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Overeating and over hunger are 2 reasons why we overeat and are overweight. Hunger is a physical sensation you feel in waves throughout the day. There are 3 types of hunger:
Withdrawal from sugar and flour (Physical and mental sensations)
Emotional (Just seeing your favorite food makes you hungry)
INormally, if you delay eating, your body will go to your fat stores for fuel. Every time we eat, our insulin level rises and it stays high when we eat small frequent meals or eat foods with concentrated sugar, flour and processed food.
Insulin is a storage hormone. If you have too much insulin in your bloodstream, it will block the hormone leptin which tells your brain when you are full. Too much insulin blocks leptin and prevents your body from accessing your fat stores which makes you hungrier.
Ghrelin is another hormone that lets you know you are hungry. Eating a lot of refined and processed foods keeps ghrelin from functioning correctly.
To decrease over hunger and lose weight, we need to reduce insulin levels and this can be done by limiting or eliminating sugar, flour, soda and reducing the number of times we eat per day. This allows the insulin level to drop and once it is recalibrated or normalized, the other hormones leptin and ghrelin can work better.
I have said before that I used to feel hungry all the time, even when eating 6 small meals per day. Then I learned what I was doing was keeping my insulin high and not allowing my hormones to sense when I was hungry. Add to that a belief I had that I should never be hungry (why, I do not know). After 2-3 weeks of not eating sugar, flour and processed foods and recovering from sugar withdrawal, I was able to feel the sensation of hunger for the first time in many years. It truly was a gnawing feeling that was strong for a short time and then if I was too busy to eat right then, it lessened. I learned that if I skipped breakfast, I may experience a little hunger but it went away and I did not die feeling a little hungry.
The Hunger Scale is a subjective or personal tool to assess your level of hunger or fullness. It goes from -8 or starving (past hangry) to +8 or (the most stuffed you have every felt on Thanksgiving).
-8 -4 0. +4 +8
Starving Need to eat Full but Comfortable Stuffed
Try using the hunger scale where you are at right now. Use the scale before and after eating. How does hunger feel at different points on the scale. If you eat 3 times a day you should eat at -2 to -3 and eat until +2 to +3. If you eat twice a day, eat at -4 and stop eating at +4. If I am full, I stop eating and leave food on my plate vs. being a member of the clean plate club that many of us were taught growing up. The key is to fuel your body with good vegetables, fats, protein, fruit until you are comfortably full and then that will last you until your next meal and help you to lose or maintain your weight.
Do you recognize when you are hungry and when you are full and what type of hunger you are feeling?
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