Your Body's Preferences
When I started asking my body if it wanted me to eat different things, I didn’t know what to expect. Initially, I just asked about meat and used these responses to tell me how much meat to eat. But there is a lot more information available than that, and the information itself tends to have certain patterns and effects. The result is clear though. I eat healthier than I ever have, I feel great, I have never enjoyed eating as much as I do now, and as a bonus, it takes zero willpower.
WarningThis is not dietary or medical advice. Your body is not always right about what you need. Please see the section on the parasitic digestive microbiome problem. Working with my body has helped me, but your medical situation may be very different. If your doctor has provided you with dietary advice, please follow it.
One of the first changes to how I functioned that I noticed after I started eating the way my body was asking me to eat was a loss in an aversion to eating the same thing over and over again. The body, apparently, actually likes that repetition. The usual aversion to repetitive meals appears to be caused by nodes that have been trying for a while to stop you from eating what you are eating excessively, whether because they didn’t want the item to begin with or because you exceeded their directed amount for that item. Either way, they finally manage to get their way on your current meal by putting a targeted aversion in place to stop you from continuing to eat or overeat that one item. While variety may seem to be the spice of life, that variety is the only thing keeping your body on its toes trying to block one item after another. It has difficulty keeping up enough to get you to stop eating anything, long term. Alternatively, by asking the body what it wants to eat and giving it only what it wants in the amounts that it requests, this problem is skipped entirely. No aversions to eating the same thing over and over again. No reduction in flavor or enjoyment. It’s just as awesome to eat the first time as it is every time thereafter.
This does, however, bring up a side effect of asking your body what it wants to eat. Even if you don’t follow the answer that your body gives to your query, by giving your body your full attention when asking about the action of eating that item, you give those nodes more power to modify your tastes and desires, regarding that item, than they usually have. As an example, I used to eat a lot of pizza. My body, however, always gave me a negative response to eating it. So, one day I wanted pizza. My body gave a strong negative response to it. I kept asking it, and it kept responding with a negative. I ordered the pizza anyway, and then started eating it. It was flavorless. Everyone else found the pizza perfectly fine. I wasn’t sick or stuffed up. Everything else tasted fine. The pizza hadn’t changed. I changed. After taking a couple bites of pizza, I had an immediate and strong aversion to it. Pizza had been removed from my diet. I had no choice in the matter. My body is the one that would have to deal with the pizza aftermath, so my body was the one to make that decision. Using body communication finally gave my body the power to do so.
That is the negative though. There is also a huge positive. On the one hand, to discourage eating what it doesn’t want you to eat, your body uses aversions and changes your tastes. But on the other hand, to encourage what it does want you to eat, your body changes your tastes and can provide you with amazing pleasure in eating what it requests. I eat simple, store-bought ingredients. They are not organic or special in any way. However, what I eat tastes amazing because I am eating what my body requests. My body rewards me with greatly increased pleasure from eating what it wants me to eat.
Those nodes that are requesting those foods in those particular amounts, they will reward you for working with them. Paying attention to what you eat, while you eat, helps amplify that to euphoric levels. I am definitely not missing out on junk foods. I grew up on candy, soda, donuts, and cupcakes; but I have never enjoyed food as much as I do now. None of the foods that I eat now are from the less healthy end of the food pyramid, nor can I overeat anything because the moment I attempt to eat beyond the amount that my body is requesting, the flavor is sapped right out of what I am eating. Euphoric pleasure in a perfectly balanced meal; nothing more, nothing less. It’s awesome and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The body tends to request food throughout the day, not specifically at meal times. It is important to eat right when your body asks you to eat; not before and not after. This is because often the body is preparing for the next meal or still dealing with the last meal, rather than wanting to jump right into a new meal. Your body will request food when it is ready.
When it does request food, meals tend to come in cycles of preferred items. Instead of eating a lot of one thing, the body will develop a balanced meal plan and direct you to eat a particular amount of each individual item. The order that items are eaten in doesn’t matter, but often it will take the body some time on its ideal diet plan to realize that the order doesn’t matter. The body doesn’t know that automatically.
As an example, here’s my body’s current meal plan and what I eat in a meal cycle as a result:
|The need||What I eat in a meal|
|Sweet peppers, small amounts.||1 mini sweet pepper|
|Tomatoes, small amounts.||1 grape tomato|
|General vegetables. Preferred items are broccoli, cauliflower, okra, parsley, and spinach. Steamed preferred but raw is fine.||0.25 to 3 florets of broccoli|
|General fruit, small amounts. Preferred items are apricots, bananas, cherries, citrus fruits, kiwis, mangos, nectarines, peaches, pineapples, and plums.||1 clementine|
|Citrus fruit, small amounts.|
|Wheat grain products. Preferred items are tortillas, pasta, and bread. Wheat is preferred over white.||1 wheat tortilla|
|Carrots. Steamed preferred but raw is fine.||2-5 baby cut carrots|
|Ginger, raw||1 small piece|
|Meat, muscle, from any source. Higher fat content is usually preferred over lean.||1 to 8oz beef or chicken|
|Egg whites||0 to 4oz egg whites|
|Nuts. Preferred items are peanuts and walnuts. Peanut butter without additives is preferred over unprocessed peanuts.||10 peanuts or a little peanut butter|
|Cacao nibs||2 cacao nibs|
|Salt||1 sprinkle of salt on anything above|
I eat this for every meal, usually 3 to 7 times per day. I go through the same cycle of dietary needs for every meal and never get tired of it.
Before I discovered body communication, this wouldn’t have been the diet that I would have chosen. These foods were alright, but I never really found food spectacular, especially these items. I just ate like a normal person. I had my preferences. I’ve eaten plenty of great local cuisines in Brazil, Turkey, Kuwait, and Sri Lanka. I’ve had Indian and Chinese. Loved mutton masala. I’ve had a lot of really good food. But now, I wouldn’t dream of eating any other way. I’d much rather eat with my body than against it. Everything is so much sweeter. Food tastes amazing. It feels amazing, every single time.
But it’s not about what you eat or how it was prepared. It’s about communicating with your body and only giving your body exactly what it requests. If I do that, no meal done any other way could ever even possibly compare. A chef may groan at my lack of variety, but you’ve never really eaten until you’ve tasted the euphoria found in eating with your body instead of against it.
As the instructions from the body on foods to eat and in what amounts are very specific, mixing items together or buying prepared items can be a bit problematic. When you ask your body if it wants you to eat something, which part of what you intend to eat is it responding to? In a sandwich, is it responding to the bread? The cheese? Maybe it wants the cheese but in a smaller amount. Maybe it wants less bread, or more bread. Maybe it wants more meat, or more tomatoes. If you’re making the sandwich yourself just before eating it, it’s easy to portion it out just right according to your body. Otherwise, you’re likely to get more than you need of some things, less than you need of others, and additional items that you don’t need at all might slip through.
Hunger and Fullness
Current Scientific Literature
WarningThe following content is from my observations related to body communication. None of it has been tested in a lab setting yet. This is not medical advice.
After I started following my body’s dietary needs in the amounts that it requested, I found it interesting that I stopped getting hungry or full, entirely. Fullness was prevented by never overeating anything. The loss of the sensation of fullness was a welcome change.
The sensation of hunger was more interesting though. People get a little hungry all the time. I used to get hungry a lot. But after this change in my eating behavior, it just wouldn’t happen. I was always eating exactly when my body first became aware of a need for food. It was as if both the hunger and fullness sensations were emergency stop signals triggered after the body was well beyond its comfort zone.
I tried to test how far beyond the body’s needs I had to be before hunger was triggered. To prepare, I waited until I had followed my body’s diet indications perfectly for at least a full day. Then, I stopped eating entirely and waited. Each time I performed this test, it took between 20 and 24 hours for me to start feeling hungry again. I took this to mean that the sensation of hunger is a strong emergency sensation. It takes so much internal effort to cause the sensation of hunger that if a person ever feels hungry, their body has been without its required nutrients for quite a while. I also noticed that hunger was related to particular items, not just eating in general.
Noticing that fullness was about eating anything beyond what my body wanted, and hunger was about missing particular items that were specifically requested, I decided to run a different test. Again, I started the test from a state of having fulfilled his body’s needs perfectly for over 24 hours straight. I was drinking a lot of milk at the time, at my body’s request. For the test, I ate everything my body requested, a little more than my body was requesting, except for one item. Milk would be skipped entirely, with nothing to compensate for it.
I wondered what pushing both limits in opposite directions would do. In less than a day, I became both completely stuffed and absolutely starving, simultaneously. A little after that, I drank the milk that my body was requesting, and the starvation sensation went away. I was just stuffed at that point, but no more than I was before I drank the milk. That seems to reveal a separation between the stuffed feeling and physical digestive capacity. This could imply that the stuffed feeling’s primary threshold can only be reached by eating items that the body is rejecting at the time those items are eaten.
Current Scientific Literature
WarningThe following content is from my observations related to body communication. None of it has been tested in a lab setting yet. This is not medical advice.
You’ve probably felt a craving for something at some point. Most people have. Perhaps it was for an apple or meat. Perhaps you had a craving for a snack. A craving is a form of bodily need-based intuition that appears to work by heuristically best-fit matching attention and readily available memories to what is being internally communicated. The problem with this is that it’s incredibly easy to drastically skew the dietary requirement that is being communicated through a craving, in ways that go directly against what the body actually wants at the time.
A craving or other form of intuitive bodily need information should lead you to ask your body questions. The intuitive information itself, however, should never directly be depended on for accuracy. As you practice working with your body, the intuitive information will get a bit more accurate and a bit more common at times. It will not, however, be completely reliable information. Every craving and every intuitive implication must lead to a question, not an assumption.
Taste & Attention
If you tend to rush through your meals while doing other things, you may find an odd need pop up occasionally: an encouragement to attend to your food while you are eating. The nodes encouraging that are the ones that control your sense of taste. There are a lot of them, and they are there to check for problems with your food. They are also there to encourage you to eat what your body wants you to eat by increasing your pleasure in body-encouraged foods and decrease your pleasure in body-discouraged foods. They have a difficulty doing their job when you do not attend to your food while you are eating. They will complain when they get annoyed enough about it.
However, there is a plus side to giving your full attention to your food and your body’s communication while you eat it. I used to eat quickly while watching TV. I liked eating but it wasn’t anything spectacular. However, now that I give it my full attention when possible, my body can fully reward me for my attention by making it extremely pleasurable and delicious for me to eat what my body asks me to eat. It is very rewarding.
Pay attention to your food and the inside of your mouth while you are eating and intending to eat to fulfill this need. Savor it, without distractions. Do not put your attention anywhere else, not even on the next bite of food. You will likely enjoy eating much more than you thought possible.
Foods You Haven’t Tried Yet
If an item hasn’t been tried yet, your body likely won’t produce a response to it. You’ll get a neutral response. This sort of feels like a flattening of the sensations in the hand. Your body will likely encourage tasting a very small amount of it. After some time, it will be able to give you a verdict about the item itself and how it can fit in your diet.
As an example, in my first year after discovering body communication, I went to the spices and bulk items aisle of my local co-op grocery store. I bagged and bought a very small sample of every item in that aisle. I spent a few days trying one new item per day, when my body was encouraging it. Only one item was added to my regular diet by doing this: cacao nibs. But I am glad that I tried everything, just to be sure.
There is one exception to the rule that your body will not tell you to eat significant amounts of something that you haven’t eaten before. I used to get car sick when I tried to do schoolwork while riding a bus. I had a two-hour commute to and from the university though, and I was not a fan of doing nothing for four hours per day on my rides to and from class. One day, my body notified me to eat an item that I had never tried. Turns out, it had used a social connection to explore what a friend of mine had tried that handled a similar issue: ginger. It wanted me to try eating raw ginger to prevent the nausea caused by my riding the bus while doing schoolwork. I had never heard of that advice before. I added ginger to my regular diet, and I stopped getting carsick on busses. I could work in peace during my commutes.
Item Amount Implicit Specification
Sometimes the body says no to items that it actually wants you to eat. You may have gone through your list of needs several times. You know you need to eat something, but every response is negative. This is usually because you are checking the wrong amount of each item. Even if you don’t intend to, when querying foods, an amount of each item can get attached to your queries.
Every food need has an acceptable range of amounts that you can eat of that item. Over- or under-shoot the amount and you will get a negative response instead of a positive response. You may not have tried to attach an amount to your query, but always assume that an item that you are querying about eating has an implied amount attached to it, even if you are certain that you didn’t attach that amount yourself.
To solve this problem, test amounts first and then items. Intend to eat larger or smaller quantities of an unspecified food. When you get a positive response to an amount from that query, use that amount to go through each food again. Since you are specifically asking about an amount of food first, when you go through each item again, you will be within range when you hit the right item. Meaning your body will provide a positive response to it.
Every need communicated is in the present moment. However, you can get information about your body’s future need-based diet plans by intending to eat at a specific time in the future. You can’t give it a date or a time, but you can conceptualize time in ways your body recognizes. For example, you can intend to eat a while from now, tonight when the sun goes down, when you get off work, tomorrow, or a few days from now, if you specify the amount in the future in a way that your body will understand, with the few time patterns that it is aware of. Keep in mind, however, that the further in the future your question is about, the more likely that the answer will be incorrect when that time arrives. Your body cannot tell you the future, not even about itself.
Single Item Binges
During normal situations, the body requests items in meal cycles. They are repetitive cycles through a wide range of items, usually in small amounts. However, in situations where the body is dealing with a problem, it may request that a meal only contain a single item in very high amounts. The body’s decisions in this should be followed, as they are usually helpful.
Occasionally the single item binge will not help the problem, long term. In those situations, the goal of the binging behavior may not be to fix the problem at all. The item may be chosen to fulfill basic dietary requirements while not aggravating the problem. Alternatively, the item may be chosen as a symptom of the problem, such as in the parasitic digestive microbiome problem. In those situations, more complex problem solving may be required, as well as additional tools such as a Translator node.
There is a fullness that isn’t gone after transitioning to using body communication to direct your diet. That form of fullness is what I refer to as your digestive maximum. After anaerobic exercise, such as heavy weightlifting or sprinting, the body increases the frequency in which it requests meal cycles. Aerobic exercise does not appear to have this effect. If enough muscle needs to be repaired, meal cycles can be requested so frequently that a cycle will end mid-cycle when you are at what your body considers your maximum digestive. It does come with a little lethargy, though not as much as can be caused by overeating items that the body never wanted to begin with. Mostly, it comes with a stuffed sensation. However, eating will be encouraged again as soon as any room is made in the digestive system, even if you still feel mostly stuffed. That sensation will have reduced a little, and it will be easy to continue eating the next meal cycle.
Sweets & Violence
When you encounter a situation where you fear physical violence, your body switches to requesting foods with a very high amount of sugar: candy, cake, fruit, honey, etc. In these situations, all other nutrients stop mattering. Your body may have previously rejected these items and even made you adverse to them. However, if your body is preparing for immediate violence, all of those needs are replaced with a need to fill up on sugars in preparation for defending yourself. It is very unexpected if, like me, your life is peaceful and you've spent years getting only negative responses for sweets.
Your Body’s Preferences
- Your body can increase and decrease how delicious what you're eating is. Body communication amplifies this.
- Eating the same thing over and over again only causes an aversion because your body didn’t want the item at all or didn’t like the amount you ate of it.
- If you feed your body what it asks for, it likes repetitive meals, and they will always be delicious.