The easiest way for a teenager or adult to lose extra pounds is to simply eat when you are hungry and then stop eating when the hunger pangs have gone away.
But it is not that simple, is it?
Truly – eating only when you are honestly hungry and stopping before you are stuffed is THE way people lose weight. But because there are so many emotions tied up in overeating – losing weight for most people is not easy.
Some good questions to ask yourself BEFORE each time you eat are:
Are you physically hungry?
How often are you letting your hunger guide your daily meals?
And how often are you reaching for food to meet some other need besides physiological hunger?
It is possible that you have become so out of touch with hunger that you don’t recognize your true hunger pangs or signals.
Some overweight folks never let themselves get hungry because they eat so often or they eat so much at each meal — so they may have lost touch with what hunger really feels like in their body.
Eating when you are hungry and stopping before you are over-filled should be one of the easiest things in life to do but if you look around and see the serious obesity problems in America you will see that it is not that easy.
The reason is that people are eating for reasons OTHER than hunger.
The next time you think about eating, ask yourself just how hungry you are. If you are hungry, go ahead and eat a sensible healthy meal. If you are not hungry, ask yourself what you are REALLY craving.
Is your craving for rest? Are you exhausted and need a nap?
Are you bored? Do you need to get busy doing something fun to occupy your mind?
Do you need some exercise? Would a nice walk outside fill you up better than some food in the kitchen?
Do you need to de-stress? You may feel like you are living in such a hectic world; you may be craving some down time or relaxation.
There can be so much stress and anxiety with all the things you have to handle each day — your job, your family, your finances. And those stressors can make you want want to turn to food for comfort and release.
Rest, exercise, calm, quiet, renewal — every one of these things are real legitimate human needs and they need to be met.
However they are NOT hunger needs.
So if you try to fill those situations by eating food you will not get relief from those needs. You will still have those needs waiting to be met after you have polished off the container of ice cream. And you will feel even worse from overeating.
Maybe you could start asking yourself different questions when you feel like reaching for food when you are not truly hungry.
Ask yourself, what is the nicest thing you can do for yourself right now?
What could help you feel better and function at the highest level for yourself and for your family and for your job?
Save eating for when you are really hungry. Food always tastes better when you are hungry anyway.
And then give yourself some freedom to explore healthier ways to meet your legitimate daily needs. You will feel much better in the long run.