I can remember, many years ago before I started eating David’s Way, trying to control my eating and being so hungry so much of the time. Frequently I hear people complain that they might try to lose weight but they are NOT going hungry. I don’t blame them. I’m not either and you don’t have to go hungry to manage your waistline. As a matter of fact, allowing yourself to get hungry and stay hungry will undermine your efforts at weight loss. You will automatically binge if you let your blood sugar get too low for too long. Always have healthy meals and snacks available.
This was my breakfast today. Birchbender’s Keto Pancakes , scrambled eggs with homemade cheese sauce, Hormel Black Label Thick Slice Bacon, Maple Grove Farms Sugar Free Syrup and watermelon, 573 calories of paradise. I eat well and I am NEVER hungry.
There are common, known reasons for chronic hunger. Address these basic needs and watch your hunger disappear.
1-You’re not eating enough protein. Read David’s article, Protein Supplements to discover how much protein you should be eating. Sometimes I am appalled when I look at someone’s diet and find they are eating almost no protein. You will never be satisfied if you are skimping on protein. It’s the basic building blocks that our bodies use to build and repair everything. If you aren’t eating enough, your body will provoke you to eat until you are. Protein is involved in regulating the hormones that signal hunger and fullness. Make sure to include a protein source in every meal and snack.
2-You’re eating too many refined carbohydrates. Refined carbs are lacking in fiber so you digest them too quickly to provide a sense of satisfaction. They just don’t “stick to your ribs”. This may cause sudden spikes in your blood sugar which can stimulate an insulin release. As the insulin does it’s job to remove sugar from your bloodstream, your blood sugar falls and you may feel hungry again very quickly. Just think about how much cake you can eat and never get full! It’s not just because you like it. It’s also because all that sugar demands a lot of insulin which metabolizes the sugar and you just keep on eating in this vicious circle, but always feel hungry. Do yourself a favor and dump the simple carbs.
3- You avoid fat. I remember the low-fat fad of years ago. We had a terrible time trying to control our weight. We could drop it pretty fast because when we quit eating most fat, our caloric intake dropped. The problem was, we were never satisfied and ate way too much to compensate for giving up fat. We also felt justified to over-indulge because everything tasted like cardboard and we were constantly looking for something that tasted good. Healthy high-fat foods include, but are not limited to, coconut oil, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna, walnuts, avocados, olive oil, eggs, flaxseeds and full-fat yogurt.
4- You’re not getting enough sleep. Sleep is necessary to help regulate the appetite-stimulating hormone, ghrelin. If you skimp on sleep, you will produce more ghrelin and be hungry all the time. Catch some zzz’s.
5-You’re not drinking enough water. Water is necessary for you to feel full and quite often thirst is mistaken for hunger, provoking you to eat when you are not hungry. Read David’s article How Much Water Do I Need? for a good, quick reference concerning hydration. There’s no need to get on the possibly dangerous bandwagon of drinking X amount of water per day. Some of those programs are deadly. David breaks it down very well in the aforementioned article. Consult your physician for recommendations on hydration if you have any health issues whatsoever. Some medications require a specific fluid balance in the body to work properly and some medical conditions require careful measuring of your fluid intake.
6-You work out, a LOT! David and I are both avid exercisers and we record every bite that we eat because we eat all the calories that we need every day. Use the Calorie Counter Pro to determine your caloric needs and eat those calories! Starvation diets never work in the long run. We advise losing no more than a pound a week for comfort and practical application. If you try to lose too fast, you will give up due to being miserable all the time. Always consult your physician before beginning any weight loss program.
7- You drink alcohol. Alcohol has been shown to possibly inhibit the hormone, leptin, when it is drank before or with meals. Leptin is one of the hormones that tells you when to stop eating. Along with alcohol stimulating hunger, it also lowers your inhibitions and impairs your judgement so it’s much easier to overeat. Avoid alcohol if you want to be truly fit.
8-You drink too many of your calories. The smoothie craze did not produce healthy, lean people. Think about it. Most of the people at a smoothie bar are overweight. There’s a reason for that. When we drink our calories, they pass through our stomachs so fast, we don’t even have time to register satiety. We finish those calories quickly, before our brain has time to register fullness and we get hungry again very soon, but we are out of calories for that meal and we have just ingested tons of carbs with little to no fiber to slow their absorption into our system, so next is the insulin dump. Make sure to chew your calories by eating solid, whole foods.
9-You have chronic, acute stress. Stress causes you to have more cortisol in your body and cortisol is a “fight or flight” hormone that makes you crave food. Here at David’s Way we teach and live, “Make Your Life Small”, which means to cut away excess stress and everything and everybody that is a negative force in your life. It’s amazing how quickly this lowers stress levels. I have recreated my life entirely and continually work on this concept of “tossing out the garbage”. It’s amazing how much this lifestyle helps with major stressors.
10-You eat too fast! Fast eaters are more likely to be overweight. When we wolf down our food, we don’t chew it well. Chewing our food slowly allows our brain to have time to send out signals to stop eating. Try calming down before you eat with a few breathing exercises and pause between bites to allow yourself time to chew your food. If your brain never signals that you are full, you will always be hungry. Learn to slow down.
While hunger is real, and can be a huge stumbling block when we’re trying to lose weight or even maintain our weight, it can be managed. There was a time in my life when I felt like I was never full and it seemed that I was always hungry. These are the strategies that worked for me then and the same ones that I still use today. I have a motto: “NO EMPTY CALORIES!!!” That one thing alone can fix your hunger. I employed all of these tactics at one time or another but if I eat NO empty calories, calories devoid of good nutrition, I am never hungry. Oh, yeah…did I tell you?
11-Don’t eat added sugars. This is the base for avoiding hunger. It is the ultimate simple carb. Avoid sugar and automatically stabilize so many biochemical responses involved in hunger.
You CAN win in this struggle. Be proactive and never quit trying to improve your health and you will see that hunger is merely your body’s way to let you know that you need good nutrition. It’s not your enemy. Use it to improve your health and fitness and it will become a tool in your arsenal to create a long and vital life.