I’ve tried to track it. I’ve counted calories, points and macros. I started out with success but I was never able to commit especially with eating out. I would always get frustrated and quit. And then the weight would return. It wasn’t until I started listening to my body that I found sustainable success.
I absolutely love The Life Coach School and Losing 100 Pounds with Phit-n-Phat podcasts. Once I started using the hunger scale, my weight loss journey changed. It’s so simple, yet brilliant. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you are satisfied. Simple? Yes. Easy? No.
If we only ate when we are hungry, then nobody would be fat. The problem is that we eat for so many other reasons than just hunger. Emotional eating makes us fat. Eating when we’re tired, bored, angry, sad, stressed, frustrated, and anxious are ways that we buffer and avoid our feelings. Had a bad day? Don’t want to deal with the current drama? Eat. We’re avoiding the situation. By doing this, we’re not only not dealing with our current emotions, we’re also bingeing which will create shame, more frustration, more anxiety, and more sadness. Nothing new here folks. So why do we do it?
Because it’s uncomfortable. We get a temporary release by eating. Our brain doesn’t want to deal with the drama. It wants to avoid pain and seek pleasure. What’s easy and pleasurable? Food. We’ve trained ourselves to eat when we want to avoid. So any time there is any conflict, what does our brain want to do? Eat. We’ve conditioned ourselves to eat instead of feel. So how do we get out of this cycle?
We need to recognize that we do it. We need to journal about the thoughts and feelings we’re having that make us run to the fridge and pantry. By writing down these thoughts we can get awareness. With awareness, we can start to make better choices. I’ve journaled a lot and have discovered that my late night snacking is triggered by feeling tired. Now I know that if I’m starting to think about food and want to see what goodies are around that I need to take my ass to bed. I used to binge on days that I had off when nobody else was home. Through journaling I realized that I was bored. Now I know that when I’m home and starting to look through the fridge, I need to find something productive to do. Does it work every time? Nope. But I catch myself more times than not.
I was able to lose my last 30 lbs by listening to my body. I did the mindset work to catch those bullshit thoughts and learned to feel them versus eating them. I learned that my body is pretty fucking smart and will tell me when it wants nourishment. I learned that my brain can be an asshole and wants to be entertained with food.
It took a while to figure out my -2/2 on the hunger scale. I made plenty of mistakes eating over my 2 and eating before my -2. But with anything that’s new, you only learn by doing and failing. Now I know that if I’m starting to play with my food, looking for those last few good bites, I’m at my 2. I know that when my stomach starts to gurgle, I’m getting close to my -2. My best advice is to eat without distractions. No phone, no laptop, no TV. Sit your butt down at a table and eat. Fully enjoy your meal. This allows your brain to focus on one thing and it will be better able to distinguish what your body is telling it. You’ll be able to notice the subtleties of your hunger scale.
What I love most about this is that I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to worry about the calorie count of the burger I want off the menu, my body will tell me when it’s had enough. I don’t have to worry about how many points my burger is. I don’t have to worry about the portion size. My stomach will tell me the correct amount to eat. I don’t have to worry about the macro makeup. My body is really smart and knows what nutrients it needs, so I listen to it instead of a carb counting app.
Give it a try. Start keeping a food log and journal about your day. You will notice patterns and triggers. Get the awareness you need to start working on your thoughts. Then you can focus on your hunger scale. Learn what your -2/2 feels like. Be patient with yourself. You’ll figure it out through trial and error. Don’t quit on yourself. This works! For thousands of years our ancestors did not need to count this or that to figure out how much to eat. We don’t need to either.
All right y’all. I hope you have a freaking amazing day. Until next time.