Friday, July 4, 2014

Battle of the Bulge: The Apple Test

I mentioned this story before, but it is really applicable here. 

When I was a kid, and probably bored, I went whining to Ma that I was hungry. 

"Have an apple," she said. 

"Ma," I said as patiently as I could, "I don't want an apple. Maybe those cookies . . . ?" 

"Have an apple," she repeated. 

I stomped out out of the kitchen in a huff, snack forgotten. 

It seems Ma was really, really ahead of her time. 

Dr. Oz (yes, I know his name is "Mud" at the moment, but let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater) advocates that if one feels hungry, the first reaction should be, "Would an apple take care of my hunger?" If not, then that is not hunger, it is merely an unsubstantiated craving. 
The Apple Test for All Hunger Types
Whether you’re a Sensory, Emotional or Habitual Hunger Type, much of the difficulty here is the question of whether or not you are really hungry. Lots of people struggle with this – and I’ve got the perfect trick to get to the bottom of it.

Pick fruits and vegetables you like – apple, carrots, tomatoes, cherries – whatever floats your boat. The next time you are thinking you are hungry – ask yourself, “Will an apple handle my hunger right now?” If you are really hungry – even if an apple isn’t exactly what you want – it will seem as good an option as any and you will welcome it. 

If however, you are eating for some other reason, then you will turn your nose up at that apple or carrot and say, “I am hungry for a burger…” In such cases, you are probably not really hungry but eating for some other reason. The apple test is a quick and dirty way for folks who struggle with these different hunger types to respond to hunger instead of something else.
One the keys to food discipline is being able to differentiate between a craving and hunger. Sure, there are times when something less than nutritious catches my eye (like a bobka oozing chocolate at a shul kiddush) but I don't kid myself that it looks attractive because I am "hungry." It's chocolate bobka, not rocket science.

"My, that melon over there should do instead . . ."     


Anonymous said...

Wrong. Your body knows when it needs protein, or carbs. Throwing the wrong food at it when it needs something else is ignoring your biological signals.

Princess Lea said...

Perhaps I should have clarified: "Craving" usually means, "I could go for some potato chips right now," not "My, my body is telling me I require grilled Alaskan salmon with a sensible side of steamed broccoli."