Hello dear hungry people! 😉
Hunger is a natural phenomenon that all humans experience. We feel hunger because our body needs energy and nutrients. What you maybe didn’t know is that there are two types of hunger: homeostatic and hedonic. Homeostatic hunger is the type of hunger our body needs to function properly. For example, we need to eat regularly in order to maintain blood sugar levels and energy. Hedonic hunger is the type of hunger that is driven by pleasure-seeking behavior. It’s the type of hunger we experience when we see food that looks delicious or when we’re craving something specific. This blog post will discuss Homeostatic vs. Hedonic Hunger and how to control hedonic hunger and fight cravings!
Homeostatic vs. Hedonic Hunger:
Homeostatic vs. hedonic hunger is a topic of debate among scientists and researchers. Below, we will explore the two types of hunger in more detail.
1) Homeostatic Hunger
Homeostatic hunger is the type of hunger that occurs when the body’s energy levels start to dip. This is the kind of hunger that you feel when you haven’t eaten in a while, and your stomach starts growling. It’s your body’s way of telling you that it needs more food. Homeostatic hunger is controlled by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which monitors blood sugar levels and sends out hunger signals when it detects that levels are low. Homeostatic hunger is a natural and necessary response that helps to keep our bodies fueled and running smoothly.
2) Hedonic Hunger
Hedonic hunger is a bit different from homeostatic hunger. Instead of being driven by low energy levels, it’s driven by cravings for specific foods, often linked to emotional states of mind. We all have experienced hedonic hunger at some point – think about the last time you had a craving for something salty, sweet, or crunchy. Unlike homeostatic hunger, which is necessary for survival, hedonic hunger can lead to overeating and weight gain. That’s because the foods we crave are often high in calories and low in nutritional value. Hedonic hunger is regulated by the brain’s food reward system, which encourages us to seek out pleasurable foods. While there’s nothing wrong with indulging in your favorite food every now and then, too much hedonic hunger can be detrimental to your health.
How To Control Your Cravings:
If you’re someone who struggles with hedonic hunger, you’re not alone. Many of us have trouble controlling our cravings, especially when we’re feeling stressed or emotional. However, there are some things that you can do to fight back against hedonic hunger and take control of your cravings.
1) Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand
One of the best ways to fight cravings is to have healthy snacks. That way, when you start to feel a craving coming on, you can reach for a healthy snack instead of unhealthy junk food. Some great healthy snacks include fruits and vegetables, whole grain bread, nuts and seeds, and yogurt.
2) Avoid Unhealthy Temptations
If you know that there’s a certain food that you can’t resist, it’s best to avoid it altogether. Out of sight, out of mind! If you don’t have unhealthy foods in your house, you’ll be less likely to give into cravings.
3) Find a Distraction
Sometimes, the best way to fight a craving is to find a distraction. If you’re feeling tempted to eat unhealthy food, try doing something else to occupy your time. Go for a walk, call a friend, or read a book. The more distracted you are, the less likely you are to give in to your cravings.
4) Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a great way to control cravings. When you’re mindful of your eating, you’re more likely to be aware of your hunger cues and make better choices about what you eat. To practice mindful eating, try to eat slowly and without distractions. Pay attention to the taste, texture, and smell of your food. And most importantly, listen to your body!
5) Seek Professional Help
If you’re struggling to control your cravings, it might be time to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can help you understand your relationship with food and make positive changes.
How To Fight Hunger:
1) Eat More Frequent, Smaller Meals
If you’re struggling with hunger, one of the best things you can do is eat more frequent, smaller meals. That way, you’ll be less likely to get too hungry and make unhealthy choices. Try to eat every three to four hours throughout the day.
2) Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Protein
Protein is one of the most filling nutrients, so it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough of it. Aim for at least 20 grams of protein per meal. Good protein sources include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, and dairy.
3) Choose High-Fiber Foods
Fiber is another nutrient that can help you feel full and satisfied. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Aim for at least 25 grams of fiber per day.
4) Drink Plenty of Water
Sometimes, hunger is actually thirsts in disguise. So before you reach for a snack, make sure that you’re drinking enough water. Aim for eight glasses of water per day. Besides, if you drink a glass of water you will immediately feel less hunger.
5) Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods are often high in sugar and low in nutrients, which leads to glicemic spikes and subsequent blood sugar crash, leaving you feeling hungry again. So, it’s best to avoid them if you’re trying to fight hunger. Instead, focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods, that keeps you satisfied for longer periods of time.
6) Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is important for overall health and can help you fight hunger. When you’re well-rested, you’re less likely to crave unhealthy foods. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night. And of course, the more hours you are awake, the more opportunities you will have to feel hungry and to eat more.
7) Exercise Regularly
Exercise is a great way to fight hunger. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which can help reduce food cravings. So, make sure to get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.
Homeostatic vs. Hedonic Hunger is a battle we all face every day, but with the right understanding and awareness, it can be conquered! The next time you feel hungry, ask yourself which kind it is. If it’s homeostatic hunger, eat something nutritious that will fill you up. If it’s hedonic hunger, try one of the strategies above to distract yourself or healthily satisfy your craving. Controlling your hunger is one way to control your overall health and wellbeing. Now, go ahead and please share with me how you deal with hunger and cravings? What are some of your favorite tips for fighting off those mid-afternoon munchies?