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Why You Should Stop Being Scared Of Being Hungry

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Why You Should Stop Being Scared Of Being Hungry

There is lots of mixed advice around being hungry. Most people think of it as an extremely negative thing to feel, but it's actually a very natural response that is simply the body telling us we need fuel. So, let's dive into Why You Should Stop Being Scared Of Being Hungry...

Learn what kind of hunger you're feeling

The complication comes with the dopamine hit of carbohydrates and sugar that we have been taught to seek out. This isn't satisfying hunger but rather satisfying our emotional need for food. Eating sugar or carbohydrate filled meals in terms spikes our blood glucose causing it to rise and then crash, which creates a repetitive cycle (known as the sugar burning rollercoaster) which makes us aggressively hungry for more.

When we're ravenous like this our body can lead us towards more bad choices because we want something and we want it now. Cue the rhetoric that we should always eat foods that 'fill us up' so that we are never hungry. I disagree.

Our programme focuses on protein, vegetables and healthy naturally occurring fats. This is naturally a very satiating way of eating. Once you know this you should be able to let yourself get the stage where you feel a little hungry before your next meal.

Learn To Listen To Your Body's Hunger Cues

But this doesn't mean we shouldn't listen to our bodies hunger cues. If you're following a 'keto' diet and smashing lots of cheese because that's what a plan says, or simply eating breakfast at 7am because you've been told to for your 'hormones' even if you aren't hungry.... and you're not losing the fat you want to - shouldn't it be time to question that theory?

How Hungry Should Feel

I live a lot of my life feeling 'hungry'...but not hungry as you'd expect it. I don't generally eat until 9 or 10am (and sometimes I'm up at 4:30/5am). I have also usually done some form of workout or walk before I eat. By the time I come to eat I have a comfortable level or hunger where I could (realistically) take or leave food. But I eat to fuel my body and my brain. This is how hunger should feel.

It's easy to make a good choice and if I had to go another hour without food, it wouldn't be a problem. Similarly throughout the day, I keep my portions relatively small to keep my brain sharp (not having to digest a heavy meal). I generally feel genuine hunger a few hours after my last meal, which is perfectly normal.

Letting Our Guts Do Their Thing

Our stomach 'rumbling' which we have been taught to believe is 'bad' as we might send our body into 'storage' mode if it thinks we're starving, is a huge misconception.

Sure, prolonged periods of calorie restriction, may down regulate our metabolism, but actually eating wisely and smartly and ensuring we have enough protein and healthy fats, can have the opposite effect.

The Commercial Play - Hunger Is Terrible

So much of what we have been taught is through commercial entities "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" was a marketing campaign for Kellog's corn flakes in the 1970's. It has no scientific premise that we have to fill our bodies before we're hungry. Lets learn to Listen to your body. Not ignore it.

Packaging plays on our fear of feeling hungry and tells us whatever the food may be it will fill us up with healthy whole grains, lots of fibre or high protein. Snacks line the supermarket shelves to encourage people to eat between meals and on the go. All. The. Time.

Read on for a deeper dive....

Listening to Your Hunger Cues: Nourishing Your Body Wisely

In a world filled with mixed advice about hunger, it's essential to understand that feeling hungry is a natural response indicating that our body needs fuel. However, complications arise when we seek comfort in carbohydrates and sugar due to the dopamine hit they provide, satisfying emotional rather than physical hunger.

Consuming sugary or carb-filled meals leads to blood glucose spikes, followed by crashes, creating a repetitive cycle known as the sugar burning rollercoaster, which perpetuates aggressive hunger pangs.

Rethinking Satiation: Embrace Genuine Hunger

The prevailing belief that we should always eat until we are fully satiated might not be the healthiest approach. Instead, a focus on a balanced diet comprising protein, vegetables, and healthy fats can naturally provide satiety.

However, this doesn't mean we should ignore our body's hunger cues. Listening to our bodies and understanding hunger signals is vital for maintaining a healthy relationship with food and achieving weight management goals.

Questioning Dietary Theories: Personalised Approaches

Contrary to popular belief, feeling hungry doesn't have to be a negative experience. Embracing genuine hunger can help us make better choices about what and when to eat. For example, eating breakfast at a set time without considering hunger levels may not be the best approach for everyone. Instead, we should question dietary theories if they don't align with our body's individual needs.

The Power of Mindful Eating

Some individuals, like those following intermittent fasting, may experience hunger at different times of the day, and that's perfectly normal. Paying attention to our hunger signals and eating mindfully can lead to a healthier relationship with food. When we do eat, it's essential to nourish our bodies with nutrient-dense foods that fuel our brains and support overall well-being.

Debunking the "Storage Mode" Myth

For many, feeling a rumbling stomach has been associated with the fear of entering "storage" mode due to prolonged calorie restriction. However, this belief can be misleading. Our stomach rumbling is in fact our stomach clearing itself out.

While sustained calorie restriction may indeed down regulate our metabolism, smart eating with sufficient protein and healthy fats can have the opposite effect.

Questioning Commercial Influences

Much of what we've been taught about eating habits has been influenced by commercial entities. For instance, the notion that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" was a marketing campaign in the 1970s by Kellogg's Corn Flakes.

Scientifically, there is no need to force-feed our bodies before hunger sets in. By listening to our bodies, we can make wiser choices that align with our true nutritional needs.

Your body is naturally in a state of fat burning when we wake up in the morning. There is absolutely NO need to force food into ourselves to switch off our body's naturally fat burning state. I often don't eat for up to 4-5 hours after waking up. And that's OK. I don't feel like I need to. And I often do a lot of exercise in this time. It feels very natural for me to be awake at 5am and not eat until 10am. If you're waking up and forcing food in - ask yourself 'why'?

Embracing Controlled Hunger: A Balanced Approach

Many people live most of their lives feeling hungry, and this hunger isn't what we typically associate with ravenous cravings.

Instead, it is a controlled and comfortable level of hunger that allows for making mindful choices. Eating wisely and being attuned to our body's signals can help us achieve better metabolic health and overall well-being.

In Conclusion: Listen to Your Body

In conclusion, listening to our hunger cues is crucial for nurturing our bodies in a way that supports our individual needs. Instead of fearing hunger, we can embrace it as a natural part of life.

By choosing nutrient-dense foods and eating mindfully, we can develop a healthier relationship with food and achieve our wellness goals effectively. It's time to let go of outdated beliefs and learn to listen to our bodies rather than ignoring them.

Even when you're following a plan - if you aren't hungry, please don't eat because a piece of paper tells you to.

More free resources. Like to listen? Check out the Lifestyle Design Secrets Podcast on Apple Podcasts & Spotify below.

Any questions on this topic, or if you would like to be a guest, please do let me know.

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