One thing that “diet culture” has taught us is to fear hunger. Whether it is an ad for the latest appetite suppressant, or the readily available snacks to prevent from ever being hungry-the message is the same: it is NOT ok to be hungry. As we start to talk more about mindful eating, let’s discuss 3 reasons why feeling hungry is a good thing:
- Our bodies naturally regulate their caloric needs each day. We get a signal when our bodies need more calories, a hunger cue. If you learn to respond to this cue with the appropriate response (ie you eat) and learn to stop eating when you are full, you will be giving your body exactly how many calories it needs.
- Your hunger cues can let you know if you are eating enough at each meal, and also if you are eating in the correct balance. If you find yourself feeling hungry 2 hours after you ate lunch, perhaps you didn’t eat enough at lunch, or maybe you didn’t eat in the proper balance (plate method!)
- If you are NOT feeling hungry 4-5 hours after you ate, that can be a signal that you overate at your previous meal. If you are dialed into what true hunger feels like, it can help you learn how to stop eating when you’re full as well.
The first step to beginning to eat according to your hunger cues is to build awareness of what it feels like to be hungry, and to be ok with that feeling. Hunger is NOT an emergency, it is just your body’s way of letting you know that it’s ready for some more fuel. If you would like to learn more about this lifelong solution to weight management, book a free consultation.