If you have been dieting and you are bothered by hunger pangs, you might be wondering if you should ignore the pangs or feed your body.
We have become a society that seems to fear hunger, and this can make you react and eat whenever you feel a rumble in your tummy.
However, for successful weight loss, you need to know whether your hunger pangs are signaling good things or bad.
First of all, hunger pangs do not necessarily signal “true hunger.”
For instance, if you quickly switched from a diet that was high in processed foods and simple sugars to a diet that is super healthy, your body may be producing “false hunger” signals. This is due to a need to adapt to a new way of eating.
When you eat a poor diet you are not doing your health any favors. A diet made up of processed trans fats, oils, sugars, and salt will lead to health problems.
However, the body is able to adapt to your poor diet. It figures out how to quickly shuttle those fats and sugars to fat storage so they stay out of your blood. This, by the way, is not good for your waistline.
When you switch to a healthy diet overnight, your body needs a few days or even weeks to “relearn” how to process the foods. This can leave you with major hunger pangs and a general ill feeling for a while. Have you ever gone on a healthy diet and felt worse? This is why.
These types of false hunger pangs can be ignored. As long as you are feeding your body whole foods and good nutrients, your body will make the shift and you will begin to feel better soon.
Some hunger pangs need to be addressed.
This is mainly for hunger pangs that come after a long period of fasting. When you diet too hard for too long you start fighting against your fat-burning hormones. This is a fight you will not win.
Studies show that after one week of very strict dieting levels of the main fat-burning hormone called leptin can drop to half the normal level.
When leptin levels drop so does your ability to burn fat. That means after one week of dieting your body could be working at only half of its normal fat-burning potential.
This is why it is best to ease into a healthy diet. If you would like to make the switch and want a plan to follow, then I encourage you to give the 7 Day – Junk Foods to Super Foods Challenge a try. It’s free…what do you have to lose.
About the Author
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.