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Give Your Stomach A Rest From Food
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Give Your Stomach A Rest From Food

When you eat, are you really hungry. Eating without thought or mindlessly so, can sometimes mean that you are eating for the wrong reasons. Your stomach is busy constantly digesting the food you take in every day and every night and that is why you need to give your stomach a rest from food.

Respect your stomach

Some people have forgotten to know the true feelings of real hunger because they never allow their stomach to become empty. Constantly snacking and grazing on food throughout the day will quickly cause you to feel like, you are almost permanently hungry. The stomach is made to digest food, but not on a constant basis, it is not a factory machine that you can keep switched on all the time without a rest.

Your stomach does not need to be constantly bombarded with different foods and drinks and wonder what’s coming next! You will know if you are abusing your stomach because you will have problems with your digestion such as experiencing acid reflux, trapped wind, constipation and bloated stomach. Your stomach can’t talk but if it could, it would be saying ‘stop eating, give me time to break down the food I already have’. Your stomach gurgling sounds, doesn’t mean that you are hungry as these noises can happen when it is full or emptying its food contents. You will be able to tell from the last time that you ate whether they are empty hunger noises as it typically takes up to around four hours to digest food.

Eating smaller meal will help with stomach digestion and remember to chew your food well before swallowing it. Take the time to feel the different textures of the food in your mouth and how the food tastes. Too often people are literally shovelling food in their mouths, not chewing and swallowing whole pieces of food. The danger is that large pieces of food that are not chewed can get stuck and cause coughing and choking sensations.

When you are feeling hungry visualise a scale with numbers of 1-10 and say out loud ‘where am I’ and assess where your hunger is on that scale. Use that number to make a decision on, knowing if you are hungry and ready to eat or not. If you think that you are a 8 or a 9 then go ahead and eat but if you are around the 5 to 7 mark then you could probably aim to wait a little longer. If you are below 5 then you should definitely not be eating. It is important that your hunger does not become a 10 either as if you become over hungry then this is the time when you are a risk of binging.

As well as using the eating scale also consider other factors such as

1/Are you feeling thirsty

Check if you have had enough to drink as it might be that a drink is all you need, rather than food. Try a drink of water or diluted fruit juice first and then see if you still needing to eat.

2/Eating when you are bored

This is definitely a trap we all fall into very easily. When you are bored and have nothing to focus your mind, eating becomes a constant nagging thought. Are you bored or hungry, distract yourself from thinking about food by doing something/anything that is not food related.

3/Eating by the clock

Just because the clock says lunchtime if you are not hungry then it is not compulsory to eat at that time. Sometimes though you can be in situations where the opposite is the case and you feel hungry but don’t have any means to eat. If you know this situation might occur prepare beforehand by taking a protein snack or a milk drink with you. Eating carbohydrate with protein is said to keep hunger at bay for longer than if you were to eat a sweet snack. This will keep your blood sugars regulated while you are able to eat a meal.

4/Eating when you are angry

When your emotions are heightened then you are likely to use food as a result of your feelings. Recognise how you are feeling and find a way to release those emotions. You could talk to a friend, write it all down on paper or box your pillow or something else inanimate.

5/Eating to be sociable

You have met up with your friend for a look around the shops and your friend wants to stop and eat but really you don’t. The likelihood is that you will be persuaded to eat by your friend. Whoops you could try and persuade your friend to wait longer before eating or eat with thought and choose a smaller meal.

Your eating times

You might be a person that is able to go for longer, without eating than others. Every eating day will not be the same as the last. You are unlikely therefore to want to eat at precisely the same times and feel hungry at the same moment in each of your days. It doesn’t follow that you’re eating times are set and cannot be altered because essentially you’re eating times may not be controlled by you. They may be determined by your environment and individual circumstances and you might be at work or at home when you are eating. Being at home is normally less restrictive as you can pretty much eat at any time. Being at work you will have a allocated time to take a meal break, although this might not be the time when your stomach is naturally hungry.

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