More hunger, more food?

Image: Stilleven met vruchten, mes en potlood., Jan Brandes, 1779 - 1785, Rijksmuseum. Used with permission.

Image: Stilleven met vruchten, mes en potlood., Jan Brandes, 1779 - 1785, Rijksmuseum. Used with permission.

You guys you guys! I MADE AN INCREDIBLE DISCOVERY. Idk if your eyes will bug all the way out of your head like mine did. Or if you will roll them so hard at the duh-obviousness of my epiphany that you will hurt yourself. Anyway here it is:

I saw that I can be very, very, very hungry indeed and still not need extra food. These two things: amount of hunger, and amount of food, are not coupled.

They can be coupled, yes. But they needn't be. They can be decoupled. They can come that way, or you can decouple these two things by choice using the power of your brain. And by you I mean me, but also you.

Why did I never really see this before? I've certainly had the experience of being extra hungry and not having extra food in response, probably because it just wasn't available. Which would definitely be a rarity in my world / North America altogether. There is almost always a full pantry or a Whole Foods or a Circle K somewhere nearby.

I think the likely meaning is that the pie chart of my eating habits was always 70% "More! Just more." Being hungry is a handy justification for more.

BUT MORE HUNGRY DOESN'T ACTUALLY HAVE TO MEAN MORE FOOD. The actual meaning of very strong hunger is later food. I'm eating later than my body would like me to, and it's letting me know, which is to say no big deal. Everything's in working order.

And the same meal will suffice at 9pm that would have served me perfectly at 7:30.

What do you think? Believe? Disbelieve? If you feel like you struggle with hunger, with trying to interpret hunger, trying to manage hunger, trying to eat in accordance with hunger, wishing you had less hunger, I would be really interested to hear from you on this.

I've been telling clients for the past few years to eat on a schedule and let their hunger regulate itself around that, rather than trying to eat in response to hunger (which is what Intuitive Eating teaches, and which I think is backwards, because it just feeds the "more" monster). But now I am thinking maybe I haven't gone far enough in saying hunger isn't anything like as important as we treat it.

Max DanielshungerComment