Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Reasons you’re hungry…

Reasons you’re hungry… 🍔

A lot of my clients have been telling me how hungry they are feeling now the inevitable post Christmas ‘back on it’ season as started!

There are some really obvious reasons why you might be hungry. Remember a little hunger is a good thing so don’t be too quick to want to feed it! But if you’re starving hungry then it could be because you’re not eating enough calories – whilst obvious this probably isn’t the main reason tbh. You have probably just gone from eating several thousand extra calories a day over Christmas and new year, to eating normally or cutting calories – so yes you will be hungry! Your body is expecting large amounts of calories that you’re now not eating.

Other obvious reasons include perhaps not eating enough protein or fats – both these help you stay full and it’s common to avoid the fats especially when trying to ‘be good’. You may also not be eating enough carbs. Carbs are often the first thing people cut but really you need to try to ensure you’re still eating a good quantity of them to help you manage your hunger. Each macronutrient triggers a specific hormonal response which signals satiety (fullness) – fats cause the release of GLP-1, carbs cause the release of leptin, protein stimulates release of GLP-1, glucagon, CCK and PYY which tell the brain you’re full.

However there are probably a number of other reasons you’re hungry.

You might be low on fibre – it slows digestion, adds bulk and is fermented in the digestive system to produce short chain fatty acids which once absorbed tell the brain we’re full.

You might be eating low volume calorie dense foods. Whilst calories are king when it comes to fat loss, food volume really helps with staying full. So aim for high volume, lower calorie options to help if you’re hungry.

If you’re eating whilst distracted (watching tv/on the phone) or inhaling your food too fast multiple studies have shown you won’t feel as full as if you take your time and eat more mindfully.

Your emotions will definitely impact on your eating. If you’re bored, lonely, anxious or sad (or suffering from PMT) you may turn to food for comfort. It’s totally natural and fine to do, it’s also important to try to find other ways to make you feel better: calling a friend, speaking to a therapist, exercise, meditating, engaging in a hobby etc

Finally if you’re sleep deprived you will definitely be hungry – your body will be seeking energy to keep going and that’s going to lead to food cravings and less control around food. So work on getting a better nights sleep if you can.


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