This past Thursday evening my husband and I went to dinner at our favorite local restaurant. As usual, I ordered the grilled salmon with broccoli and a side of their famous French bread with balsamic vinaigrette dressing for dipping. It doesn’t even come close to being whole grain bread, but so what…it’s delicious! A perfectly satisfying meal by all accounts. No sooner did I step into the house and I felt hungry! There was no reason for it as I finished every speck of food on my plate. I went over to the sink to pour myself a glass of water thinking that maybe, just maybe, I was actually thirsty. Down the hatch it went and…still hungry! “Damn it!”, I thought. Then I decided to wait a half hour thinking maybe, just maybe, my brain didn’t quite get the message that my stomach was full yet. Thirty minutes went by and…still hungry!
If you know me at all, you will agree that I am not one to ignore hunger. In fact, if I’m really hungry, you probably don’t want to be around me until I’ve had at least a few bites of my meal, as I admittedly can be quite the little bear. I should have known better and just poured myself a small bowl of cereal. But, I didn’t. “I shouldn’t be hungry”, I thought, so I sat down and started reading a book. Stomach growling loudly, I got through about three pages and finally gave in. I ate that small bowl of cereal and about fifteen minutes later felt perfectly satisfied.
What caused this after-dinner hunger? Who knows! As I sat down and examined my day’s food intake I realized that nothing was out of the ordinary. I had my usual breakfast smoothie and morning snack, my lunch was well-balanced and calorie-generous and my afternoon snack was the usual Kashi granola bar. My exercise routine over the previous few days also wasn’t excessive or out of the ordinary. So here’s what I came up with:
If you know your body and recognize and honor true physiological hunger, it shouldn’t matter the reason for your hunger…Just EAT!
Don’t beat yourself up, call yourself a pig or deny your hunger…Just EAT!
When you experience stomach-hunger, your body is trying to tell you something. Quiet down and listen. Then…Just EAT!
Understand that appetite-increase can be caused by several things:
- Certain medications
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Increased physical activity
I’ve always said that infants are the most in-tuned eaters of all. They know their body. They don’t deny their hunger, and if you ignore their cry for food or try to overfeed them…you’ll be sorry! That used to be YOU. Why not revisit your youth and give yourself permission to be a baby? When you’re hungry…Just EAT!