When we first started CrossFit back in 2008, I started reading up on everything that was nutrition and came across Michael Pollan’s book, Food Rules amongst countless other publications that were in line with CrossFit’s methodology and nutrition trends. There were a lot of one-liners that resonated with me, but there was one quote that stood out. I’ll get to this later…
Last week, I was standing in my kitchen looking for a snack. I opened the fridge and boom!! It was friggin’ empty!!! We totally forgot to go grocery shopping and all there was left was a lonely apple and 1,000 condiments. I chugged a big glass of water and went back to my desk. About an hour later, I felt the urge to eat again. So I checked the “snack cabinet”, which in the Plumey house is super lame (nothing like the caliber at the Ryalls estate 🤣😂). It’s usually raisins, almonds, and tuna packets. I could have sworn there were nuts, pretzels, and jerky in there, but I must have been daydreaming. I opened my fridge again hoping I missed something–that dang apple was staring me down. Without hesitation, I took the biggest bite I could fit in my gullet. Believe it or not, it was glorious. This apple was perfect in texture, flavor, and it was hydrating. It was the perfect snack and exactly what I needed. In that instance, I was transported back in time to the first time I read Pollan’s quote that reads, “if you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re not hungry.” Pollan is right. I wasn’t hungry, I was just bored and I’ve gotten into the habit of eating unnecessarily or when there’s an impulse. But by the time that I ate that apple, I was truly hungry.
I think you know where I’m going with this. It all comes down to delaying instant gratification. If you can pause each time there’s a so-called hunger cue, you’ll certainly limit the snacking, but also hit that reset button in your brain and understand your body’s needs a bit more. Not only will food in general taste better, but simple things like fruits and veggies can add a lot of variety and nutrients back into your life.
Here’s my challenge: go out and buy your favorite apple. The Plumey staple is a Honeycrisp. The next time you’re truly hungry, instead of reaching for the chips, ice cream, pretzels, or anything else, have the apple first. If that does the trick, great! If not, you can have what you originally wanted to eat afterward. But in this scenario, you’ve delayed instant gratification and perhaps retrained the way you think about your hunger cues.