If you have been following me for a while you would know that I always describe “Natural Eating” as being not about what you eat but how you eat. Today I wanted to discuss why we eat and why so many people are overweight.
In my opinion the only reason we are overweight is because we overeat. We overeat because we are eating for the wrong reasons. The only time our body actually wants food is when it is hungry. Most people have lost the ability to know whether they are physically hungry or emotionally.
The reasons we eat other than for physical nourishment are:
· Emotional reasons, ie: boredom, loneliness, anger, sadness, stress, depression or disappointment.
· To keep our emotions inside ourselves instead of facing them.
· Cultural traditions
· Eating food when not hungry so as not to offend anyone.
· Have been taught not to waste food so eat everything on our plate even when we have had enough
· To reward ourselves
· Knowing that we are likely to be hungry somewhere where it is inappropriate to eat, so eat beforehand even when not hungry.
· We are not “allowed” a certain food so end up bingeing on it when our will power finally gives in.
· Sneak eating so people don’t see us eating something we “shouldn’t” eat, ie: in the car or wait until family members go out.
· We have just eaten something we didn’t really want and although physically full we are not emotionally satisfied, so continue eating.
What happens in all these situations is that we end up feeling disappointed, uncomfortable and guilty as our body doesn’t want food, it wants something else.
Our body gives us signals all the time, but unfortunately a lot of us have used food to deal with them. Often we need, rest, sleep, stimulation, love, fresh air or hydration but we reach for food out of habit.
There are lots of tips and strategies to politely decline if we are not hungry or have had enough. The two key things in all this are to be aware of what our body is telling us and then be prepared.
When I show someone how to eat naturally I am showing them how to reconnect with their body’s natural instincts of hunger and satisfaction. This enables them to eat only when they are physically hungry and find other positive empowering things to satisfy the emotional hunger.