January 20, 2023

The futility of simplicity: Stop eating when you are full and eat when you are hungry

Content from fitness and nutrition coaches (most folks really) flirts aggressively with self-help content. Its not uncommon to hear things like:

Listen to your body
Stop eating when you’re full
Love yourself as you are
Be kind to yourself 

Most advice is along those lines. I have a bone to pick with this specific bit of advice: ‘Listen to your body and stop eating when you’re full’. It’s hard enough to have a conversation with a fellow human being let alone jumping in on a chemical conversation that involves the brain, gut, endocrine system, emotions (also brain), adipose tissue (energy storage) and your environment. 

Most of us live in environments that are manipulated with foods engineered to look better, taste better, go down smoother and leave us wanting more ASAP. It requires many many calories per bite to produce that effect. More calories than is productive for most of us. Even simple foods like ghee and butter paired with carbohydrates and salt that are not a result of complex engineering can be a rollercoaster for our brain and gut.

Look at the few pictures in the image below. We don’t want you to fully understand what’s happening. I am supposed to be helping people with this stuff and I would be lying if I said I fully understood what’s happening. All I can tell you is hunger and biological urge to eat is not simply a case of ‘Stomach grumble, brain say I need to eat”. 


Hunger is an incredibly complicated song and dance that is not determined solely by how well nourished or well fed you are. The complex problem requires some restraint, thought and planning. All of those require motivation. It requires us to redirect time and energy. Your mind will want to spend that finite attention on more entertaining fare. 

All of this will need you to pause and sometimes tell that voice in your head, ‘I don’t trust you’.

About Adarsh

- I run a strength and conditioning facility in Chennai, India
- I work with my clients to make training and eating for better body composition a part of everyday life
- I coach online and in-person
- I design and manufacture strength training equipment for use in our strength training facility