If you've been alive for more than 5 minutes, chances are you’ve seen something somewhere about dieting. You might have even tried a diet. There are lots of different diets out there but one thing they have in common is that they usually require you to limit the amount you eat.
Let’s think about this for a minute though. Does anyone tell you how many times you should breathe during the day? How often your heart should beat? How many times you can go to the bathroom?
Just as your body knows how to properly regulate all of these things, it is very capable of doing the same with your energy needs. When you need more fuel, you get hungry. Your body doesn’t tell you it needs more fuel if it doesn’t.
Think of it this way. If you are on your way to work and your car runs out of gas, do you tell it that you have already given it the allotted amount of gas for the day and it needs to get over being empty and get you to work anyway? No, because that is absurd and it won’t do that. Even if you’re short on cash, you go buy a gallon or two of gas and to get to your destination.
If we give our car fuel without judgement when it asks for it, why wouldn’t we do that for our bodies? Are our bodies less valuable than our cars? I would think not! Besides, just as attempts to ignore your body’s signals to go the bathroom will never end well, so will attempts to ignore your hunger. Your body will slow your metabolism, among other things, and continue making requests for food. At some point, it will be too much and you’ll end up eating far more than you otherwise would have.
Eating is a way to take care of yourself. So, the next time your stomach growls, do your body a favor and go grab your next meal or snack!
Need help tuning into your hunger and fullness cues? Schedule a visit with one of our dietitians, and we'll teach you how to listen to and trust your body's signals.