Good morning and happy Monday!
This weekend we found a hidden gem of a walking path right in our backyard on Saturday morning.
And got dinner Friday night at one of my favorite restaurants in Cville, Monsoon.
Fresh rolls + vegetable red curry is what I order every time and it never gets old. The spicier the better!
It was a wonderfully relaxing weekend! What about you?
I actually was planning on posting a vegan lemon cranberry muffin recipe this morning, but I baked them yesterday morning before church and they were an utter fail. Wayyy to moist and more like muffin pudding. Don’t worry, they’ll surely be eaten, but they need some more tweaking.
So instead of a muffin recipe, I’ve been wanting to write about something a little heavier for a while.
The difference between a binge and you’re body just being hungry.
In a culture that is food and diet and fitness and wellness obsessed, there are many “food rules” we think we should abide by and there are a lot of skewed ways of eating that are perceived as “normal.”
How many calories you need.
How much fat you should eat.
When and what kind of carbs to avoid.
When you should be eating.
If you should snack or not.
What a balanced meal looks like.
And on and on and on. The more the focus is put on what we should be eating and when we should be eating and how much we should be eating, the farther and farther we drift from listening to what our bodies actually need. And food shaming and comparison does nothing for our physical or mental health.
More often than not, people [mainly women if we’re honest] are eating far less than what their body actually needs to thrive and be well. We need FAR more than 1200, or 1500, and most times even 1800 calories per day. We need energy from food to sustain our essential bodily functions like breathing and circulation. And we need energy on top of that to do daily things like cooking, showering, walking, etc. And then we need energy on top of that to support exercise.
When the body doesn’t get the energy it needs to sustain all these things, initially it will use fat stores for energy and that is how people begin to lose weight. But over time, the body will adjust to this chronic calorie deficit and metabolism will slow so the body isn’t burning energy as efficiently.
And then weight loss stops because the metabolism has slowed and then it becomes hard to maintain your weight eating anything more than a set number of calories your body has adjusted to. And it also becomes very, very difficult to lose weight despite hard efforts at “eating clean” and exercising regularly.
Over time, the body will also compensate for the calorie deficit that continues to occur by shutting down the reproductive system, because we don’t need it to live. Additionally, bone demineralization can begin along with lack of energy, difficulty sleeping and many other symptoms.
With all that going on, the body is eventually going to rebel. And hard as you might try to have “willpower” and not eat that extra serving or not eat past a certain time or whatever- your body will physiologically take over and you might find yourself eating way more than you anticipated which leaves you feeling out of control. And then you feel guilty and the next day so you restrict your calories in an attempt to not gain weight and the cycle continues.
But these “binging” episodes in the presence of a history of calorie restriction aren’t really binges at all. It’s your body physiologically crying out for energy- for food.
You’re just freaking hungry.
Of course sometimes we eat because we’re sad, or because we are anxious or because we are trying to ignore any feeling that we don’t truly want to feel and so we use food to suffocate that feeling and take us out of reality so we don’t have to feel those feelings. That’s different.
What I’m talking about is feeling like you can’t stop eating even though you try really hard to, and there are no emotional feelings you are trying to drown out with food.
And it’s really, really important to know the difference. Because if we confuse “binging” with simply being hungry then the cycle of “binge,” feel guilty, self shaming, restrict and then “binge” again continues. Metabolic damage continues, hormones get more out of whack, and if calorie restriction continues it’s very hard to maintain a menstraul cycle.
Less is not more. Our bodies need energy from food to thrive and be well and function like they should. And eventually, the body’s natural physiological response will take over. These “binges” aren’t really binges at all, they’re a clear sign that we need to be eating more.