Are You Really Hungry? 3 Ways to Unscramble the Signals
Have you ever been in one of those moods where you kept feeling hungry and you wanted to eat, but nothing really satisfied you? At times like this you may have found yourself “grazing” on several different types of food, but you couldn’t quiet that nagging feeling in your gut that says, “Feed me”.
At other times you may have been so ravenous that you were ready to eat the slipcover off the sofa.
It seems like we would know when we’re actually hungry, but sometimes the signals can get crossed so we’re not really sure. Below are a few simple steps you can take to figure out if you are REALLY hungry, not just bored or craving something else.
1) Listen for Grumbling
A growling, grumbling stomach is usually the strongest clue that you’re really hungry. But it may not appear right away. Tune into your stomach area and pay attention to any sensations there, like emptiness, mild nausea, or rumbling. If these are not present, go to the next step below.
2) Watch for Low Energy
Do you feel a little weak, shaky, or fatigued? This is usually a clear sign that your body needs some fuel. Beyond the physical weakness, you may also feel emotionally depleted, resulting in irritability, moodiness, and a quick temper.
If neither of these conditions are present, then:
3) Wait 15 Minutes
The symptoms above usually get strong once you are very hungry, but before that they can be much more subtle. If you aren’t sure if you’re really hungry, just wait a little while. Find something else to distract you and then check in with yourself a little later. If you are truly getting hungry, your stomach and the rest of your body will definitely let you know!
Of course, there’s no rule that you can’t eat when you’re not hungry, but if you do that often you may end up eating a lot more calories than your body really needs, resulting in weight gain.
If you instead just pay attention to your body’s hunger signals and eat accordingly, losing weight is much more natural and easy.