RULE: Would I Eat an Apple?

Recall that the reason we eat is to survive, not for oral pleasure. Food can be incredibly enjoyable, especially when you eat with complete focus. Be present while you chew. Notice the variations of flavor on your tongue. Concentrate as you chew and swallow. Avoid distractions.

Be aware of what you are putting in your body.  Don’t email, talk on the phone or watch TV while eating, as while doing so, you are likely to eat much more.

One Glee episode and 2 empty pints of ice cream later, you won’t even remember how seductively luscious the caramel ribbons were!

Studies show we consume more food when we eat while watching TV (link to one study of hundreds proving this)

Check in with yourself.  Are you getting ready to undo all your hard work and will power because you’re angry, bored, or just because food is available? Before acquiescing to that force, that unexplainable power that propels you to frantically scour the cabinets, fridge and freezer….that careens your car off the highway to a drive-thru….that urges you to open, unwrap and ingest, almost unknowingly, whatever tempts you.

Stop for a second, take 3 deep breaths and think: “Would I eat an apple?”

“Am I truly hungry right now? Would I eat an apple?” because if the answer is “No” then you are not hungry enough to eat. You are eating because of another compulsion.  Likely an emotion. Stress, cortisol, thirst or some other powerful drive is leading your behavior. And only you can control it (more on this later).

This drive is deeply ingrained.  It is there to keep us from starving to death. But unless you are reading this from a hut in a third world country—you are not likely to starve.

So if you, or your child, are not hungry enough to eat an apple, then find something else to do.  If you would eat an apple, then do. Enjoy it (or any other fruit or veggie) have a glass of water and then find something else to do.

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Madeleine Vanstory attended Duke University and began her post-graduate journey at The Elaine Clark Center working with special needs children. She went on to work as a Clinical Research Scientist running clinical trials for the CDC and developing medical devices for Welsh Allen, Abbot Labs, Roche and Johnson & Jonhson Her work included non-invansive cervical cancer detection, continuous diabetic glucose monitoring, non-harmful infant bilirubin level detection and studying Vitamin C's anti-aging effects on the skin. Madeleine attended Medical school at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro NC. Dr. Madeleine Vanstory is a board certified Family Physician who has practiced all over the world. She has lead medical missions in Kenya and Honduras. She has participated with Operation Smile in Russia, she has patients in North Carolina, Maine, Oregon and New Zealand. Dr. Vanstory has worked the medical tents in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC and at the Kona Ironman World Championships. And Dr. Vanstory has marched with the Surgeon General promoting "Exercise is Medicine" at the World Congress Sports Medicine Conference. Disillusioned by the current health care system and armed with the realization that culture, nutrition and emotional well-being have a profound impact on health, Dr. Vanstory now motivates clients and patients to discover the healthiest versions of themselves through humor, counseling in her "Upgrade Your Health" Wellness Program.

5 thoughts on “RULE: Would I Eat an Apple?

  1. It is a great gauge. And it works so well when my daughter and a friend are spending the afternoon together and keep wanting snacks galore. I offer them an apple and they just say nah and stop asking for snacks. No offense to apples, though, sometimes as a midmorning snack there is nothing better.

  2. I love this! I do like apples, but not so much that I would eat one when not hungry, so this is perfect! What a great question to ask myself when I crave a snack.

    1. Yes! Thx! It’s been a great way for me to check in–and usually I can step away from the ice cream carton –(not always though!)

      Thx for reading, Elaine! And good Luck to both of us right?!

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