by Lisa Lynn, Fitness Expert and Weight Loss Specialist
One of the hardest things for me to master while losing and maintaining my 40-pound weight loss has been to learn the difference between real hunger and “head hunger.”
Head hunger is basically a psychological feeling where you think you’re hungry but in reality you’re craving a certain type of food for emotional reasons.
For me, the biggest trigger of head hunger is boredom. (Which is funny because I always have a thousand things to do so as I uncover my own personal feelings as to WHY I OVEREAT.)
I don’t know why, but whenever I am at home I am constantly snacking. Or if I’m not snacking, I am craving snacks or fighting with food.
It’s easier to deal with these cravings when I don’t have any snacks around – a good reason not to keep any around the house!
But with the holidays and living with other family members and etc. we can’t control every situation, which means we won’t be able to keep our diet as clean as we need it to be.
Nevertheless, I do encourage you to clean out the house right now. STOP reading and go throw out any food that is an issue for you.
How do you know? YOU KNOW! It’s the one saying to you right now, “CAN YOU EAT ME?”
Let your friends and family know what you’re doing – IF you are serious. After all, YOU NEED ALL OF THE SUPPORT you can get!
Understand that you’re not supposed to be strong enough to resist Oreos if they are in your cabinet! NONE OF US CAN DO THIS ALONE!
One of the ways I was able to get back in control of my food and to deal with “head hunger” is by scheduling my eating.
This is critical and works for everyone, and will instantly allow you to get back in control of your eating – so that it stops controlling you!
I find it helpful to write out a daily and weekly food schedule for myself and stick to it, NO MATTER WHAT.
No matter where I am, even on vacation, it is crucial to do this! I felt extremely out of control with food and this step saved me!
Missing meals causes us to “eat on the fly” and that’s the beginning of the end! STICK to your plan and don’t panic if you miss a meal.
When you do fall off your schedule, simply get back on at the next scheduled mealtime and DON’T MAKE TRADE-OFFS. Just because you missed a meal doesn’t mean the next meal has to be huge. IT DOES NOT!
Meal timing is everything and I still live on this plan to this day as these issues don’t go away … we simply get better at managing them!
I also make VERY sure to eat at around the same time every day.
My day starts early BUT I don’t really need to eat at 4 a.m. so I drink a shake I have already prepared and bring it with me to work.
I schedule my meals every 3-4 hours – no more and no less – making sure dinner is never later than 7 p.m., even on the weekends.
I feel so much better both physically and spiritually when I do this!
The other way I deal with “head hunger” versus real hunger is to constantly be drinking hot tea (I find it very soothing) and lots of water.
If I’m sitting at at my desk I use my special mug that says “LET GO AND LET GOD OR HOLD ON AND BE DRAGGED” (LOL!)
If I’m on the road I bring a special mug or I’ve learned where to go buy a JUMBO HOT TEA as we all need a fix!
If it’s hot outside I simply refill my favorite glass or use the techniques mentioned in my book like leaving a water pitcher out and drinking from it.
This is/has been one of the best ways for me to keep my stomach full while also differentiating between actual hunger or not.
I know if I keep drinking water and am still hungry, then the hunger is real and it’s time to eat.
But if I drink water and the hunger goes away, or if I’m just craving a piece of chocolate, then it’s just all in my head.
99.99% of the time its head hunger with me and that’s how and why I ate myself into becoming very overweight, despite “over-exercising.”
I have also learned that almost every time I am really struggling with food, I NEED A NAP!
I love napping and I adore a quick snooze for 20 minutes with my feet up and my puppies laying on me! Its GOD’S way of getting me to sit still so I can hear His voice and honor His wishes – the truth is I am a mom and a wife.
Working full-time and raising kids can really keep you jumping, so downtime isn’t always an option BUT I MAKE IT TOP PRIORITY, because when God’s voice is dulled by the stress of life you’re going too fast!!
SLOW DOWN! Nothing else will matter if your not grounded in your FAITH, and rest is a critical step in staying regulated so your body stays healthy!
(published April 23, 2014)
Excerpted from The Metabolism Solution, by Lisa Lynn with Vira Mamchur Schwartz (Xulon Press, April 2014). Lisa Lynn is a fitness expert and specialist in weight loss and metabolic disorders. The Metabolism Solution is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to unlocking the body’s internal intelligence to shed weight quickly and safely. Addressing weight loss and fitness issues from the inside out, her book will not only transform your body – it will change your life. Learn more about Lisa at her website, www.lynfit.com.