Are You Really Hungry?
That feeling when, you open your Tupperware, stick it in the microwave, wait 5 years for it to heat up, and then you walk back into your office and they’re having a pizza party. *Throws meal prep in the air and dashes towards the cheesy goodness*.
Well, there goes your day, you messed up so now you can’t possibly eat healthy for the rest of the day right? WRONG.
You email your coach and tell them you messed up, but you couldn’t help yourself because you just love food too much. News Flash, we ALL love food. Well, you were just so hungry and your meal prep didn’t fill you up, right? NO.
Most people, who don’t live in 3rd world countries, don’t know what real hunger actually feels like. We are so used to having super-sized meals that when we cut down our portions, we think we are going to starve. Or that our bodies will go into starvation mode and alas we will lose all of our hard-earned muscle.
You would have to cut off your food supply for days, in order for your body to go into starvation mode, so missing a meal, or waiting longer than 3,4,5 hours to eat will NOT affect you physically. Psychologically yes. If you train your body to eat every 2 or 3 hours, then guess what, you are going to feel “hungry” every 2 or 3 hours. Likewise, if you do intermittent fasting and stick to eating larger meals, you won’t get hungry again until you reach that 3 or 4-hour mark.
You will adapt because the signals from your endocrine system and your brain have adapted. Unless you are an elite athlete competing in the top division of your sport, your regimen (workout and meal plan) doesn’t have to be that rigorous. You will not fail if you have one cheesy meal, the same way you won’t be shredded if you eat one salad. But you have to get to know your body, listen to its signals.
Try fasting for a day to reset your digestive system (not recommended if you have any type of dietary restrictions that require you to eat). Sometimes we get hungry just because we know there is another meal to be had in 2 hours. So you literally sit and stare at the clock watching the minutes tick by. And then BAM, its feeding time again, you scarf down your food with water, and you end up feeling like you didn’t even eat. Has this happened to you? If so, it's a sign that you need to slow down.
Next time try eating one of your meals without drinking anything which will force you to chew it, and I guarantee you will feel fuller because you are not drowning it in water. It usually takes about 20mins for the signal to reach your brain and say stop, I’m full! Well by then you’ve probably already had about 1 pizza box, a bowl of pasta, 2 brownies, and ice cream. Congratulations! You’re having a food baby!
We’ve all done it, and there is no reason you should feel guilty, you move on and begin with your meal prep again for the next meal or the next day. Don’t punish yourself with extra cardio, or by not eating. Our end goal should be to have a healthy relationship with food, and once you can establish that, the rest of your goals should align as well. Health is wealth.