A Not So Politically Correct Take on Appetite from a Registered Dietitian

OK everyone!!! Patrick is spending the night at the hospital – another 30 hour shift. SO I’ve got some time to share something with you all that I’m super excited about! 

Boy do I. Love. This. Book- “Women, Food and God” by Geneen Roth. Mindful eating- my, how we forget this day and age what that actually means. As a clinical dietitian, you see the repercussions of poor diet around you 24/7. An unhealthy diet is the cause of 678,000 deaths per year- that’s ABOVE tobacco, alcohol abuse, and high blood pressure. I can’t cover diet all in one post but I am going to talk about a piece of the puzzle & the one that I am most passionate about- mindful eating. Because I talk a lot about meal timing in this blog, this post is not appropriate for diabetics (as a dietitian, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that).

So! I read this book back in college & it was completely game changing for me. The book Women, Food and God (don’t be turned off by the title for anyone who does not have a religious background- it does not delve far into religion by any means) focuses on how we ignore hunger cues for SO many different reasons. Whether it’s because it’s just plain old “time to eat” or “I am supposed to have six small meals a day” or “I promised my friend I’d meet at a bakery”- whatever it is. As human beings, lets be honest, we were meant to work for our food. That is how it always was before technology and all this fancy stuff! We did not have a restaurant on every corner or a vending machine outside our office begging us to get another snack. NOPE. We would go out into the world and hunt and fish and this would take TIME and ENERGY. But here we are. We feel the slightest inkling of hunger (or thirst) and we are on the prowl. We eat when we are bored, we eat for holidays, we eat because it’s “lunch time”, we eat to celebrate a birthday, to catch up with a friend, we eat mindlessly on the phone, we eat while we watch a movie, we eat in the car on the way to work. But are we even hungry? Trust me, I think the social aspect is wonderful. Traveling and trying new restaurants is our favorite past time. However Patrick and I will not eat if we are not hungry- under any circumstance. But that’s the only “diet” we follow & it works. It sounds easy- but it takes work! Is it strange for people at times? Yes it definitely is. It is not easy to not eat with a friend when you are not hungry- but I do it all the time. My friends know this and they know it well. Do not care how uncomfortable it makes someone, don’t care if they’re judging- because it doesn’t make sense. If you’re not hungry your body is saying- “I’ve got the energy we need in here- no worries”. A lot of the time it takes people time to regain hunger cues because if you are used to ignoring them aka eating more or less than what your body needs – your hunger cues may be out of whack but they do come back! It just takes time to relearn how to listen to your body. Starving yourself, only sends your hunger cues into constant FEED ME craziness- so we will cover this in another post because restricting is another topic, for another day, my friends.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Change happens when you understand what you want to change so deeply that there is no reason to do anything but act in your own best interest”.

“If you pay attention to when you are hungry, what your body wants, what you are eating, when you’ve had enough, you end the obsession because obsession and awareness cannot coexist”.

“And if you worry that not finishing the food on your plate is a slap in the face of all the hungry people everywhere, you are not living in reality. The truth is that you either throw the food out or you throw it in, but either way it turns to waste. World hunger will not be solved by finishing the garlic mashed potatoes on your plate”.

helath

Sweet dreams & Happy Hunger Cues!

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