There are two ways to do this:
We can eat what someone else tells us is the right amount for our body’s needs,
or we can eat what our body tells us is the right amount for our needs.
Problem with the first option is that it doesn’t work long term.
So the only way to lose weight permanently is to learn, and respond to, the signals from our bodies: ‘time to eat’ and ‘time to stop’.
Since I wrote about losing 5 pounds in one week using this simple method,
I’ve had queries about how to do it.
So read on, because I’m going to teach you right here.
It requires rediscovering the connection between your stomach and your brain.
For many people, this connection is hard to find.
Many clients tell me they don’t have it.
I assure them that they do – it’s a biophysiological reality.
I ask them how they know when they need to pee.
They tell me they ‘just know’ – they ‘feel it in their bladder’.
I ask them how they know they’re done.
Same answer ‘I just know – I feel it’.
There’s a direct connection between their bladder and their brain.
You have that connection between your stomach and your brain too.
Naturally thin women give me a similar answer when I ask them how they know when to start and stop eating: ‘It’s a feeling – in my body’.
Maybe you’ve ignored these messages for so long that you don’t hear them?
A hunger scale provides structure and language:
Imagine that +10 means you’ve eaten so much that you’re physically ill.
And -10 means you’ve been starving for a week.
Now imagine what +2 would feel like – it’s subtle and quiet, so you have to listen closely – it could be ‘no longer hungry’ or ‘¾ full’ or ‘enough’.
Time to stop eating, even though it may be less than you usually eat.
Your body’s satisfied, and you feel light enough to go walking.
Now imagine what -2 would feel like – it’s also subtle and quiet, and you have to pay attention to catch it – it could be a sudden hollowness in your stomach, or slight tightness, or mild lightheadedness or irritability.
Time to eat. Now. Even though it’s probably sooner than you usually eat.
But if you wait any longer, you’re going to overeat.
There. You have it.
The most important tool for permanent and deprivation-free weight loss.
Initially, you’ll have to check in often throughout the day, to find out where you are on the hunger scale, and you must respond immediately to your -2 and +2, just like toddlers who are toilet training. It’s a new skill you’re learning.
But eventually it becomes habitual. Just like you don’t listen for the ‘pee’ sensations, you’ll notice your hunger and satisfaction sensations in the same way.
And your work will be to respond to them in the same way.
In order to reach your natural weight.
Eating whatever you want.
To my readers who are celebrating New Year with me tonight, Shana Tova. I wish you a sweet, healthy and fulfilling year, and many opportunities to practice listening to your body over the next few weeks!