It was Mother's Day brunch. I was 12 and my sister was 10. My family was notorious for going to brunches. As a child I remember waiting up to an hour just to get into a good Sunday brunch. This day we had already gotten up for seconds. Then thirds. After all, brunch is a time to splurge!
I was half way through my third round of little desert cakes, bacon and scrambled eggs when I looked over and noticed that my sister had stopped eating. "What's wrong?" I inquired dumbfounded. We were at brunch after all; you are supposed to stuff yourself silly.
More from YourTango: Emotional Eat No More!
"I'm done." She replied. Done?! How can that be? There were so many delicious foods to be tried! "What about the sundae bar?" I inquired, feeling puzzled and a little lonely since she wasn't going to be joining me.
"I've had enough." She stated matter-of-factly and pushed her plate away, towards the center of the table. My heart sank. First, I was too embarrassed to go up there on my own. My parents rarely ate from the sundae bar and she had always been my Sunday brunch binge buddy. Then, just like that, she backs out of a tradition we've been sharing since we were little.
Years later, my sister was the thin one and I was the chunky one. I was an emotional eater and struggled for years, on and off multiple diets, until I found the way out that is much simpler than any diet I struggled with.
Geneen Roth in her book, When Food Is Love, points out the difference between true and false hunger and the role it plays in keeping us overweight, or on a diet.
Secret #1: Eating When Physically Hungry
Most of us grow up being told to eat three square meals a day. Then there are snacks. Then we add in that mocha on the go, family gatherings, kids party's and girls night out! It is no wonder we are stuck on diets. Nowhere in that equation are we taught about the difference between emotional and physical hungers. Yet, emotional hunger is why we go overvboard in the first place.
Sylvia Haskvitz, author of Eat By Choice, Not By Habit puts it this way. Physical hunger is hunger below the neck. Emotional hunger is hunger above the neck.
Physical hunger is a growling stomach. Emotional hunger is feeling a pull to eat even when we are not hungry. Emotional hunger then becomes eating when the body doesn't need the intake of more calories and therefor becomes pasted to our waistline.
When we follow our hunger, we never have to worry about gaining weight because we always eat when the body needs more. Another perk is that your body never goes into starvation mode and your metabolism is kept in prime condition. When we don't eat when the body asks for more, after a while the metabolism slows way down.
Have you noticed that thin people often turn down food when they aren't hungry by saying, "I'm not hungry right now, thanks." Yet, they eat plentifully when they are hungry and without gaining weight! This is why.
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Want to lose weight without trying? Eat when you are physically hungry and then apply the second secret to natural weight loss.
Secret #2: Find Your "Seinfeld Point"