Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Let me start with my conclusion: hunger is a good thing. Real hunger that is, the kind that lingers and rumbles, because it's been a few hours since your last meal. Not the emotional urges we all get from various stimuli, the kind that soon goes away. As fitness guru Tom Venuto recently put it, you know the difference after you eat in response to it. If it's emotional, you feel guilty. If it's true physical hunger, you feel satisfied - unless you overeat, of course.
But everywhere we read of the need for six small meals, and the multitude of "healthy" snacks to get us through the afternoon. And mid-morning. And late night. We keep offering sacrifices to the beast hunger, lest we be swept uncontrollably into another binge. But as we dieters know all too well, snacking never really prevents binges and often incites them. Snacking doesn't work, at least not for me.
Hunger isn't fatal. It's not an emergency. It's not even unhealthy, for a number of processes work best when we're not eating, like tissue repair. Again I say, it's a good thing. You know you're doing the right thing if you're hungry when you sit down to dinner. You can sense your fat cells shrinking as Dr. Judith Beck says. Your metabolism doesn't suffer either, another myth I'll cover another day.
Hunger is a tool, actually a friend, just like our weight scale. Marshaling our thoughts and actions around (real) hunger is perhaps the biggest key to weight maintenance. Why not start now, using it to advantage to lose weight?