Have you ever eaten a meal and then felt hungry again just an hour later? If so, what was your reaction? You may have felt confused, upset, frustrated, or simply annoyed that you felt the need to eat again!
If you’re trying to lose weight, or following a specific meal plan, you’re probably tempted to ignore that hunger. You might even feel betrayed by your body that it’s not satisfied with the food you just recently fed it.
But there are a number of legitimate reasons why you might be hungry, even though you just ate! They’re all physiologically NORMAL reasons. Your body isn’t broken. Your body is not betraying you. It’s just letting you know about a need it has.
Do you ever question your bladder? Or how much you need to breathe? Your body is designed to analyze the situations you’re in, determine your needs, and then let you know what to do! We trust our bodies to know how much to breathe, how much to pee, set the proper heart rate, etc. But when it comes to knowing how much food to eat, the trust stops short.
I came across an Instagram post by Aubrey Golbrek, RD from Grace Fueled, about why you might feel hungry even though you just ate. I’m not the only dietitian out there, so I got her permission to share her take on it!
1. You didn’t eat a very big meal 1 hour before or you didn’t have enough protein/fat/fibre at that meal. Sometimes my five year old just wants to eat oranges for breakfast or red peppers for lunch. I gently remind him that while these are healthy foods, if that’s all he eats, he’s going to be hungry again before our next scheduled meal or snack! The foods we choose to eat can have a big impact on how soon our hunger returns!
2. You worked out earlier (or the day before) and your energy demands are elevated. For obvious reasons, while you’re working out your body is expending more energy. But your metabolism actually stays revved up for several hours afterwards too!
3. Your body is recovering from injury, or maybe illness that you aren’t even aware you’re fighting off. Your body will raise its temperature slightly (think mild fever) to fight an infection. Well, guess what? It takes energy to keep your temperature higher and to draw on your immune defence!
4. You didn’t eat enough the day before. Maybe you were busy doing #allthethings and forgot to eat. Or maybe you were trying to intentionally cut too many calories. Guess what? Your body is pretty smart. It’s going to increase the hunger signals to make up for that.
5. You’re at a point in your hormonal cycle or time in your life (hello pregnancy and lactation!) where your metabolism is higher. We can do rough calculations for how many calories we need each day, but those are just averages. In reality, some days we need more than others.
6. You just need more food right now! Your body knows what it needs. If none of the above are true, give yourself permission to listen to your body, believe your body, and feed it!
Learning how to tune in to what your body is telling you is probably the most important eating habit you can adopt. It will set you up for a lifetime of healthy, properly portioned eating. If you haven’t heard of this concept before, it can sound a bit out there, but remember that you knew how to do this as a child. All you have to do is relearn it.
If you’re not sure how to learn this important skill, or the process seems daunting to you now, I’ve set up a program that will step you through that process. I’ll show you how to reconnect with your body’s signals, so you can become comfortable around food again! You’ll know when to stop eating, and how to stop, because your body will tell you. You won’t have to worry about eating when you’re hungry, or feel guilty about it at all, because you’ll have a comfortable relationship with food, and with your body.
I would love to show you how to do all this. Just head over here and let me tell you more!
Or start by downloading my free checklist, 10 Habits That Keep You Overeating, to give yourself a habit “checkup!”
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