Dieting is closely related to fitness. If you want to lose fat, you follow a diet to lose weight, while when you want to build muscle, you eat in a structured way to gain weight. Although this is probably the most effective way to achieve your goals, one important part is overlooked: the mental aspect. Planning, weighing or eating according to a fixed schedule requires energy. There is a good chance that you will be able to maintain this for a long time, but sooner or later you will reach the point that you cannot or will not keep this up. Fortunately in many cases this is not even necessary and today we will show you how to do that! Today we are going to eat successfully by feeling in 4 simple steps.
The basic principle of eating by feeling
To bring food to taste to a success there is first a basic principle that we must have very clear. That basic principle is something we all know: hunger.
Hunger is usually seen as the enemy. If you are on a diet, you want to prevent hunger as much as possible, while you want to have your hunger feeling as high as possible during the bulging process to eliminate all those calories.
This actually creates a situation that is completely contradictory to nature. Namely that of listening to hunger and satiety. Hunger is not an enemy, hunger is the signal from your body that food is needed.
However, hunger is often manipulated by your brain and that is why this basic principle is so important. Before you even start eating by feeling, you must have a clear understanding of this distinction:
On the one hand there is physical hunger. This is the signal from your body that food is needed, characterized by, among other things, a growling stomach, fatigue or moodiness.
On the other hand we have called the 'enemy' emotional hunger. This is not so much a signal from your body, but emotions in your brain that drive hunger. The well-known emotion-eating, a consequence of, among other things, sadness, loneliness or boredom. Emotional hunger is also popularly known as 'hunger'.
Not surprisingly, emotional hunger is often the culprit, so one of the most important steps is to stay in control of that emotional hunger!
The 4-step plan to successfully eat by feeling
Now that we know that hunger has two sides, it is time to make eating by feeling a success with these 4 steps.
Step 1: Forget the diet
Everything starts with step 1: stopping thinking of a diet. As long as you maintain the diet mindset you will always keep going up and down like a yoyo. As soon as you are on a diet you lose weight, while when you stop dieting, the pounds slowly gain again.
Instead, we want to think about a diet or simply a way of eating. Your diet has the function of feeding your body, so that is the starting point. How you eat is a way of life!
How do you determine whether you go for fat loss or muscle building? You can read that below at step 3!
Step 2: Become friends with hunger and listen to your body
To make food succeed by feeling, you must learn to listen to your body again. Go eat when you find yourself hungry and stop as soon as your body is satisfied. That means you can fine eat even more, but you DON'T HAVE to eat more. That is a big difference and it will take some time to get the hang of it. You must therefore learn to distinguish between hunger and hunger.
For example, you will regularly have a portion that is too large or too small at the beginning, but after a while you will become more and more useful.
You are actually trying to reset your body again. You throw out all the principles about schedules, meal timing and frequency and you go back to an instinct that is millions of years old.
Ultimately this will probably be even better for you, because on days that you are very active or if you have trained a lot, your hunger will naturally increase. By working from here to a feeling of satiety you feed the body with what it needs instead of what is written on a leaf.
The pitfall here is of course choosing the wrong foods. Living on pizza, vanilla custard and coke will leave you saturated, but only when it is much too late. For that reason, the next step is crucial.
Step 3: Choose what is right for you
As soon as you throw calories and all the numbers of the different macronutrients overboard, nutrition actually becomes a lot easier. Suddenly you no longer look for how to use half a jar of Ben & Jerry's in your macros, but you start to think differently.
Namely about what is good for your body. Always try to find out whether the foods you want to eat offer anything of value to your body. Maybe you could lose a sausage roll in terms of calories, but does it add anything? Does it contain the nutrients that you would like to get? Is that going to help you get a good satiety? If the answer is no three times, your choice will be made quickly.
By looking at nutrition from a health perspective, you make life a lot easier if you want to eat by feeling. You can imagine that a meal with lean meat, sufficient vegetables and a moderate amount of potatoes or rice is better for you than a fatty pizza. So you automatically make the right choices and the result will follow without too much trouble.
What about fat loss and muscle building?
You simply shift a little for that. Remember, you want to listen to hunger and achieve a sense of satiety, how you do that is up to you. If you want to focus on fat loss, leave the grains a little more and catch this with more vegetables or fruit. Do you want to arrive? Then take a little less vegetables and take some extra rice, some nuts or dried fruits.
Leave the scales or the skin folds not yet see the desired result? Then simply move a little more until this happens.
We must note that this approach is of course not suitable for the most extreme situations. Are you preparing for a bodybuilding competition? Then hunger will undoubtedly become an obstacle and eating on feeling will not help you. However, for the vast majority who just want to be in shape, fit and healthy, this is all you need.
Step 4: Learn to deal with emotions
The last and certainly not least important step is learning to deal with your emotions. We mentioned at the start that hunger consists of two sides: physical and emotional hunger (appetite).
If you get confused by boredom or stress with actual hunger from your body, eating on feeling has no chance of success. Then you just end up on the couch in the evening with a big bag of chips and keep eating until the bag is empty.
So make sure you always maintain a certain focus and ask yourself: is my body hungry? Or does my head play games with me? You will discover that it is often the latter and that your body actually does not even need food.
For those situations where emotional hunger arises, it is good to find a solution for this. At such a moment choose, for example, to go for a walk, to train, to look for distraction, to practice a hobby or to do something with friends. This way you prevent that emotional hunger driving you crazy. Over time, this also becomes easier and you will discover that if you do not give in to eating emotion, the urge to do so also disappears more and more.
And those are the 4 steps! It sounds terribly simple and it actually is. It only demands something from us that we have long since forgotten: listening to your body.
As soon as you regain this skill and do not have to go on a 'diet' to achieve results, a whole new world will open for you and healthy food will become a much smaller routine.
Can I never eat anything unhealthy again?
That brings us to a final question: what about sometimes something tasty and unhealthy food? If you follow the steps above, this suggests that you can never cheat again, but of course that is not the case.
It is precisely with this way of eating that you are extremely free in what you do. If you like to go out for dinner with friends, order a pizza with your partner or go and get an ice cream with your son or daughter, this is no problem in most cases. As long as these remain exceptions and you then manage to achieve the feeling of satiety with other foods, nothing is wrong. Only prevent that you eat unhealthy food due to stress, boredom or other emotions, because those are the culprits. Do such moments occur more often than you like? Then consider what protein-rich snacks to get it at home like Protein Chips of Delicious Crunchy Protein Bars to satisfy that appetite!
Written by Mathias Jansen