Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Ignoring Hunger- The Consequences

I think I've mentioned it once or twice before in a few previous posts.

Ok, I've mentioned it in practically all of my past posts from like the last week.

If you have somehow miraculously evaded my constant ramblings over the state of my hunger and how it has turned me into an eating machine, then you are now up to date on the state of my hunger and how it has turned me into an eating machine.
Just an everyday Steph kinda lunch :)

This current trending topic in my life has sparked some major thought-provoking thoughts surrounding all things hunger; hunger signals, eating times, foods etc., as I found myself questioning why I was hungry, how I could still need a snack after that massive dinner, why I couldn't concentrate on anything merely an hour after lunch (it's a good thing I only have year 11 school to think about...)

 Trying to fix this problem with the biggest mug of chocolate oats and nut butter. EVER!
 I actually felt kinda sick after this! But I was full for hours!! :)

Primarily, it sparked the topical 'healthy eating/living' debate over whether to eat when/ what you want to satisfy your body.

I know in the past I have been one to struggle with listening to my hunger cues. If it wasn't 12-12:30 I was NOT going to eat lunch. Afternoon snack could NOT be eaten before 4:00pm and dinner was set in the 15 minute window between 6:30-6:45pm. Rigid, huh.

If I was starving at 2:00pm- tough luck, that's another 2 hours before your next feed Steph! Eaten all of my lunch and still famished? Well, that's too bad because that's all the food you should eat.

Luckily, that depriving stage of my life has passed and I moved on to satisfying my bodies wants and needs. There was an article I read somewhere that kind of initiated this way of living that said;

'If your body told you it was thirsty would you just ignore the signal? No, you would likely get yourself a drink of water.'
ALL the food
And I was like, yeh, I would. *slowly nodding with wide eyes as I had a sudden flash of insight on life. Or something like that. ;)

The paragraph ended with:

'Then why would you ignore your hunger cues?'
ALL gone :)

From my own experience, reading other bloggers experiences and info I've come across, there are so many reasons why ignoring your hunger cues is just plain detrimental to life, and not just the weight aspect!

Firstly hunger leads to binging and other disordered eating habits.

I know that if I have a measly little lunch or have no lunch whatsoever, my dinner will make up for it and then some! Whatever meal/ food I encounter next will be a BIG one! So why, if my body is yelling at me for food and is still yelling at me for food after I have fed it, do I try and ignore it? It's only going to lead to me eating everything in sight later on and then dealing with an uncomfortable food baby to look after.

Hunger also negatively affects your metabolism.

So if you're thinking you're doing the smart thing to lose weight by ignoring your helpful hunger cues, think again! If you're body's in a constant state of hunger, it's going to want to conserve as much energy as possible (by storing it as fat, and not using it as fuel) to keep you functioning and... A.L.I.V.E. So when you do end up feeding your body after ignoring those loud grumblings all morning, that food is not going anywhere!

Hunger is NOT a sustainable feeling to tolerate.

Just re-read that last point, because it is SO TRUE! I don't know about you but I find it nearly unbearable to be hungry for long. If you are constantly paying attention to your stomach (and how empty it feels) than you are probably exhausting yourself both physically and emotionally. And that's a losing battle.

Most importantly- Hunger means you need something.

Your body's a smart apparatus. It does amazing things to ensure you thrive and yet we work so hard to ensure we don't? Hunger is completely natural and we fear it.As much as pain, thirst, happiness and anger all serve purposes- so too does hunger!! Hunger is there to tell us we are lacking in something, be it calories or nutrients... it needs something, so answer that cry for sustenance- ANSWER IT!!
Veggie packed rice and quinoa spaghetti, steamed pumpkin, parsnip, beetroot, swede, brussels, broc and a cheesy tahini and nutritional yeast sauce- ohhh yes!

Your body is amazing and will send you signals when it is both hungry and when it is satiated, so let's pay attention to these signals and enter into the natural state that our body wants us to be at. Our body knows best (it's pretty much like a parent... but smarter ;).

Your turn:
Have you ever/ do you sometimes ignore your hunger cues?

This is just me Thinking out loud, be sure to head over to Spoons to see what everyone else is thinking about today!


  1. That was very much me when I was recoering from my eating disorder. I made myself a plan and followed it so rigidly, that heaven forbid I'd get hungry outside of my eating windows... or that I'd want more than my daily calorie allotment. I would eat more. I totally ignored my body and suffered basically all of the consequences you mentioned. But I just couldn't wrap my head around the idea that I needed -that- much food, you know? Lo and behold, I really, really did. And life is so much easier when you're well-fed.

    1. Amanda,
      I think it's so sad the vast number of us who have fallen into this trap and I think the media is largely to blame about what true 'health' is and how to lose weight/ be healthy etc. Everyone's different- great that one person is satisfied and maintains a healthy weight at 1200 calories a day, but the next person may need 2000 +, someone else may need 3000 and if we don't give our bodies what they need... well that's when we run into problems!
      Thanks for sharing your story :)
      Steph 2 chefxx

  2. Wow, this sounds exactly like me a few months ago... I'm changing though and really trying to listen to my hunger cues instead of ignoring them. After a long time of suppressing my appetite, I realized that eventually your appetite wants to just go away, but thankfully, after re-feeding my body again, I have regained most of my appetite, praise God!

    1. Emily,
      I'm with you right now- trying to really take on board when and what my body is hungry for and listening to it instead of relying on a clock to tell me when to eat! I think after doing this for a bit, I have definitely re-gained an appetite too!
      Steph 2 chefxx


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