Man, I love it when I get hungry!
Hunger makes eating SO much better! The anticipation of eating, it ensures that the food always tastes amazing and you literally relish Every. Single. Bite.
On the flip side, sitting down to a meal when you are not hungry sucks.
Food doesn’t taste as good and, generally, you end up bloated and sluggish as you are just cramming in food that your body hasn’t asked for and probably doesn’t need.
Hunger is one of the most basic ways that your body communicates with you.
Recognising and responding to your body’s signals is imperative for learning to develop a happy and healthy relationship with food.
Eating in response to hunger is the most natural way to eat.
BUT. Most people fear hunger.
How many times have you heard diet advice that tells you that you need to ‘eat every 2-3 hours to prevent hunger’?
Like, is hunger is the enemy??
This outlook basically implies that hunger will induce a frenzied cookie feast, where you gorge a week’s worth of food in 5 minutes and still look for seconds.
Um, just no.
If you feel hunger and respond by binging, this is because you don’t know how to respond to hunger.
That’s understandable. We are hardwired to react to hunger as food hasn’t always been so plentiful hence, fearing hunger was essential to our survival.
But, we don’t live in the Stone Age anymore.
Actively trying to avoid hunger by putting food in your body when it isn’t asking for it is just plain weird.
Would you top up the gas in your car if the tank was full?
Don’t eat to prevent hunger, eat because you ARE hungry.
Eating when hungry also allows you to gauge how much food you actually need. Without feedback from your body – the progress from hunger to satisfied – you are essentially guessing how much food you need.
And, if you aren’t feeling hunger, you are almost definitely chowing down more than you actually need.
Instead of avoiding hunger, learn from it and, most importantly, enjoy food more because of it!
Next time you feel hungry, instead of simply rushing for the nearest food. Sit with it. Learn what triggers it. Identify if it is genuine hunger. Or is it thirst, a craving, did you just pass a shop selling freshly baked cookies? Most importantly; get comfortable with it. Hunger is not scary, it’s just your body asking for food.
Prepare for it
If you eat in response to hunger that means you need to be ready to respond well. Prepare to make good choices. Have ingredients for delicious, healthy meals in your fridge or keep satisfying snacks in your bag when on the go.
Great portable snacks include:
- Beef jerky
Respond to it
This is key; don’t ignore your body’s signals. When you feel genuine hunger, eat! If you don’t have optimum food choices to hand, then make a judgement call. If you have the option to grab good food in the not too distant future, then wait. But if you have a significant period of time before other options come along, make the best of what is available.
Food tastes so much better when you are genuinely hungry, relish in the first bite and know that this is, hands-down, the best way to eat.