And let’s stop trying to fight it.
The human body is all about maintaining equilibrium — homeostasis. When we’re hot, we sweat. When we’re cold, we shiver. These subconscious reactions help the body adjust to sub-optimal conditions, but then your conscious self jumps in to help, too. You make a conscious choice to go in the shade to cool off, or put on a jacket to warm up.
But when it comes to hunger, dieters are always looking for a way to hack this feedback loop. “When I feel hungry, I’ll drink a glass of water.” What? Sorry, try again. “When I feel hungry, I’ll paint my nails.” Wait what??? This makes no sense! While you’re playing mind games you read on Pinterest, your body is waiting and waiting and waiting for the calories it needs to keep you thinking clearly and walking upright.
I forgot to mention that your body is also kind of a drama queen. It’s quick to panic and holds a serious grudge. So while YOU might know that your high school reunion is next weekend and you’re just trying to drop a few pounds right quick, your body is flipping the eff out.
One of these diets might not be the end of the world, but a habit of ignoring hunger pangs can have a cumulative effect on your body, sending it into starvation mode. This doesn’t only mean that your body will start to hoard calories instead of burning them off, as you’ve probably read in a million diet articles. What those articles don’t mention is that now you’ll be seeing the world through a lens of full-on food panic and calorie desperation. This is more than just cravings, or willpower, or self-control. It’s a biological drive to consume. At this point, you’re a mammal on a mission.
This didn’t happen to you overnight, and it won’t end overnight either. That’s why every attempt you’ve made to eat like a sane person has ended in a disastrous binge. If you are stuck in this incredibly frustrating cycle, don’t lose hope. You just need to give your body time to reset and readjust. Read more about the process here and here.