IS IT HUNGER – OR SOMETHING ELSE?

We manage our busy lives, kids’ growing pains, financial budgets and routine errands all day long, and sometimes we fall short of managing our nutrition. A little help can go a long way! These simple tips will help you understand your hunger and manage your nutrition choices:

Helpful, right? Well don’t worry, we’ve got more! The next time you think you’re hungry, ask yourself these additional questions:

  • Am I hungry or bored? Sometimes, we snack just to pass the time. Resist the urge, go for a walk or do something that’s not food-related.
  • Am I hungry or just tired? When you’re tired, it can create a hunger sensation in or around your midsection. If it’s late, go to bed. If it’s not bed time yet, go for a brisk walk.
  • Am I feeling weak, shaky or fatigued? This usually is a clear sign it’s time to refuel. Hydrate with liquids high in electrolytes and grab a healthy snack like a palm full of walnuts or a banana!
  • Can I wait 15 minutes before eating? If you aren’t sure if you’re really hungry, distract yourself for a while (floss or chew gum) and check in with your belly later. Don’t eat on a whim!

Our registered dietician Alicia Fogarty, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, says food and emotions often are connected in many different ways.

“Listening to our body's hunger cues can become challenging – our moods, stress levels and cravings, among other things, can get in the way,” she says. “Food is everywhere in our lives: picnics, family reunions and, of course, holidays. So, pausing to ask yourself some questions is a great way to really listen to your body.”

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Contributor:
Alicia Fogarty, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN
Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist