Who is really hungry? Your body or mind? Know the difference.

This may be obvious to some but one of the most important observation I made two weeks into Nirahara was the inner decoupling of two different types of hunger signals. I was shocked that earlier I never even noticed there were two distinct signals.

The first signal was coming from the gut which would happen when the body genuinely wanted to have more nutrients. This is the empty stomach feeling you get when you have not eaten anything for a while. This signal is very clear and undeniable without any confusion.

The second much more powerful signal which was completely psychological was coming from my mind. This was like an inner voice pushing me to put something solid in my mouth and I found it was related to the desire to chew. This signal was powerful but not always clear.

Because of restricting myself to liquid diet, this second hunger sensation was not getting fulfilled. Even after gulping lots of liquids, the mind would continue to signal this intention to chew even though logically I had no more space in the stomach.

Going through this experience a few times helped me identify the difference between the two hunger signals. The gut signal is the "Need" of the body and the mind signal is the "Want" of the mind. After a few days of not giving in to the "Want" and completely fulfilling the "Need", to my utter surprise, the mind's hunger sensation started to lose its power and one fine day into the second month of Nirahara, I noticed the mind had completely stopped producing the "fake" hunger signal.

I tested it out by going face to face with the foods that I used to love and there was no prompting from the mind to eat. I felt a deep sense of freedom as if I have been freed from a prison I was inhabiting for ages. I look back now and laugh at my earlier self for thinking I could never give up foods that I loved. I consider this sense of "Freedom" much more valuable than the benefit of weight loss that I experienced through my journey.

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