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Clean Plates and Other Myths

by Joan Kent

posted in Health and Fitness

Syndicate This Article
During an office-clearing project, I found an article I wrote years ago about a book by Hirschman and Munter. They advocate 3 rules for approaching food whenever you feel like eating.
Rule 1: Ask yourself if you're hungry.
The purpose of food is to fuel us when our bodies need it. That's signaled by physical hunger. Asking this question over and over reinforces the critical connection between hunger and eating.
Rule 2: Ask yourself what you're hungry for, what you feel like eating.
The idea is to tune in to what your body is telling you. This assumes that the body will know what it needs nutritionally. You can then choose in accordance with that.
Rule 3: Stop eating when you've had enough.
This also involves tuning in to what your body is telling you and recognizing the feeling of "comfortable fullness" as the right amount of food.
Take it from a sugar addiction expert: these 3 rules could easily backfire when it comes to sugar.
Why Don't They Work When Sugar's Involved?
First, clients who eat sugar frequently may not get hungry. As explained in a previous article, my research hasn't yet uncovered a solid explanation for exactly why that is. Still, too many clients have described this phenomenon for me to think it's not real.
These clients may even get symptoms (headaches, queasiness, and so on) instead of physical hunger. The symptoms can typically be traced back to low glucose.
Second, it's not surprising that someone who's hooked on sugar feels like eating sugar. Frequently.
How can it be helpful to tell someone who's going through sugar withdrawal - which may include cravings - to tune in to the body and eat what she/he wants?
Third, the comfort stopping point works well only for those who tend to eat to fuel.
It's not always easy to stop eating sugar at the comfort point if (and when) the client's "relationship" with sugary foods is based on satisfying a craving or an addictive urge.
Athletic Training Theories And Sugar Addiction?
From my coach, I learned that the purpose of training is to bring consciousness to the process.
When athletes talked about the pain of athletic training, the coach would say that pain stimulates resistance. But through continued training - and by adding consciousness to it - our response to pain changes. We become nonreactive to it.
It doesn't feel any better, he'd say. It just doesn't bother us as much.
Once you remove an addictive substance, like sugar, from the diet, the body may start to display different signals. Hunger pangs may return - or show up for the first time - reflecting the body's needs. Control over food may increase. Appetite may decrease. Awareness may increase and unconscious reactions decrease.
Significantly, over time, we become less and less reactive to external sugar triggers.
External triggers might include the sight of appetizing foods, the delicious smell of baking cookies - or even sounds that bring on cravings. For example, someone fond of candy might have been triggered in the past by the sound of someone unwrapping a candy bar. Once they've been "off" sugar for a while, that sound could become less automatic in triggering the desire to eat candy.
It's not that the foods lose their appeal; it's just that they bother us less.
These changes may take time, but staying off sugar long-term could be considered continued, long-term training.
About the Author: Sugar sabotages health and causes several health, appetite and mood issues. I'm passionate about making quitting possible and easy, and passionate about helping you quit so you can transform your health, your moods and more.
Please visit http://www.FoodAddictionSolutions.com and sign up for a free Food Breakthrough Session. No obligation! Coaching may be exactly what helps you quit sugar for good!

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