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Why are you eating when you’re not hungry? And drinking when you’re not thirsty?

If youre a full grown adult, you probably dont try to sit on the toilet if you dont feel the urge to pee or poo. And you probably dont reach for a tissue and try to blow your nose just for fun.

The thought of it is almost humorous, isnt it? You yawn and sneeze and pee and poo and blow your nose when your body subconsciously tells you to. The same should be true of eating and drinking, no? Eat when youre hungry? Drink when youre thirsty? And stop when youre full?

As we all know, this isnt the case for most people today, and a new study published in Psychological Science (http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0956797617719084), explains that decisions to eat might be more learned than they are rooted in our physiology.

Truthfully, to prove this point, all we really need to do is look at a baby: A baby eats when he/she is hungry. Babies dont have eating disorders, and babies dont often over eat. But fast-forward a few years, and suddenly the baby is a young child over-indulging in ice cream and cake after dinner.

I digress: This particular study was done on rats, but bear with me as its actually pretty interesting:

32 rats were put through half-an-hour of conditioning for 12 days. Then some rats were fed and others were not. They were then put in a box for another four daysa box that had a lever they could press that would administer tasty treats.

The result: After 16 days, the rats were more likely to press the lever after they had been fed and were already full than when they were hungry! The 16 days had taught them that when they were full, it was somehow a signal that they wanted something tasty after their meal.

I think we can all relate to that: After dinner, our bodies are full yet somehow we make room for dessert.

Author Robb Wolf has a theory about this, as well: Its called palate fatigue, and its essentially a strategy we have wired in us that causes us to want to diversify the nutrients we get.

From an ancestral standpoint, it ensures we get all the vitamins and minerals etc that our bodies need to survive. But in the modern world, it means were constantly seeking different flavours and tastes, and it might be part of the reason we still make room for apple pie after Thanksgiving dinner when our bellies are more than full.

I argue the same is true when it comes to drinking. We have learned (and have arguably been misled) by the media, and the supposed experts, that we need to be hydrating and drinking all the timethat we need to drink 4 gallons of water a day etc!

You dont see a baby force feeding himself water, but go to any start line for any kind of endurance event and youll see people who arent thirsty chugging water to avoid getting dehydrated, because we have been told that by the time youre thirsty, ITS TOO LATE!

Is it too late to pee once you feel you have to pee? Is it too late to sneeze once you feel the urge to sneeze? No. But somehow we have been bred to believe its TOO LATE when your body tells you its thirty. Hmmm. This is why were supposed to pre-hydrate.

Im not alone: Theres a school of thought out there that says pre-hydrating isnt real, and that we have been fear mongered into thinking we need to drink more than we really do. Check out this article for more: (https://journal.crossfit.com/article/top-five-hydration-myths-busted-2)

And check out this link to a recent blog we posted about the topic: click here

Try it out for a while: Drink only when youre thirsty and stop when youre not. Eat only when youre hungry and stop when youre not. Then report back!

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