The need to survive and thrive equipped our brains with several mechanisms which make eating enjoyable. When we smell food we even start to salivate. These mechanisms evolved to help us make healthy food choices; sadly they have been corrupted by the food industry and used against us. Our natural instincts have been lost and many of us ‘graze’ without feeling satisfied and continue to feel hungry for ‘something’. Find out how to master your own mind and get the satisfaction back and prevent those habit wrecking hunger pangs!
Hunger pangs, nutritional needs or mental pain?
We have many different types of hunger and it is really useful to know the difference!
If you don’ get enough real nutrients you will still feel hungry, eating junk food will not satisfy this type of hunger, but a green smoothie will. When the body lacks nutrition your hunger will feel constantly ‘on’ but never satisfied. All processed foods are un-nutritional, they have had the goodness processed out to increase profit.
Often confused for hunger because we used to get water from fresh fruit and vegetables (before the days of plastic packaged water). Quench this hunger with the wet stuff! Most of us are chronically dehydrated which prevents our body from being able to circulate nutrients and remove toxins. We instinctively know “good from bad” and if you lack thirst it might be that your water quality is low. Bottled water is bad for your health (due to the plastic) and bad for the environment too – get a decent water filter and your own sexy glass bottle to carry it in.
We naturally seek a selection of nutrients, so if you fancy something different this is your hunger for variety, experiment with some new foods and see how your body responds. When we lived of berries and wild food we were able to truly eat the rainbow of phytochemicals and essential nutrients. Unfortunately this innate desire for food and colour variety has been profitised by candy companies.
When we eat refined sugars or concentrated natural sources, like dates, it causes blood glucose levels to peak (spike) then drop rapidly, this metabolic confusion creates ‘pseudo-hunger’ (even if we are full to bursting point!). Balance dense sources of sweetness with fats and protein, for example nibble on dried fruit AND nuts to avoid the sugar rush.
Eating is pleasurable and we comfort ourselves with foods which stimulate our pleasure reward systems. People don’t comfort eat lettuce – we go for sweet/salty/fried to get our brains pumping out the ‘reward hormones’, but it is short lived and when guilt kicks in the pleasure is often lost. We fill the emotional void with food and try and recreate positive memories using foods we associate with joy. Find more empowering ways to comfort, reward and treat yourself.
When the stomach is empty there is a specific sensation which we label as hunger. This ‘hunger pang’ is due to stretch receptors in the stomach walls letting us know it is empty. Sometimes it shrinks so much the sides even touch which is another sensation we label as hunger. You can easily train yourself to ignore this signal, you do not need to eat as soon as you are empty, this is an old habit from our caveman days – there is no longer the kind of food scarcity that means we need to eat all the time! Ignore these hunger pangs until you need more nutrition.
Are you hungry now?
Next time you feel’ hungry’ take a moment to mindfully assess your needs. Are they nutritional, emotional, physical? What would REALLY satisfy this hunger? Ignore hunger pangs and look for real ways to feel full. Full of joy, full of life and full of plant-based deliciousness.
Play Your Part
Every single awakened individual has a role to play in creating global change. By sharing this article on your favourite social media channels you speed up the process of conscious co-creation. Your actions do make a difference. If just one more person reads this article they receive the gift of the increased health and harmony of plant-based nutrition. Share this knowledge now.