Hunger and Food Insecurity

full frogOne topic I discuss often is the concept of hunger. It may sound like a simple thing. Either you are hungry or you are not, right? Well, unfortunately, for those who diet and restrict, or binge eat as a result of this, hunger is much more complicated.

Today I was fortunate to have the opportunity to volunteer at a soup kitchen. It was quite interesting to see the different kinds of people come in. Kids and elderly and families. What struck me was how some people came up a few times and took second and third plates, and I am talking full plates. I wondered how they could fit that much food in their tummy in one meal! Then it struck me. “Food Insecurity” was what I was seeing. The feeling that you will not get enough food. It is a scary feeling many of us have never experienced.

Unless you have dieted. Then, maybe, that feeling is there. With a self-imposed diet, restricting many foods, you get the same mind set that those who truly do not have enough food have. And so the answer is, to eat as much as you can when you have the opportunity. When you break your diet (and know that you will start again tomorrow). Very similar to the person who gets to have a good meal once per week when the other days of the week are not so good. It makes sense.

But the reality is, for those of use fortunate enough to be able to buy the foods we need, we never have to experience this feeling. You can always have what you want. So why overeat when you break your diet? If you don’t diet in the first place, and instead try to listen to your “true” hunger (typically a meal time or snack time when you have not eaten for a few hours) you are more likely to avoid getting into this mind-set. Listen to your body! Easier said than done, but keep trying!!

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