A recent discussion on our alumnae discussion board got me thinking about this topic. A few of our past participants have been talking about how they are obsessed with food, and that they can’t stop thinking about it. While food obsessions aren’t always about eating enough, sometimes they are.
Whether we’re consciously trying to eat less or not, when we don’t eat enough, our bodies cry out for more. The trouble is, many of us don’t trust that cry, and still rely on preconceived notions of how much we ‘should’ eat (derived from diets, of course) at any one time. Plus, we’re often trying to lose weight, so we consciously choose to eat as little as we can get by with…until we get so hungry, we overcompensate, e.g., binge eating.
Learning to trust our body’s cues for eating is tough after years of worrying about our weight. But think about other ways our bodies guide us — do we have to think about breathing? No, it’s an automatic process that’s critical to life. Eating is, too. Try holding your breath until it gets uncomfortable. How do you breathe after? Almost in gulps, right? Eating erratically (skipping meals, eating too little, then overeating) and eating wildly unbalanced meals and snacks, can also throw your natural cues off. So we need to eat regularly — every 3 to 5 hours on average — and aim for balanced meals most of the time.
And don’t forget to eat what you like! If we don’t, we’re never going to be satisfied.