I often get, “I eat fine, Beth. I’m not a snack person, I don’t crave or binge on junk food, I love food – real food. I guess you can say that I have a big appetite. Ugh … I just eat too much.”
Does this sound like you?
The rest of the story usually goes something like, “I get sooo hungry that when I sit down to eat, I feel as if I can eat anything and everything that’s not nailed down.”
… Then comes the guilt …. The feeling of being “stuffed” and then the feeling of defeat, “Well it won’t matter now if I have that extra _____!”
PSST. Sssh. Here’s a secret:
Restaurateurs are hoping you say this when it comes to desert!
Everyday we are bombarded with what we should eat and shouldn’t eat. What if I told you that when you eat has a lot to do with how much you eat? That’s right, when you eat is really important.
See, after you eat, it takes about three to four hours for your stomach to process the food you ate and become empty. Of course this depends on how much you eat, but generally speaking, it takes about 3-4 hours for your stomach to empty.
Now that you know this – I suggest you play around with it.
HOW DO YOU FEEL?
After about 3-4 hours of not eating, pay close attention to the following:
- Does your stomach growl or feel “empty”?
- Do you start thinking of food?
- Do you feel thirsty?
- Maybe your hands feel cold, or weak, maybe even shaky?
- Do you feel tired, cranky, maybe you are unable to focus?
These are some general signs of physical hunger.
So, let’s say you ate breakfast at 7:30AM. Are you hungry again at 10:30/11:00AM? Do you eat or do you ignore your hunger and wait until your 12PM lunchtime? And if you eat lunch around Noon, are you hungry again at 3/4PM? And do you ignore your hunger, again? If you are like most people, you ignore this too, and wait until dinnertime - which could be 6, 7 or 8 PM! Think about it - that’s 6-8 hours after you ate lunch – if you ate lunch!
Well, no wonder your starving and ready to
“Eat anything and everything that’s not nailed down.”
Don’t ignore your body.
Love your body.
Feed your body healthy foods.
Pay attention to when you feel hungry
Plan to Eat!
PLAN WHEN TO EAT
Here are five simple steps to help you pay attention to your hunger clues, and plan when you eat:
- At first, it may be helpful to write down when and what you eat, so you can start to see a pattern develop. This can also really help you focus in on those physical signs of hunger.
- Next, you need to plan your meals so that you don’t go more than 4 hours without eating - breakfast being the exception. At this time, I want to point out why I am a big supporter of a healthy breakfast. Skipping breakfast can really set you up for a ravenous appetite – which, according to the latest research, can leave you more hungry later in the day – around that bewitching hour, around 3/4PM, and sometimes again at dinnertime.
- Planning means you may need to set up breakfast the night before, pack a lunch if your on the road, or familiarize yourself with healthy options from local eateries that provide nutrient dense, whole-food options.
- Planning means you need to pay attention to your “bewitching hour”. For most people, the “bewitching hour” is some time between lunch and dinner, usually around 3,4 or 5 o’clock. This is a good time to eat a “mini-meal”:
- An apple, pear, or banana with
- A granola, sport or protein bar, or
- 1-2 Tbs of a nut butter
- A cup of vegetables with
- Humus, or
- 1-2 ounces of cheese
- A slice of whole grain bread with
- 2 ounces of turkey breast, or
- 2 Tbs of a nut butter
- 6-8 ounces of yogurt with
- ½ cup of fruit (like blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries), and/or
- Nuts, flax, hemp or chia seeds
- Planning means cooking once and eating twice. Cook on the weekends and double the recipe, so you can have leftovers during out the week, or freeze leftovers for the next week.
When you plan, you Fuel Your Day. Eating throughout the day, helps balance your blood sugar and keep your metabolism revved.
Together, we can work on a plan that works for you, your schedule, and your needs.
Let’s start today.
Call to schedule your Free Health History 973-852-3335.