Tuesday, April 28, 2009

(10) Step 5. Eat Exactly What Your Body Wants

This is my favorite part of 0-5 eating. You get to eat anything you want. There are no restricted foods, or forbidden foods. You eat whatever you're body feels like eating as long as you are physically hungry. How do you know what your body really wants to eat? Ask it...when you're physically hungry, stop for a moment, close your eyes if you need to, and just listen to your body. Do you want something heavy or light. Salty or sweet. What kind of texture or color of food do you want? Do you want a breakfast food or dinner food? If it's 7:00am and you feel like eating cold pizza then eat it. If you're hungry for pancakes at noon, go ahead. If at dinner you don't really want the spaghetti in front of you but a fudgy piece of chocolate cake...eat the chocolate cake. Don't eat a full meal and then eat dessert on an already full stomach when dessert is what you really wanted in the first place.
Don't feel like you have to eat what everyone else around you is eating. You eat exactly what you want to eat.
If you've been dieting and restricting your food intake then most likely all you'll want at first will be high-calorie, high-fat foods, or all the foods you've been craving and denying yourself. You may be panicking right now, feeling like you'll gain a huge amount of weight but don't worry, it will be okay! Your body needs to break free from the pattern of dieting you've forced upon it. Eating all the "bad" foods is just a mental process you have to go through to teach yourself that they're aren't good or bad foods. There are only foods that you like and that make your body feel good. You won't want to eat the foods that make your body feel bad...for instance, I really like the taste of V8 juice but it gives me horrible heartburn. I don't want the heartburn so I don't want to drink the V8. If I did have a craving for V8, I'd drink it then take many Tums!
Remember to start eating when you're hungry and stop before you get full. Your body knows how to regulate itself. Soon you'll notice your cravings will change. You'll want more healthy foods. Actually it will most likely come to the point where you'll want a bit of healthy and a bit of the junky food together so you'll need to save enough room in your stomach for both (I'll go over portion size in a later article).
Through listening to your body you'll start to notice what foods you really love and what foods you thought you loved but now you don't really care for them. You'll even notice yourself becoming a bit picky with what foods you're willing to eat to satisfy your empty stomach.

A side note to any readers who are on medically restricted diets. My sister asked me a good question after chapter (9). She's on a medically restricted diet and can't eat anything she wants. In fact she only has a very short list of foods that she can eat. Everything else causes her body a lot of pain. For any of you who deal with medically restricted diets, please read the reply I wrote for "Mowii" in the comments after chapter (9). I wish I had more advise to give to you but sadly I don't know the answer to this question.


  1. Stopping before you're full really is the key isn't it? It's hard to do if you're not paying attention. I remember you telling me about how you use a small plate. That helps, and dishing my food out, with my dessert helps. Cause you know I ALWAYS want dessert. I've been out of eating 0-5 for a while. I REALLY have to pay attention to every bite, or I will over eat every time. I know I'll get better at is at I my new eating patterns more firmly replace my old ones.

    Thanks for your advice in the stocking up section, I don't know why I skip breakfast. I always have. It's the only time I don't really feel hungry. It's the only time I feel normal. I used to skip meals all the time. I'd get busy or involved in something and not even notice. I loved it, I love not feeling like I was tied down by food. When I got sooooo hungry I had to eat, the food tasted better anyway. I want to be like that again. Like you said at the very beginning, I just need to get a life... I'm working on it. :)

  2. I really appreciate all of your advice about medical diets. I'm sure that I have to work it out in my own way. But I appreciate your opinion.

  3. Just to clarify "skipping meals" in "Rachel's" comment above... When I told her not to skip meals, I mean you need to eat every time you feel physically hungry. "Meals" in 0-5 eating may or may not be at the same times every day. You may get hungry 3-4 times a day or 2 or possibly only once (although once never happens to me). At first you'll get hungry at different hours all through the day. After practice you'll learn to regulate your hunger if you want to eat at a certain time every day. You'll be able to snack just enough to stave off hunger until you want to eat a meal. The most important thing is to eat each and every time you get physically hungry.

  4. I love this part of eating what I want when I'm craving it. I was craving these AWESOME steamed pot stickers from a local resturant that I went out of my way to get them because I was craving them so bad. But since I LET myself eat them and savor them, and enjoy them My craving is gone and I can go on with my life. Sometimes when a craving hits me, it controls and consumes me. Sometimes when I let myself have my craving its not as great as I had imagined and then I'm guilty or dont even enjoy or eat it. I have also noticed how sometimes you need to pay attention to your body when it comes to fluids as well. When your hungry, really ask yourself if you are hungry or thirsty. I usually get a glass of water and drink it. If i'm still hungry in 10 minutes then I eat something. Drink Water! Your body needs it.

  5. In a nutrition class or something I took a LONG time ago, the professor talked about paying attention to when your body sighs. That's a good sign you've satisfied what your body needs. I laughed when I heard him say this, but then I started to pay attention when I was eating and it's true! Before I was aware of this sign I just thought it was my body preparing itself to finish whatever I had left on my plate. But, now that I notice, it really is my body being full.