Monday, February 22, 2010

Answers to Permanent Weight Loss Questions

4.  I am always hungry. What can I do?
            When the goal is weight loss, hunger is often a hurdle to overcome, however it may not necessarily be hunger. Reminisce for a moment the numerous occasions feasting until the point you thought you could not eat another bite and then dessert is presented. Somehow you are hungry again. Well, it is not hungry you feel, it is your appetite. To rein in your eating habits it is important to understand the two mechanisms controlling this particular situation.
            Hunger is a physiological response (internal stimuli) to lack of food, whereas appetite is the desire to eat due to environment (external stimuli) such as the sight or smell of food. Many things can trigger your desire to eat, and recognizing the difference between genuine hunger and stimulus driven appetite (the same signals that entice a smoker to want to have a smoke with a beer) are one of the many tools to place in your healthy lifestyle tool kit. Much of the stimuli in our environment prompt the desire to munch such as sizzling steak on the television commercials, smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls, bill boards picturing beautifully prepared foods all trigger food intake when it is unnecessary.           
             What is often mistaken for hunger maybe “pseudo hunger”, and someone with a large appetite could possibly be someone who was taught to clear everything on their plate. Hunger vs. Appetite is a perfect situation to engineer your environment for success. Here are a few tips:

 1.  Before you eat, stop and ask yourself if you are really hunger or if you are just eating out of habit, boredom or temptation.
2.  Remove yourself from the temptation. Go for a walk, play with the dog, drink a large glass of cold water or even brush your teeth.
3.  Eat before you get hungry by planning your meals ahead of time. 5 – 6 smaller meals throughout the day.
4.  Refrain from eating treats (chocolate, candy, chips) when you are hungry as it conditions a belief system that only quick sugary treats satisfy hunger.
 5.  Fill up on high fiber foods that are low in fat.    
Drop 10 Pounds in 30 Days!
Tammi Jacobs, Health and Wellness Expert
Results Health and Fitness Center, Chandler, Arizona