Do you like being fooled?
The problem of trying to trick your hunger and why misleading your body is damaging to your relationship with food.
When we want to lose weight, it is very easy to get into “the fewer calories the better” mentality.
We feel that calories are bad and therefore should be handled and reduced to the maximum extent possible.
So I found it curious when last week, I came across a question from a new client, asking me about what was the best way to fool her hunger. How could she “distract herself” or what could she eat to “control her appetite”.
I do not blame her. I’ve been in that dark place: afraid of food, thinking I had a problem because I could not “stop myself” from eating.
Instead of trying to convince her with a long monologue of why she needs calories to simply live, I replied with another question.
I asked her if she liked being deceived.
If she liked when someone would distract her to make her a fool. Or when someone would promise something to her and they do not comply. How did she feel in these situations?
“Terrible,” she said.
So I asked her,
Why would you try to fool yourself?
Fool your hunger with liters of water? *
Fool your appetite by eating cucumber sticks when you really would like to eat the cheese?
Mislead your body with zero calorie foods?
Does that sound healthy to you?
What happens in this type of mentality is that people associate “eating” with “making a mistake”. It seems that the only real virtue is “not relying on food” and doing photosynthesis.
For god’s sake, eating enough is absolutely necessary for you to enjoy your life. Instead of trying to fool your body with the minimum to live, make it feel safe with enough food. It may seem contradictory to you, but it is the only way to bring normality to your eating. In reality, eating too little is not normal — no matter what the diet culture makes you believe.
The real question you’re ignoring
How to deceive your appetite is the wrong question to ask yourself.
If you want to get out of the food prison, the question you need to ask yourself is not “why do I believe my hunger needs to be fooled?” or “why do I feel like I can not trust my appetite?” or “why would I believe so?”
Rather, you need to ask yourself if that way of thinking suits you — is that your version who lives on full food empowerment?
What does a person free from food prison believe? Does she believe she has to convince herself not to eat?
What does she think about her hunger? About her food? About her body?
How does she feel when she eats?
Understanding the true motivations behind your hunger (besides a possible lack of nutrients) to give you a map of what’s missing to improve your nutrition — without a dash of self-deception.
Overcoming food obsession is not about self-deception
It is possible that you are feeding your body with enough nutritious food but still have those specific food cravings that you would like to eliminate?
Many people blame the environment for these uncontrollable cravings. The cookie at work, the mother-in-law’s cake, the restaurant dessert buffet… As if the problem were merely co-existing with these foods.
Girlfriend, you see cars all the time and yet you’re not obsessed with them. You walk past a bakery and think about the cake all day, but I doubt you walk by a car and get crazy about it, blaming yourself for thinking about the car, trying to fool yourself into forgetting the car and thinking you’re weak for thinking about the car.
Do you know the difference between the car and the cake?
The car is neutral. A complete neutral relationship, free from morality. It’s nothing. Zero.
It’s just a car.
When the cake is “wrong”, it takes a spot on a pedestal, so it becomes THE cake. Now you can choose how to invest your time: you may be racking their brains trying to fool yourself into not eating what you like, or you can use the same time to rewrite your relationship with food, in so you are not obsessed about it.
Morality over food = zero.
Need to fool yourself = zero.
*Please keep drinking the water, okay? It’s good for your health!
I am a Brazilian girl (living in Sao Paulo with my fiancé — and another 20 million people). I love coffee, books, and good food. I also really enjoy studying and learning new things that allow me to further develop myself both professionally and personally. I have a degree in Food Science and hold a Ph.D. in Agri-food Marketing. In addition, I am a Certified Nutrition Coach and an enthusiastic Nutrition student.
There is a power that comes alive when women free themselves from the food prison in which they have learned to live, when they realize that they are capable and deserving of feeling fantastic in their own bodies, and that confidence is a state of mind — not a body lotion which you get the right to use when you reach a weight-loss goal.
My work is dedicated to nurturing, celebrating and sharing this message.