FRIDAY, MARCH 04, 2011 | POSTED BY DR. GOULD
When you experience emotional hunger you feel truly hungry, and at the moment when the craving for food grips you, you can't tell that your hunger originates in your mind, and not in your belly.
If you want to stay on the lose-some-pounds-and-gain-them-back cycle for a lifetime, go on a conventional diet. But if you want to stay trim for the rest of your life, you need to stop focusing on what you should eat to lose weight, and instead ask yourself why you overeat when you really aren't hungry.
Your Two Stomachs
I like to think of it this way: you eat when you aren't really hungry because you have two stomachs - one real, the other a phantom. The hunger in your belly signals you when your system has a biological requirement for food. If that was the only signal of hunger you received, you'd be thin. It's the phantom stomach that causes the problems. The phantom stomach sends out a hunger signal when unruly emotions and unsolved personal agendas start pushing themselves into awareness. A short-circuit occurs, and you feel so hungry that you're compelled to eat.
I see the power of the phantom stomach demonstrated almost daily in my work with patients. The other day, a patient who had just finished breakfast told me in the middle of a difficult session that she suddenly felt extremely hungry. As soon as we started talking about her sexual problems with her husband, her appetite kicked in and she could hardly wait to get to McDonald's. Her phantom stomach was shouting, demanding action.
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“There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”
When you get to a plateau, think of it as a landing on the stairway to your goal. And maintenance is a lifelong plateau, so a bit of "rehearsal" for maintenance isn't the worst thing in the world
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