Habits and the Clock in my Stomach

Poor habit:  Eating by the clock rather than according to your hunger

It’s more sociable and compliant to eat meals at a certain time (or range of time), but if you’re not hungry, your body isn’t ready for more.  We may easily overeat – like a hamster stuffing his cheeks before going back to his den to store it for later.  Except our bodies don’t work quite like that.  The more we eat when we’re not hungry, the less in touch we are with the natural satiety signals it gives us and therefore no longer recognize whether or not we’re actually hungry—we simply eat, and that tends to make us eat more over a day.

The Rewind:  Eat according to hunger signals
Granted, it may not always be possible to buck the schedule, but when we eat according to our hunger signals, we learn what we actually need over what we “just want.”  For a week, try eating only when actually hungry.  When you think of food, first have a drink of water and wait ten minutes while going on with whatever you’re doing.  If you focus on eating, you’ll get hungry, but if you’re doing something else, your body will have a chance to assess your need.  If you’re still hungry, by all means, eat.  However, if you’re not, give yourself the opportunity to experiment with reading your body’s signals.  It takes a little practice as we’re taught more “clean plate club in the allotted lunch 20-30 minutes” rather than how to read our signals.  However, it serves us well over time to eat only when we’re actually hungry.

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