Hunger is an interesting thing.
Your body’s natural hunger response is a good thing.
It is a good sign that you need some food, it is quite natural and normal for it to appear every few hours or so.
The main problem for a lot of us now is that we have lost sight of whether we are hungry or not.
For most of us, we are living in a time of plenty and we often do not leave it until we are really hungry before we eat.
It can be a useful thing to try playing around with your hunger.
Practice not eating for a prolonged period and observe how the hunger comes and goes.
Learn again what it feels like to be truly hungry.
I myself did a 24 hour fast when I was doing my Precision Nutrition Certification.
It was part of the course and it was an interesting experience.
I found that I was definitely more hungry around my normal mealtimes and at other times the hunger would fade.
I learned that it can definitely be routine based and it can also definitely be ignored.
Our bodies will not shut down.
Our bodies will use reserves to fuel us until there are no reserves left.
We do not need to panic about ‘starvation mode’ either!
There was a very interesting case of the man who underwent a fast of 382 days.
His name was Angus Barbieri and he lost 125kg!!
You can read his story on the Diabetes UK website here
Eating when we are hungry is natural – as is stopping when we are satisfied.
Unfortunately we often don’t listen to our body’s cues or we have lost them altogether!
Wait until you are truly, physically hungry before eating.
Eat slowly and mindfully, give your brain a chance to catch up!
Stop eating when you start to feel satisfied.
Eat foods you enjoy so you are not feeling deprived or restricted.
Hunger can sometimes be misleading.
You can feel hungry when you are bored, when you are stressed or when you are thirsty.
Always stop and think first.
It can take a while to re-learn our body’s signals that we have ignored for a long time.
Dedicate time to the learning process. Notice and name your feelings.
If you are training more and/or very active then it is quite natural for you to need to eat a bit more.
If you do significantly more activity than normal then you will be more hungry.
Eat more carbs to fuel your activity and more protein to pack on muscle
But still remember to eat when truly hungry and stop when satisfied.