. This is not what nature intended. This is a man made phenomenon. Foods that occur in nature are good but not great, when you’re hungry, you can eat nuts and berries with virtually no temptation to overeat. A hazelnut torte with raspberry filling, on the other hand, is designed for taste entertainment, not nutrition. It overstimulates the taste with all kinds of tricks that don’t exist in nature. This has become the majority of food we eat today in the competitive taste market. Like most things in life that man has touched, it has been perverted into something it was never intended to be: dysfunctional.
Luckily though……we still have an inner mechanism to gauge how much to eat in order to stay comfortable, lean and mean. This is your stomach.
While your mouth is a totally unreliable tool to control your food intake due to it’s infinitely insatiable appetite, your stomach is completely reliable.
Your stomach has finite space. Even if you’ve been stretching it beyond capacity on a regular basis (as I did back in the binge days, for about 18 years,) I’m here to tell you, it does respond and return with a little TLC and a short time, no surgery required.
You should not trust your mouth at all to guide your eating, you should completely rely on your stomach. 100%. It’s fine to have chocolate cake if your stomach is hungry and never fine if it’s not. Why? There’s no reason to eat anything if your stomach isn’t hungry. It’s not nice to force-feed it. Not a piece of cake, not a salad, or apple, or a grape.
Let that sink in.
Nothing is sometimes the healthiest thing you can eat. Better than health food if you’re not hungry. Your body is telling you it needs time to digest what’s already there, so back the eff off. When you allow it time to digest and then wait for it’s cue to eat again, you have jumped into the natural rhythm of your metabolism, similar to breathing. A time to consume, a time to process, and a time to release. To continue to eat past the point of stomach satisfaction is comparable to continuing to inhale past the point of oxygen saturation, it becomes counter-productive.
‘Mouth’ or ‘taste’ craving is not the thing that needs to be disciplined for proper, natural weight loss and maintenance. You need never eliminate your favorite foods to learn to eat them differently. You need never feel guilty or weak every time you feel like eating something you think is not “good” for you, for whatever reason. The goal is not to overcome craving or desire for certain foods, but to reprioritize the systematic way we consume.
The only time to eat is when your STOMACH is truly hungry. There is no mistaking this and you know it. Not starving, just hungry. At this time, you should eat whatever you like in a reasonable, digestible amount. This takes some practice and tweaking but you will get the hang of it in no time. Stop when you are done and don’t eat a thing before you are hungry again.
Understand that ‘taste’ or ‘mouth’ cravings, if you are not honestly hungry, are most likely boredom/entertainment/distraction cravings. You need to do something fun, and give your mouth something to do rather than taste, such as a calorie-less beverage or food to soothe the oral craving. Oral cravings can be primal. The feeling itself of sipping, sucking, chewing and swallowing can be all that you are looking for so give yourself that. it can even be a water bottle.
Once you get the feeling of trusting your stomach and letting it guide your eating, you will realize how much better it is to be comfortable all the time. Never too hungry or too full. Digestion becomes easier, metabolism works more efficiently, and your weight will find itself at it’s minimal best. The entertainment value of eating according to your mouth and taste will pale in comparison to the balance and benefits you get from eating correctly.
Come in , the water is warm!
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