#75 Hunger & Cravings
This week we look into the questions we've had recently around hunger, cravings, and urges.
Questions 1: Why do I feel hungry all the time?
One thing to ask you if you feel hungry all the time or if you want to eat all the time and they aren't always the same thing.
True hunger comes from your stomach and comes in waves. It's driven by the hormone, ghrelin. Ghrelin produced in your gastrointestinal tract by enteroendocrine cells, especially in your stomach. Blood levels of ghrelin are highest before meals when hungry, returning to lower levels after mealtimes, and remember if you're not getting enough sleep your body will create more ghrelin which we touched on in last week's BLOG #74.
I like the feeling of being hungry because I know my body is burning fat as fuel, my body is dining in and has used up the food from my previous meal.
Often it isn't true hunger like we've explained above and it's coming from a desire to avoid something else or avoid feeling something else.
It's important to get curious as to why you feeling the way you are and we cover this in detail in the video.
Question 2: Why am I'm feeling hungry all the time or always after dinner at night?
Take a look at what it is your eating.
It could be that your brain has a memory of that and is continually reinforcing that thought to eat more after dinner. Essentially it's become a habit.
Get curious and ask yourself why you're feeling that why. What time are you eating? Are you eating too early for the time you go to bed. Get curious. Have you eaten enough protein throughout the day?
This is the best starting point for addressing why you're always hungry at night.
Question 3: Why do I have Cravings?
A craving starts in your brain, not your stomach. It's is often sparked by an external source like seeing that advertisement for an icecream say on TV or that sign outside the local diary.
In general, we aren't lacking nutrients so it's not prompted by your body seeking something specific (like pregnant women who want a big piece of steak when they are low on iron) and often we refer to cravings as wanting something specific and the flavour of it.
You can indulge these cravings but you want to stay fully engaged when you do. Have one or two bites, savour it, enjoy the taste and ask yourself, "have you had enough"? If you're honest with yourself, you don't need it, and taking time to savor the taste has satisfied the craving enough to move on.
Craving salt can be through stress, like Chips. Chips are highly processed with white flour so they'll give a quick energy release and you'll get spikes in your blood sugar which encourages you to keep eating them and then you get in that rollercoaster.
Question 4: Do I need more willpower to stop eating the grandkid's leftovers from their lunchbox?
Often it's not just about willpower, often it's about taking away the option and removing yourself from the situation where you have the choice.
It can be as simple as telling yourself that isn't an option for you anymore and reinforcing that by taking the lunchbox out and emptying the contents into the bin or the food scraps bucket without even looking at it.
Question 5: How do I avoid needing my afternoon pick-me-up?
1. Make sure you have a Low-GI carbohydrate into your lunch meal like brown rice, kumara (sweet potato), pumpkin, quinoa, grain-fulled bread, pita pocket or wrap alongside a good protein source. Having these means you can feed out the carbohydrates for longer especially into the afternoon and keep your blood sugar level.
2. Make sure you are drinking enough water! Your pee should be dark in the morning, clear by midday, and stay clear in the afternoon. If you're drinking enough water this will really help reduce the likelihood of needing the afternoon pick-me-up.
3. Make sure you've balanced across your week. You might find you are running at a deficit and not eating enough across a few days which compounds with the need to have a pick-me-up one day which often compounds in the afternoon or evening after a few days of being at a deficit.
Question 6: I always reward myself with a sweet treat or unhealthy treat, how can I stop?
It's really about changing how you reward yourself and ultimately not feeling the need to reward yourself at all. The "I deserve a sweet treat" is a bit like an alcoholic rewarding themselves for not drinking with a drink - it doesn't really make sense does it.
If you've done all the work to fuel yourself well, reward yourself with something that helps enhance that commitment, I've spoken before about a massage or facial as a reward which is a better starting point.
Tune into the video for more comprehensive coverage of the questions above.
We've chosen a date for our upcoming Supermarket Tour, Wednesday 17th February 2021.
If you're interested in coming along to a Supermarket Visit you can register your interest by telling us what time on Wednesday 17th February would suit you best via our online form here.
Last year we launched a range of programs to help you achieve your weight loss and overall health goals.
As a Nutritionist and Personal Trainer, this really is my passion and I love my job.
I run all my courses and many include free sessions with me over the phone, via zoom, or other digital meeting devices, in some instances, there are in-person options too.
The application I use to deliver these courses means you get information in real-time but also the ability to tap back into the resources when you need them. The resources range from print outs to videos, food, and exercise plans, and live group chat. They focus on practical tools when at the supermarket but also how to retrain your brain and body to help you achieve your goals.
You can check out the courses on offer at any time by visiting our website HERE.