Hunger sucks! It’s annoying, distracting, and leads to a whole lot of really unhealthy, junk food binging. But eating is a necessity of life and it can even be a cause of death.
Between 2012-2014 it was estimated that 805 million people were going hungry. But most Americans are actually dying due to overeating. And in the USA it’s hard not to overeat because there are tones of cheap, convenient, really tasty food everywhere you look.
Trust me, the food companies selling that food had every intention of you getting hooked on the food and on the convenience.
The hardest time to make a healthy choice is when we’re really hungry. That’s why we have to learn to control our hunger, instead of being controlled by our hunger. This way we stand a chance at losing weight and not being completely miserable.
Why Do We Get Hungry?
The first thing to think about is why we get hungry in the first place. Our bodies require energy, and they also require nutrients like water, micronutrients (fruits), macronutrients (meat), fiber (grains) etc.
These nutrients are needed to facilitate the body’s functions and metabolic processes. They are also used as the building blocks for creating new parts of your body.
Your body has a built-in craving and hunger mechanism that helps tell your brain exactly which nutrient you’re needing.
But eating junk foods can throw this mechanism out of whack. So you’re actually craving junk foods and not craving the foods you actually need.
The key thing is that once you start eating healthy foods, that craving mechanism can get back in line and before long you’re be craving the healthy foods and you’re stop craving the junk.
The second thing to understand is that when you consume more calories than you burn off through a physical exercise, you’re going to gain weight. That’s really obvious, right?
But actually keeping track of the calories you eat and the calories you burn can be a huge pain in the butt.
Rather than some diet programs that seek to ease this process by providing pre-packaged meals, or citing a point system to different foods, there’s actually a much cheaper and easier solution.
The term empty calories get thrown around a lot when people are talking about junk foods. But it’s really a misleading name and I want to explain how empty calories cause hunger, weight gain and how you can easily identify and avoid them.
While the name kind it implies that these calories might just dissipate into the thin air, it’s really quite the contrary. These are calories that are going to go straight to your waistline and they’re not gonna fill you up either.
Empty calories come from processed foods like:
- white rice;
- white flour;
- refined sugars;
- processed meats;
- processed oils;
- modified corn starch;
- non-dairy cream filling, etc.
These foods are extremely low in nutrients and extremely high in calories. Because processed foods are so deep void of nutrients, they’re not gonna do very much satisfying of your body’s nutritional needs. And as long as you still have nutritional needs, you’re still going to feel hungry.
Why Junk Foods = Weight Gain?
Fiber is one of the primary nutrients that actually fills your stomach and gives you that full satisfied feeling. Most processed foods don’t contain very much fiber and this is one of the primary reasons that is so easy to overeat.
Everything we eat must be used of, excreted from or stored somewhere in the body. When your body breaks down a processed food, it uses any nutrients that that food did contain and the rest ends up being stored as fat.
Since junk foods are low in nutrients and high in calories, that’s a lot of excess calories being stored as fat. And there they sit on your waistline, or on your butt, waiting for you to burn them off.
Your body stores the fat to prepare you for potential famine or to give you a lot of energy when needed, like in case you have to run from something.
Foods That Satisfy Your Hunger
Now it’s exactly the opposite for natural whole foods, which are high nutrient density and low-calorie density. Because they contain so many nutrients, they’re really going to satisfy a lot of your body’s nutritional needs.
Since there are not too many excess calories, that’s a lot less excess fat storage. And because these foods are really high in fiber, that will also serve to help fill you up and give you that full satisfied feeling that helps you stop eating.
In fact, I would challenge someone to eat 1500 calories worth of vegetables. You will fill up long before you can actually finish those many veggies. But 1500 calories goes down really quickly in a fast food processed meal.
If you’re wanting to lose weight it’s going to be a lot easier to just lay off the empty calories and lay off the junk food than to actually try and keep track of every calorie you eat or burn. And the added bonus of eating a diet of natural whole foods is that those foods actually help you control your caloric intake.
Because they help satisfy your body’s nutritional needs and because they contain so much fiber, they’re actually going to fill you up and you’re going to spend a lot less time being hungry.
Even if you are overindulging in natural whole foods, you’re not gonna feel nearly as guilty about it as when you overindulging in junk food.
I hope that this article offered you some good information to help you lose weight and train your body. And if you like it, please share it with your friends. Stay fit!
Get more like this
in your inbox
Sign up for our daily email with fitness and nutrition tips, diets and weight loss programs, health news, and more.