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How many grams of carbs should I eat?
How many times a day should I eat?
Oh my god I missed a meal, my body has gone into starvation mode, is that why I'm storing fat?
Blimey, we do like to make our lives complicated.
So many questions.
Having a questioning mind is fantastic, but when it comes to food the vast majority of us are just over thinking things too much. We've become so intent on finding our own personal fitness Grail that we forgot to actually start the quest.
No action, no results only more desperation to find the perfect answer.
If you're struggling to get started on your fitness quest or you're finding the weight just won't budge then there is one question you can ask yourself that will literally explode your results. It's so simple that you'll be tempted to dismiss it.
Ask yourself this one question then act according to the answer.
"Am I hungry?"
Told you it was simple.
But why would you eat unless you're hungry? That's the only time people eat right?
Never when we're bored, stressed, sad or facing any other emotion that we may want to run away from.....
This is something I've been close attention to myself this year.
Until I paid attention to it I didn't realise the different ways I used food for different emotions.
For example, last week I was challenged to make some videos for Facebook. The thought of it made me deeply uncomfortable.
I'm not someone who uses Facebook much let alone for putting my thoughts (and mug) on camera. It was way out of my comfort zone (which is why I had to do it).
Heart beating away I went on a walk to find a quiet area to film, which isn't easy in central London. I saw a Tesco's and decided I'd pop in and and get some nuts, which became nuts and raisins, which became "ooooh look, doughnuts".
It was only then I stopped and asked myself what the hell I was doing.
I wasn't hungry in the slightest.
Just a little stressed and my mind knew that a quick and easy way to cheer me up was food.
Sweet, sweet food.
"Am I hungry?" is a huge weapon for your weight loss Arsenal.
What makes it so powerful is that it's all about you. It's not what some random diet book, app or fitness guru tells you. After all, they know nothing about you, you're lifestyle or your struggles.
In fact, counting calories can be highly inaccurate.
The calorie content of foods can be inaccurate by as much as 10-20%.
Overeating or under eating by that margin will sink your ability to achieve great results.
I think we've become a little scared of being hungry. How many times have you been told that being hungry means your body is in starvation mode and therefore storing oodles of fat?
It takes a little more than a rumbly tummy to cause that.
Our access to food is almost limitless. We get a little peckish and there's a store within 10m that can give us a quick snack.
The natural cues and cycles of our body are constantly disrupted so that many of us don't know what true hunger is.
In turn it's become easy to lose track of the signals our body sends us, guiding us to what it truly needs and wants.
The fact is being a little hungry is pretty good for you.
It stimulates hormones that aid the breakdown of fat in a cell. After all, when else are you going to use stored energy (fat)?
If you're always full there's no need to use these reserves.
A vital step to take for changing your body shape is having full awareness about what you're eating and why.
We eat for more reasons than just hunger. Even our environment affects what and how much we put in our face holes.
There's one place that really stands out as a prime example of zombie eating - mindless hand to mouth movement.
You rock up at your local Odeon and as you go in to watch The Expendables XII some nice dude on the door gives you a big tub of popcorn for free.
He tells you it's a promotion so you figure it's a great result.
You settle down to watch Stallone launch rockets from his zimmer frame and chomp on a big handful of popcorn.
It tastes kinda funny. Like leather. Tough and chewy.
But the film's good, the seat is comfy so you keep scooping the leathery kernels into your mouth.
You've just been a guinea pig in someone's experiment.
People were so absorbed in their environment that they paid zero attention to the signals their body was screaming.
They just kept on shoveling the stale, week old popcorn into their mouth.
For just one day check in with yourself before and after each time you eat.
How do you feel before you eat? Hungry, full, tired, happy, stressed?
How do you feel after you eat? Has the food taken away the previous feeling? Do you feel content?
Or are the previous emotions still there?
It can be a telling experiment.
If you don't feel comfortable with trying that yet, it's cool.
But answer that one question anyway.
Am I hungry?