What I Am Learning - Hunger & Exercise

HUNGER, APPETITE AND SATIETY

Although the terms hunger and appetite are often used interchangeably, hunger is the physiological drive to find and eat food, whereas appetite is the psychological drive. Satiety (or fullness) refers to the satisfaction gained from a meal, which eliminates hunger.

SIGNS OF PHYSICAL HUNGER

To successfully control weight, we need to be able to identify true hunger as opposed to a desire to participate in non-hungry eating.

According to Dr Kausman, signs of hunger include:

  • Empty or painful gnawing feeling in the upper or lower part of the stomach
  • Rumbling feeling in the stomach
  • Cramping feeling in the stomach
  • Feeling of nausea or a headache
  • No feeling in the stomach at all, but a desire to eat
  • Feeling of weakness or lethargy, reduced energy levels
  • Feelings of light-headedness or irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling a bit shaky

NON-HUNGRY EATING

Non hungry eating is quite common in overweight individuals. This occurs for many reasons – the main reasons include habit (i.e. always having a biscuit with coffee), ease of availability of food (i.e. always having chocolate in the house), inability to detect cues of fullness, emotional stress or boredom, or as a reward.

COMMON REASONS FOR THIS: 

  • Not listening to body signals
  • Confusing thirst with hunger
  • Letting ourselves get too hungry
  • Aren’t sure when to stop eating
  • Filling up but not feeling satisfied
  • The clock says it is time for a meal, habit
  • Food taste great, or because it is there
  • Any emotion can trigger non hungry eating
  • Worrying that we may offend someone if we don’t eat
  • Eating as a reward or to solve a problem, or to put off doing something, or to fill in a gap

SUBJECTIVE HUNGER SCALE

The subjective hunger scale is used to identify levels of hunger experienced as well as feelings of fullness during meals (to prevent over-eating): 10 = stuffed full 8 = beyond full, feeling ill 7 = very full 6 = slightly full 5 = feeling satisfied 4 = no hunger 3 = slightly hungry 2 = hungry 1 = ravenous

NORMAL OR NATURAL EATING

it is important to consider what is normal or natural when it comes to food and eating behaviours. Such normal behaviours should be encouraged and “diets” prescribing abnormal behaviours should be discouraged.

It is normal or natural: 

  • Not to weigh food or count calories/KJ or grams of fat
  • To eat enough food and not be rigid in our food choices
  • To eat something at least 3 times per day
  • To eat more on some days and less on others
  • To over-eat occasionally and to under-eat occasionally
  • To eat certain types of food some of the time, just for the taste of it
  • For women to have fluctuations in appetite and in cravings for certain types of food as their hormone levels vary during the menstrual cycle
  • Not to place too much emphasis on any one day’s food intake, try to look at food over weeks, months and years.

TIPS FOR EATING WITH AWARENESS

  • Ask yourself: “I can have it if I want it, but do I really feel like it?”
  • Is it physical hunger?
  • Plan ahead and have some food on hand
  • Allow some non-hungry eating - this is normal (remember the importance of regular low fat snacking)
  • Separate eating from distracting activities (TV, reading)
  • Make eating a pleasurable experience
  • Be patient, behaviour change takes time!

Source: If not dieting, then what? Rick Kausman (1998)

HOW EXERCISE CAN HELP!

At the completion of exercise the metabolism remains elevated to assist with the removal of waste products and the lowering of body temperature to normal levels. Regular activity throughout the day effectively re-sets’ the BMR to a higher level.

EXERCISE FORMULA

F Frequency Try to aim for six days of exercise per week. This should consist of planned sessions as well as incidental exercise built into our lifestyle, e.g. taking the stairs instead of escalators, walking rather than driving short distances, etc

A Amount Long sessions, short sessions, two sessions. What can you fit into your day? It doesn't always need to be two hours long. Work your exercise schedule into your week around your other priorities. 

T Type High Intensity Interval Training, Strength & Conditioning (Resistant) Training, Yoga, Personalised Programs for different body types. Keep it exciting! Exercise programs are given up on when we get board. MIX IT UP! 

SUMMARY 

  1. Reduced activity levels coupled with increased consumption of high fat foods will lead to an increase in obesity
  2. Eat when you are hungry. Stop when you are full. 
  3. Appropriate, sustainable eating behaviours are imperative to attain and maintain a healthy body weight, as well as a healthy relationship with food
  4. rely on the scales less, and use more appropriate indicators of weight loss (i.e. clothes, energy levels, etc.)
  5. regular, sustainable physical activity is the way to go!

At The Movement Fitness & Wellbeing we offer a range of different exercise types - Strength, Interval and Personalised Programs. All our members are offered Nutrition Guidance. It plays a huge role in getting results! Contact us info@themovementfitness.com.au to get your health back on track.