Keep track of what you eat for the next seven days; just one short week (you can do it). Note what, when, your mood, and whether you were hungry.
This diary then becomes your window into your real eating habits. If you usually eat a pretty healthy diet for instance, then the food may not be a big problem, but what about the frequency or quantity?
Waiting for Hunger or I’m Always Hungry
Do you eat in anticipation of hunger? It can be very enlightening to play the, “Wait for Hunger” game. You do this by simply waiting for real hunger before eating anything. By real hunger I mean the, “I’m hungry, and I need something to eat,” hunger rather than a vague sensation that, “Hey, I could eat something,” or you suddenly smelled food and what a surprise, now you’re hungry. You’ll begin to recognize false hunger more often when you wait for real hunger to arrive, and once you know it’s false hunger, it’s much easier to simply ignore. Wait 10 minutes and false hunger disappears. Poof!
The odd thing while waiting for hunger is it can sometimes take a long time to arrive. People begin to worry that it won’t come at all. The same people who earlier said they are hungry all the time, now come to realize they are rarely truly hungry because they don’t wait long enough to actually get hungry. Other times you could be hungry very often throughout the day. Every day is different.
I carry some type of food with me such as fruit or nuts, sometimes a food bar, pretty much everywhere I go. If I get hungry, I want a couple of bites of something healthy pretty soon. It helps to stave off the, “I waited too long and now I’m going to eat everything in sight,” behaviors as well.
A food diary seems like a hassle but it can be such an excellent learning tool, and I highly recommend it. Use software if you like such as the Food & Exercise Diary, or simply get a small notebook and carry it with you. In fact, even if you use software, you still need to carry a small notebook because trying to recall what you ate is nearly impossible. You’ll easily forget those little nibbles here and there, and they count too. It can easily be just the food you don’t realize you’re eating that’s adding those extra pounds to your frame.
Give it a week, you’ll discover many things. 1) you’ll discover whether you’re really motivated to make a change in your eating habits because if you can’t do this one thing, then the chances are you’re just not ready to make a change, 2) you’ll discover you won’t die if you wait for hunger, and 3) you’ll discover you really aren’t truly hungry as often as you think you are.