Diet Fix - Dieting Myth #04: Do not Eat Unless You are Hungry

- POSTED ON: Jan 02, 2011

Dieting Myth #4: 

Don't Eat Unless You're Hungry

Dr. Freedhoff says:

For those who struggle with dietary control I can't imagine a more dangerous piece of advice than, "you should wait until you're hungry to eat".

Hunger influences choice. Shop at the supermarket hungry and you'll see that influence in action. Sit down to a meal hungry and while you're not shopping from an aisle, instead you'll be shopping from your fridge, cupboard, plate or a menu and no doubt, your choices will be different.

On the other hand, organize your eating so that you're not hungry, and then you've got a shot, as "willpower", when it comes to dietary choice, is often simply the absence of hunger.

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Existing Comments:

On Jun 01, 2014 oolala53 wrote:
I guess you know that I have a problem with his insistence that a person who is hungry can't be moderate in having a meal. Hunger has been ESSENTIAL to me in having me enjoy my meals enough to eat less at them! You know I've struggled over the last year because I've experience LESS hunger and thus less satisfaction from the meals I do eat. On weekdays, I DON'T wait for hunger, but eat my three meals. Even with small breakfasts and lunches, I'm often not hungry for them or dinner, and it is rarely a happy day. I get some enjoyment from my food, but not nearly as much as when I'm hungry. That will often leave me wanting more food so that I can have at least that temporary pleasure. And yes, I know there are many people who CANNOT depend on hunger and satiety for their cues. I have done it both ways on S days. For me, I usually feel much better when I wait for hunger on those days. But I wouldn't put myself through that every day because it isn't without effort. However, I stumbled on this book on the "new" shelf at the library, and there are MANY statements I really like, as you can imagine. You quote one in your reveiw: paraphrased, it's that if you don't enjoy your eating and moving while losing weight, you won't likely maintain the new habits. If you suffered too much, you'll regain when you get tired of suffering. And if you can't find a way to work in eating for comfort and for celebration, you won't likely succeed in the long run. SO true!

On Jun 01, 2014 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Hi oolala. I agree with you that it is possible for people who are hungry to moderate their meals. What I have a problem with is that Intuitive eating rule ... "Eat when you're hungry", because I've found that some type of ongoing daily meal schedule works to establish moderate eating far better than relying on one's own body signals.

On Jun 01, 2014 oolala53 wrote:
Very much agree. I don't think there is anything natural about intuitive eating for the average person, and I don't think it's just because of modern manufactured foods, though they certainly add to the problem. Having a meal structure that can fit into a social life, even though I don't have to use it often, since I eat most meals alone, has also been helpful to me.

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