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Understanding your hunger

Ever eaten a meal and still felt hungry afterwards? Your brain could be playing tricks on you! If you want to lose body fat, understanding your hunger is vital in order to control your appetite and prevent you from making bad food choices.

The next time you feel hungry, before you reach for the biscuit tin or rush to the vending machine, bear in mind the following tips:

1. It takes time for your brain to register that you are full.

If you feel hungry after eating, wait 10 minutes and see if you still feel the same.

Hunger is a lot more complicated than you may think; it’s all to do with hormones.

When your energy stores are low, your body releases a hormone called ghrelin which signals to the brain that you need to eat.

When you digest food, hormone levels in your gut increase which send chemical signals to the brain to indicate when you are full.

These chemicals can take a while to travel through your blood to reach the brain so you may not feel satisfied immediately after eating.

If you have waited a while and still feel hungry, then you can consider having more to eat.

2. Ask yourself “Am I actually hungry?”

If you feel hungry outside your usual meal times, particularly when you are at work, ask yourself “Am I really hungry?” Boredom often manifests itself as hunger so, if you’re completing a monotonous task and start to feel hungry, the chances are you’re actually just bored.

Instead of eating more food, get up and walk around or change what you are doing. This should allow your brain to think of things other than food and prevent you from making unhealthy snack choices.

3. Eat fruit and vegetables for a long-lasting feeling of fullness.

If you’re sure that you’re still hungry after waiting 10 minutes or changing the task you’re doing, consider eating fruit and vegetables to quash your hunger rather than starchy carbohydrates, such as pasta, bread or rice.

Starchy carbohydrates often give you a burst of energy followed by a heavy lull, whereas the fibre in fruit and vegetables will give you a long-lasting feeling of fullness and ensure you feel satisfied without ruining your fat loss attempts.


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