Acknowledge your hunger and keep your appetite in check!
Truly listening to your body is one of the greatest tools we have for mental and physical health and the body is amazing at being able to tell you what it needs and wants. When and what to eat is no exception. Eating is often driven by external factors rather than truly listening to your body’s internal cues signaling the need for food. Knowing and acknowledging the difference between hunger and appetite can lead to healthier food choices and fewer empty calories.
Hunger is the feeling you get when your body needs food. Your stomach will rumble and if you wait too long to eat you may become fatigued, shaky, lightheaded or the dreaded by those around you, hangry!
Appetite is wanting to eat for reasons other than physical hunger. This may be triggered by emotions, boredom, habits or even just seeing someone else eat.
Tips for acknowledging your hunger and keeping your appetite in check:
Eat regularly. Don’t skip meals and don’t wait until you feel like you’re starving before you eat.
Eat slowly. Give your body time to realize it’s full before you go for another serving. Slow down, enjoy the meal and appreciate the flavors of the food.
Have alternatives to food that provide comfort and happiness. Read a book, do a crossword puzzle or meet a friend to workout. Yoga has been my go-to alternative to food lately. I can do it at home, it doesn’t take a lot of time and it allows me to refocus and see things with clearer eyes.
Eat foods that are satisfying and that you enjoy. This might sound like a no brainer but feeling satisfied after eating can lead to fewer cravings or less mindless snacking. Or is it just me?
When you suddenly feel the urge to eat wait 10 minutes. If you still feel the need to eat after 10 minutes you’re probably physically hungry and should eat.
Of all the habits I’ve ever had emotional (or stress) eating is one that I can fall back into the easiest. Recognizing the difference between hunger and appetite has made it easier to go for a run rather than mindlessly snacking. Recognizing the sudden need to eat for what it is and then deciding whether or not to grab a snack.
My mental reminder…hunger is a physiological need to eat and appetite is a psychological desire to eat.
Ask yourself, do I need to eat or do I want to eat?
In case you missed it:
- the 12-hour relay (aka ultimate run date) is tomorrow! Yikes!
- try this for dinner, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taco Casserole
- Your happiness is your power. Don’t give people that control.
Be HEALTHY. Be HAPPY. Be YOU.
Let’s stay in touch!
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