The Hunger Rhythms

  • 1 Minute Read

Your body is an expert on hunger. You should know how to listen to its cues.

The Hunger Rhythms

How many of you eat on a strict schedule five days a week? How many of you eat in response to environmental and emotional cues? These activities ruin our instinctive ability to know when our body is hungry and needs food. Working on trusting yourself to eat when you need to can help you lose weight and maintain the weight lost.

The first step is to get rid of the notion there is a clock out there and it's always set for the same time (breakfast at 8, lunch at noon, dinner at 6). As your stomach begins to rumble, it's letting you know that your body needs fuel. There are many things that can trigger your body into feeling hunger, such as when and what you last ate, and how active you are or have been.

To work on this, let go of the strict titles of breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you're not hungry at lunchtime, you can either eat less or skip eating altogether and just have a more substantial snack/meal later on a break. If you're constantly hungry at four in the afternoon but don't want to ruin dinner that's planned for six, you can fit in a small healthy snack to get over those last two hours.

Having ready-made snacks nearby will help you. Stash some fresh fruits at your office, or carry a small bag of nuts in your purse or in your glove compartment. This will let you eat something when your body says it's time.

Another important step in re-training yourself to listen to your hunger rhythms is to eat the most important meal of the day: breakfast. Not everyone is hungry in the morning, perhaps because your body is still waking up or you went straight for the coffee. However, eating something in the morning will break the "fast" (hence "breakfast") your body has been on. Eating often will help you maintain a strong metabolism, and eating breakfast is the best way to start that process.

Hunger rhythms change. It's one reason very structured diets fail. Your body knows when it's hungry, so you should listen to it.

What do you think? What cues do you listen to that tell you your body needs fuel?

Weight Loss->Appetite & Satiety
Mar 1, 2013
Ryan Newhouse - health writer, MyNetDiary

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