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Feeling Hungry is Healthy

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January 26, 2016

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Blog, Diet

Whew, we made it through the holidays. If you’re like me, you may be feeling like it’s time to cut back on all the holiday goodies and get more mindful of my portions. That means sometimes feeling hungry. For me, that feeling means I ate just enough, and not too much. So, is feeling hungry essential to losing weight?

You don’t need to experience constant hunger in order to lose weight — in fact, you shouldn’t. However, you should feel mild to moderate hunger three to four times a day at your scheduled mealtimes. A healthy, balanced meal should leave you feeling full and energized for three to five hours, then your hunger should return, which is a signal that it’s time to refuel. Mild to moderate hunger doesn’t mean feeling starved, light-headed, or hungry all day, so you should never skip meals or dip below 1,200 daily calories. This pattern of hunger is a good way to know that you’re in balance as it helps prevent the habit of overeating. Eating in the absence of hunger means you are likely overeating.

Hunger has a very negative connotation in our society. Hunger definitely has a piece in the weight-loss puzzle, and it’ll take time to play around with your diet to figure out how much you need in order to feel hungry at mealtimes and satisfied afterward. If you’re not used to feeling hungry, this will also take some adjustment, but take it as a sign that lets you know your body is using up the calories you’re consuming instead of holding on to them.file0001859756979

Some of us munch all day, never feeling too full but never actually giving our body time to become hungry. Others will try to ignore hunger in an effort to lose weight, skipping meals until they become ravenous and inhale that fast-food combo on the drive home.

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