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As I drive around town, I continually see people coming and going from restaurants at mealtimes. Business workers of all kinds are filling their stomachs with food and enjoying a good sized midday meal. Families flood to the drive-thru restaurants to grab dinner on the way home. The question that keeps coming into my mind is, “Are we eating when we’re hungry or are we simply eating because it’s time for food?” How many times in this past week have we each sat down to a meal and known that our stomach isn’t telling us that it is empty? I know I have done that at least once.

Many of our challenges with food come because our society tells us what to value and how to feed our bodies. But have we each taken the time to do a personal assessment about what our own body is saying to us? Do we have a snack just because we’re supposed to? Do we go to lunch and eat because it’s the “thing to do”?

As I have gone on my own personal journey of learning to feed my body better, this has been a big hurdle for me. Especially when there is a family to feed. It’s easy to eat meals when the kids need them because it’s “mealtime” or to join them in snacking because they are hungry. Inevitably their snack becomes my snack if I’m not careful.

This concept has been a big learning curve for me personally, but even more so for the rest of my family as I help coach them to understand their own bodies. So snacking happens a little less often, and we do come to our meals a little more hungry.

In order to accomplish this, I am learning to pay attention to which foods keep your body fed longer and better. I have definitely found that there are certain foods that no matter when I eat them, I’m hungry too soon afterward. That means they really didn’t fill me up to begin with and I should consider changing what I eat.

Take the time to listen to your body and learn what it is telling you. Are you hungry? Did you feed it good food that will carry you long enough through the day so you’re not hungry more than you need to be? Keep a food journal to help you remember what those good foods were that kept you full. You’ll be surprised how learning to listen to your body will have positive results on the scale. Those pants that have been a little too tight just might not feel so tight anymore.

And maybe, just maybe, you should try drinking more water during times when you might normally be hungry between meals. Don’t forget that water is a source of nourishment for your body too!