The Hunger Game

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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?

Listen to Your Body

The Hunger Game:  Want to learn to play?!?!

I’m here to teach you how to tell the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger by playing the “Hunger Game.”

But first, why am I talking about emotional hunger vs. physical hunger and what’s the difference?

Emotional hunger means you turn to food either to avoid uncomfortable emotions or to heighten pleasurable ones.  It means you eat based on how you feel instead of what your body needs.

Examples of emotional hunger (FEELINGS):

  • Eating for comfort or out of loneliness or sadness
  • Eating from boredom
  • Eating to try to soothe anxious or depressed feelings
  • Eating to fill an aching heart

Whereas physical hunger means you eat when your body signals to you that you are in fact, hungry.  And it means that you stop eating when you are satisfied and before you are uncomfortably full.

Examples of physical hunger (SENSATIONS):

  • Stomach growls and gets that hollow hungry sensation
  • Body feels weak and energy goes down
  • Blood sugar gets low and you feel shaky
  • You feel lightheaded or faint

So what will learning to listen to my body do for me?

It will free you from being a slave to food!

What that means for you is that you’ll feel more in control of your eating and less dependent on food to “help” your moods and emotions. By listening to your physical hunger signals, you can determine how hungry or full you really are.  With practice, you’ll be able to pinpoint where your body is at any given moment.

By doing so, you will train yourself to stop eating BEFORE you are too full and to not turn to food when you are not actually hungry but are in fact bored, upset, anxious, or depressed.  Because everyone knows that’s a vicious cycle…so let me show you how to end that cycle and have some fun while doing it!

ENTER…….the Hunger Game!

How do I play the Hunger Game?

Let me first clarify that I’m not talking about undergoing top-secret weapons training to learn to “kill” off your colleagues or friends… I’m talking about a simple, helpful game that you can play all by yourself even in a busy restaurant!

Here’s how you play the Hunger Game:

  • See if you can be the slowest eater at the table – no one has to know you’re playing or that you’re trying to win the Hunger Game
  • Periodically check in with yourself throughout your meal and honor when you’re energized and satisfied by completing the meal
  • Use and end-of-meal ritual, like putting your napkin over your plate or ordering hot tea and fresh fruit to symbolize completion of the meal

What do I do now?

In my health coaching practice, I help my clients learn to tell the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger.  Together, we come up with a plan to help you keep identifying the difference so you can lose weight naturally and double your energy.

If you think you may be engaging in emotional eating and you don’t know how to change it, then click here now to schedule a time to talk with me today!

To your health!

Carrie