how to know it and fight it to lose weight

Nervous hunger and binges that cause diets to fail are at the center of the latest book by psychologist Emanuel Mian, an expert in eating disorders

Maria Elena Perrero

Do one diet and fail to lose weight, fall into frustration and end up in eat more and more. Or again: having a day that is a little stressful, or a little sad, or boring, and binge eating even though you are not hungry, but only to vent an emotion or fill a void. As if food could really fill the emotional gaps … It is not, and in the end we find ourselves with a negative emotion amplified by the sense of guilt for eating and also, in the long run, with a few extra pounds. A vicious circle which, if not interrupted, can lead to eating disorders as the binge eating disorder (or binge eating disorder) and the bulimia nervosa.

The difference between nervous hunger and physiological hunger

The Copernican revolution that allows us to avoid all this is to understand that the fame that leads us to eat what we find until we feel bad is not one physiological hunger but nervous, it does not come from the stomach but from the mind. “If instead of starting from what and how much we should eat, we started from why and how we eat, we would most likely end up avoiding bingeing, or at least drastically reduce the episodes of nervous fame“, Explains a Official Active Dr. Emanuel Mian, psychologist, specialist in cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, who has just published a useful and concrete book on the subject entitled Escape the scale – 10 minutes a day to overcome nervous hunger.

Escape from the balance: or how to overcome nervous hunger

The scale should not be avoided entirely, but should be used as a simple tool as it is. “In reality, in the book we understand that we must not escape the scale, but we must attribute the correct value to it – explains Mian -. We are not worth as much as the weight we lose, although we tend to think so. That number that appears to us on the scales, perhaps after weeks of dietmust be contextualized: perhaps we have not lost weight but we have transformed fat mass into muscle mass. But above all we must be careful of a very common trap: if you see that you have not lost weight after a diet, you throw yourself into food because you think that so much staying on a diet leads to nothing. Or if you have lost weight you may be inclined to eat even more because you have lost so much weight. But that’s not how it works. For this reason it is good to know how to use the scale, weigh yourself on certain days and with a certain frequency, which I indicate in the book. But remember that well before the scale, a diet must start from the scale to function head“.

Nervous hunger and mindfulness: the importance of conscious eating

The role of the mind is what leads us to awareness ofPower supplyor all ‘conscious nutrition, theme that Dr. Mian also addressed in the previous book Mind Food. “To stop the nervous fame it is essential to ask ourselves what motivates us to eat, which is usually not there physiological hunger. Unlike this, the nervous fame comes up suddenly, always leaves negative feelings like guilt and dissatisfactionand it requires great speed in eating, which becomes almost a swallow, certainly not a taste of what we are bringing to the mouth and stomach “. This is where the importance of slowness comes into play: “Already approaching food slowly allows you to eat less. You taste the flavors, you appreciate the smells and colors of the food. Eating becomes amultisensory experience that really satisfies us. This does not mean that you will no longer binge in life. The problem, however, is not so much binge eating as realizing that you are doing it. By the time I am aware that I am binging I have already been part of the path to get out of it nervous fame”, Mian points out.

Nervous hunger: the trap of guilt

And already understanding that we are doing something good on our path to fight the nervous hunger and the extra pounds that it brings with it (in addition to any related metabolic pathologies) is an excellent point: “Therapeutic shopping that leads to choosing the diet of the moment , trying a lot of them depending on the trend, decreases the sense of self-efficacy and self-esteem: one begins to think that diets are not valid all short and that we are unable to lose weight – explains Dr. Mian -. But the sense of guilt it is useless. It is the sense of responsibility that counts, what comes first and allows us to think ex ante about how and why we feed ourselves or feel the desire to eat. If we start from this reasoning, eating less and better will be a natural and spontaneous consequence, we will eat slower (therefore even less) e more consciously (therefore even better) “.

The importance of eating slowly and consciously (also to lose weight)

Cooking instead of eating ready-made foods is a great way to be able to eat more slowly and consciously. “From this point of view, eating is like driving: if you drive quickly you lose the landscape and risk accidents – underlines Mian -. If, on the other hand, you drive slowly, you see the landscape and the risk of accidents decreases considerably. Also by practicing the conscious eating, therefore keeping a bite in the mouth for longer helps to perceive its true flavor and to saturate the receptors, which then leads us to eat less “.

For a diet to work it is good to ask not what you eat, but why you eat

For a diet to be successful and to no longer be prey to nervous fame the point from which one must start is precisely there‘approach to food, which must be mediated by the mind. Asking yourself why you are going to eat is always helpful in figuring out if it is physiological or nervous hunger. “And I remember that several studies have shown that a behavior followed for at least 23 days becomes a habit. If you can constantly change your attitude towards food, you can make this good practice a modus vivendi”, Mian emphasizes. The diet, therefore, it becomes what it is in the etymological sense of the term, a way of life. “Always remembering that asking yourself if you are hungry is a bit like asking yourself if you love someone – Mian underlines -. If you have this doubt, the answer is no “.

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