Kia Ākina

Working towards lifelong recovery from obesity

Take Control – Always think before eating

If we don’t stay alert and vigilant we run the risk at every eating opportunity to slip back into old patterns of automatic eating, especially in the first two years. 

Being alert and ready to make good decisions when the desire to eat comes on, will prevent us slipping back into old well-worn patterns of automatic overeating.

The desire to eat can be brought on by both physiological hunger as well as psychological hunger because they both feel the same, even though in psychological hunger there is no actual need for taking on more calories and nutrition. The feeling of hunger is a psychological reflex linked to experiencing pleasure or comfort, or simply satisfying an eating habit.

So when a desire to consume comes on, we have to think a lot before eating something, beginning with thinking about whether we are truly hungry or not.

If we’ve had a meal within the last five hours the chances are we are not physiologically hungry, so instead of eating something we need to think about other ways to soothe ourselves without resorting to the old automatic patterns of overeating.

A good strategy is to first remove ourselves from where the food is while we contemplate whether we want to consume something or not.

If we feel hungry a good thing to remember is that the extra weight we are carrying means we’ve got enough fuel to last for weeks, so a few more hours before the next meal is going to be just fine. By not eating, signals will be sent from our appetite centre to our fat stores directing them to release energy to keep us going.

Now there’s a great image for us to keep in mind:

Hunger = Fat dissolving (so long as we don’t eat).

Always thinking before eating about whether we actually need more fuel on board is an excellent way of keeping in control and making progress on “the long and happy journey”.

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