Train Your Appetite

Learn and put into use our latest rule from the Fortza Fit Rules of Nutrition to get into your best shape yet, and feel your body function at the peak of its powers. These rules support cell health, and  increase your energy capabilities, while decreasing inflammation and acidity. This results in a truly younger, healthier happier you, and a metabolic system that runs smoothly. Here’s the next rule of the Fortza Fit Rule of Nutrition number twelve:

When you get hungry, you have two different sensations, the “want” and the “need”- distinguishing between the two is the very essence of healthy eating. It is also the most challenging part for most of us.

     Up until about age five, you had the innate ability to know exactly when you needed food, either by crying for food when you were hungry, or ignoring it when you were full. What guided you back then were your hormones, namely ghreling and leptin. Ghreling is a hormone that regulates hunger, its levels rise when your body needs food. Leptin is often called the satiety hormone, and it’s triggered when you’re full. Forward a few years later, and you’ll be relying on more than internal cues to dictate when you eat – and how much.

     Half of the time, people eat for emotional reasons rather than real hunger. Social gatherings, boredom, stress, anxiety and enticing food commercials are only a few of the many reasons. Research has shown that when people are pre-occupied with social interactions or television, they tend to eat more.

So how do you regain the ability to tune in to what your body wants? Simply realize that hunger and satiety are ways that your body talks to you. It can help to be mindful of where your hunger falls on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being starving, and and 1 being too full. Try to eat when you’re at 7 or 8, and stop by 3 or 4, when you’re “comfortably full”. With a little practice it should become second nature.

If you’re getting hungry between meals, remember that the hunger feeling doesn’t always mean that you need more calories, you might be dehydrated, or looking for a distraction from work or stress. Drink a glass of water or take a short walk and the feeling may pass.

When you do have a meal think more like a food connoisseur, start appreciating the taste, texture and different flavors of your food. This will naturally slow down your eating and give leptin time to do its thing. Eating slowly will give your body a chance to get the message that it’s no longer hungry (it takes about 20 minutes). If you need external feedback on your eating speed, set a timer on your phone for that amount of time. It can also provide valuable insight if you’re eating way too fast.

Sleep is another key component if you’re trying to control your appetite. Most people require 7 1/2 to 8 1/2, but most get 6 or less. Too little sleep causes the up-regulation of ghrelin, which makes you hungrier while it reduced the production of lepting, so you’re less satisfied. Not having enough sleep impairs your ability to listen to your body’s ability to communicate with you satiety.

The Moral of the Story: Stop when you’re feeling full, and only eat when you’re feeling hungry. Stop when you’ve had enough, and hit the sack early. You knew how to do this when you were a kid, you can do it again.

To your health.

Efren Rodriguez

Fortza Fit

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