Ah,’tis the season for diets, resolutions, and a overwhelming flocking to the gym.
Along with all of that comes the need to follow fad diets or whatever current trendy diet Karen at the office is on.
With diets come lots of myths. One of those being you must be hungry (constantly) to lose weight.
Let’s look at two sides to the hunger games 😉
First, being hungry isn’t bad and won’t kill you….well eventually it would but I’m pretty sure you won’t get to that point.
Hunger, at the base level, is our God given, natural signal that our bodies need food. It’s like the low fuel light in your car.
That light comes on, you know you’ve got a number of miles before you run out of gas.
In a similar fashion when you start hearing those growling bear noises or feel that ache your body is telling you to fuel up.
Hopefully, you’ll give it good quality fuel…
Ideally, we would all follow our bodies cues.
Hunger like this is really ok and very normal.
Eat just enough to satisfy hunger and be comfortable and go on with your day.
Realistically, I doubt a lot of people even experience true hunger anymore as we’ve made habits to eat whenever time dictates we should, regardless of our bodies cues.
Eating more than we need with poor food choices is quite apparent with obesity at an all time high, and unfortunately in kids as well.
We eat regardless if we feel hungry. We eat for a whole lot of reasons… the clock says to eat, or our emotions, boredom, loneliness, etc none of those associated with true hunger.
In a perfect world we listen to our body and eat when we are hungry. We would allow ourselves to become hungry 30 minutes to an hour out from meals so we truly appreciate what we eat.
We would eat enough, but not over eat because it tastes good. We again would listen to signals indicating our hunger is satisfied.
I always tell hubby food tastes so amazing to me when I’ve finished a hard workout, and by the time I’ve cleaned up my hunger is in full force and food truly tastes so much better when I’m honestly hungry.
**being hungry is ok and a normal feeling for our bodies indicating we need fuel.**
The other side of hunger
I follow a womans page on Facebook that has discussions on various topics.
One day a post came up with someone asking for the “best appetite suppressant”
Me….being me….responded with this….
“Eat adequate food.”
Listen, if you feel you need to suppress your appetite because your hungry, something isn’t going right.
If you feel the only way to lose weight or keep a certain “number ” on the scale is to constantly be hungry and not feed your body, something isn’t going right.
If you need a suppressant ( that can look like alot of things: filling up on liquids like coffee or water, using mints or gum, or an over the counter drug) something isn’t going right.
If you seek to supress your appetite, you’ve not had adequate food to satisfy your hunger and nourish your body. If you are hungry a small healthy snack usually does the trick.
Then move on with life.
You should not be in a state of ongoing hunger thinking about food, or how you can’t “have” food in a quest to lose weight.
**being hungry and withholding food or feeling we need to suppress our appetite isn’t a healthy way to live.**
A proper balance
Yes, when we begin a plan to drop a few pounds and reduce our calories a bit and make other adjustments we will feel hunger. (Refer to part one of post)
This would be the normal signals our bodies give us to eat. You will go through a learning process as your body adjusts. You can lose weight, eat adequate food, and go between meals without being hungry.
If you are you may need to examine…..
1. How much did you eat? Was it enough?
2. What did you eat? A meal rich in protein and healthy fat will keep you satisfied a long time. Empty calorie foods or meals lacking adequate protein with healthy fats will leave you hungry, sooner.
You don’t need to…
Feed your body minimal food that doesn’t satisfy your hunger and leaves you feeling like you need to “suppress ” your appetite.
Greatly restrict your calories to have a slow and steady weight loss. In fact doing so may actually slow your weight loss efforts.
Ignore your bodies natural cues to fuel it adequately. This deprives your body, and leaves you without adequate energy from not fueling yourself effectively.
Once you learn to follow your body you will eat when hungry, you will learn to eat just enough to satisfy you without over eating ( this can take a bit of practice) and you won’t feel a need to find ways to supress a natural appetite or use other unhealthy behaviors for weight loss.
Your turn…..tell me….have you learned to listen to your body when it comes to eating and keeping it satisfied? Or do you feel you still need to work on it?