Thursday, October 20, 2011
The Hunger Conundrum
I've found that, when it comes to the subject of hunger and weight loss, people tend to be in two camps. Camp one says you should constantly graze on low calorie small meals in order to stave off hunger pains and avoid stuffing your face to the extreme when you get hungry. I understand the logic. When you wait until you're hungry to try to locate food you're ravenous by the time you find food and are, therefor, much more likely to give in to the impulse to eat yourself into a stupor. I've been there, and it is no good. Camp two says you shouldn't be eating unless you're hungry. Mindless grazing, according to camp two-ers, doesn't do anyone any favors as there is no clear indicator of "enough". I understand the logic. If you aren't eating off of cues that signal you to start eating, how on earth can you expect to react to cues signaling you to stop. A snack in the name of weight loss can very easily become a snack, a post snack-snack, a pre-meal snack, and a salty snack to balance the flavor of the sweet post-meal snack you just had. I've been there, and it's no good. So where's the good? Personally I've been thinking the good falls somewhere in the middle. Forcing yourself to eat just to "boost your metabolism" is no healthier than starving yourself to "eat only when your body needs nourishment". I tried, and failed, setting an alarm to remind me to eat a very small portion of something every 2.5 hours. I think I failed miserably because I just had no inclination to eat. At all. And when I did feel a little peckish, it was totally outside of my schedule. I say if food is on your mind, even if you don't feel the tummy rumbles yet, grab yourself a little something. In all likelihood that's your body's way of gearing up to get hungry in a few and you should probably cut it off at the pass. And, as always, control is key. Pick something relatively light and full of good stuff. I've found that the more nutrient dense a meal, the less frequently I want to eat. For example, I'm currently hungry. I can't settle, however, on anything I really want to eat. On second thought, that didn't have anything to do with anything aside from my blog topic. I must need to eat.