When you are trying to maintain a healthy diet, or even lose weight, listening to your body is the key. With our lives getting busier and more hectic by the second, it is very easy to fall out of pace with our bodies and establish bad habits.
Humans begin life with an innate sense of what they need. A baby or small child can tell you exactly how hungry it is. But as we grow and learn, discover taste preferences and new foods, we become more driven by smell, emotion and appetite. Our needs and wants can become so confused that we can almost lose our connection to our body and its health completely.
Mindfulness and accountability are surefire ways to achieve and maintain a healthy link and understanding into what our bodies are trying to tell us. If you want to lose weight or eat healthier, learning to listen to your body, combined with exercise and a balanced weight loss program, will ensure you succeed.
Give your hunger a number
Many nutritionists recommend the use of a hunger scale to reconnect you with your body. By giving your appetite a number between one and ten, you are beginning to distinguish between what is hunger and what is a hankering.
If you are in the middle of a meal, check in with yourself. Am I as hungry as I was when I started eating? Am I almost full? If I stopped eating now, would I be satisfied? Noticing how our bodies react when we eat can be the best touchstone for weight management.
Don’t fall into the trap of emotional eating
Anxiety, boredom, stress and a myriad of other emotional moments can lead to craving specific foods and consuming excess calories. Take note and be mindful of when you tend to crave certain foods or eat badly, as these circumstances may be unseen triggers for emotional eating. It is important to be aware of these if you can. You can even keep a diary of when you eat and how you felt when eating, which can help you to track your emotional state.
That being said, irritability, loss of focus and lightheadedness are all physiological signs that you need to eat and as soon as possible. Often, when the body no longer exhibits the simple signs of hunger, our mood and cognitive function are key indicators that we need more fuel.
Remember to stay hydrated
We have all been told many times how important it is to drink water. Sometimes, when we feel hungry, our body is actually telling us we are thirsty. Always try to take a bottle of water with you and set reminders on your phone to drink it. If you are constantly hungry, drink some water and wait ten minutes or so. If the hunger disappears, it could be that you were just a little dehydrated. It is near impossible to maintain a healthy connection with hunger if your body is constantly crying out in thirst.
Making sure you have a balanced diet and eating small healthy snacks regularly throughout the day will also help you manage and become more attuned to your hunger. Eating something that has a good balance of nutrients and protein, such as some nuts and berries, will help you feel fuller for longer and over time allow you to adjust to how much your body really needs.
Understanding how and why you are hungry will make losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle much easier. These simple methods of checking your hunger scale and making sure you eat slowly and calmly are vital in making sure you are eating for your body’s health, not for your mind.
Article Submitted By Community Writer