You know you eat when you’re not hungry. Everyone does. And it’s okay to do.
Thanksgiving is the perfect day to ignore your hunger and fullness cues, indulging in classic recipes that involve many sticks of butter (Paula Dean must be smiling somewhere).
Isn’t that what holidays are for? You skip breakfast because you want to save those butt bulging calories for the big meal. But then you start to get a funny feeling- a feeling called hunger. Hunger may feel like your stomach is caving in on itself. It may be a more insidious grumpiness that creeps up at inopportune times, or a faint feeling that Scarlett O’hara would envy. But now you’re in a quandary. Do you eat or do you wait?
To Eat or Not to Eat
A golden rule for weight loss is if you’re hungry,eat. Oh yes, I’m serious. Forget those silly starvation- I mean dieting- tips to just drink water or eat celery if you’re hungry. That will just cause a later bender of insurmountable proportions. If you just ate, but you’re hungry an hour later should you eat again? If you answered yes, continue reading. If you answered no, reread this paragraph and stop daydreaming about turkey and stuffing. Now I am talking about true hunger, not hmm, I sure could go for a cookie right now.
Is That Feeling Hunger?
Many adults unknowingly suffer from hunger confusion and may not even know what true hunger feels like. Are you really hungry when you opt for pumpkin pie after eating plates heaped full of turkey and mashed potatoes? Or when you reach for that third serving? Might there be another reason for your midnight trips to the refrigerator or your popcorn munchies during the football game?
Fix Me with Food
Eating feels like a cure-all. It comforts you when you’re sick, rewards you after a long day at work, keeps you company during your favorite reality t.v. marathon and is the main event at social gatherings and holidays. If it sounds too good to be true…
If you’re not hungry, food is not the answer. Try some of these ideas this Thanksgiving to keep from self-imploding at the dinner table:
Distract yourself with a physical activity you enjoy like taking a walk with the kids or starting a dance party in the living room. Or you could bring out the WII or Rock Band.
Stick to your Thanksgiving favorites. Ignore the mashed potatoes if they are a staple in your house. I would also steer clear of the shiny canned glop that is supposed to resemble cranberry sauce. Save your enjoyment for reasonable portions of your favorites that you only get once a year.
Feeling guilty about your food choices can’t change the past- it’s just depressing. Do your best to stay healthy on Thanksgiving, and give yourself a little flexibility even if everything doesn’t go according to your saintly plans.
Will drinking tea with your Thanksgiving meal help you lose weight? Read my LIVESTRONG article to find out.
What are your hunger signs? Do you listen to them?