Let’s continue our 7 types of hunger discussion with “mind hunger”. Dr. Bays states that, “Mind hunger is based on thoughts:”
“I should eat more protein.”
“I deserve an ice cream cone.”
“I should drink 12 glasses of water a day.”
“Mind hunger is influenced by what we take in through the eyes and ears, the words we read and hear. Mind hunger is often based upon absolutes and opposites: good food versus bad food, should eat versus should not eat.”
All of the studies we read, the fad diets we try and the importance society places on external appearance contributes to toxic nutritional beliefs that catapult us into mind hunger and out of body wisdom. Additionally, these toxic nutritional beliefs cause us self-induced stress which slows down physiologic functions that govern metabolism and calorie burning. We’re defeating ourselves by these thoughts!
Dr. Bays continues, “When we eat based upon the thoughts in the mind, our eating is usually based in worry. When the mind is fretting about “should eat” and “should not eat,” our enjoyment of what is actually in our mouth evaporates.”
This is in direct conflict with the fact that we need food to survive and that it was made to be pleasurable. If it wasn’t pleasurable, we wouldn’t want to do it causing our species to die out. Mind hunger takes away our pleasure of eating.
“Mind hunger is exactly what lies at the heart of our current disturbed relationship to eating and food. Our minds do not always tell us the truth. In order to restore a harmonious relationship to eating, in order to enjoy our food, we must learn to listen to the deeper wisdom of our body.”
Before eating, check in: are you eating what your body wants or what your mind is telling you is “good” or “low in calories”? Are you satisfied when you are done or are you justifying “having one more” because what you’re eating is dietetic but void of nutrients? These are important questions that lead to the understanding of what constitutes mindful eating and a healthier relationship with food.