It is not always the case that people only eat when they are hungry. Sometimes they feel like eating despite not being hungry. This is something that happens when someone’s body gives a signal called a“hunger signal” indicating the urgent requirement of energy in the body. Hunger signals are not only given when the body needs energy but they are also driven by emotions, environmental influence, or any specific situation. Hunger signals are a way of informing what your body needs i.e. it gives the signal when your body needs energy and when it doesn’t need more energy.
Everyone is unique in their way and has a different body and appetite as well. This is the reason why so many people complain about the diet they followed doesn’t work for them. This is because the diet chart needs to be prepared as person-specific rather than being generalized. Also, some diet charts are planned in such a way that they are made universally for everyone thus asking to follow strict rules and guidelines which also hampers the weight loss process as the rules which are made are universal and not according to one’s body and appetite. This observation was made when many people started complaining of being hungry at any time of the day during intermittent fasting. This was because those people were following the rules set universally for all the people and not listening to one’s body need. From all the signals given by our body, hunger signals are also an integral part of our daily life thus helping in building a stronger mind-body relation.
Once acquainted with the hunger signals sent by the body, analyzing the exact food portion size to be taken is important. Food portions need to be changed on a day-to-day basis depending on what and how much the body needs. One should always avoid eating when stressed or bored. Nowadays many people eat because they feel bore. To get away from boredom, one should get indulge in some other physical activities and not eat in such a situation. Also, eating under the influence of emotions is usually influenced by boredom, stress, grief. In such situations taking care of food intake and food, the portion is very much important. Environmental and situational factors also tempt to eat more even if not hungry. To give an example of each, an environmental trigger is when a person passing by randomly sees any food item such as cookies, chips packet, or a cake further triggering the temptation and finally eating it. A situational trigger is usually observed when someone goes out for a meal to a restaurant. The delicious food is prepared at the restaurant triggers the temptation of eating as such kind of food is not eaten in the normal routine and thus forced to eat more. In both situations, the body is not physically hungry but the situation around forces it to eat more. Thus it is very much important to take care of hunger signals in such cases as well.
After understanding the non-physical hunger, the next step is to measure the hunger level. Taking note of being hungry or not during meals, after meals, in between the meals will help to understand if the body requires food. This approach would help to eat in proper portions and thus making an informed decision of how much the body needs when being hungry physically.
One question still arises, is it okay to eat even if you are not hungry? It is fine to eat when not hungry as there are many instances when people do enjoy eating when being full. E.g. it is a common habit of many people to eat dessert after their meal. But it is always important to keep an eye on what situation we are eating. Thus one has to make an informed choice and check what the hunger signals are indicating and eating the food portion accordingly. This habit might take some time so one has to have the patience to achieve this.