HOW TO KNOW IF YOU'RE ACTUALLY HUNGRY.
Seriously though, how many times have you said, "I can't tell if i'm hungry or not". HA. I definitely have and it's annoying because it seems like it should be a pretty basic human instinct.
But I'm someone that reallllly pays attention to my body and why things are happening and what's causing things and blah blah so after doing some research and paying more attention to my body and the actual way I'm FEELING, I was able to learn that the hungry feeling, isn't always what we think it is.
Here's some major times that I think a lot of us might think we're hungry when we're really not.
The very first second you wake up.
Duuude, there's been times that I wake up and feel like my stomach has been eating itself for the past 12 years. Like I can feel it in my sternum kind of hunger. So I used to just think nothing of it other than HOLY SHIT I'M STARVING then go have 3 bowls of cereal.
After some research and a little bit of paying attention I realized when this feeling was happening which was when I would wake up much earlier than usual. Which at first didn't make sense to me and kinda made me feel like a psycho because I'm like okay, I'm feeling this way and I really didn't have dinner THAT long ago.
Here's the situation: Sometimes when we wake up too early, we start to go about our day while our stomach is still doing some maintenance that it takes care of while we sleep. This includes releases certain acids so if we wake up while that process is still happening then it kinda hurts and feels like hunger but it's not.
My suggestion? Honestly what I do is just have a cup of tea or coffee and wait until my normal time that I eat breakfast. After one cup of coffee I feel much better.
Another reason you might be hungry right when you wake up could be that you ate too much crappy food the day before.
Okay this has happened to you guys too right? You cheat like a crazy person the night before and have a burrito like 20 minutes before you knock out and wake up again feeling like you haven't eaten in forever.
When we eat shitty food (lots of sugar and simple carbs) we spike our insulin levels. In order to balance our insulin levels, glucose is released. When glucose is released, it stimulates the appetite section of our brain THUS making us feel hungry again. Get it? This is why I always say to avoid simple carbs! They make you tired and then you feel hungry again quickly.
If you didn't sleep ENOUGH, you'll feel symptoms of hunger.
Two hormones contribute to this:
Leptin and Ghrelin.
Throughout the day when we get hungry our body will produce the hormone Ghrelin to let us know that we are hungry and that it is time to eat.
When we get full, our body produces the hormone LEPTIN to let us know it's time to STOP eating.
When we don't get enough sleep our body starts making more Ghrelin and LESS LEPTIN causing us to feel hungrier.
If you feel hungry LATE at night
This is a big one no? This coined the "late night snack cravings" phrase that lets everyone think that it's just like a thing that happens. Technically it is but it's not an excuse. When we stay up late we obviously get tired SO our body tries to keep us awake by signaling to us that it needs SUGAR.
It knows that sugar will give us an extra kick in the ass so out of no where you start to feel like you need some chocolate or ice cream or a soda or whatever.
Instead of caving, I suggest just having a sweetened nut milk like almond or coconut and calling it a night. OR just pound a glass of water. Water will reduce your cravings AND give you energy. It's a win win.
If you're stressed, you'll feel hungry.
Stress just triggers hunger hormones but at the end of the day, actually eating in a stressful habit is merely a habit. Next time you get stressed, instead of reaching for something to scarf down, try deep breathing, exercising, or journaling.
So basically, if you JUST woke up and it's earlier than normal for you or you ate a lot of junk food before going to bed and you feel hungry...chances are that you're not.
If you're low on sleep and feel hungry, try drinking water and taking a nap first.
If you're stressed try the tips I mentioned above.
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