How many times do you eat automatically without thinking, just because the clock tells you that it’s meal time? As a mother, raising kids, it’s necessary to have some type of schedule. Without it, a mother’s life would be chaotic, with everyone eating at all hours. All of a sudden mom becomes a short order cook. That’s insane. Isn’t it?

Well if you’ve been taught to eat on a schedule, there’s a good chance that you got that from an old family tradition. No use in pointing fingers. Nobody’s to blame. All they wanted was to get meals served and kids fed, and everyone eating at the same time. It makes sense. Doesn’t it? But now that you’re no longer under your parent’s thumb, you make the rules and you can decide when you’re hungry. You don’t have to follow in the old family footsteps just because it’s always been done that way.

Here’s an excerpt from my book, “Lovin’ the Skin You’re In: The Juicy Woman’s Guide to Making Peace with Food and Friends with Your Body,” describing a bit of my experience and an explanation why eating on a schedule is really not necessary for most people:

Myths & Fallacies Keeping You Fat!

Myth #1 – Eat on schedule – As a kid, I used to love spending time with my mom’s parents, my grammie and grandpa. When I would go out shopping with them, just around lunchtime, grandpa would take a look at his watch and say, “Oh boy, it’s 12:00. We should be eating now.”

Does that sound familiar to you? Have you been eating by the clock? Don’t worry. You’re not alone. This is one of the biggest reasons why diets don’t work.

This is entirely too much emphasis on food and eating. In order to truly become free of food’s psychological hold on you, you need to tune back into your body’s feelings and sensations of hunger. I know that you probably don’t know what that is and how it feels, especially if you’ve been dieting for a while. That’s because diets encourage people to stay far away from hunger, and to avoid it at all costs. The implied message is that you just can’t be trusted around food because you have a feast beast lurking inside of you, just waiting to pounce and eat everything in sight. That’s a lot of hooey!

Your body has its own clock and way of telling you when it wants to eat. Most likely through years of dieting that sensitivity has been dulled down and anesthetized. I’m sure you’re familiar with the old saying, “Never allow yourself to get too hungry.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard my Weight Watchers leaders say that to our group., “never get too hungry.” Hearing that so often led me to believe that I should always protect myself from getting too hungry. That meant that I always ate something before I was going out so that I wouldn’t arrive ravenous. I actually ate a meal before I went to eat a meal. Ridiculous!

I was actually afraid of getting hungry, even though I was over 60 pounds overweight. Consequently, I carried food with me all the time. I seized on every opportunity to eat even if I didn’t like the food, all because I had this pervasive fear that I never knew when I was going to eat next.

The truth is, by obsessing over a rigid eating schedule you are actually messing around with your body’s delicate metabolic balance. Eating by the clock will throw off your ability to know when you are actually physically hungry, because you’ll be walking around semi-stuffed. Think about it. If you’ve eaten your lunch and throughout the afternoon you’ve been snacking to ward off the dreaded hunger, by the time dinner rolls around you won’t know when to stop eating, because you began eating the meal when you were already full. In order for your internal satisfaction switch to trigger, it has to first recognize the sensation of hunger.

Your hunger is a completely natural and physiological phenomenon. It is entirely dependent upon when, how much and what you ate last — not on the clock. If you’re eating all fat free and low fat foods, you’re walking around always feeling like there’s a hole in your stomach, verging on constant hunger, feeling perpetually unsatisfied. As a result, you’re probably eating too often, because you’re eating food that tastes like cardboard which doesn’t satisfy. When is the last time that you asked yourself, “What do I want to eat?” Usually we eat what we think we should eat, and do our best to avoid the foods we really want, but oftentimes those cravings are so strong, that we end up overeating and giving in anyway. Hey Juicy Woman, before I begin the next myth, I’d like to share a quick exercise that you can do to start to pay closer attention to your body, making it easier for you to know when you’re hungry, and when you’re really not. Coming next.

Remember if you’d like to know how to love your body even if you can’t stand it, and want to learn how to end emotional eating on a path paved with all your favorite foods and no dieting rules to follow, then you’ve just got to grab a copy of my book. There’s no time like the present. It’s the best source of wisdom, information and inspiration wrapped up with love, written especially for you. Here’s the link to purchase it:

Not ready to take the leap? If you just want a taste, then grab the 80 page excerpt at my website: