Not all symptoms of hunger are equal.

 Different foods cause different symptoms of hunger.

Different foods cause different symptoms of hunger.

One of the top reasons people fail in their resolve to release weight, is their brain signaling fear of hunger. 

Fear of hunger is in our DNA.  Your brain is driven to replenish food when the stores are low. 

In the past, the brain/body had to accommodate periods of famine and the changes of the season that depleted food sources. Today, in the U.S. we have access to every type of food all day, all year long. 

We are not at risk for starvation.  We can actually survive (this is really pushing it)  without any food for 30-40 days.  That means we won’t starve to death unless we do not eat from 720 to 960 hours. 

Many of us fear we cannot survive 2 hours without a snack. 

Food Quality Matters

This is the part of the process that’s not your fault.  If you are eating the normal American diet, including low-nutrient, high sugar and highly processed food, your brain responds like it would respond to cocaine.  The more you ingest, the more dopamine reward. The more dopamine reward, your brain resets and desire is stronger and we want even more. The result is that we are eating more calories than our body requires and they are non-nutritious calories, causing an epidemic of lifestyle diseases.

If you fear that the sensation of hunger will cause unacceptable pain, you likely believe you will fail on any plan to release weight that asks you to experience hunger.

Will hunger cause severe pain?  Hunger may be unpleasant, but it is not severe if we are eating 2 to 3 meals per day.  We may experience anxiety caused by our thoughts about feeling fear. The fear of hunger. It goes around and around.

Is all hunger the same? 

Our drive to eat donuts is not necessary for survival and if you choose to eat donuts every day, it could be detrimental to your survival.  You have the right to eat whatever you want.  And we do.  The problem is empty calories compel you to eat even more.  Your body is created to survive and it needs nutrition to do so.  Eating nutrient dense foods is a solution.

This drive for more processed food is one of the many complex factors that has created a world where 70% of the American population is overweight.  

3 varieties of hunger

Hunger

Symptoms: low grumbling in stomach.  Occurs slowly as the stomach is digesting whole foods in your stomach.  When your stomach is empty your brain will seek more food.  If no food is coming, your body will dine in and access your fat stores for energy.

Toxic Hunger

Symptoms: headache, fatigue, light-headedness, inability to focus. Symptoms are produced by your body’s attempts at detoxifying the wastes produced by harmful, low nutrient foods. Processed foods, oils-sweeteners are linked to inflammation, oxidative stress, and an accumulation of toxic materials. Research has observed that these symptoms drive people to consume more calories than they require. Your brain is focused on the reward center – and withdrawal produces a constant drive to eat more.

Psychological/Emotional Hunger

Symptoms: urge or compulsion to eat a particular food. Symptoms are produced by thoughts about a situation that creates an emotional response. Often, we have created cues and habits based on our continuous response to resisting feeling our emotions. We use food to buffer – calm, avoid, or distract us from feeling.

Tips to deal with symptoms of hunger when you want to release weight

Hunger

·       Be sure you are eating enough protein, vegetables and healthy fats.

·       Drink purified water with herbs or tea or coffee.

·       Consider WHY you have set out to lose weight or eat healthier.

·       Imagine life at your goal weight and in a healthy, vibrant body.

·       Move – walk, stretch, run, dance.

·       Remember your next meal may only be 4-6 hours away.

Toxic Hunger

·       Add 50% more green vegetables to each meal.

·       Be sure you are eating enough high quality protein, vegetables and fats.

·       Drink bone broth with added salt.

·       Drink purified water with herbs or tea or coffee.

·       Consider WHY you have set out to lose weight or eat healthier.

·       Imagine life at your goal weight and in a healthy, vibrant body.

·       Move – walk outside or around the house, stretch, run, dance.

Emotional Hunger:

·       Become aware of your emotions.

·       Become aware of what your emotion feels like in your body.

·       Keep track of your emotions and your food by keeping a food journal.

·       Add 50% more nutrient dense vegetables to each meal.

·       Be sure you are eating enough high-quality protein, vegetables and fats.

·       Drink purified water.

·       Ask your self: What do you love about your life?

·       Ask your self: What can you add to your life to bring more joy?

·       Ask your self: What can you take away from your life to have more time for self-care?

If you know that you want to lose weight for the last time, and you are ready to exchange the fear of feeling hunger with actually learning to feel, I am here to help you.  You have a brain that is changeable.  You have a body that wants your love. You can learn new things.