A new US study has found seven types of hunger, and those of us who fail to recognise them are more likely to gain kilos. So when your cravings hit, determine which type it is and you’ll be best equipped to handle it.
THE TRIGGER: A decadent pizza in the conference room
YOUR MOVE: Ask yourself if you’d be jonesing for an apple. No? You don’t need food. Yes? Savour each bite so you can stop when you’re satisfied.
THE TRIGGER: The sweet smell of donuts
YOUR MOVE: If you’re truly hungry, have a small serving or, better yet, a healthy swap - like whole-grain toast with peanut butter and cinnamon.
THE TRIGGER: Sadness, anxiety, boredom - any uncomfortable feelings
YOUR MOVE: If you’re wandering around the kitchen looking for anything to eat, it’s likely tied to emotions. Acknowledge what’s bugging you and deal with that problem directly (e.g. take a few deep breaths).
THE TRIGGER: A craving for something creamy, crunchy, or cold, like ice cream
YOUR MOVE: Certain textures and temperatures can be psychologically satisfying, even if you’re not physically hungry. Know which qualities you crave and keep small-portioned, low-kJ options nearby that’ll scratch that itch, like plain Greek yoghurt, carrot sticks, or frozen grapes.
THE TRIGGER: The clock
YOUR MOVE: Don’t have - and more important - don’t finish lunch just because it’s noon. If you’re truly hungry when the clock strikes 12, grab your meal and eat until you’re full.
THE TRIGGER: Fatigue
YOUR MOVE: Feeling beat causes hankerings for junk, but heavy foods are hard to digest and can leave you more tired. A 15-minute nap is a smarter pick-me-up. If you can’t make time for a quick snooze, grab a high-protein snack (think: a handful of almonds) that will boost your energy.
THE TRIGGER: A gurgling belly
YOUR MOVE: Eat! Rate your hunger on a scale of 1 to 10 - 0 to 3 is snack territory, 4 to 6 calls for a small meal, and 7 to 10 means fill your plate.
© Prevention Australia
First published: 12 Aug 2019