Are you Always Hungry?
Hunger can quickly become a dieter's worst enemy.
When we are hungry, there are a host of things that happen inside us that can negatively impact our fitness and weight loss goals.
....just to name a few:
- Less willpower
- More stress
- Lower energy (normally mental energy)
In order to overcome these negative mindsets, it is important to understand why you are hungry. More often than not, we aren't physically hungry, rather mentally craving certain foods, or simply bored.
The Science of Hunger
Hunger and Satiety (fullness) are controlled by the Hypothalamus in the brain. The Ventromedial Nuclei gives a signal when to stop eating, and the Lateral hypothalamus gives a signal to start eating (e.g.,Coon 1995). (Source)
The Gastrointestinal tract and stomach also play a role in satiety... especially in the short-term. Stretch receptors in the stomach send messages to the brain to let it know when it is full.
This is why it is normally recommended to wait 20 minutes after eating to determine if you're still hungry or not... that is about how long it takes for the messages to be sent to the brain.
on a side note: Isn't it annoying how long that takes? It is literally 3 feet from your stomach to your brain... and it takes 20 freaking minutes for that message to be sent? I can send a text message halfway around the world in 3 seconds!
... but I digress....
So that is some of the science "mumbo-jumbo" of hunger and satiety, but that's not what you are here for....
You want to know how you can eliminate hunger, or at least neutralize it to make dieting easier!
How to Destroy Hunger... FOREVER!
Alright, maybe we can't completely get rid of hunger considering it's a natural, biological response to eating lower calories...but there are steps you can take to make it more manageable.
Apply the tips I am about to give for mitigating hunger and I guarantee dieting will become 10x easier...
Remember, you aren't "You" when you're hungry...
Stop Hunger With Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is when you create two windows of time where you are either eating food or not eating food.
In more fancy terms, you are either in a "fed" state or a "fasted" state.
There is a lot of research backing the "magical powers" of IF, but the science behind it is still in its infancy. For our purposes, intermittent fasting will be used as a means to stave off hunger.
It seems counterintuitive, but I have found that skipping breakfast actually helps me feel fuller in the morning time than the traditional high carb breakfast cereal bowl.
You heard me right... skipping breakfast actually causes me to experience less hunger! I'm not the only one who has experienced this either...
The fat loss protocol I recently followed, The Aggressive Fat Loss Program, has a Facebook page where guys (and gals) talk about experiencing virtually zero hunger throughout the morning while fasted!
When I ate 6-7 small meals throughout the day, I never felt satisfied at any one particular meal and as a result was constantly thinking about food.
By restricting your eating window to 8-10 hours a day, you'll think less about food and enjoy larger, more satiating portions.
Save Your Calories For When You Are Most Hungry
This one seems like a no-brainer, but more often than not people eat at times when they aren't actually hungry, but eat simply due to conditioning.
Just because it's "lunch time" doesn't mean you have to eat lunch...
Listen to your body.
One day you might feel ravenous by lunchtime, the next you may not feel hungry at all.
By doing this, you can save the bulk of your calories for when you are actually hungry. For me (and I would guess the majority of people), hunger normally comes in the evening hours... sometime between 6-10pm.
I know that I am always hungrier in the evenings, so I plan my day to consume the bulk (65-80%) of my calories at that time.
It may be different for you, maybe you wake up famished and need to eat, but feel fine in the evening time. Whatever the case may be, try to eat the majority of your food when you are most hungry.
Wait... Am I Really Hungry?
The next time you feel the sudden urge to wolf down a plate of fries, take about 30-60 seconds and think... am I really hungry?
I've found that most of the time when I think I am hungry, I am really just bored or stressed. Instead of diving head first into that chocolate fondue, try waiting 30-60 seconds and reflecting on the signals your body is sending you.
If after that time you feel you are definitely hungry, then go ahead with eating, but I bet you'll find that many times when you're feeling the urge to snack, it's due to boredom or stress.
Eat Healthy Foods You Actually Like!
Eating whole, healthy foods is going to help keep you fuller for longer on less calories. This is because whole foods like fruits, vegetables, meats, whole grains, etc. have a lower Energy Density.
They have more fiber, water, and nutrients in them that fill your stomach faster than refined sugary foods.
While eating healthy is important for satiety, eating foods that taste awful is just going to... excuse my french... piss you off.
If you don't like eating brussel sprouts but choke them down because they are "healthy", you are just going to stress yourself out.
You may be so stressed that you say "SCREW IT" and reach for that pint of Ben & Jerry's....
Find healthy foods that you actually enjoy so that you can get the benefit of eating whole foods while also feeling satisfied physically and mentally.
Don't let being hungry dictate your weight loss success. Try implementing some of the tips I've given in this article and I bet you'll find that fighting off hunger is easier than you thought!
And just because I think you're pretty rad for checking out this article, I went ahead and created a FREE Report that can help you lose even more weight!
The report talks about how I was able to lose 20 pounds WITHOUT dieting... you heard me right! 😉
Again, completely FREE for your viewing pleasure!
Whether you find it helpful or hate it with every fiber of your being... send me an email and tell me 🙂 I want to help you however I can!