Vickery recommends practicing inner awareness — that is, paying attention to the bodily sensations in our bodies (hunger pains, feelings of fullness, energy levels) — to start reconnecting with hunger cues. “By adjusting these signals, we can start eating in response to our hunger rather than eating based on external cues such as the time of day or what is available,” she adds.
While there are many different inner awareness exercises you can try, keeping a hunger journal is a good place to start, Vickery shares. Every time you feel a hunger pang, take a few minutes to jot down how you are feeling physically and emotionally. Over time, you will begin to notice patterns in your hunger cues and learn how to better respond to them.
If you are having trouble adjusting, get a functional medicine dietitian Brock Schiller, DCN, CNSShe recommends giving your brain a little time to process your hunger cues. “It takes about 15 minutes for the body to recognize food cues,” she explains. “So, it’s best to take your time and eat slowly to let your mind catch up with your stomach.”
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