Let’s talk about the hunger game! And I’m not talking about the great books and movies with Katniss Everdeen. I’m talking about what happens inside your body when you get hungry.
So, what happens inside your body when you get hungry? What are the signs your body gives you that let you know you’re starting to get hungry?
(And if you already know the answer to those questions you are ahead in the game! Soooo many clients I work with struggle to have answers with this topic.)
For me, I get a little rumbly in my tummy, perhaps a slight headache, a little jittery, and if I let it go too long I get hangry. “Get out of my way! I’m getting to that food, hangry!” That ever happen to you?
So, let’s talk about a few ways to avoid the hangry.
- When you feel yourself just begin to get hungry it’s time to start planning for food. That doesn’t mean you have to eat right now, but start planning for it.
- Eat when you are a little bit hungrier than when you first noticed you were hungry. This will keep you from binging or overeating or scarfing down whatever you can get your hands on.
- If you wait until you’re hangry you have set yourself up for not being able to control what you put in your mouth. Your desire for food will be so strong that it will override your desire to eat healthy.
The next part of the hunger game is knowing when to stop eating. Most of us eat beyond fullness, stuffing too many calories in for what our bodies need. (Ever needed to unbutton your pants after eating? I know, I know! That ‘whatever food’ was soooo good. You needed just one more bite. And one more bite. And one more bite. Then you needed to unbutton your pants.)
Here’s a few tips to help you from overeating and needing to wear old lady elastic pants to dinner every night.
- Eat slowly and chew your food around 30 times a bite (no matter what it is). This chewing and eating slowly helps your body assimilate nutrients better so you get more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients and energy! from the food you’re eating. You will eat less this way!
- Take around 20 minutes to eat your meal. This allows your brain to catch up with your stomach. It actually takes 20 minutes for your brain to receive a signal from the belly saying it’s full. And if you eat your entire huge meal in 10 minutes then your brain doesn’t know you’re full until 10 minutes later. Then you’re unbuttoning your pants! Doh!
- Eat to around 75-80% fullness. This may be something you have to play with a little to see what is right for you. The goal here is to eat for energy. Eat until satiated, but not stuffed. And this is where eating slowly and taking around 20 minutes really comes in handy.
Play this game every single meal! Here’s what you might notice if you do:
- You’re consuming less food.
- You’ll be losing weight (without counting calories).
- You’re digestive system is performing better.
- You have less constipation/diarrhea.
- You are able to deal with stress better (I know! Just from paying attention to your hunger!)
- Your meal times will be more pleasant.
What’s your hunger game status?