I’ve been extra hungry lately. I’m talking Hungry, Hungry Hippo, eat everything in site, ravenous, every two hours. Though I’d like to say it’s because I’ve amped up my workouts and just need more calories, unfortunately, I cannot claim that feat. (And according to the MyFitnessPal app, I definitely don’t need more calories.) Could it be all the food porn I consume on Pinterest? (Maybe. And it doesn’t help caloric intake when I turn said food porn into a reality in my kitchen. Why are the sweet dishes so much more fun to make than the veggie dishes??) How about the cold weather? Surely there’s some type of evolutionary mechanism in my brain that’s activated to hoard food when it’s really cold, right? (Answer: Eh, probably not.) Given that I can’t control or blame the weather, I decided to do a quick search of reasons I may be hungry and what to do about it. Turns out, there’s no shortage of advice out there. The most likely culprits (that don’t include a major medical issue):
- Maybe I’m not actually hungry. Dehydration, boredom, anxiety, or any number of other factors can be masked as hunger. Occasionally, boredom does get the better of me, and I know I need to drink more water. Hot tea can help with hydration and easing cravings. But a growling stomach isn’t always satiated with water.
- I’m not getting enough sleep. Well, probably not. Perhaps I should take my own advice on sleep hygiene…
- I don’t slow down to eat. Mindful eating, again. Okay, so I’ll stop the working lunches.
- I’m not getting the proper nutrients. It’s not just the calories that count. We need certain amounts of fat and nutrients. Though my food diary is close to being a nutritionist’s dream (save the red wine and chocolate cupcakes), perhaps there are some adjustments I can make.
- I didn’t eat enough for breakfast. That’s definitely not my problem, but a good point for many who skimp on breakfast.
This week, I’m going to up my water intake (including tea) and pay more attention to what I’m eating (behaviorally and nutritionally) and hope that keeps me from getting hangry. NOBODY wants that.