How do you even start being fit when food is life? As much as you want to kick-start your fitness goals, all your plans become insignificant the moment you see food. I’ll let you in on a secret. It’s all about choosing your battles.
Eating a lot makes you gain weight, but it doesn’t necessarily give you the nutrients your body needs. Further, your body will react differently depending on the kinds of food that you eat, especially the unhealthy ones. The only way to keep your system in tip-top shape is by eating a wide variety of healthy foods that provide your body with a range of essential nutrients.
There’s no need for statistics to say that we all eat A LOT—even your vital statistics can tell. According to this article, we eat 600 more calories a day than we did in 1970. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that most people eat more than they should, especially those who don’t manage their diets.
In line with that, societal norms, not hunger, determine our mealtimes, which means people don’t normally eat because they need to, but because it would be uncomfortable not to. This discomfort can be brought about by other factors such as stimulation from seeing or smelling food, emotions, or even nutrient deficiency.
So, let’s get things straight. Do you eat to satisfy the feeling of hunger or do you give in to fake hunger to eat more? Mind you, these are two different things. Human beings have an innate sense of hunger and fullness. To identify hunger, you have to understand what it is, as well as its effects on your body.
There’s a Fine Line Between Hungry and Craving
Not all hunger resonates equally, so don’t think that you may have a problem with your digestive system for being hungry all the time and solve it by eating too much, as it doesn’t work that way.
If you’re very conscious about your health and weight, keep in mind that there’s a fine line between hunger and cravings. You shouldn’t always give in to these cravings, as these may be classified as false hunger, which deceives you to eat more until it adds another extra kilogram in you.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2 in 3 adults are overweight or obese. This goes to show that there’s an excess amount of body weight that may come from eating more than we should.
Take some time to listen to your body and evaluate what type of hunger you’re feeling. Here are five questions you should ask yourself to determine if you’re really hungry or just feeling gluttonous:
|You’re truly hungry||You’re feeling gluttonous|
|True hunger builds up gradually. The hunger usually starts at least 3 hours after your last meal.||False hunger can strike anytime. If you’re feeling hungry within 1-2 hours after eating, it’s probably fake hunger.|
|You’re not picky. Just about any kind of food would be good enough to satisfy your hunger.||You crave a particular type of food.|
|True hunger results from the innate need to fuel your body. It isn’t associated with any emotion or activity (ie. Breaking up with your boyfriend)||False hunger is associated with emotions like stress and depression. It’s also associated with the activities that you do. If you normally eat while watching movies, you’ll probably start to feel hungry whenever you watch a movie.|
|You stop eating when you’re full.||You keep eating even after you’re full, usually binging to fill what seems like an endless void.|
|Eating because of real hunger doesn’t result in guilty or shameful feelings because you know that you needed the food.||Eating in response to a false hunger usually results in guilt, shame, and regret.|
So, are you really hungry?
Most of the time, hunger is all in the mind. It’s all about learning to say no and knowing when to stop. Giving in to sinful delights will only lead to regrets. Besides, no one wants to have a lower overall quality of life, increased risk of health problems, and of course, costly medical bills.
Calories aren’t always the problem. It’s the source of the calories that matters most. That’s why you should be very picky and cautious with your food choices because as the saying goes, you are what you eat. It’s about time you draw the line between why you eat and how you feel. To identify hunger, you must really know what it is and respond to the kind of hunger you’re feeling accordingly, as too much of anything isn’t good.
The easiest way to deal with hunger, either real or fake, is as simple as this: eat when you’re hungry and not when you’re bored. So, consume what can fuel up your body, and burn those unnecessary carbs in a gym near you.
Remember that your body uses everything you feed it with, so feed it wisely!