I’m “hungry”

Are you? are you “hungry”? Lets talk about that, ‘hungry’ is an interesting word. Everyone from new-borns to geriatrics will swear to you that they are clear on what/when ‘hungry’ is, but here is the funny part; ‘hungry’ is actually the word used by people (at least english speakers) to describe at least four very very different and distinct metabolic/physiological symptoms. The word ‘hungry’ to describe your state of digestion is similar to if there was only one word to describe; cramping, numbing, tingling and itching for when your foot falls asleep. They ARENT the same sensation.

Have you ever heard the antage: “It takes 15 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain its full”? This is garbage. It IS NOT true. It is true that ONE of the 4 types of hunger takes a few minutes to process, but it has NOTHING to do with your stomach. So lets break this down, the four types of ‘hunger’ and just what you need to do about it.

Blood Sugar
As our blood sugar starts to drop caused by a lack of carbohydrates in some form, it starts to cause various symptoms, maybe from just a bit cranky to a headache. Typically you just don’t feel “on” with lower blood sugar. So you go get some food. No matter how much you eat, no matter how fast you eat, it typically will take your body about 15 minutes to break down the food, get it into your blood stream, be noticed by the pancreas (which regulates sugar with insulin) and ebb those feelings associated with low blood-sugar. This is where the advice comes from to “eat slow”.

Now, to be clear. Everyone has blood sugar, everyone NEEDS blood sugar, these are not just things isolated to diabetics and hypoglycemics. Low blood sugar is one of the core sensations described as ‘hunger’.

Calorie Deficit
If you want to know a little more about calories read my last post. But fact of the matter is, sometimes your body starts to feel tired and sluggish. You don’t quite have the energy or patience you feel you should. Sometimes it manifests in motor control or attention span. Nonetheless, these are all signs that the fire in your belly is going out, and there just isn’t enough energy to do what you are asking your body to do. It is THIS concept that ties into the advice; you HAVE TO EAT to lose weight. Putting your body into calorie deficit, actually SLOWS the metabolism, stunts weight loss, and your body will automatically combat you by shutting down physiological processes you might be using (like fine motor skills)

This is the reason often you feel ‘hungry’ at bedtime. Its your body saying “okay dude, feed me or let me sleep”.

Contracting Stomach
This one is fun. Often, our stomach will start to contract, resizing itself down, as it isn’t needing to accommodate so much food. If paired with calorie deficit, or low blood sugar or both, this is the sensation often described as “hunger pains”. However, with an appropriate proportioned diet of the right carbs and calories, this sensation feels awesome! If you learn to not react to the first “stomach grumble” you can sometimes ACTUALLY FEEL you belt getting looser and your stomach receding in.

Psychological
People have written BOOKS on this, so I won’t try and be too deep. But more often than not, our feelings of “hunger” are actually: Boredom, stress, routine, recreation… etc…etc…etc…

As you start your 90dayReboot and you strip out all the crap from your diet, start eating smaller, cleaner and more frequent meals, you can actually learn to recognize with greater accuracy which of these your feeling.

I work in a cubicle.. I spend my day, bored out of my mind. So I’m ALWAYS ‘hungry’… but thats just it. I’m NEVER actually hungry. We’ll talk more over the next 90days about what foods to keep in your system and what foods to keep out. But just remember to keep a constant flow of lean light carbs and calories flowing, keep your boredom in check and ignore a cinching stomach and you WILL lose weight.

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