Monday, August 18, 2014

Real and Fake hunger. Thoughts on Intuitive Eating.

I have been researching Intuitive Eating. Lately I have been watching youtube videos by Josie Spinardi. She is the author of a recent Intuitive eating book called "How to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans Too: Stop Binge Eating, Overeating and Dieting For Good Get the Naturally Thin Body You Crave From the Inside Out ". I haven't read her book yet but I did ask the library to order it for me because they do not carry it. In the mean time I am getting other books from the library about Intuitive Eating. I have also been watching Josie Spinardi's youtube channel. Her advice is very helpful and thought provoking.

What does Real and Fake hunger feel like to me? 

Real hunger and fake hunger both come naturally to me. Since I have been using fake hunger (emotional eating) since childhood to suppress my feelings. With real hunger I recognize my body's cues for when I am actually hungry. With fake hunger I feel anxious. I feel very emotional. The eating feels urgent like it has to happen right away. When I stop myself in the middle of fake hunger and really ask myself why I am hungry then often times I realize it is because of some emotional distress that I am going through and just want the comfort of food to temporarily "zone out", forget, and not think about my emotional problems. It's tricky because real hunger can also feel like it has to happen right away if you let yourself go without food for too long. I can understand the differences if I start asking myself some questions before I start urgently eating. It makes sense to start eating around lunch time especially if I skipped breakfast. That is real hunger. With fake hunger I feel hungry regardless of how much food I have already eaten or when I ate last. I'ts utterly emotional. Since I am someone who has had disordered eating and has been on diets and restrictions its hard for me to actually intuitively know the difference (without stopping myself) between real and fake hunger. This is why I must question my actions and feelings when it comes to hunger. I used calorie counting and exercise to lose 100 lbs. The problem was I never fully stopped binging or hating on myself. I never fully made peace with eating. I was obsessed with my body image and calories. Stuck in the cycle of Diet ---> Binge ---> Beat Self Up. When I feel like I can't change I feel powerless, hopeless, and depressed. Learning Intuitive Eating is giving me the tools and learning techniques to stop that cycle and be able to have an "instant reset" when I am stuck in that cycle of disordered thinking. Rather than believing in that learned helplessness that I can't change, I am learning how to take empowered action toward effecting change. 

The 5 types of Non Hunger Eating

1. Gasping for Food
-Caused by restriction or not enough food (dieting) 

2. Eating cuz you ate - Breaking a diet rule because you were feeling deprived and then binging until the next period of dieting

The next 3 have to do with eating to change how we are feeling.

3. Licking your Wounds- Thinking we can't change something that is stressing us in our lives and turning to food instead as comfort to suppress feelings. Eating and eating and still not being able to reach satisfaction.

4. Mean Girl Munchies- Because of the anxiety of unrealistic expectations and demands of "perfection" that you hold on yourself you get ravenously hungry in order just zone out.

5. Recreational Eating- Picking through the kitchen (cupboard searching). Snacking when not hungry. Caused by anxiety, not having other things in your life to look foreword to, and boredom.

Some of these types of non hunger eating I do more than others. The Licking your wounds type was the type of non hunger eating I did as a child and continued to do up around the time I moved out of my parents house and started dieting. I have experienced all of these types of non hunger eating but some of them I have done more than others. It helps me to really ask myself where I am at and understand my triggers for them instead of feeling out of control. Having disordered eating has messed with my real hunger signals. I am trying to reconnect to my body's signals of real hunger and fullness and disconnect from the temporary fake hunger.

Josie suggests having a mental rating from 1-5 to see how you are doing with your hunger and how your body feels. To check in with yourself to see how you are doing rather than outsourcing your problems. I really like this hunger directed eating idea because if makes me feel responsible for myself.

1-5 Hunger Scale

1. Stuffed- You are Completely stuffed and don't want to think about food.

2. Pleasantly Satisfied- You feel really pleasantly satisfied and you stopped at a really good place. You got yourself what you needed and your not really interested in eating anymore.

3. Neutral- Not hungry not full.

4. Pleasantly Hungry- Starting to feel pleasantly hungry your getting ramped up for your next meal and starting to seek out what you are going to eat.

5. Ravenous- You are feeling Ravenous and starving and must eat or you just might faint.

She says it is a good gentle guide line to stay between 2 and 4. 
Pleasantly satisfied ----> Neutral------>Pleasantly hungry feed yourself
It's not a rule that can be broken but its just a tool to help you gage and anchor your hunger and satisfaction.

I want to my to build up my will power and sense of well being. I want health to be my driving force!

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