Last updated on Oct 17th, 2016 at 05:15 pm

(Please note: This article assumes that you are relatively healthy and are not taking any medications or other chemicals that may affect your appetite)

TIP: The best time to eat

So many people believe that they NEED to eat a certain number of times per day to lose weight. They cite reasons such as ‘I need to keep my metabolism going’ and ‘Because XYZ Diet GURU says so’ for this practice.

But what about what common sense tells you? Doesn’t your body come with built-in signals to let you know when you need to eat?

If you’re not hungry then eating doesn’t make sense does it?

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Now hunger is a complicated thing, because many people have learned to THINK they are hungry when they’re actually THIRSTY, TIRED, BORED or DEFICIENT in certain nutrients.

Hunger has to be RE-learned if you want to really know when you need to eat. The best way to do this is to not eat for 24 hours or so (intermittent fasting). That feeling of discomfort that you BEGIN to feel around the time you end your fast is hunger – provided you stay adequately hydrated through the ‘fast’.

If you’re not hungry then eating doesn’t make sense does it?

I usually do this once a week on a Monday. I skip breakfast and lunch and only eat dinner. It helps to bring back discipline to my eating routine after a ‘cheat’ meal or two at the weekend.

Fasting helps teach your brain to recognise real hunger compared to boredom, etc. This will help you decide when you need to have a meal, or when you just need to drink a glass of water.

Your metabolism WILL NOT slow down in 24 hours of not eating – certainly not enough to have ANY negative effects on your health or weight.

What WILL happen is you’ll realise that you are currently eating a lot of food for no good reason at all, and this may be the key to making sense of your struggle to lose weight.

Bottom line? If you’re not hungry, DON’T EAT.

View previous super-practical weight-loss tips:

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.