Seeing Hunger from a Different Angle

March 21, 2013

Feeling hungry between meals might be the way to weight loss and finding a true balance and appreciation for food

Hunger in America is a huge issue; millions of people don’t have access to food for a variety of reasons – SupermarketGuru has covered this issue in the past and wants to address the issue of overeating, for those of us who do have access to food… continuously. Hunger has a very negative connotation in our society, but for those of us who are fortunate to have access to food, feeling hungry can be very healthy. For starters, food tastes better when we’re hungry!

Some of us graze all day, never feeling full but never giving our body the chance to become hungry. Others try to ignore hunger cues in an effort to eat less and loose weight, but ultimately end up overeating because we can only ignore our body’s call for nutrients for so long. Eating is intimately tied to emotions for some, and we often eat when bored, sad, or excited. Being mindful of the type of eater you are, and if you ever actually feel hungry or eat when hungry is key.

If you wait until you are hungry, but not ravenous, to eat you will likely be eating the appropriate amount of food for you; versus grazing all day and not really knowing what you actually ate. Some nutrition and weight loss counselors have great success using a tool called the Hunger Scale, which helps people become more mindful with eating in response to their body's hunger and fullness cues. When you use the Hunger Scale, you don't eat until you notice that you are pleasantly hungry, and you stop eating just before becoming full. Slowing down when eating and taking the time to notice the colors, aromas and textures of your food will also help you identify your body's hunger and fullness cues.

Reconnecting with our hunger cues can often result in weight loss, because it helps us cut out overeating.

Kids! Picky eaters might not be hungry.  Allowing enough time in between meals and snacks may aid in getting kids to try new foods – we’re all much more likely to try new foods when we’re hungry, as it's very easy to be picky when you’re not hungry.

For more on mindful eating click here.