More often than not, we eat when we're not actually hungry. So what triggers the need to feed? Dr. Oz and Dr. Michelle May dissect the causes and effects of emotional eating. As the founder and medical director of the Am I Hungry?® Workshops, Dr. May guides participants to eat instinctively, trust their gut and lead a more healthy and active life.
Dr. May says that most diets fail because they are based on the premise that we're all doing something wrong. Yet fueling our bodies is one of our most basic instincts. As babies, our first instinct was to cry when we were hungry, and stop eating when we were satisfied.
By recognizing and coping with the overeating triggers we adopt as we grow up, Dr. May says we can relearn how to manage our weight as effortlessly as when we were babies. Dr. May says both environmental and emotional factors get in the way of listening to our body's natural ability to take in the calories it needs—from the way we were raised, to advertising, to increasingly larger portion sizes.
Dr. May says staying slim is not about willpower, or metabolism, or even the way you think about food—rather, the key is to never have to think about food unless your body tells you you're actually hungry.
"You really can eat the foods that you enjoy because your body needs that fuel," Dr. May says. "It's the fuel we eat when we're not hungry that we end up storing and carrying around with us."
When people are eating instinctively and trusting their body to feed them, they're no longer "enslaved" by thoughts of food and dieting. "That's not to say that we don't want to be conscious about our food choices," Dr. May says. "But I think we have to have a little bit of trust that if we're starting to eat when we're hungry, stopping when we're satisfied, and meeting our other needs in other ways, then food has less of a focus, we're less obsessed, less worried about it and more free to go out and live that life that we're meant to live."