Do You Subscribe to Eating Only When You’re Hungry?

woman-eating-appleQuestion for this week: Do You Subscribe to Eating Only When You’re Actually Hungry?

Tam says,

“I’m just curious how you feel about something. As I read your blog, you mentioned previously eating two meals a day with an eight-hour window between and intermittent fasting.

Do you subscribe to the idea of eating when you’re actually hungry? Or even just having smaller more frequent meals throughout the day?

There are so many variations of eating habits. Personally, I sometimes find it hard to eat enough volume of fresh fruits & veggies to obtain all the nutrients/vitamins/minerals to meet the recommended requirements.

My diet is plant-based/vegan, not fully raw though. Anyhow, just thought I’d ask your opinion on the eating only when hungry and/or having smaller meals throughout the day. Basically it’s like you said, listening to your body and giving it what it needs.” ~ Tam 

Do you subscribe to the idea of eating when you’re actually hungry?

Yes, I do subscribe to the idea of eating when you’re actually hungry.  But I have reservations recommending this to anyone without knowing their health and/or eating history.

I do not recommend this for anyone who has blood sugar issues, sugar cravings, weight concerns, or anyone who has issues with binge eating, overeating, or emotional eating.  Just to name a few.

The reason I do not subscribe to this idea for everyone is because everyone is different.  Certain ways of eating affect people differently.

Eating only when you’re hungry can possibly cause some people to have negative results with blood sugar control, sugar cravings or weight loss.  It can also be a hindrance for people trying to overcome binge eating, overeating, or emotional eating.

Eating only when I am hungry works for me, but just because it works for me doesn’t mean it will work for you.

Ultimately you have to do what works best for you.  I cannot tell you how often or not so often you need to eat.  It depends on you, your health and lifestyle, and if it is something that can work for you.

Do I recommend smaller frequent meals throughout the day?

It really depends on the person and what he/she has going on with respect to health and lifestyle.  You really have to be the judge of that.

If you need to eat snacks between meals, then by all means do it.  Doing so will help you meet the requirements that your body needs as well as help with metabolism.

There are so many variations of eating habits.

I agree, there are many variations of eating habits.   It’s that way because each person is different.  What works for one person may or may not work for the next person.  You have to learn what works for your body and stick with it.

Personally, I sometimes find it hard to eat enough volume of fresh fruits & veggies to obtain all the nutrients/vitamins/minerals to meet the recommended requirements.  My diet is plant-based/vegan, not fully raw though.

Okay, first of all I recommend that you calculate your percentage of body fat and you can do that by clicking here.  Once you find this percentage, get your lean body mass number, then you can calculate the percentage of protein you need for your body.

Getting the amount of protein, you need for your body will help keep you satiated and help support your muscles.

I also recommend you add healthy fats, to your diet; if you haven’t done so already.  I know there are some people eating plant-based diets who avoid eating fats. Adding and/or increasing your healthy fats coupled with getting the amount of protein your body needs will help you in many ways.

Note:  Coconut oil, olive oil, and hemp seed oils are excellent sources of healthy fats to add to your diet.  You don’t need a lot and they are plant-based.

If it is a challenge for you to meet your food requirements during the day, you really should eat three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with snacks in-between each meal.  This way your body gets what it needs and you don’t feel deprived. A win-win situation.

Basically it’s like you said, listening to your body and giving it what it needs.

Yes!  I am a firm believer in doing what works best for your body. Your body tells you everything you need to know to keep it running smoothly.  But it is up to you to pay attention, listen to your body, and act.

The key is doing what works best for your body, while filtering out any conflicting information that causes you confusion.  If you do that you will be just fine.

Thanks again, Tam for your question!

If any of you have questions, feel free to send them my way and I will feature your question in a future blog post.

Until next time….

Blessings & Happy Thanksgiving!

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Evelyn Parham started this site in 2010. She enjoys writing, reading, and dabbling in photography and video editing. Learn more about her here.

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  1. 8 Tips to Help Control Mindless Eating | Evelyn Parham | December 18, 2015
  1. I’m often waiting until I’m hungry to eat, which seems like a good idea on the surface but often isn’t. There are times when I’ve waited so long that my glucose has fallen drastically and then I start making bad choices. I should make myself eat every few hours or so, but I don’t; stubborn and stupid I suppose. Yet, in the back of my mind I’m always hearing those magic words saying “don’t eat unless you’re hungry”. It’s a hard habit to change.

    • Evelyn says:

      Yeah, it is a hard habit to change. I recommend that when you do eat, include some healthy fat in your diet. You will be amazed how it holds you and helps keep your appetite in check. You’ll find that when you do eat your next meal, you will be less likely to make poor food choices.

      Thanks for sharing, Mitch!

  2. Maria says:

    Great article!

    I do find some of my eating habits in it.
    Snacking between meals might not work for everyone, but it works for me. Snacking (always healthy snacks) helps me eat my meals slower and be aware of when I have had enough.

  3. Michelle says:

    Hi Ev!

    I definitely eat when I’m not hungry. It’s sad really. I sometimes even eat without thinking.

    I have to change all of this too because I want to feel my best – getting some allergy testing done soon too because I feel like I may be sensitive to gluten.

    • Hi Michelle, Good to see you!

      Don’t be so hard on yourself. Oftentimes we eat to fill a void or because we are bored or we may not be getting the nutrients we need. Tip: try hard to be mindful of when you do this and pay attention to what’s going on in your life at the time you notice that you are eating mindlessly. This can help you discover what triggers you to eat.

      You will feel your best; don’t give up!

      Take care,

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