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PHYSICAL HUNGER

Hi everyone! Happy Thursday! I hope this blog post finds you having a great week. Today I want to talk about physical hunger. This is something my clients often find out that other things are guiding their hunger cues verses their very own body.


Some of these things can be:

THE CLOCK: Have you ever looked at the clock and saw that it was _____ time so you ate? This puts the clock in charge of you! What if you are not hungry tonight at 5:00 pm for supper? Do you really want to listen to the clock or do you want to listen to your body? Who do you think knows best for what your body wants? The clock or your body???


BOREDOM EATING: Do you find yourself eating when you are bored? When we're bored, our brains aren't stimulated, and this causes our dopamine hormonal levels to drop. This triggers us to take an action that will bring it back up, such as eating.


EMOTIONAL EATING: Do you ever eat when you are sad or happy or mad or fearful? We are not taught in school how to feel our feelings. Most of the time people eat to "feel better". As a human being our brain's job is to do 3 things: Seek pleasure, Avoid pain, and do things as easy as possible. This is how we are wired. So it makes complete sense, when we are feeling a negative feeling we often turn to food. THOUGHT OF "I DON'T HAVE TIME TO EAT: This is actual a self-beat down thought, especially if your body is telling you that it is physically hungry and you intentionally dismiss it by telling yourself "I don't have time". Would you tell your best friend if they said they were hungry and ready to eat?


PSYCHOLOGICAL HUNGER: can come from a habit, like always having pizza on Friday nights, or a craving after watching a TV commercial. Ever been to the movies and before the movie starts they show the clip of popcorn popping and pouring your favorite soda into a glass? Why do you think they do that? To trigger you to go and purchase these and other items from the food counter. You may not actually be hungry but your brain is triggered to eat anyways. Your mind has the idea of eating and that’s what motivates you to eat. The hunger cue is not coming from the stomach or the need for nutritional energy.

Outside hunger creates eating habits that often cause weight gain and prevent weight loss. They are motivated by your thoughts about food or a need to cope with something else in your environment, and your emotional or mental state.

The problem with the above examples is it often leads to overeating because you are not physically hungry. Your true physical hunger cues are not active to tell you when you are hungry or when to stop eating.

START LOOKING AT YOUR PATTERNS:

Start looking at your current patterns. What are they?

Do you wait for physical hunger?

Do you eat because other people around you are eating? Do you have a habit of munching while watching TV but didn't check in with your body first?

Are you currently or have you followed a diet where you eat at certain times of the day?

How about a diet where you count points?

How about a diet where you are still hungry after you have eaten said amount of food?


The first step to transformation is awareness. Awareness of your patterns. Notice what your eating habits are.


PHYSICAL HUNGER:

Physical hunger starts inside you!

It's not about the clock.

It's not about being upset.

It's not about being bored.

It's not about an outside diet.


It's about you.

It's about your physical body.

It's about what your body needs.


Physical hunger comes and goes throughout the day.


If you are conditioned to eat from "the outside in"......have patience with yourself....it might take a few weeks to start hearing and feeling your true physical hunger cues.


WHAT ARE SOME PHYSICAL HUNGER CUES: Your stomach feels slightly empty. Your tummy might start talking to you. You begin to feel a little distracted. You begin to think “I’m getting hungry.

You might start to get a slight headache. Your hunger feels doable. It doesn’t feel urgent.

You might feel a lack of energy.

You might start to feel irritable and/or have less patience.

HUNGER IS NOT AN EMERGENCY!


When hunger is an emergency and the conversation is "I need food right now"....that is emotional hunger talking.


WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE TRUE PHYSICAL HUNGER?

All day long our bodies are constantly communicating with us to let us know when we’re in

need of energy, and when we’re not in need of energy. Our hunger and satiety cues are responsible for this!


When we feel physical signs of hunger, the body is telling us it’s in need of energy. But what unfortunately happens to many people over time, is they start to ignore the physical signs of hunger or forget what they feel like.


Many factors go into why we eat. It seems obvious to eat when you’re hungry, however, as humans who experience stress, social obligations, time constraints, and ideas about food, we also eat for a lot of other reasons.


When we ignore or don’t notice physical signs of hunger, a chain of events starts to happen.

We can reach points of extreme hunger and then lose control around food, feel lethargic, bloated, and overly full when we do eat.

To prevent this from happening, we want to get really familiar with the physical signs of hunger. WEIGHT LOSS and PHYSICAL HUNGER

This is important to note because eating when you are not physically hungry may be one of the main reasons you’re not losing weight.


HOW TO LEARN TO TUNE IN TO PHYSICAL SIGNS OF HUNGER

The goal is to become in tune with your own body and your own individual hunger. To familiarize yourself with the physical signs of hunger you experience regularly. These internal signs can vary from day to day and can vary in intensity and can vary in timing.


7 QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK YOURSELF


  1. Am I physically hungry?

  2. Where am I feeling hunger at? Is it internally in my body or is it coming from an outside source?

  3. Are you hungry or are you eating as a reward for something you did today?

  4. Is this hunger coming from a feeling such as loneliness?

  5. Am I eating out of hunger or habit?

  6. Why am I eating this?

  7. Am I procrastinating or avoiding something?

If you do not ask yourself on a regular basis if you are physically hungry, take time to make this small self-love/self-care gesture become a habit. I started by putting a sticky note where I sat at the table and at my desk where I often would find myself eating during late afternoons with the question "Am I hungry?" From there it opened the doors to really see where I was eating a lot of times from an outside source instead of my inside source, my body. Listen to your body! It WILL tell you what it is needing. Your body is your best guide. ❤️












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