Monday, February 9, 2009

Are you ever really hungry?

Are You Really Hungry?

Have you ever really been hungry? Hopefully not, because hunger is a dangerous thing which is why we resist it so much despite our abundant lives. Today in America only 1 of 50 states can boast that less than 30 % of citizens are overweight. We clearly eat enough, yet we still worry about hunger and resist it.

What is hunger and how does it feel? There are many kinds of hunger. There is true physical hunger or starvation. There is emotional hunger, a growling stomach hunger, a low blood sugar hunger and hunger for the next meal. Hunger pangs are triggered by the sight and smell of cooking soups or baked bread. They are triggered by habit and time and place. Hunger is triggered by memory and thirst. Sorting it out is crucial to knowing what you need and how much. Determining bad habits, changing them and curbing behaviors is key. Knowing the difference between thirst, emotional hunger and stomach pains helps.

Here are a few facts to ponder. First, in America most of us are over nourished rather than undernourished. Second many times when we know we have eaten enough but still feel hungry we might be thirsty. As well, emotional hunger is a strong pull to overeat, but as we eat our bodies adjust making more stomach juices and readying the system for more to come. Each time we overeat we get better at overeating. Finally, when our blood sugar drops as they do for most of us once in a while, a simple snack of only 10 calories will decrease symptoms. If you are prediabetic or diabetic balancing this mechanism is far more complicated requiring insulin injections or medications to help sugars into the cells.

Hunger is okay once in a while. It is good for our appetites. Food tastes better when we are hungry. Eating is more pleasurable on an empty stomach. So, when you overeat and feel full remember this pain and think of hunger as the reward. There is plenty of food out there waiting to be eaten.

No comments:

Post a Comment