Imagine if it was easy to go from junk food to a healthy and nutritious diet. Well, Dr. Helen McCarthy has created an appetite pendulum that can help you with that. And while it may take a bit of work on your part, if you follow Dr. McCarthy’s advice, it can be very easy to finally start eating more veggies and having some real fun!
We were curious to learn more about this technique. Let’s see how this works!
Science-Based Ways to Reduce Hunger and Appetite
The Appetite Pendulum
The appetite pendulum is an 11 point scale that ranges from −5 – “extremely hungry” to +5 – “uncomfortably full.” In her book How to Retrain Your Appetite, Helen explains that when we are not hungry, the pendulum is at 0, it is neutral. When we are hungry, it goes to the less section and to the positive section when we start eating.
Dr. McCarthy believes that we should not start eating until we are -3 – “definitely hungry” and that we should stop eating at +3 – “just satiated”, which is essential to a healthy diet.
If we follow this rule, we can stop overeating and this can result in gradual weight loss. Dr. McCarthy says that this so-called “appetite training” is actually how she lost weight herself.
Mild Hunger Is Good For You
Helen says that feeling a little hungry is really healthy for you, so don’t be afraid. If you don’t feel a little hungry an hour before your next meal, that means your stomach has been digesting its last meal all this time and you haven’t had time to rest.
When And What You Should Eat
The problem is that we have probably all been taught to eat at certain times and not when we are very hungry. And even if we wanted to eat when our body really needed it, we couldn’t always find the time or opportunity to do so. And that’s why a 3-meal day is so convenient.
In this case, it is important to choose what to eat based on the time of your next meal. If there is only an hour left for lunch but you are already very hungry, eat a snack that is easily digestible, such as fruits or vegetables, so that just before lunch you feel a little hungry again.
If your next meal is still a long way off, choose something that contains protein, fiber, and fat, such as eggs and nuts.
The Food Will Taste Better
In her book, Helen also says that we often choose sweet, salty, and fatty foods because they have so much flavor that we like, even when we are not hungry.
And that is why we often overeat. On the contrary, if we try to eat, for example, tomatoes on a full stomach, they will not taste so good.
So if you train to wait until you’re a little hungry before eating, healthy food will taste better, as your taste receptors are more sensitive when you’re hungry. That way, foods that are healthy, and that you may not have enjoyed before, will start to taste better for you.
As for junk food with many additives, Dr. McCarthy says it may become less attractive as you start to notice its “chemical” taste.
Have you ever heard of this technique or tried something similar? Do you know any other tricks? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!
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