Why feeling hungry is healthy

Since when is hunger a bad word in your vocabulary?

You believe you don’t have the right to get hungry until you are 20 pounds thinner.

But then why, when you’re not hungry at all, you fear that skipping a meal will lead to eating the universe later on?

Everyone is doing this wrong.

Want to know why?:


Research has shown that people who eat when they’re NOT hungry end up eating JUST AS MUCH at the next meal as people who haven’t eaten.


So here’s what I repeat to my clients and what I’ll be telling you from now on:

If you’re not hungry, for all things holy, DO NOT EAT!!

Skipping a meal will NOT make you eat more at the next seating.

Binge-prevention through eating when not hungry doesn’t exist.


To eat or not to eat

Let’s say you are hungry. Your decision to eat will reduce tension. But your decision NOT to eat can also reduce tension.

As I said last week, hunger is not an emergency.

And the best part? Hunger doesn’t build up. Instead, it comes and goes. In waves.

You experience about two to three actual hunger waves a day. Not more than that.

But each wave doesn’t go on forever: A hunger wave lasts for about 10 minutes in your system.

After that, it biochemically dissipates.


Thinking like a naturally thin person

When naturally thin people feel hungry, they don’t go into “panic mode” and certainly don’t get frightened.

They figure they’ll always be able to find something when they’re hungry. They’re also able to withstand the hunger if it’s not convenient to eat.

In most cases, they have no problem holding off until the next meal.

But when YOU are hungry, oh boy… beware anyone on your way! You get anxious and worry about when you’re going to have an opportunity to eat again.

why resisting hunger is healthy


Your Food FOMO

You believe that the future version of yourself will take care of things. In other words, that skinny bitch won’t let you feast.

So your brain goes “This is my last chance to have it!”

I have news for you: You have what I call “Food FOMO.” Fear of missing out. On food!


The Hunger-Resistance Muscle

As a recovered Food FOMO-turned neuroscience freak, let me share a secret with you.

Every time you resist eating something you shouldn’t, you’re strengthening your tendency to resist in the future.

You’re strengthening what I call your “hunger-resistance muscle.”

However, each time you give in and eat something you shouldn’t, you’re strengthening your tendency to give in.

If you want to be, feel and think like a naturally thin woman, you need to take every opportunity to strengthen your hunger-resistance muscle and to weaken your giving-in muscle.


From muscle atrophy to muscle hypertrophy

You now understand the difference on an intellectual level, but it’s still important for you to experience the difference on a physical level.


You don’t have to eat when you’re hungry. Just because you want to eat doesn’t mean you always should.


I have an experiment for you.



You’re going to put the discomfort of hunger in perspective.

In the next 7 days, I want you to pick one where you’ll purposely skip your BIGGEST meal.

Choose a day when you know you’ll be busy and you predict you won’t be faced with irresistible eating triggers. Many of my clients tried this experiment on a workday.

You will survive. Because hunger is NEVER an emergency.

Religious people have gone for more than a week without food and haven’t died. So, precluding a medical disorder, we definitely don’t need to eat our biggest meal of the day.



  • You need to experience hunger to decrease your fear of it.
  • It doesn’t mean you won’t eat ever again. It means that for only 10 minutes you’ll tolerate a hunger wave.
  • A hunger wave doesn’t compound interest. The next wave won’t come back bigger.
  • There are only two to three physiological hunger waves a day.
  • Most people don’t eat every time they’re hungry. You need to learn that skill too.
  • As your exercise your hunger-resistance muscle, you’ll get better at it. At one point, it’ll become a subconscious tendency. An effortless, unforced neurological pathway that naturally thin people have.



“Hey ho, oh well”

It’s important for you to learn to tolerate hunger. Just as a child when told to wait until her next meal. Eventually, hunger won’t seem like such a big deal.

Don’t respond to hunger immediately by eating. Tell yourself:

“Hey ho, oh well. It’s okay … I can wait.”

You’ll then be able to turn your attention to other things, and the hunger wave will disappear.


French women instinctively do this: Snacking in between meals is rare, because arriving at the table with a nice appetite is an essential ingredient to good food.

Skipping your biggest meal of the day isn’t nearly as uncomfortable a sensation as you now believe.

You won’t be missing out on anything: The next meal will be the most delicious thing you’ve ever tasted.

So plan for it well.

Now, before you do that, I want to hear from you: WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST MEAL OF THE DAY? Or what’s your longest “eating window” in a given day? Do you fear skipping it??

Make sure you leave a comment below with the specific answer.






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elinaMay 6, 2014 at 11:44 amReply

My biggest eating window is dinner. It also is the moment I usually share with friends and if home alone it is my moment of relax and fulfillment, especially emotional. So going hungry for a while is related in my mind to feeling lonely.
I will pick lunch for the hunger experiment since it´s a moment when I am OK with being alone while eating.
I will try going hungry one day at a time,starting by one lunch at a time by being busy. I don´t think I can cope with hunger it I am out of obligations during those 30 minutes .
Up to now, my brain rules my stomach!

Alejandra RuaniMay 6, 2014 at 10:43 pmReply

Thanks for sharing Elina! The goal is to learn how true hunger really feels like (as opposed to emotional cravings) and to enjoy food even more when you do it. Even the more plain health foods will taste delicious :-)

Let me know how it goes!

Sonja KellerSeptember 24, 2013 at 10:15 amReply

Interesting! My biggest meal for the day is always dinner. I hate going to bed with a near empty stomach, and will often get up for snacks if I miss out on a sumptious dinner. On the other hand, I rarely eat breakfast. I really should do something about that. As for hunger. If I’m hungry I eat, because if I don’t I get the shakes and feel terrible. I’d be a terrible dieter lol. Thankfully, I don’t have a weight problem as I stick to healthy gluten free foods.

Alejandra RuaniSeptember 24, 2013 at 11:41 pmReply

Thanks, Sonja. Unlike what most people think, going to bed with a full belly is not an issue at all. Some of us are genetically designed to eat just one large meal a day. I also believe that gluten isn’t the root cause of today’s obesity problem. All of a sudden everyone seems intolerant. The real reason is that we look for things outside of us to put the blame on, because we’re ashamed to admit that we overeat. More on that soon!

Julie MarahSeptember 23, 2013 at 12:28 amReply

Very interesting article Alejandra. I’ve been testing out my hunger-resistance muscle recently, and you’re right when you say that the hunger passes quite quickly. I think we’ve been programmed that every time we get the slightest pang of hunger – we must eat immediately, when we really don’t need to! Thanks for sharing.

Alejandra RuaniSeptember 23, 2013 at 12:45 amReply

Great to hear, Julie!

AndreaSeptember 20, 2013 at 11:49 pmReply

This is fascinating to me, as I skip meals fairly regularly because I’m wrapped up in what I’m doing and, honestly, just forget to eat! I’ve never given it much thought, but the whole thing about hunger waves…yes! I just sort of ignore it and it goes away.

I will say though, that my most looked-forward to meal – though not my biggest – is breakfast, which I rarely skip. That is the one that gets me feeling like my whole day will be filled with insatiable snacking if I miss it. Nonetheless, I have skipped it and lived to tell the tale, so maybe my hunger resistance muscle is well toned!

Alejandra RuaniSeptember 21, 2013 at 9:15 amReply

How wonderful to hear, Andrea! And I think very helpful for others to read.

Thank you.


EliseSeptember 20, 2013 at 3:07 pmReply

Great post! You are so on track with hunger not being as noticeable when we are engaged in our life. I do want to add that when we do eat, we should be engaged in eating. So often, we are multi-tasking and letting our minds go elsewhere when we eat that we end up not feeling satisfied and satiated. We end up thinking we are still hungry and need to eat more sooner rather than later. Thanks for sharing your perspective and offering people the opportunity to experiment with their own internal messages instead of just going on autopilot.

Alejandra RuaniSeptember 20, 2013 at 6:01 pmReply

Thanks so much Elise!

Contrary to what everyone preaches today, eating can also be done “mindfully” whilst being with your family, friends, or watching TV – there’s something that most experts are missing and I can’t wait to share it! :-)

Holly SugrueSeptember 20, 2013 at 2:46 pmReply

Great advice. My biggest meal of the day is Dinner. The thought of skipping it is putting me into a whirlwind. It is the meal I most look forward to every night. BUT I like trying new things and I am always looking to expand on my personal growth. I will put my Food FOMO aside and test it out. Thanks =0)

Alejandra RuaniSeptember 20, 2013 at 5:56 pmReply

Hi Holly, nice to read you again! Just like you, my biggest meal is dinner to and I really enjoy it. The thought of skipping it is similar to fearing an Armageddon but to be quite honest after the hunger pang passes, you’ll be good to go. Going to bed earlier with a nice book helps :-)

SherrySeptember 20, 2013 at 12:38 amReply

Thank you for clarifying hungry! Having guidelines and boundaries on being and tools will prove to be very worthwhile. Love your perspective.

Alejandra RuaniSeptember 20, 2013 at 12:41 amReply

aww thank you Sherry xoxox

LornaSeptember 19, 2013 at 8:10 pmReply

Alejandra–I think you are touching on a really important part of this. When I was thinking of when I use my hunger resistance muscle, it is always when I am otherwise busy and involved. So often I think it is because we are not appropriately engaged in our lives that we eat too much. The boredom and monotony in our daily lives leaves our spirits unfulfilled, so we look to fill that void with food. And that leads to a vicious cycle. I think that if we look to filling our lives with purpose, we will feel hungry at appropriate times.

Alejandra RuaniSeptember 20, 2013 at 12:44 amReply

That’s exactly it, Lorna, primary nutrition comes from a fulfilling life… when you’re happy and fulfilled, food comes in second. xoxoxo

Silvia BiancoSeptember 19, 2013 at 5:13 pmReply

Alejandra, you are brilliant. It’s these simple things that addressed with clarity and insight yield the biggest results. As a pro chef, I’m usually tasting all day long so when I’m working, I don’t eat a big meal. After years of this I could no longer tolerate sitting down to a big meal. Thanksgiving meal – as much as I love it, leaves me so uncomfortable.
Can’t stand the feeling of being full!

And you’re so right…when we’re engaged, we don’t think about food. Most
of the time I forget to eat until my stomach is screaming at me!

Great stuff!

Alejandra RuaniSeptember 19, 2013 at 7:58 pmReply

So flattered, Chef Silvia!

You’re surrounded by delicious foods most of the time – I think that’s like the BIGGEST hunger test a human can be exposed to!

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