If you knowingly overeat because you're scared of feeling hungry, keeping reading.
The fear of hunger bothers most people, because hunger is a very primal and powerful sensation. You probably feel triggered just looking at the picture above this post, with a lone basil leaf and nothing else on the plate, right?
Hunger is a signal our body wants more food, and we're keenly aware of it.
Our bodies and brains are wired to survive, and ignoring the sensation of hunger, as far as our primal instincts are concerned, is putting our life in danger.
Plus, eating's a pretty emotional experience for most people. Layer that on top of the primal experience of hunger, and it's no wonder so many people freak out about the sensation of hunger…or even the mere possibility of feeling it.
If that's you, there's nothing wrong with you. It's totally normal.
But here's the thing you've really gotta understand.
Your body's still wired for a way of life that most people are not living.
For example, food is abundant in most parts of the world now. Yet for most of human history, in most situations, food's availability was not as certain as it is today.
We had to hunt and kill our food, risking life and limb to do so.
If it was plants we hunted for, we had to not only locate them, we had to figure out whether they were even edible.
Since food was so uncertain, we ate as much as we could get our hands on when we did have it around, in order to tide us over until we found food again.
Like I said, for most people in most of today's world, it's just not like that. If you live in a city or even a small town, food is within easy walking distance of you.
Yet as far as your body's concerned, food is uncertain. Even when there's food six feet from you, it'll send those primal hunger signals, and you'll usually wanna eat.
And as I said at the beginning of this post, a lot of people will OVEReat with the hope of never having to feel hunger. Even I struggle with this sometimes. I get it!
The truth is, ain't nobody gonna die from feeling hungry.
Oh, your body may try and tell you otherwise. And yeah, feeling hungry 24/7 is miserable (and not something I'm advocating).
But overeating because you don't wanna feel hungry is gonna make it tough to lose your weight and keep it off, even on a program that works as well as Code Red.
That means it's key to address your mindset around hunger.
Yes, there are physiological ways to address it, like staying hydrated, getting your sleep, eating healthy fat with each meal to help you feel satiated, removing high-carb foods that trigger insulin and lead to more frequent and more intense hunger sensations, and managing your electrolyte levels.
Even so, mastering the mindset of hunger is super important, because it gives you the edge you need manage the physiological aspect.
Here are two tips to help you mentally manage your fear of hunger.
1) Remind your body that food is all around you. Tell it, in the words of a Code Red Rebel in maintenance: “Food is coming at my next meal.” Talk to yourself and remind yourself that your supply of food is certain.
2) Remind yourself that hunger is a good thing, just like breathing, regular trips to the bathroom, and your heart beating. It means your body is working properly. It means your body's processed the food you've given it and it's ready for more.
Seriously, use these tips if you're sabotaging yourself due to fear of hunger, even just a little.
Write them down and use them multiple times a day – while you're gathering your food, after you've eaten, before you eat, and between meals.
Your body's just doing what it's wired to do. It hasn't caught up to the fact that food is abundant.
Give it – and yourself – the certainty it's not wired for, by reminding yourself that food is all around you, there's more coming at your next meal, and hunger is a GOOD thing.