Eating when you are hungry is the best thing you can do for your body. This may not come across as ground breaking but when I think about all the popular diet advice out there that tells you to ‘eat as soon as you wake up to get your metabolism going’, it’s really sad. I used to believe this too and I used to wake up s-t-a-r-v-i-n-g or so I thought!?

Last May, I picked up Kimberly Snyder’s “The Beauty Detox Solution” while at Chapters one day. I always love perusing the new health books and it fit the part. I probably spent the better half of an hour reading it. I ended up buying the book and after a weekend reading it I was puzzled, confused, scared, and put on unstable ground so to speak. A lot of my beliefs about food and nutrition were challenged.

Nutrition seems to always be changing. Eating fruits and veggies seems to be consistent but everything else is fair game. After reading her book I changed many things in my diet, slowly over many months. One thing I adopted was having a green smoothie every morning, and I have not looked back! Another thing I changed was to eat only when I was hungry. I started to listen to my real hunger in the morning. I was quite surprised to find that i got hungry at 8, 9, 10 sometimes even 11 or 12 o’clock and not at 6 or 7am like I thought. This was surprising. I have consistently eaten breakfast first thing in the morning for the last 10 years or so. What was happening?

After some research this week, it seems that our amazing bodies instinctively tell us when we are hungry. When our blood glucose falls, we get hunger signals (stomach grumbling, empty stomach, low energy) to signal when we are truly hungry. So as our body uses the food we consumed it lets us know when it needs more fuel.

I find that we forget that the mind and body are connected. We’ve been so programmed to have fixed meal times and to schedule our eating that we may be doing our body a disservice. Ignoring eating cues and using only socialized cues to eat causes us to eat when we are not truly hungry and when we are emotionally distressed. This minimizes our bodies’ ability to process food in a nutritional and beneficial way.

So please eat only when you are truly hungry! Bon appétit!