Eating occasions revisited


Last summer I wrote about the new scientific phrase called, “Eating Occasions.” You know, those times that we eat in response to stress, boredom, sadness, grief, happiness, excitement, loneliness, fatigue, nervousness, and frustration; just to name a few. Or those times that we eat because the clock strikes a certain hour; or we’re at a social event where food abounds and we just ate dinner ~ but we nibble anyway ‘cause everyone else is doing it. 

It’s so easy to succumb to Eating Occasions. In fact, I’ve realized that I’ve had to overcome two addictions in order to lose weight and keep it off. 

  • First, I had to get rid of toxic cravings for highly processed, highly salted, and high fat foods. Check. That was relatively easy for me to accomplish because it was a black and white plan to follow. Basically, if one faithfully adheres to the six week eating plan in Eat to Live, with little to no deviance, bingo, the addictive desire for the standard American diet (SAD) diminishes and then eventually goes away. In fact, the body actually craves high nutrient foods instead, and SAD foods are literally disgusting! Seriously. That sounds over simplistic, but in all reality, that’s what genuinely happens when one carefully follows the six week plan. 
  • Second, I’ve had to overcome eating when not truly hungry. This addiction has been definitely more challenging for me to conquer. Even with over 2 ½ years of nutritarian eating under my belt, I can still succumb to this nemesis at times ~ it’s a culturally acceptable habit that’s engrained into the very fiber of my being. 

Dr. Fuhrman repeatedly states that frequent eating, or eating when not truly hungry leads to higher caloric intake; and that it’s important to get in touch with instinctual signals for hunger that directs the body how to eat and not to overeat. He says that we’ll discover that we really only need about half to two-thirds the amount of food that we thought we did. Otherwise, habitual overeating will lead to excess fat that produces a lifetime of needless and ongoing suffering. 

As with any unhealthy addiction, it’s totally worth every effort to continually contend to overcome overeating. We need to seriously ask ourselves, “Are we eating to satisfy the body’s need for nourishment, or are we obliviously caught up in eating occasions?” 

A quick tune-up of the mind is much easier and cheaper than a major overhaul of the body.  May we all choose to eat for health today! 


image credit:  flickr by Kirstea