Urge to Eat – How to Control Your Urge to Eat
Hunger is your body’s natural way of telling you that it needs food, but what do you do if it keeps growling at what seems like all the time? A common issue I’ve come across in people trying to lose weight is the untimely urge to eat. While many clients ask for tips on how to not eat, it’s important to know why they feel that way.
On the outside, the equation for weight loss is sometimes as simple as eating fewer calories than you need, but various factors can tamper with this delicate balance. So let’s look at why you may feel the urge to eat all the time, how it affects your body, and how you can control it. Weight loss coaching can help you work through all these issues with the support of a professional, which takes a lot of guessing out of it.
Why You Could Be Feeling Hungry Most of the Time
There could be numerous reasons why you’re feeling the urge to eat, most of which relate to psychological and lifestyle factors. Here are a few of the biggest ones:
You Need More Water
If you experience hunger pangs all the time, chances are that it could be related to thirst. Research indicates that as many as 37 per cent of people can mistake their body’s thirst signals for hunger. And by thirst, I mean that your body needs water, which can curb hunger and maintain hydration levels. So before you reach for a coffee with added sugar and cream, remember that it could be dehydrating your body.
You’re Eating Processed Carbohydrates
If you feel hungry despite having just eaten, there could be a problem with what you’re eating. If you skip preparing lunch and just go to the convenience store for a bag of crisps, you only have refined carbs. While carbohydrates are essential and can be healthy, refined carbs undergo heavy processing to strip them of their fibre. Sure, this makes them more accessible for your body to digest, but they don’t keep you full for long.
You Need More Fibre
There are two kinds of fibre, but what I’m referring to is insoluble fibre, which your digestive system can’t process and absorb. Consequently, it simply moves along the digestive tract slowly. And when it takes longer to leave your digestive tract, fuller you feel. Foods like vegetables, beans, lentils, and oats are high in fibre.
You Need More Protein
Compared to carbohydrates, protein is much more complex for the body to break down. So not only does your body use more energy to break it down, but since it does so slowly, you feel full for longer.
You’re Dealing With Emotional Problems
We’re a generation of emotional eaters. Since our emotional needs can be complex and difficult for even us to understand, we turn to food, which is uncomplicated and easy. Moreover, our body innately associates feeding with comfort, something that’s ingrained in us from early childhood experiences.
Understanding and tackling unresolved struggles can make all the difference. Once you learn how to handle your internal state with productive actions as opposed to eating, you won’t experience such cravings.
How Does It Affect Weight Loss
Weight loss involves maintaining a stable process of eating, but this can be difficult when you’re hungry half the time. To make matters worse, these cravings lead to unhealthy food choices.
And if you put them off without addressing the underlying reason, you can end up overeating. Both factors can lead to your weight loss efforts going down the drain.
Understanding Why You Eat – Reflecting on Your Eating Habits
As surprising as it sounds, not all your urges to eat are driven by the actual need for food. About three-quarters of the time, you’re eating for emotional reasons. An important part of controlling your urge to eat involves understanding why you feel the urge in the first place.
Reflecting on these emotions and underlying reasons can prevent you from feeling hungry in the first place. While eating more fibre and protein is a crucial part of the equation, the mind is much more powerful than you think. Here’s how to tell if you’re feeling hungry due to emotional reasons:
- You experience a sudden and urgent sense of hunger
- Your hunger is specific, such as cravings for French fries or pizza
- You feel guilty after eating
- You eat more than needed
Controlling the Urge to Eat
Back when there were few distractions and emotional burdens, it was easy for the body to detect hunger cues. Food was a means of survival, and there was less of it, so our ancestors ate when they were hungry and weren’t picky.
To control your urge to eat, you must reflect on it and understand its underlying reason. Syncing your mind and body while gaining insight into what your body needs may require help.