“But I’m only eating healthy stuff,” some of my clients protest. “And I can’t lose weight! I’m stuck!”
Great quality, healthy food.
It doesn’t really matter what you’re eating if you’re eating more than your body needs.
We all have systems in our body that aim to keep us at equilibrium.
We get signals when we’re hungry, and then we eat to stock up on fuel.
We get signals when we’re no longer hungry, and we stop eating.
When we stop listening to these little, sometimes subtle signals, we take ourselves out of balance.
Out of equilibrium.
We get too hungry or too full.
When we get too hungry we usually compensate by overeating, swinging to the other end of the pendulum.
Geneen Roth used to say that for every restrictive diet we go on there is an equally strong and opposite binge waiting in the wings.
So what I see a lot, in between the extreme restriction and the constant overeating, is that some of us are stealth nibblers.
Little tastes of different things. A bite here and a bite there.
Some high quality fuel, some junk.
It doesn’t matter.
What matters is that when we are in this nibble habit, we are eating unconsciously.
My own specialty is passing the kitchen to get water to bring to my office and grabbing a handful of almonds. Healthy, right?
Or after a meal, I’ll grab some dried cherries, or dried papaya. Better than pie, I’ll think.
We pass the kitchen and grab what we left on the counter.
We don’t want to make a phone call, so we open the fridge and have a few bites of leftovers.
We’re tired in the afternoon so we make an apple and peanut butter plate.
But we’re not hungry.
What happens when we eat these little things and our body isn’t signaling us to eat?
We waste the food.
We waste it in our bodies.
Our bodies aren’t asking for a refueling, so we take it in and having no need for it we just store it as fat.
Just that simple.
So it doesn’t matter if it’s baby carrots and hummus or your kids’ French fries… if you’re not hungry, you don’t need it.
And if you eat it, it counts.
If it’s not water, it counts.
I challenge you, for one day, to notice every single bite you put into your mouth.
It doesn’t matter what it is.