Sometimes cravings come in the form of extreme hunger. You don’t know what you’re hungry for; you just know that you’re starving. Most people avoid hunger at all costs, and many develop habits of overeating and/or constant eating just to avoid ever feeling hungry. When we habitually overeat, a high proportion of our available energy is always directed towards digestion. If we eat when we are not hungry, we compromise our digestion of the food. You may want to consider the idea, almost heretical in this day and age, that its ok to be hungry now and then. I’m not talking about a drastic form of starvation dieting – just an experiment to see how it feels. It’s not going to kill you and it may make life more interesting.
On the other hand, many people today try and go hungry all day, ignoring the body’s cravings for food. This habit creates a backlash, which can be described as “binge eaters diet.” In an attempt to lose weight, these people skip breakfast, go off to work, maybe grab a mid-morning cup of coffee to keep going, and then settle for a salad for lunch. Somehow they make it through the afternoon, but by the time they get home in the evening they discover that they are ravenous. Then they overeat heavy foods at dinner, until they feel stuffed and uncomfortable. The next morning they start the cycle over again, not eating breakfast because they feel full from last nights binge, which is still undigested.
Our bodies don’t really care what our heads think. Our bodies are built to survive and thrive. Your head can say, “I am not eating this food because it is fattening,” and your body may cooperate for awhile. At some point, though, it will start murmuring quiet messages like, “Hmmmm, we definitely need some fat in here, to keep the brain thinking and make me feel satiated.” The next thing you know, you’re holding an empty pint of ice cream.
Listening to your body is essential. The longer you ignore the body’s messages, the more extreme the backlash. The body will heighten your cravings and create disease if you don’t listen to it!
Source: Integrative Nutrition by – Joshua Rosenthal