I get so hungry around 4 PM that I will eat just about anything. My finger saving trick is to have something healthy around to eat instead. Why do we get so hungry and what can we do about it?
Hunger is the physical sensation of desiring food, according to Wikipedia. It is brought on by the body's lack of nutrients in the bloodstream. Hunger is our body's way of saying, Hey man...I need some more gas in the tank if you wanna keep moving!
So what do you do if you waited to long, the gas light is blinking, and now you will fill the tank with any old crap just to keep it going?
1. Drink Water- Hydration is the key and cure to most everything. I've been being beat down by a sinus infection this past week. Everything and everyone says, "Drink water, stay hydrated!" They are right. Water aides in delivering nutrients to our body, carrying away waste, relieving headaches, and revitalizing muscles. For our purpose water will subside the initial onslaught of hunger by quenching our thirst and giving us time to grab a snack, rather than a finger.
2. Snack Pack- Not a SnackPack, but instead a series of snacks you've packed. These snack should be easily transportable, between 100-200 calories, and provide your body with nutritional value. Here are some of my favorites:
- Greek yogurt (plain) with cinnamon gives you calcium, is high in protein, and dietary fiber.
- Peach, pepper, and banana are all easily transportable, store-able, high in vitamin C, potassium, and rank VERY high on the Self fullness factor.
3. Small Meals, More Often- I eat ALL THE TIME! Morning boot camps and teaching P.E. all day drain me of energy so I am constantly replenishing. My frequency and calorie intake may be higher because of my BMR and activity level, but the principle of eating more often applies to you just the same. Eat smaller meals, more often to keep your blood sugar from peaking and dipping. Those peaks and valleys greatly effect your mood, energy, and hunger. My daily eating habits look like this:
Breakfast (500-600 cals)
Mid-morning snack (100-200)
Pre-lunch appetizer (100)
Afternoon snack (100-200)
End of school snack (100)
Snack at home (100-200)
I have found that these eating habits give me consistent energy throughout the day, keep me satisfied, and although I feel like a Hobbit asking for second breakfast; I got over it and now people just know I graze all day.
4. Change It Up- Sometimes it is not a hunger thing at all. Sometimes it's boredom. If you find yourself finishing chips, cheese, or crackers while mindlessly watching T.V. Change it up! You may have started hungry, but now your brain has shut off and you are stuck with that hungry feeling. Turn off the T.V. and go for a walk, do some jumping jacks, or read a book. Do anything to get your mind re-engaged. This activation of the brain plus the time elapse will allow your body to process that fact that it is full.
No matter the situation it is crucial to pay attention to your body. Have I been drinking water? Do I get hungry the same time every day? (If so, perfect time for a snack) What am I doing when I eat- T.V., sitting at the table, driving? These are cues that let us know what is effecting our appetite. Stay engaged to the needs of your body and stay satisfied so your fingers can stay engaged to your body as well.
Do you have a funny 'hunger pains' story?
Tell us in the comments section
Chris Farley on SNL circa 1990's
Jon's iPhone circa 2012