The Odd Trick I Use to Manage Hunger

This is an odd trick – one that I am sure will NOT work for a number of people, because it isn’t something that is physiological, like drinking a glass of water before meals, nor psychological, like using smaller plates. Each of these types of tricks usually don’t work for the vast majority of people, but it’s handy to know they exist and try them out and see if they work for you.

I think having a bag of tricks that you’ve tested and found work for you is the cornerstone of any successful diet and long-term weight loss.

This trick is slightly different from the ones mentioned above, however – this one is spiritual.

I try to avoid politics and religion here – it’s just not the place for it. This little trick, however, does not require belief in any particular deity, nor require anything that should violate the principles of any religion I know of. I also find it helpful here and there when managing my own hunger from time to time, so I thought I would share it.

Here it is: when I am feeling hungry and miserable because of it, I try to intentionally bring the hunger into focus in my mind. Explore it deeply, knowing that I’m not too far away from a time where I can make it disappear with a meal lessens the fear and the pain.

And when I do this, I think about all the people who have ever lived – billions upon billions of people – living and dead – and every single one of them have experienced a hunger like mine. Some of these people – a large amount of them – experienced hunger for many years – and perhaps their whole lives. Many people right at this moment are experiencing intractable hunger because of an accident of birth – an accident I have so far been fortunate enough to avoid.

If I was transported to another place or another time where I could not be understood, any human being I met in this travel would be able to understand on a real and profound way my experience of hunger.

Hunger is universal, and connects all mankind in a bond of shared experience. Of all human experiences, hunger is one of the very few that is truly universal.

This little contemplation helps to put my own hunger into perspective. It doesn’t necessarily change the hunger, but it changes my response to it.

For a good many of you, this won’t be your cup of tea – that’s fine. There’s plenty of other diet ‘tricks’ out there and if you find just a couple that work for you, that might be all you need.

But if this sort of thing resonates with you, then I’ve done my good deed for the day.

6 thoughts on “The Odd Trick I Use to Manage Hunger

  1. Thank you…. I’ll give it a try. Whatever works, right? One day at a time. One footsie in front of another.

  2. Hello back again. The first half of what you did is a psychological trick for dealing with anxiety. Because when your feeling anxious you tend to try to not think about the feelings. By focusing on that sensation (i.e how it feels, where is it, is it warm or cold, what does it feel like etc etc) it actually ends up taking the sting out it because you disassociate the sensation from your thoughts. Anyway just an FYI. Also, by really paying attention to it sometimes you can realise it’s actually not that bad.

    1. Welcome back! Missed your comments.

      As to this comment, let me ask a question: does the mechanism matter if it works? Does the science behind this allow us to extend it’s utility?

      I ask this because I’m concerned that in many instances science is being misapplied – rushing in to explain things where none is necessary.

      Believe me – when I step in an elevator or take a plane trip with my family, I am glad as hell that a bunch of rational engineers and scientists can explain the forces that prevent me from dying in their contraptions.

      But in the ‘squishy’ sciences (psychology is certainly one), do we sometimes harm ourselves by trying to explain things that require no explanation?

      I’m not asking to be confrontational, but I honestly want your opinion as a research scientist: does science sometimes overdo it?

      1. Well I’m not aware of the science behind the method that I suggested. I know it is a psychological technique that apparently works, which you seem to have discovered on your own, but as to the ‘why it works’ question I don’t know if that was investigated. So I don’t think science has had it’s hands on it. But I think it is always important to know why things work because I believe the pursuit of knowledge is one of the greatest things that humans can do. But on a more practical level you will often discover important information that may lead you to other important discoveries. But basically I could never sit there knowing something works and not attempting to know why because to me the ‘why’ part is the most interesting. But plenty of science is involved in looking at things without why. I mean as you say scientists/engineers can build builldings and prove that they won’t fall over, but that is different than the science that explains why they won’t fall over. But maybe without exploring the why part we wouldn’t have been able to build such big buildings. Anyway my two cents.

        Off topic but psychology can be very hard core science it just depends on their focus. Neuropsychology is pretty amazing and I wouldn’t consider that as ‘squishy’. And I never think your trolling me I know you just like to ask questions that is why I read your blog.

  3. This is the sort of thing that works for me too. Although I haven’t tried this particular thought exactly… I’m in the middle of a fast right now, so I’m going to go to a quiet place and try it!

  4. Wow! Whatever works I guess. I have found that since I embraced the low carb weight loss lifestyle, hunger really hasn’t been a problem. Truly, to me, that was one of the great aspects of this type of diet that made it possible for me to stick with it. Thanks,

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