Understanding Your Appetite

Understanding Your Appetite

Understanding your appetite, this is part 13 in our twenty-part series designed to help you better understand Serious Weight Loss For Women.

Part 1: Mind Body Wellness
Part 2: Secrets to Weight Loss Success
Part 3: High Intensity Interval Training 101
Part 4: Blazing Your Way to Fitness with HIIT
Part 5: Beating the Calories with Wise Dieting
Part 6: The Truth About Crash Diets
Part 7: Shave Off Pounds Without Even Trying
Part 8: Enjoy Healthy Eating…Every Day
Part 9: My Weight Loss Journey
Part 10: Lifestyle and Weight Management
Part 11: Good Health Nutrition
Part 12: Dangers of Sugar
Part 13: You are here – Understanding Your Appetite

Have you ever felt a nagging, hungry feeling while dieting?

Those who are on a calorie-reduced diet in an attempt to lose weight routinely complain about a persistent hunger that lingers. This can be frustrating because those hunger pangs don’t seem to go away, even after a big meal like is typically served at dinner. I’ve experienced the same kind of “hunger” when I started my weight loss journey, so I know how it feels.

I figured the problem was too substantial a cut in calories because my stomach would continue to growl, as though it was empty. This constant feeling of wanting to eat something – anything – concerned me enough that I went to see my family doctor about it.

I assumed that I was losing the weight loss battle – yet again.

Fortunately for me, I maintained a basic food journal where I documented everything I consumed each day. After showing the doctor my food tracking, he concluded that it was my appetite that was causing the problem.

I never thought that understanding your appetite was that important. As it turned out, I needed to learn more about this important subject if I was to once and all solve the weight loss puzzle. So off I went in search of answers.

What I’ve since discovered about appetite is that it is essentially your mental desire to eat and that one’s appetite has a significant impact on their level of satisfaction and contentment with any food.

In other words, your appetite is purely psychological. You might find as I did that it’s your appetite that causes you to overeat at times. But you’re in the driver’s seat. You can learn to control your appetite and effectively eliminate the trigger that causes you to overeat.

Why does appetite exist?

Your Appetite is the way your brain conveys an appreciation of food. It also determines your level of satisfaction level whenever you eat something. In essence, your appetite is a psychological response to the food and the satisfaction it brings. It could also be a reaction to the mere idea of eating.

Appetite is determined by two primary factors – genetics and conditioning. We have no control over genetics, so no sense worrying about it. But conditioning is the more dominant factor and can come into play with every meal. The appetite can be so strong that it causes the stomach muscles to contract, leading to that rumbling sound we all know. So yes, even though appetite is psychological in its cause, the effects can definitely be felt in a physical way.

Any overwhelming desire to eat something specific is triggered by previous experiences.  It could be an embedded memory of how your mom used to prepare one of your favorite dishes you had as a child.

Allow adequate conditioning and anyone’s appetite can change over time. Pay attention to the signals of your body. The next time you feel a strong inkling for sweets, recognize that it’s likely only your appetite talking. Recognizing this kind of signal can save you from making decisions that will thwart any attempt at shedding pounds.

Okay then, so what’s the difference between hunger and appetite?

Since the source of appetite is found in one’s mental desire, appetite is considered a separate thing altogether from actual physical hunger. Learn to recognize the difference by assessing the signals your body communicates to you.

With a physical sign like slightly weakened muscles or a growling belly, chances are, you are hungry. It’s a signal to start eating. Just choose what you eat with greater care so you fuel your machine efficiently, without compromising your weight loss effort. When your body tells you your fuel is low, its time to add something to the tank.

But your mind communicates a different signal. You tend to crave more food, even when your stomach is getting full. Information the mind conveys is that your portions were just too small to provide real satisfaction.

You’re tempted to into reach for more food – any food – simply because you think you’re still hungry. That’s when cravings kick in and you long for your favorite comfort foods. And on and on it goes – if you permit it.

How can you overcome those appetite-induced feelings?

Often it’s when your blood glucose levels are lowered that your appetite gets triggered.

If fact, this seems to happen about every 4 hours – starting when you first awaken. Watch for it and invariably you’ll find that feel your appetite signaling to you approximately every 4 hours.

In North America, we tend to eat 3 times daily – breakfast lunch and dinner. And there’s a significant gap in time between lunch and dinner. But in the United Kingdom, most people eat 4 times a day: breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. This system seems to be more effective in addressing one’s appetite.

Since glucose levels drop few hours after lunch time, lots of people feel starved by the time dinner is served. That’s when mid afternoon snacking, typically involving unhealthy items to satisfy the appetite before dinner.

How often should you eat everyday?

Eating a solid meal before your appetite compels you to pig out on junk food is a great idea. In fact, you may find that your perfect number of meals to tackle an active appetite may be 5 to 6. Just be sure each of these is a small meal.

For some, this could mean a major change. For others, not so much. It’s much easier when consume light, low-calories snacks like peanut butter on celery, carrot sticks with hummus, whole food granola bars, or oatmeal cookies sweetened with dates or raisins – instead of sugar.

Understanding your appetite is the key to conquering it. Salads are terrific appetite suppressors. After all, a good mixed salad is loaded with nutrition, texture and flavor. It can help you satisfy your appetite in a matter of minutes.

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