Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Body Rhythms: Hunger

Another thing I've noticed a lot is how our bodies have their own rhythm and sometimes the key to getting your body or mind to do what you want is to understand and learn to manage these rhythms.

Hunger for example. I find that's controlled by rhythm. The time in my life that I've had a regular routine. I've always felt hungry just before I'm about to eat. When the routine changes, say at the weekend or on holiday, it takes my body a few days to adjust.

Understanding this has really helped me when I want to control my hunger and my weight. If say I want to gain control of my weight then I gain control of my rhythms. Say after Christmas when I've just spent a few weeks eating what I like when I like. I find my body begins to think it needs food all the time and that it needs more at each meal because that's what I've been giving it. So the rhythms have adjusted to the larger amount that I'm eating and my hunger follows suit. So really quickly after a meal, say a few hours I'm really hungry again.

Well in January when I need to stop gaining weight and start losing what I've added. I go few a couple of days of re establishing rhythms that are going to help me lose weight and in the process I gain control of my hunger again. All I really have to do is get my body used to eating less food again. All it takes I find is around 3 days on a new routine and it settles down. I normally find the first day pretty easy, the second day is the toughest. I really crave a bunch of snacks then but I know that by the third day I'll be getting used to it and the rhythm will be adjusting and I'll be less hungry. So on the fourth day I'm fine. I get hungry at the right time and I feel full when I've eaten enough. I don't have to eat too much to feel full any more.

It sounds easy because it is as long as you have faith in it and stick to it whilst you're training your body to use the new routine. One thing I've found is that snacking actually makes me more hungry not less in the long run. To get technical it seems to stimulate my body to digest food quicker which means my stomach gets empty sooner and thus I get hungry sooner. So I am quite strict with myself about snacking for these few days. Keeping myself busy and not thinking about food is paramount during this time so I just like to have a bunch of fun things to do.

Once the routine is established I just let myself be. Sometimes I snack a little
, other times I don't. This way I don't feel trapped so it's easy to just let life go by and watch the weight fall off slowly but surely. I don't have to change what I eat at all. I go out for food often, I eat all the things I like. I just make sure that what I eat day to day adds up to less than it used to but the quality in terms of vitamins, minerals etc is still high.
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