Hungry all the time? We hear you. Nobody likes to feel hungry, but do you know the difference between stomach hunger and head hunger?
If you’ve ever been on a diet, you’ve probably felt hungry. Research shows that when you’re really hungry, not only do high-kilojoule foods like chocolate and biscuits suddenly seem more appealing, but you’re also more likely to eat too much in a single meal.
Experiencing some hunger is not such a bad thing. Genuine ‘stomach’ hunger – is a valuable tool, as it’s your body’s way of letting you know that you’re getting your portion sizes right. Children are great at listening to their internal hunger cues, and they will eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full – sometimes to the frustration of parents!
But as we grow older, there are other factors at play. Boredom, stress, temptation and habit all factor into when, why and what we eat. This is what we call ‘head’ hunger – where you eat without those genuine hunger signals being present.
A classic example of head hunger is when you walk to the kitchen during a TV ad break, open the fridge and stand there gawking at what’s inside for a few minutes. You’re not genuinely hungry, so nothing seems overly appealing. Instead, you’re bored and looking for something to eat to pass the time. (Tip: keep some vegie sticks or chopped up fruit front and centre to munch on at times like this!).
Another reason we eat without feeling genuine hunger is out of habit, such as buying popcorn when you go to the movies, or eating biscuits watching TV after dinner. After time, your brain starts to associate that food with that place, and triggers you to eat it, even if you’re not hungry.
In the February issue of Healthy Food Guide magazine, we uncover five reasons you might always feel hungry, and how to regain control of your appetite. Don’t miss it – pick up your copy today!