I m always surprised when I do private consultations with clients, how few people actually know how to identify real hunger. We have become accustomed, and admittedly indoctrinated, to think of rumblings in the stomach, irritability, dizziness and impatience as being indications of hunger.
Unfortunately, this couldn t be further from the truth.
These symptoms that are mistaken for hunger are actually indications that the body is detoxing or in a state of imbalance. Rumbling in the tummy indicates that things are NOT being digested well or easily, and that s one of the worst times you could possibly be eating more food.
Headaches, irritability, and dizziness are signs of a body out of balance. Hunger is as natural as any other biological urging, and it can be a very pleasant, persistent and pulling sensation. Far from the torturous affair it can sometimes have the reputation to be.
It s true that eating will often stop the headaches and irritability, but that is because it is halting the effects of detox! The body can no longer invest the energy in cleaning out the toxins, because it must be redirected to processing the foods that are coming in. That s the cycle that most people undergo every day—keeping them in a chronic state of toxicity.
What Hunger Should Really Feel Like
Personally, I love feeling hungry. My senses are heightened, my stomach pulls, my mouth salivates and I feel like ANYTHING tastes good.
I can recall clearly in my early days of being a raw foodist having gone to a restaurant with some friends. I d decided not to eat that night—not even a salad—and preferred to wait until I got home. But I knew I was getting hungry.
At a certain point I looked up and noticed the decorative plants in the restaurant and felt an overwhelming urge to go and snack on the leaves! I was amazed and excited to have recognized, maybe for the first time, a natural and innate drive to feed my body the kind of food I would find in nature. It was a moment of triumph for me! I d wanted to nibble on plant leaves instead of pile my plate with assorted cooked classics.
It is as important to know when to eat as to know what to eat!
An alarming majority of people mistake thirst for hunger! Just try it sometime. Next time you feel the urge to go to the fridge or pop another banana down the pipes, grab a big glass of water instead and see how you feel. It s true that those of us on the raw food diet don t consume the same dehydrating foods as most people, but I think many of us still underestimate our needs for water.
If you re consuming salts, spices or concentrated foods, you re going to need water to help your body process and eliminate these toxins. Ensuring you are well hydrated is preventative medicine for over eating and eating without hunger.
It sounds simple enough, but before you eat, just ask yourself if you re really hungry. If you re not sure, wait! True hunger persists. Grab a glass of water. You ll not have hurt yourself by holding off a bit longer.
How to Reset Your Body s Hunger Button
One of the most empowering things you can possibly do for yourself is a 24 hour fast where you really allow yourself to re experience the genuine sensations of hunger. In our Body Enlightenment System, participants start off their journey this way and it makes all the difference in their ability to start off on the right foot and carry through with the program! It s like hitting the reset button on the body.
If it may not be easy or comfortable for you to do a fast, you can at least make sure that you allow your body a good 12 15 hour break from foods during the night! Eating late at night can do significant damage to your body s natural hunger cycles and general energy.
This one has been my last great hurdle to overcome, and I still have to work quite a bit at it. (Anyone who has those purple bags under the eyes may want to consider this factor as a potential culprit, although there are a few others.)
Your body needs TIME to process the events of the day. It s not just what you eat, it s all the environmental toxins and experiences that stress the body, too. If you ve got a belly full of food before you hit the hay, your body isn t given the chance it needs to rest your internal organs and do some deeper cleaning.
Allowing yourself at least 3 hours between your last meal and the time you tuck yourself into the sheets will make a big difference on your energy when you wake up in the morning.
If you start the next day with water until you experience that tugging, but pleasant, natural hunger you will be well, well on your way to a successful way of eating and making huge improvements in your overall relationship with food.
The more you implement these habits, the easier and more natural they become. Soon you ll get to a place where you really know and recognize your body s natural signals and will have confidence in your ability to decipher its needs and respond accordingly.
We include a lot more tools, tricks and tips like these in the programs made available on our website.
Tera Warner is a writer and online entrepreneur, and co-creator of "The Raw Divas," the only online raw food resource especially for women. Visit the website today at http://www.TheRawDivas.com for inspiration, recipes, and support for women who are passionate about health and LIFE.
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