Hunger pangs are distracting at best and painful at worst, and can be attributed to a plethora of causes. While the root cause of hunger isn’t as straightforward as most would think, the trick to solving it doesn’t have to be complicated (i.e. Occam’s Razor). So, what can we do to out-manoeuvre a grumbling tummy without causing too much of a fuss?
Although this may sound like common sense, many of us neglect to take our meals at the right times because we ignore the signals our bodies send us, especially if we were already occupied with something else to begin with. Making sure you eat at the right times (and this includes both mealtimes and healthy snack breaks) will help maintain insulin sensitivity and increase metabolic flexibility. This is important because insulin works in tandem with other hormones in the body to reduce the feeling of hunger.
2. Backloading your carbohydrates
Eating low-carb meals throughout the day and consuming a more carb-rich dinner also helps restores insulin sensitivity for better metabolic flexibility because it requires the body to tap into fat stores. In addition, it lowers cortisol levels while raising serotonin levels, relaxing the body and preparing it for sleep. You won’t be feeling hungry when your eyelids start to drop!
3. Manage your stress
Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, can increase appetite and lead to overeating. If you feel like your hunger pangs are caused by stress, try meditation or other forms of mind-body activities as a means to reduce cortisol. Getting enough sleep and cutting down on caffeine are also essential ways to manage stress, because they reduce the fatigue and anxiety you might feel throughout the day.
Putting these tips into practice might seem a bit overly simplistic, but they are a great first step to take before you evaluate any changes that might need to be made in the long run. Too often do we look to fancy solutions such as supplements or tonics when the answer is right under our noses. Hunger is as simple a feeling as it can get, so let’s try to keep it that way!