Eat less, lose weight! Simple isn’t it?
If you cut back on how much food you’re eating you will lose weight. So easy, in fact, nothing can be easier. The concept, perhaps, is easy. The action, however, is far less easy. For some it’s not easy at all. In fact, it’s very hard because even though the brain understands the desire to eat less, the belly doesn’t.
The fatter the belly, the more powerful it seems to be when it comes to overriding the brain. There are two things you need to do to trick your belly into feeling full.
1. Find and honor your natural eating pattern.
Your natural eating pattern is programmed within you. It was established a long time ago based on what food was available to your ancestors. Your ancestors may have been skilled in taking down large animals that allowed to them eat very large meals less frequently.
Perhaps your ancestors were not accomplished hunters, but rather, clever gatherers. They ate small meals frequently as they found edibles – plants and small animals. If you don’t already know, you need to find out which way of eating is more satisfying to you – 3 larger meals daily or several smaller meals daily.
Obeying your natural eating pattern is important for tricking the belly to feel full with less food. Don’t allow diet advice that you get from friends, read in books, magazines, or on the Internet, or the self-proclaimed experts (this includes doctors) you see on TV convince you to eat contrary to your natural pattern.
No matter how good their argument seems, no matter how logical an eating plan that doesn’t fit your pattern seems to be, if you’re fighting your own nature, it’s not going to work.
You are the expert on you. Trust your expertise!
2. Engage your brain.
Your brain must be the control center for all of your actions. If you don’t keep your brain engaged, your fat belly will. Think of your belly as Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors. It is always yelling “feed me!”
If your brain isn’t engaged it hears and obeys the command from the belly.
You need to keep your brain engaged in non-food activities so that it remains in control of your actions. The brain also needs to be the organ that controls what and how much you eat and it determines when your belly is full.
If you’re a fast eater, you must slow down. If you don’t want to slow down, then decrease your portions. Eat smaller portions at your normal pace, but before having seconds wait at least five minutes. At the end of the five minutes your brain can detect fullness.
It’s important to recognize that feeling full may be linked with whether or not more food is available. We’re trained to eat until the food is gone. If more food is available it may be hard to know if you’re full or still hungry. Wanting more food isn’t the same as needing more food.
- Drink a glass of water.
- Walk away from the food and keep walking. A walk after a meal helps digestion and helps to burn the calories you just ingested.
- Avoid elastic waistbands. Wearing clothing that can’t expand to accommodate a growing belly is an external way way to trick the belly into thinking it’s full.
- Occupy your brain with non food thoughts. You can’t “not think about food.” If I told you, “don’t think about elephants,” you would think about elephants anyway. If I told you, “think about roses,” you would not be thinking about elephants! A good way to occupy your brain with non food thoughts is to do something physically active that you enjoy or that serves a purpose such as polishing your car or cleaning out your closets.