This topic is so important for recovery that I can’t emphasize it enough. The main focus in the last chapter was reestablishing communication with your body regarding your need for food. This can only be helpful if you are able to respond to those signals by eating on time—right when you get hungry. We’ve talked about the absolute necessity of getting off the feast or famine cycle, and staying off by eating good food on demand. This gives your body a chance to normalize its appetite, metabolic rate, cravings, focus on food, and energy for physical movement. But, eating on demand requires that you make sure your food source is adequate and high quality. Always remember, you can’t eat good food when you’re hungry if it’s not there.
When Food Isn’t There
The foundation of recovery by these principles is first understanding what happens biochemically, inside our bodies, when we get hungry and we don’t eat, or don’t eat enough, because we’re on a diet. Whether dieting or not, poor food availability is almost always the set-up for going hungry and all the overeating that follows.
As we have learned, lack of adequate food is a foundational survival stress for all organisms. Inadequate water is also a basic survival threat. Did you know that your body retains water when you don’t drink enough fluid? This is another survival system. In effect, bodies are designed to retain fluid if there’s a fluid famine going on. Physicians instruct patients who retain extra fluid to limit salt and drink more water. Does this sound familiar? And yet, the idea of telling people who are retaining excess food (fat) to eat more good food at the right time seems totally ridiculous—at first.
Great Tips For Weight Loss Food Availability What Have You Got to Eat Right Now Photo Gallery
Your first and most important “environment” is between your ears—your brain. Your thinking can create food restriction. This is what dieters do. There may be food all around, but when they avoid eating they actually create an environmental famine of sorts. This is a mind-controlled famine. But your actual environment or surroundings can present a true famine too.
Since obesity is a positive adaptation to an environment where food is intermittently restricted, we’d better check out the real environments you find yourself in. This refers to where you are—in your home, at the office, in your car, at the gym, visiting neighbors and relatives, at parties and reunions, camping, hotel rooms, airplanes, busses and taxicabs—wherever you are in the world. The reason I list all these possibilities is because we tend to think of our food supply environment as our kitchen, home and restaurants, maybe a snack room at the office or school. But this is one of the main reasons we don’t eat on time. We ignore our hunger because there’s nothing to eat, or we think of the environment we’re in as inappropriate for eating. So we often go hungry. And, our kids go hungry, too. Well, you can’t just eat anywhere, can you?
Actually, you can, with very few limitations. People in recovery do figure out how to have food available wherever, whenever they need to eat. They do this because they realize how important it is in order for them to recover from being overweight and the painful diet lifestyle that goes with it. So, they keep great food in their car, in a drawer or small refrigerator at the office. The glove box in their car isn’t really for gloves anyway, so they stash snacks there for emergencies. They discreetly drink a protein shake during a meeting at work or have a half sandwich during a short break. You can get really creative about this when you know how important it is for your body. All this eating is on demand, of course, based on your hunger and fuel-full signals.