Not many people realize the difference between hunger and appetite. Hunger prompts eating and is the physical experience you have when your body needs energy. On the other hand we are triggered by psychological factors such as smell, sight, or stress, which is referred to as our appetite. Most people eat based on these factors. The availability of food and social situations that we encounter also influence what and how much we eat. So how can we keep our appetite in check and learn how to handle those crazy cravings?
1. Eat on a regular basis: By eating on a regular basis you are less likely to overeat and gain weight. We don’t want our bodies to go into starvation mode because your metabolism slows down trying to save what you already have stored in your body. With a regular diet routine and exercise you body will break down the stored fat and use it for energy.
2. Don’t forbid foods you love: If you deprive yourself of foods you love, you will be more likely to crave them. This usually happens when people start diets that exclude certain foods. Instead focus on moderation of those foods and just be aware of what and how much you’re eating.
3. Eat slow: Remember, it takes 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you're full. Try munching on snacks that require a lot of chewing like carrots or jerky. Even including foods that have a lot of fiber will keep you fuller for a much longer period of time.
Remember, these are simple and easy steps you can add everyday to help you move one step closer to a healthier you. Making unrealistic expectations of what you can and cannot eat isn’t going to last very long. Eating should be a pleasurable experience and not something you should limit yourself to. Achieving a healthy lifestyle is going to be long term, but don’t forget to enjoy it!