You shouldn’t ever feel hungry. Surprising but true: whether you are losing or maintaining your weight, you shouldn’t ever feel hungry. If this isn’t the case – if you are often or are always hungry – try to pinpoint the cause and fix it.

Two tips:

1. Avoid all forms of carbohydrates (sugars), except for the amounts allowed in your healthy eating plan. If you don’t, you will experience the opposite effect – constant cravings. Remember that bread and starches turn into sugar in the blood. Milk, vegetables and fruits are also sources of carbohydrates.

2. Eat a source of protein (either as food or supplements) every four hours – or earlier if hunger sets in.

Are you still hungry?

First, eliminate the physical causes of hunger. Next, eliminate the psychological causes.

The Physical Causes

Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is the main cause of those uncontrollable cravings. Hypoglycemia can be recognised by the presence of physical symptoms such as sweating, inner tremors, headaches, fatigue and irritability. Time is always involved; for example, four hours after a meal. All these symptoms are alleviated by the uncontrolled intake of an abundant amount of food. If, after you’ve followed the tips above, you still have uncontrollable food cravings, consult your weight loss adviser. He/she can help you eliminate this problem easily enough.

Fatigue is a powerful hunger trigger. There is only one way to treat this problem: get plenty of rest. Seven to eight hours of sleep is generally sufficient.

Premenstrual syndrome in some women causes difficult-to-control cravings.
Stomach upset is often a forgotten symptom of hunger. Food works as an antacid one or two hours after a meal.

Certain drugs may also be responsible for your constant hunger.

Psychological Causes

If you have eliminated the physical causes and are still hungry, look for emotional reasons. The stronger the deviation from your healthy eating plan, the stronger the emotion. The loss of control over your healthy eating plan starts shortly after an emotional situation occurs, and ends when the situation is resolved. Many people have yet to learn to recognise the association between “I am going through a stressful or disturbing situation” and “I don’t know why I’m so hungry”.

When you experience a craving out of the blue stop and ask yourself “How am I feeling”. By taking a moment to reflect and focus on the emotion, this can lessen the craving as the real issue is starting to show itself. Sometimes in the moment this is not always possible and we give in but like everything, practice makes perfect. Every day take a moment to ask yourself “How am I feeling”. Perhaps at the end of the day when you are in bed take a second to reflect on your day, look at the positives and assess any behaviours you felt you would like to have handled differently. Remember everything is a learning curve. Never feel guilty but always try and learn from your slips. The more you get in touch with how you are feeling the easier it is to say no to cravings. Knowing yourself and your own emotions is the key to a successful weight loss and it makes maintaining your weight a lot easier.

We hope this helps. Remember you shouldn’t ever feel hungry and we are here for you whenever you need us.

Blog Post by Michael O'Brien