Are You Really Hungry?

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With 0% of Americans dying from malnutrition, it’s obvious that we have access to enough food. In fact, 42% of women that live below the poverty level are obese, as well as 29% of men and 20% of children! So clearly access to enough food isn’t the problem. I believe our biggest challenge is overcoming our appetite and only eating when we’re truly hungry.

In The 80/10/10 Diet by Dr. Douglas Graham, hunger is defined as the desire to fill a nutrient requirement for carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, coenzymes, etc. When we are really experiencing hunger, any food will do. Appetite, however, is when we are craving a specific food or foods. Appetite can also be described as something we desire or are addicted to as well. In this situation, any food will not suffice. See the difference? We’ve become a society driven by cravings and rarely experience true hunger anymore. Is it possible that the answer to our weight struggles is learning how to respond to hunger instead of appetite?

I think this is totally possible. My best friend, Leslie, and I were talking about what has been working for her in her weight loss efforts. She is such a great example of how this little change in thinking can have a big impact. She works out a ton and as a mom with two little girls, looks great. But she wanted to focus on getting to her pre-baby weight and knew she needed to make a change mentally. After reading Matthew McConaughey’s comment on how he’s been shedding massive weight for an upcoming movie, “It takes a while for your body to understand that it has to feed off of itself and that you’re not going to give it something else from the outside,” it just clicked for her. “Now when I feel like eating a late night snack, I just tell myself I have enough calories in my body and I just need to use those. It may sound simple, but it works.”

Both Matthew and Leslie are on to something. The single most important factor I find with successful clients is how they talk to themselves. Those with encouraging and positive internal dialogue will almost always outperform those with negative self-talk. This is extremely motivating because we can all take control of our thoughts and see big results. To start implementing this concept, grab a piece of paper or use a journal for one day. When the thought of food or eating pops into your head, jot down if you feel hungry or not. Also write down any dialogue you notice going on. The next day, do the same thing but try to wait until you’re truly hungry to eat. It may feel foreign at first, but it’s a great way to retrain your body. This is how nature intended us to eat and to also ensure we are eating the proper amount of calories. Use this strategy daily and you’ll be amazed at the results.

*The information on this site is designed for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Thank you!

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~by Kimberly Olson

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