How often do you get extremely hungry? During most restrictive diets I’ve been on, I allowed myself—while believing it was what I had to do—to go through days and nights and weeks of hunger. My stomach growled constantly, and
I got headachey, weak, tremulous, distracted, grouchy, and unable to concentrate on anything besides what I wasn’t allowed to eat. I felt not only physically deprived but also psychologically deprived. Like a naughty child sent to bed without supper.
When I used to allow myself to become overly hungry, I would fantasize about eating a delicious hot meal that filled me up. Once when I was in a public place and saw someone eating a Baby Ruth, my then favorite candy bar, I imagined the taste of each bite, pretending I was the one chewing and swallowing the chocolatey-nutty-gooiness. Do you think fantasizing about food is weird? That’s what getting too hungry can do to a person.
Do I feel the sensations of hunger more intensely than other people? I doubt it. But it seems I feel the “urge to eat” more often than others, which I believe is the result of depriving myself during years of dieting to lose weight.
Eating is a necessary part of life. I used to think it would be so much easier to control my intake if I could give up food completely. Fortunately, I don’t have to. AAT (Appetite Awareness Training) says to eat whatever type of food you want and gradually modify your food preferences, which is to say add healthier foods while not restricting any food.