Food and drink intake is part of every weight loss plan. Most of us plan out the diet we think will get us to our desired weight. Making the plan is often the easiest part. The harder part you experience AFTER the plan is made and put into effect. Implementation. The “Sticking With It.”
Until you have established a different method of managing your urges for food, you will likely find yourself experiencing the same old urges to eat, even when you understand intellectually that indulging that urge will not lead you down the path to your desired weight. A different method of managing the urges is necessary to stop indulging them, and the ability to stop indulging the urges is necessary for permanent weight loss. In all likelihood, indulging your urges for food, no matter from where the urge arises, is as automatic for you are putting one foot in front of the other and walking.
But what is an urge? And must every urge for food be indulged? What is the worst-case scenario if we do not indulge an urge?
First and foremost, I’m sure it is obvious that we do not have to indulge every urge for food, especially if we are overweight. The truth is that if you are carrying excessive amount of fat stores on your body, letting quite a few urges pass without indulging them will certainly not kill you. Even though your brain might be telling you that’s exactly what will happen if you don’t get some food in your body asap!
If we are overweight, we likely have a pattern of indulging every urge the body signals for food. Our hormones are in charge of sending signals for fuel. However, when we eat a lot of processed foods, fail to get a good night’s sleep or allow our bodies to experience excessive amounts of stress, our hormones go out of balance and we cannot rely upon the signals we receive as true indicators that the body is in need of fuel to operate. Most people rely on the hunger messages they receive from the body, and when they appear, they are satisfied as soon as possible. Any food that the body receives that is not actually needed for fuel is stored on the body as fat. In order to lose weight, we must stop the pattern of indulging every urge we feel for food.
The challenge comes in breaking the pattern of indulging the urges for foods that got us to our current weight. We basically have three choices when we experience an urge for food that leads us off our path to weight loss: indulge the urge, resist the urge or allow the urge.
Indulging the urge is at least part of the reason you now find yourself overweight. Indulging the urge reinforces both the pattern of indulgence, urges for food generally, and your brain’s belief that all it has to do to get that desirable, yet unhealthy food is to demand it.
Another option would be to resist the urge with willpower. We have all used willpower to meet a weight loss goal. The use of the willpower can be temporarily effective, but as all willpower eventually succumbs to the underlying desire, so does the temporary weight loss success with achieved with it. Resisting the urge is admittedly a better alternative than indulging an urge, but still not a long-term solution for weight loss.
Allowing urges to pass unsatisfied is the only truly sustaining path to weight loss. It will not be a fun process, I can promise you that. Allowing urges to pass unsatisfied, especially when your established pattern is to indulge them, involves observation and dedication to your ultimate goal. As urges are routinely observed and allowed to pass unsatisfied, your body begins to balance itself and will eventually be replaced with healthy and reliable hunger signals.
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