28 Feb true hunger and famine response
If you are TRULY hungry, your body will respond with certain cues that can be distinguished from false hunger, or emotional eating. It is important to eat when you are truly hungry, so that your body learns to give you signals when you actually need to eat, rather than eating at a set timetable or when other cues suggest that you might like to eat something.
True hunger is that rumble in your tummy or that growling feeling inside that alerts you to the fact that it is time for a meal or a snack. It happens below your heart, whereas false hunger is a sensation that you experience above your heart and may be completely mental or emotional.
If you eat when you are truly hungry, you will avoid the famine response, or that evolutionary mechanism, that holds onto energy and fat stores if you are not providing your body with enough fuel.
If it is between meal times, and you feel the growling in your stomach, that won’t go away, this is true hunger and you should respond with a gear switch of a snack of about 150 calories for women (200 calories for men). The most satisfying snacks that will see you through to your next meal are a mix of carbohydrate and protein. Think an apple with some yoghurt, or a piece of wholemeal bread with a slice of meat. Other good options are an apple dipped in some peanut butter, or a slice of toast with a slice of melted cheese.
If your hunger STILL doesn’t abate after one gear switch, move up to the next gear and have another 150 calorie snack, making 300 calories in total, which would be equal to something like a salad wrap.
When you are experiencing true hunger, you should eat, rather than eating at scheduled times during the day. The more we eat when we were not hungry, the more our natural hunger signals become distorted and difficult to recognise.