It is so often said amongst dieting communities to only eat when you are hungry, but to only eat when you are hungry is bad dieting advice. If you can recall the last time you were hungry, and I mean really hungry when you’re to the point that your stomach is speaking to you out loud, and you probably said something like “boy I’m hungry, I could eat a horse”.
What do you do in this scenario? You go looking for food right, and any food that pleases your appetite will do, and most times it’s not something healthy, and when you’re in this state, you’ll eat the horse and more. Ring any bells?
Well there’s a scientific reason behind this behaviour, and a practical solution too. Yoni Freedhoff from U.S. News Health explains it clearly. Continue reading below…
Eating When You Are Hungry Will Ruin Your Diet
Could the world’s oldest and most common dieting advice, “wait until you’re hungry to eat,” also be the world’s worst?
The fact is: Hunger always wins. You may be the most motivated, intelligent, and committed person on the planet, but if hunger’s hanging around, you can forget about rational thought. When you’re physiologically hungry, your body’s desires will undoubtedly trump your brain’s best intentions, and your hunger-influenced choices will often be larger in both quantity and calories than ones made while content.
Don’t believe it? What happens when you go to the supermarket hungry? Well you shop differently, of course, coming home with items you’d have never purchased on a full stomach. And what happens when you sit down to a meal hungry? Well you’re still shopping of course, only this time you’re shopping from your plate, your fridge, your cupboards, your freezer, or worst of all, from a menu.
We choose differently when we’re hungry. No surprise there, given that in the grand scheme of things, our genes have been forged through hundreds of millions of years of extreme dietary insecurity. For the vast majority of human existence, hunger was death; satisfying hunger was life.
Our miraculous bodies have many mechanisms in place to ensure that we don’t forget to eat, and that if we’re hungry, and if food is plentiful, that we eat more than our fill. But with hormones, neuro and gut peptides, feedback loops, and inhibitory pathways to contend with, the physiology of hunger is a complicated process, affecting people in different ways.
And hunger doesn’t just influence the actual foods we choose, but also our emotional interpretation of dining. For instance, imagine you’re planning a night out with your absolutely favorite indulgent meal, the one that under no circumstances could be described as nutritionally wise or healthy. Now imagine that you show up to that meal famished, and yet rather than order that heavenly meal, you instead opt (bitterly) for a “healthy” choice (and possibly even mutter “stupid diet” under your breath). Now consider how you might have reacted to making that same “healthy” choice had you not been hungry. You might well be able to replace the word “bitter” with “proud.” Full and original article posted here.
Well it’s obvious that the solution would be to prevent yourself from getting hungry, and an effective approach would be to plan your meals and meal times wisely. The magic word is PLAN.
If you plan your meals so they are nutritious and of a decent size (not oversized), then you will satisfy your appetite. If you plan ahead, ensuring you are not without food long enough to bring on hunger, then you’ll always be contented and not mindlessly snacking. So plan, plan, plan!
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