"You shouldn't be hungry on a diet."
- Sandra Venables
Dieting is a change of lifestyle, with healthy choices, not a deprivation, starve yourself regime.
If you're at all like me, the concept of depriving yourself has been instilled in you for years. The outcome? Yo-yo dieting!
This concept of healthy choices instead is the most important aspect to be remembered when you are undertaking a new Life Journey.
So, you believe you are making healthy choices now, not just restricting the amount of food you eating, but you still feel hungry? What's going on? There are some biological reasons why you may feel hungry, and their can be some dietary reasons.
Why Am I Always Hungry?
- Your metabolism is fast
- You have restricted the type of food without changing the quality of the food
- Your hormones are not functioning well
- You are confusing your appetite (desire) with physical hunger (stomach pains)
How To Know What To Change?
How do you discover if you have a fast metabolism? Apart from going through hormone testing, one of the easiest ways is to assess what is happening in your bathroom (yes, I'm going to talk poo!). How often do you pass a stool? Once a week, once every two days, once a day, twice a day or more often? Usually I put people into the fast metabolism slot if they are passing stools once - three times a day. Food moves through your digestive system relatively quickly.
If this is the case, you will probably need to ensure you are eating approximately 300 - 400 calories a day more than you have been advised based on your weight and height. This is because you are on a fast pace, and your food doesn't remain in your digestive system long enough for you to fully absorb all the calories available to you. So, great, eat some more!
Quality of Food
Does your menu still contain refined sugars, e.g., bread, processed, pre-packed foods? These foods typically contain sugar, and this can create the 'sugar crash'. This crash usually happens about one to two hours after you've eaten, resulting in this craving for more food. Your energy plummets and your answer is to prop it up with stimulants (some form of drink or food), to gain more energy. Thus you feel hungry.
To avoid this sugar crash, take on more fibre in your diet. I've written about fibre sources and the amount you want to be having every day previously, check it out here! Ultimately, eat more veges, fruit and nuts!
Hormonal imbalances can play havoc with your desire to eat healthy choices! Especially at the monthly cycle. Also though, hormones play a role in telling you that you feel full, I wrote about this recently, check out if you're a constant craver here.
The types of hormones, and the resultant diseases, that can be out of balance and play havoc with your eating patterns include thyroid hormones (sending your metabolism into hyperdrive, or sleep), being in a pre-diabetic state (creating sugar crashes easily), and sexual hormones (mood swings only satisfied with chocolate!).
Get your hormonal states checked out to determine if this is an issue for you.
Appetite or Hunger?
Appetite is the desire to eat food, hunger is the physical changes in the body due to a lack of food. The difference is easily detected, are you craving that food (i.e. appetite) or does your stomach rumble and ache (i.e. hunger)?
Really listening to your body and it's triggers for eating plays a large role in determining whether you are hungry or just fancying something to eat. I should know, fancying something due to boredom, or stress, used to play a large role in my weight issues. I was never physcially hungry in the evenings when I used to fridge hunt, or cupboard stalk, looking for something that caught my eye. If I was truly hungry, the first cracker I saw, or the first piece of fruit or a carrot stick even, would've satisfied that craving, sadly, the eye went straight over these options and landed on the chocolate bars, or the ice cream, or the cake or the biscuit - do you see the pattern here? Yes, it's sugar! I was looking for the serotonin release on a sugar hit. Of course, the inevitable would then happen, yep, an hour later, the search and hunt was back on!!!
I find food diaries are a great way to keep track of how much and of what you are eating during the day. I've spoken before about using MyFitnessPal. I think it's a great tool to get to know and utilise.
Want to discuss how you too can manage your cravings, your hunger while making your Life Journey changes? Contact me now to arrange a free consultation to discuss where you're currently finding difficulties.
Sometimes every home needs a supervisor! Love this photo, borrowed from Facebook