Besides sustaining life, why do we get hungry? More importantly, why do we eat? There’s often a big difference in reasoning between the two. Whether it’s emotional, stress, boredom, habit, social pressure, Grandma, Mommy Dearest, or Aunt Edith trying to fatten us up (“eat, EAT!”), or simply because we’re addicted to certain foods (hellooooo sugar!), many times we eat, well, just because. This was a big epiphany that many of my recent Superwoman Slim Down grads came to over the last four weeks, with some conquering years of breaking bad habits around their perceived hunger. Good stuff.
In plain terms, our appetite simply can’t be trusted. At all. I mean, just look around and you’ll see, with over one third (37.5%) of adults in the good old U.S. of A characterized as obese. Not overweight. Clinically obese, due to the simple formula of consuming more calories (often empty calories) than they need. Don’t believe me? Check out what the CDC has to say about it here.
Whether you are clinically obese, a few pounds over your goal weight, or just want to get a good handle on true hunger, here are five tips to tell if your hunger is truly genuine the next time you get the urge to “eat, EAT!”
1. Look for a gradual build
Physical hunger comes on gradually, while emotional hunger is sudden. Kids driving you nuts? Boss just hand you a s-load of work that’s due by close of business? If it’s a “Calgon take me away” urge for a Snickers bar, chances are it’s the latter.
2. Listen for a growl
If your stomach is truly empty, it’s literally hollow, and you’ll feel gurgling and hunger pangs.
Ask yourself what you’re hungry for. True hunger can be satisfied with just about any food, while false hunger is only satisfied by a certain food, usually something that doesn’t qualify as healthy.
4. Give it time
Set the timer for 10 minutes, go for a walk, read, do ANYTHING to distract yourself, and if when the timer goes off, you’re still hungry, it’s a good indication that it’s time to eat.
5. Drink up
We are a dehydrated society, and many times, mistake thirst for hunger. When the “hunger” hits, drink an 8 ounce glass of water and then wait 10 minutes. If you’re still hungry, go forth and eat.
What’s even more fascinating, a study published in Nutrition Journal found that enhancing the micronutrient quality of a person’s diet leads to changes in the experiences of hunger and a reduction in the uncomfortable symptoms associated with hunger, despite a lower caloric intake. Eureka! Real food wins again!
So how does a false-hunger ridden person begin to enhance “the micronutrient quality” of their diet?
First things first, stop the highly-processed and sugar-ridden cycle immediately. The foods that fall into these categories are low in phytochemicals and the aforementioned micronutrients, which result in inflammation, weight gain, insulin resistance, and a plethora of chronic disease.
Second, incorporate more real, whole, fresh, (naturally) colorful foods into your diet. More plants, less meat. When opting for meat, make sure it’s clean (grass-fed, wild fish, pasture-raised, organic). This simple switch will crank up your micronutrient level like nobody’s business.
Still not sure where to start? I’ve got your back (I always do). In my fully-supported program, Lose Weight, Feel Great – 8 Weeks to a New You, you will learn just how to do this, easily, deliciously, and without gimmicks, crazy diets, deprivation, countless hours at the gym, or calorie counting so you can lose those last 10-20 pounds and keep them off, while mastering your hunger.
Pretty sweet, huh?You’ll also reap these benefits:
- Become the master of your metabolism and never again succumb to the old wives tale that “weight gain is inevitable as we age”.
- Melt belly fat for good.
- Understand the causes of weight gain and what prevents you from losing weight
- Enjoy going out with your friends and loved ones without stressing over “what am I going to eat?”
- Never. Diet. Again.
You want in? Check it out here and kiss those cravings goodbye!
What are some tactics you use to stop cravings dead in their tracks? I’d LOVE to hear! Please leave a comment.