Are you super confused about being hungry? Are you scared that you can’t get hungry? Do you get confused hearing about intermittent fasting and other diets telling you what to do? This episode is for you.
Today, we’re talking about hunger deceptions and myths. It is so easy to go down a rabbit hole of confusion and misunderstandings and feeling super unempowered and scared that we’ll never be able to get it right. But don’t worry – I can help you with that. I’ll teach you how to assess and overcome your own hunger deceptions and figure out what myths are keeping you stuck. Hunger is actually one of the best strategies for weight loss, so let’s get started.
If you are ready to lose weight and change the way you think about hunger, sign up for the lifetime access membership for Love Yourself Thin! Doors are open and you can find all the information by clicking here.
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
The role hunger plays in our bodies
- How to have safety in being hungry
How corn syrup and refined flour lead to an overabundance of energy storage
- How to tell the difference between hunger and boredom
- How to tell the difference between hunger and emotional eating
- How to be honest with yourself
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- If you are ready to lose weight and change the way you think, sign up for the lifetime access membership for Love Yourself Thin! Doors are open and you can find all the information by clicking here.
- Join our FB Group HERE.
- Check out my free training from February 23rd: Are You As Smart As a Fifth Grader?
- Join my free Facebook group: Liberate Mental and Physical Weight with Dara
- Leave me a review in Apple Podcasts.
Full Episode Transcript:
83. Weight Loss: Understanding Hunger Deceptions and Myths
Are you super confused about being hungry? Should you be hungry? What can you do? So scared that you can’t get hungry. And then hear all these things about intermittent fasting and all these other diets that tell you to do this and that. Well, guess what? I’ve created this podcast for you. I’m Dara Tomasson. This is Love Yourself Thin, episode 83, Hunger Deceptions and Hunger Myths.
All right, everybody. I absolutely love preparing these podcasts for you, and this one is no exception. In fact, I’ve been doing a lot of coaching on this and this topic in my program, not only in Love Yourself Thin, but with my one-on-one clients. As we do these Google searches, we can go down that rabbit hole of confusion and misunderstandings and feeling super unempowered and scared that we’ll never be able to get it right. So, I’ve created this for you and I’m really excited to help you. And in fact, when you print off the worksheet, you’re going to have a bunch of questions. I am going to be asking them in the podcast. Don’t feel like you have to write them all down. They’re all there in the worksheet. And then I have some really good reflection questions for you. And some ways for you to kind of make this shift for you.
So I’m going to just share a quick win from one of my clients before we dive in. But before I do that, I want you to know that what you can expect from this podcast is you’re going to look at your own hunger deceptions, which is this a fancy way of saying like, are you afraid of food or being hungry, I should say? And then what are the myths that you’ve heard that keep you stuck? And we’re gonna look at those and we’re gonna get you on track for moving forward and learning how hunger is actually one of the best strategies for weight loss. And I’m gonna help you see it’s all good. So let’s get into some resolving the issues and then moving forward.
So the client that I wanna share today, she had a visit with a doctor. And this is usually what happens before people come and find me or search me out, but they go to the doctor and the doctor says you need a new hip or you need a new knee, but you’re too overweight and we can’t give you a surgery because you need to lose some weight beforehand. And I understand that not all doctors have the bedside manner that maybe you might want them to have. And so sometimes when a doctor says this, our reaction can be out of rebellion or out of anger or out of frustration. And so you hit the grocery store and you buy the shake or you do something radical. Well, this client of mine, she had worked with me before in the group and really enjoyed it, and then life got busy and she had different family circumstances and demands and when the doctor said this, she was like, you know what I need to go back. I need to go back to Love Yourself Thin. And since doing that, in just a very short time she’s lost 25 pounds and I’m just so happy for her and she’s really prioritizing her mind and using these tools. And she’s allowing herself to be hungry and having safety and being hungry. And so I’m really happy for her. And, you know, one of the things that I have found in my practice of helping women with this is that we really do need to give ourselves time to rewire the way that we’ve been thinking.
And this episode’s gonna be really helpful because there is a lot of wiring to do with hunger. Not only with deceptions and myth, but if you think about what I’m talking about, literally, if you do not eat, my kids always joke about saying the word literally because you know, we use that word along, you use it wrong, but I am pretty sure I’m using it right here because if you do not eat, just like a car, if you do not fuel your car, eventually your car will go off the side of the road. It will not work. And if we do not eat, we will not function. We will die. Hunger does mean death. It really can. And we know that calories are our energy and it’s like a transfer of energy. So when we use up the calories, those are all gone now, and so in order to replenish, we need to have more food. Now with the beginning of corn syrup and refined flour and sugar, we have an overabundance of energy in our body, it’s very, very easy to get energy. And it was disappointing when I was first pregnant cause I was like, I’m eating for two, but really you don’t need that much more. Our bodies are super efficient at using up the energy. We’re like one of those like super eco-friendly kind of cars. Okay?
When you think about our history, and it’s not even that long ago in our history during the wars and during the depression, there was a real lack of food. We had rations. People had to line up for hours and hours, and sometimes they would get the ration and sometimes they wouldn’t. So it really is dangerous. And I think I mentioned this on a podcast beforehand, and if not I have, I’m gonna just share it quickly. But I was listening to a podcast on the human brain, and he was doing some research about the depression with money. And his father, went to the bank and there was no money. It was all gone. He had nothing. And that was wired actually in his DNA, and so fear of money was actually passed down in the DNA to the next generation. Isn’t that fascinating? And so it’s the same thing with hunger. And so when we look at hunger and we understand hunger, we can then feel empowered and we don’t have to be afraid of it.
So when I was coaching one of my clients, we talked about hunger deceptions and there’s quite a few that I’m just gonna bring up so we can feel like we’re hungry, but really we say we’re bored. Well, is that true? Are we actually bored? And I can’t even imagine a quilter or creative person that’s attracted to listening to my podcast. Like, is it actually possible for you to be bored? Another deception is things like if you don’t eat, your metabolism will be shot. Another deception could be where you need to eat because, that person made that food for you. So there’s like social situations where if you don’t eat, you’re not included. So you feel rejected. And that feels like death. Rejection feels like death again. Also being nervous about, am I truly hungry? Because, you know, there’s this fear of missing out, but also there’s a, I don’t know if we’re gonna have anymore. And with Covid, I mean, look at all the people who gained so much weight over Covid, and even, for me it was even harder because we live on an island and they could literally cut off, Oh, see you, I’m saying literally again, but they could cut off the storage or limit the boats or limit that coming to the island. We have one more obstacle. And so it felt, it actually felt kind of scary. And I did walk through the grocery stores and there was whole shelves that were completely empty and I had these five children I needed to feed. So even though I have a very healthy food storage in my own home, it felt scary, just from my like primitive brain, it felt that. So asking yourself am I really safe?
And then another hunger deception would be, are you really hungry or are you looking for an emotion with food? And sometimes I describe food as sand paper. Right? It’s trying to take the edge off. You feel uncomfortable. You feel uneasy in your body. And so it just seems kind of an easy thing to do is to go to the food. And just as a caveat to that, think about how you were raised, if you are fussing or if you were causing problems. What did parents… and they still do this. They give you food. Here’s some Cheerios, here’s some trail mix. Here’s an apple. Like be quiet. Don’t cause a fuss. Here have some food. I was super guilty of this too. So it’s is like sandpaper and just having that awareness and saying, Hey, you know what, like, I can just feel sad. I don’t have to pacify myself with some food here.
Another deception is are you really hungry or are you exhausted because of all the time you spent people pleasing or all the time you spent procrastinating or all the time you’ve spent trying to perfect something? That’s exhausting. So are you hungry or are you just trying to like replenish yourself because you are mentally so exhausted? Are you really hungry or are you looking for an escape from what’s really going on in your life? You’re like, oh, I just can’t cope with this. I just need to have some, I just need to go make some chocolate chip cookies or I just need to try that one recipe that I’ve been meaning to use for so long. It’s an a escape. It’s a pressure valve. I think of that like trying to take the pressure off. So, just being onto yourself.
Another question is, do you want comfort for yourself? Like, do you want to go and do the work of grounding yourself and taking a breath and talking to yourself and being calm? Or do you want to just put the soother in or give the kid a sucker to be quiet? Or nowadays we see so many parents are giving their kids devices. I mean it’s like a very big problem. We had people over for a party and it was interesting to see that some of the parents couldn’t keep their kids off screens and their kids were having temper tantrums. And I’m like, we’re playing games right now. And it was interesting to see the parents because they were kind of embarrassed that their kid couldn’t cope without being supplacated on a screen. Okay? So this is happening more and more, and honestly, like with adults, we’re doing the same thing. How many of you listening when you’re feeling really upset or really ups things aren’t going so well? How often do you just turn on your phone? You’re like, oh, let me just see some Facebook stuff. Oh, lemme just see some reels that’ll calm me down. Hmm. Interesting. Right? It actually doesn’t. The only way to calm you down are your thoughts and allowing yourself to feel the feelings.
So are you afraid of being hungry because you feel out of control because you don’t know how to be with yourself? Kind of like these kids at my party, they didn’t really know how to be with themselves because they’re just used to being passed a phone. So the tool that I’m focusing on today is being honest with yourself. I’m also teaching you about the role of hunger but hunger is your body sensation of saying we need some fuel. Now, one of the ways that hunger works in our body is when we eat energy, so we eat any food, that gives us energy, that energy will go through our bloodstream. You know, our food will be broken down in the digestive system and then it will start distributing the energy that it got from it. So if we eat a chocolate bar, we have a lot of energy exchange. If we ate broccoli, we will still get energy because broccoli is a complex carb, our digestive system has spent a lot of energy breaking it down with minerals and nutrients and, and doing everything that it needs, and then it will distribute energy and the insulin is the one that is basically the battery pack, it decides like, where should we distribute all this energy? But if our body has a bunch of stored energy, then we actually can be hungry and say, Hey, you know, I’m hungry, but we can take a drink of water. We can be like, Hey, listen body, you can actually tap into the energy source, the battery reserves in your bum or in your wherever body part and what I call, this is actually called dining in.
So you’re learning how our bodies are actually made because back way, way, way back before we had grocery stores and we had food security like we have now, we have incredible food security. Our bodies were meant for fast and famine. So just like, eat as much as you can and it would store a bunch of energy. And then if there was like a famine or if we didn’t have that plenty, then it was no problem. Your body could just access that stored fat. It’s an amazing system. We are incredibly built, but now that we have this overabundance of food, plus we have an overabundance of calories and the food is refined so we get way more energy than our body can pretty much use. We have become storage units for food. So that’s just like a little bit of a background. So when you know that you can understand where, and this is where the hunger myths happen.
So one of the big hunger myths is if you don’t eat you’ll mess up your metabolism. Well there is not a lot of evidence that if you go, like, think about back in the day, let’s just like take a historical perspective, when you were on the farm, you would work hard and then you would eat, and then you would say, Hey, can I have like a snack or something? Your mom said, I don’t want you to spoil your dinner, or your dad. And so we actually want to eat when we’re hungry and our ghrelin is our hormone that once it’s regulated, will tell us when we’re actually hungry. And so hunger truly needs to be regulated with our hormone of ghrelin, and then our leptin tells us when we are satiated, that means we’re done. We’re good to go. We don’t need to eat anymore. And so when we get this dialed in, we now have a security around food and with security in our body. So I can say, Hey, listen, body, I’m having some hunger pains, and guess what? That’s perfect. That’s awesome. Keep having hunger pains because we don’t ever want to eat until we’re really, really hungry. It’s like if you go shopping and you see some things you’re like, oh, I like that fabric, or I like that shirt, but you’re like, but I don’t know if I really, really like it. Could you imagine if every time you saw something you kind of liked, you just bought it? Well, that’s the same thing with hunger. It’s like every time you feel hungry, it’s like, oh, I’m, I have some hunger. And then you eat. You’re not ever gonna have like, look for the thing that you really, really want. And it’s also, you’re not gonna eat what you really, really want because if you’re constantly eating, you’re not ever really gonna have that true hunger and then you’re not making those good decisions.
So if our bodies feel threatened, we will want to eat out of worry, out of concern that we won’t have enough energy, we won’t have enough, we will want to eat because that will feel safe. Because if anything happened, we would have stored energy. So that’s asking yourself, are you truly safe? Are you really hungry, or are you looking for an emotion with food? So a lot of us are emotional eaters and a lot of us have exhausted ourselves. So then we feel like we need to have food. Let’s be honest with ourself, and I’ve talked about this in the past and I wanna remind you that when you can be honest with compassion and with curiosity, that’s when you can really get down to what’s really going on.
Now the next question I have is, why is it so scary being honest with yourself? Now I’m gonna ask this question. What coping skills were you taught as a kid, a teen, or an adult? And do you use them? And if you do, how effective are they? So one of the coping skills I was taught as a kid was to go for a walk. But where the disconnect was, I wasn’t taught to do, what to think or what to do while I was going for a walk. It was a good idea to go for a walk, but if you don’t have the, I’m going for a walk because I’m cooling down and my emotions are high, intelligence is low, and when I go for a walk, I can calm down, my heartbeat can go down, and then I can think logically. I didn’t get that in the memo of when I was going for a walk, I was also taught as a coping strategy to go to my room. So you’re not behaving, go to your room. Well, I wasn’t taught that second part, and I’m not blaming my mom or anything, but I didn’t get that memo of, I’m going to my room to cool down because when my emotions are high, my intelligence is low. And so I can just breathe and I can calm down. I can now see. See this? It’s the same thing. And so if you haven’t been taught coping skills or you haven’t been taught how to think about your thinking since you were a kid you’re still having those same thought processes as you did when you were like eight years old. And so that’s why it’s scary to be honest with yourself because you don’t really know how to deal with it.
Another issue with hunger is when you are hungry, you are more vulnerable to your own self. So I’ll give a just an example. When my husband was gone for six months and I had two little kids and I was working, and I found out I was pregnant just shortly after he left. I had all the responsibilities. And so I would overeat at dinner because I knew as soon as dinner was over, it was bath time, get the kids ready. And I still had to do all that routine and it was all on my own. And I knew my husband wasn’t coming home. And I didn’t have help and it was like, it’s all on me. And so one of my coping strategies was to overeat at dinner. So when I felt more full physically, I didn’t have to feel my emotions as much. And it was fascinating for me to understand what I was doing because then I was able to take charge of it. And so I was able to pay attention more to my body with that.
So I have on the worksheet like what hunger myths do you believe and how they impacted your eating choices. So I wanna address one of the biggest misunderstandings about hunger that is being targeted right now. And I see it all the time. And as I’m recording this, this is like, I’m recording in January of 2023. And so I’m seeing a lot of ads for intermittent fasting. And this is something that I have evolved and grown and changed in my coaching and I’ve seen it more and more. So I’m gonna explain a little bit of my perspective on intermittent fasting, and that’s why I’ve called this podcast Hunger Deceptions and Hunger Myths. Because intermittent fasting is very trendy right now. And what I have seen with my clients is, that they miss the plot. They miss the plot of why intermittent fasting’s out there, because I actually agree with the concept of intermittent fasting. But what has happened is that people will take intermittent fasting and say, all right, let’s make a program out of it. It was interesting yesterday I lost two pounds and I ate this like, new thing I’d never eaten before. It was like Greek yogurt with banana and oatmeal and a little bit of cocoa powder and coconut, Oh, and some nut butter. It has chia seeds in it, and you see that on the internet, it looks so pretty and, you know, you got these pretty Pinterest pictures of these things. And I, I had two of those bowls yesterday and then by the time I got home it was like 8: 30, so I didn’t eat dinner. Cause I’m like, you know what, I’m fine. And so I lost two pounds.
So somebody has this great thing happen and then they say, everyone else needs to do this. So let’s say I posted that on Instagram and say, Hey, I lost two pounds today. And, and look, I made this little reel and this little video, and it’s so pretty and I show you how to do it. So then they go and they go to the grocery store and they get the nut butter, and then they get the coconut, and then they get the banana and they think, okay, I’m gonna lose two pounds today. But they haven’t learned that I didn’t eat until I was actually hungry. I’m eating Whole Foods and I’m using these principles, so they didn’t realize that my insulin and my leptin and my ghrelin are all super balanced. They don’t see that I’m drinking a lot of water. They don’t see that I’m processing my emotions and I’m not reacting to them. They don’t see that I’m not snacking and that I’m like doing all these other things. And so they think that they just eat these things, this bowl twice a day for 10 days, and then they’ll lose 20 pounds. Do you see how you’re missing the plot?
So this is what I’ve seen happen with my clients is, so they’ll say, okay, intermittent fasting. So they’ll do a Google search and then they’ll have like, I’m doing an eight hour window, I’m doing a 12 hour window, I’m doing a 16 hour window, and this is my eating period, and so now all of a sudden you’ve got all the scarcity of like, I can only eat for this time, and I can only do it this way. And so there’s all the scarcity, and then they wanna be the good students. And then they take somebody’s quiz, and then you see what’s happening. They miss the point of, I’m gonna only eat when I’m truly hungry. I’m going to balance my hormones and I am going to be aware of what’s going on in my body. I’m going to focus all my decisions on the weight loss science.
And when I focus on the weight loss science, when I think about, okay, I’m eating some energy this energy is gonna go here, I already have this much stored energy. I wanna tap into my storage, like all of that. If they don’t have those conversations, then now they’re just. Okay, as I’m saying this this is why I did not do well in math in high school. This is exactly why I did not do well in high school because I didn’t learn the concept. I just memorized the formula, and so it’s like, okay, I can do well on the unit test because I memorized the formula, but I had no idea what I was doing. And I’m so embarrassed to say this, but I didn’t even really understand what long division was until I taught grade 6, grade four, five, and six because I was like, oh, that’s why you’re breaking up those numbers. That’s what you’re doing. I mean, I understood division and I understood the concept of multiplication, but I didn’t really understand like that if you put 23 divided by, you know, 4,374, you’re making 23 groups and you’re trying to get that of the 473, like I didn’t, that didn’t like go into my brain because I got so excited about memorizing the process.
So, let’s go to understanding what’s going on in your body, and so when you can understand the concept of I eat food, I have the storage, and all of that that I’ve been explaining on my podcast and all of that, you start understanding what the role of food is for you and what you want the role of food to be for you. I have lots of great free trainings on my YouTube. In fact, you can find the podcast that I did on January 23rd on my YouTube channel. It’s all there. It’s called Are You As Smart as a Fifth Grader? And I explain weight loss science. And the more that you can understand that concept, the more calm and the more peace you can have in your body and the more informed you become in making your best food choices for you. We think we want an expert to tell us, do this, do that, do this, do that. No, we don’t. We want to be our own expert, and of course, anytime we’re gonna become our own expert, we have to be willing to fail.
And that is a beautiful thing and that is one of the reasons why I love the group program. I’m just going to tell you why. Because those women see other women failing and they celebrate it and they give them so much credit. They’re like way to go, way to like put yourself out there, way to fail and way to evaluate every single day in the 90 day workbook, I have the question, what did I do well today?
What didn’t go so well and what am I gonna do differently tomorrow? We are constantly learning from our, and I’m I, I, we say failures, but we we’re constantly learning from. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s how we’ve learned to write. It’s how we’ve learned to read. It’s how we’ve learned to do math. It’s how we’ve learned to drive.
It’s how we’ve learned to do anything in our lives. So why not do that with weight loss? I’m telling you, it’s the most empowering thing. I love that you’re on this podcast. If these things that I’m saying are resonating with you, I want you to take advantage of my offer. I have those times during the week, and I’m ready.
I’m ready to give you some coaching. I’m ready to help you and let me do that. Let, let, that is such a beautiful thing and I can give you some coaching. I can hear what’s going on for you, and I can share with you that all of these tools that I. And I’ll do it specific for your needs, and then we can have that conversation.
Hey, just love yourself then a good fit. I will tell you, I will be honest with you, and then we can know and now you don’t. It’s, it’s amazing. So let’s do it. Also, just one more thing. If you are wanting to liberate yourself mentally and physically in. Sewing area or in your life. Check out my YouTube channel where you can print off the the yearly challenge.
And in the notes, show notes below. I have a free Facebook group. It’s called Liberate. With Dara in your body and mind, and that one is also linked there and we have monthly challenges. It’s so awesome. I love serving you, and I will see you next week. Bye-bye.