Here are some concepts that I have used to change some of my thoughts about food and hunger. Like, many things in life they are simple, the mind says “That’s too simple” or “I can’t do that” I guess we need to actually try first and then come up with excuses later. These are based on the work by Dr. David R.Hawkins and Dr. Eric Berne, author of Games People Play and the creator of Transactional Analysis.
Have we been programmed to respond to food?
We begin to feel good about ourselves as we are no longer reacting to those old behaviours that were programmed into us by our parents, by food adverts, by magazines.
There is within us three characters when it comes to food – our Child, our Adult and our Parent,it’s like three separate voices within us. The child is desirous, the adult is rational, intelligent and educated and the parent tends to be punitive and moralistic. When we sit down to eat or open the fridge door the adult within goes unconscious and the child within takes over.
What does a child know about diet, weight, and calories? Nothing. The mode of the child is “I want, I satisfy and I get.” And it is this dominant child that is poking around in the fridge and the sweet counter. Who ordered the starter, the main and the pudding? The child did. And after we indulge to excess, the child leaves, and who takes its place? The parent does, who then says “How could you have been so stupid? Why did you have seconds? Why did you eat the whole chocolate bar?
At this point we are subjected to the inner angry parent who is blaming us. Blaming whom? Blaming the inner child. Where has the adult been all this time? It has been silenced. The adult was not there at meal time or directly after meal time. The child and the parent have taken over the whole eating program, which is natural because that is where eating patterns got setup in the first place, when we were children sitting next to our parents.
In order to counteract this, we have to be aware that this program is running. Just to be aware of it begins to change it. Now we can put a note on the fridge “No Children Allowed Adults Only” and at the checkouts and sweet counters – “Adults only”.
All this does not take resistance or self control, it just takes awareness. When we sit down we say “hello” to our adult and at that point we are no longer thinking “wow look at those potatoes” – you can look around the table and see those other children coming out to play – but you can see through this now.
As an adult you can see health, being a role model, you know how uncomfortable it feels when you eat too much, you can see that just around the corner lies guilt and frustration. What a powerful new viewpoint. You will find that the adult enjoys eating too, but does not go so crazy.
Deprivation is not the way to happiness, nor is overindulgence cialis paris. It is preferable to transcend them and sit in the middle. Sit there with the adult and with a calm, kind voice in your mind – Because the body responds to what you hold in mind.
Alternative attitudes to food and feeling hungry
Whatever hunger sensation is felt, we stop talking about it in our mind; we stop languaging it and giving it a label. Instead, we go into that inner experience and let go of resisting it.
The reason for this is because there is a limited amount of sensation that comes up. The mind thinks “If I don’t satisfy this, I’m going to have hungry feelings continuously.” That is not the case. So, when these sensations arise, stop everything and just sit (or better lie down) and focus on it. Don’t let anything else distract you and it will disappear in a couple of minutes. We can then just go about our business.
We want to break the cycle of labelling the sensations as “hunger” when it appears and then satisfying it with food. It is merely the willingness to experience what, in the beginning, may seem like some discomfort, or, in other words, to experience this sensation without satiating it right away. As we do this the reflex weakens.
Regarding what to do about our eating during the day – What we do is “anticipatory eating”. It means to never eat when you are hungry. Especially for the first week or so, we never allow ourselves to eat when we are hungry.
We know our own hunger patterns, so instead of waiting until we are hungry and then eating, thus reinforcing the pattern, we anticipate the hunger periods. We know that habitually we will be hungry at around 6:00, so instead of waiting until we are hungry and satisfying it, thereby reinforcing our conditioning, we anticipate it. At 4:45 when we are not even hungry we eat, you will see that you eat less at these times too.
The technique is simple – eat when you are not hungry and don’t eat when you are, thus substituting this technique for the hunger pattern.
During the old times when you would have eaten – do something different, take a nap, read, go for a walk, listen to a recording.
It has been shown that the less we eat, the more our appestat gets turned down. Satiety is something that is not well known by traditional scientific medicine, they talk about calories as if they were all the same – they are not. Satiety plays a big role in weight problems and is more important than calories. Eat sensibly, but what ever you want, knowing that for every 100 calories of protein consumed 36 calories are burnt off in the digestion process, whereas 100 calories of sugar equals 100 calories of fat.
It is best to avoid things that have high sugar content, especially on an empty stomach, because sugar stimulates the production of insulin, which then brings the blood sugar level down rapidly, this recreating the hunger sensation. It is the same with artificial sweetener found in Cola light and which you add to your tea – the body tastes a sweetness and expects a calorie hit, when it doesn’t come the body feels robbed and sets up a hunger feeling.
The technique is to let go of resisting and to disappear hunger and appetite. We then live in a world where we are no longer in that old cycle. We get used to an eating cycle of overeating, feeling guilty about the over eating, and then trying to control it. Then up comes hunger, and with the hunger come guilt, then appetite, then the expectation of satiation, followed by over indulgence, and guilt again, so there is an endless self-defeating cycle. The way to beat it is to rise above it, transcend it, and be beyond it.
The mind then says “I don’t want to give up the pleasure of eating.” However, what happens is appetite arises only out of the act of eating itself rather than being an anticipatory appetite and the pleasure of eating becomes greater than it ever was.
Eating is no longer accompanied by guilt or self blame. There is no anxiety about eating too many calories or gaining weight from eating. All that is gone, so we do not give up the pleasure of eating at all. We find that when we are not hungry, the food is considerably more enjoyable.
As we begin to resist and let go of hungry feelings, we begin to experience a kind of detachment – it’s like it is OK if we eat, and if we don’t, that’s OK too. People ask, “Do you want to eat something now?” and you say “Well, if you are going to fix something, fine.” Then they will ask “What do you want to eat? Do you want chicken or lamb or soup?” and you’ll say “Either way it’s all fine.” You become less fixated on food – if you have a steak that’s fine and if you don’t that’s fine too. This means you are free.