Thread: Food cues
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by FutureFitChick View Post

I would like some opinions on the cues that you use to eat, both healthful and unhealthy. I am familiar with "H.A.L.T. Don't eat when you are hungry, angry, lonely, tired". But I want a way to determine what is hunger, what is fatigue, what is tiredness, and what is sleepiness. I find myself trying to eat in response to low energy and am starting to realize I am not putting the right fuel in my body at the right time.

For example, at night, I often reach for ice cream when I am actually thirsty and ice water satisfies me fine.

So, do you each eat when you have a growling stomach; when you feel "faint" from low blood sugar; when it is meal time, regardless of hunger? Is fatigue/low energy/tiredness an appropriate cue to eat? I know that at the end of the day it is a cue to sleep. But what about the afternoon slump, when even a walk across campus hasn't helped to energize you?

Thank you.
In theory, I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. I don't wait until I'm starving, but I don't mind some actual hunger. Stopping when I'm full requires eating slowly and mindfully and well (good food) - otherwise the signals are messed up.

I've never personally found any great correlation with hunger and feeling faint or tired, or with reversing (or preventing) those feelings by eating.

In reality, I'm still learning. That can take a while. I don't think there's any way to explain it black-and-white for someone else, because we all feel things differently, and we all have different baggage.

In reality, I sometimes eat before I'm very hungry, or eat a little more (or less) than I need, because of circumstances. I mean, life is like that. I can't wrap my employer or everyone else in my life around my tummy signals. But I avoid extremes.

But I find it very rewarding to develop this mindful relationship with food and my body and its signals, and being able to work with it instead of feeling like I have to regulate and control it. But this requires, as a foundation, eating very healthy food. I don't think it would work at all (at least for me) with the Standard American Diet. It's not at all about eating whatever you want. It's actually quite challenging, more really (for me) than calorie counting. But also more rewarding.

But if it's not working for you, do what works.
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