Is Being Hungry a Crime?

It’s time for me to address the hungry, hungry elephant in the room…

Elephant-in-the-room1

…Hunger!

Have you ever felt embarrassed or guilty for being hungry? How many times have you or a friend made a joke about how much or how frequently you can eat? I’m totally an offender of all of these. But hunger is part of our natural body functions, so why should we feel ashamed of it?

I’m not a dietary expert, but I definitely believe that some people tend to be hungrier than others. Luckily or unluckily (depending on how you look at it), I am someone who gets hungry quite frequently. I typically eat three meals and two snacks a day, so sometimes it feels like I’m ALWAYS eating!

A sample food log of mine. Line breaks indicate that a period of time passed by.

Here’s what a typical day’s food log looks like for me. I keep track on my phone or “Stickies” on my computer!

I know that eating eating every few hours is good for your metabolism and blood sugar. To me, it’s a win-win! Eating more often keeps my taste buds and my soul happy. But when the little voice in the back of my head starts saying things like, “No one else is eating now…” or “Didn’t you just eat breakfast?,” it really makes me stop and think!

Before I reach for a snack, I try to do a quick self-assessment. I ask myself the following:

  • What am I craving and why? Maybe I’m just in the mood for something, or maybe I know I need to get some protein in because I had a carb-focused breakfast. Either reason is okay! I just try to be mindful of why I’m choosing a particular food over another. If it’s late, I’m tired, I had a bad day, or I’m bored… that might be a reason to reassess the situation.
  • When was the last time I ate? Typically, I will eat something every 3-4 hours. Although I don’t limit myself to only being able to eat at specified intervals, I can usually “justify” a snack if it’s been 3+ hours since my last meal.
  • What have I eaten so far today? I aim to incorporate a variety of proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins, nutrients, etc. throughout the course of my day. So for example, if I have already consumed milk, yogurt, and eggs… I probably won’t choose cheese for a snack. Or if I pack a breakfast and a lunch that are sweet, fruity, and peanut buttery (hehe), I’ll bring veggies a mid-afternoon snack. Planning is key!

Something I’ve been hearing a lot lately is to consume the majority of your calories earlier in the day. This prevents you from getting too hungry later in the day and losing all “willpower,” if you will. I actually think my body prefers this, as well. If I eat breakfast between 6:30-7 AM, I will definitely be ready for a snack at 10:00. If I wait until noon, I’ll be beyond starving!

Here’s the thing. Compared to some people, I eat a lot. But it’s not because I’m a pig… if anything, it’s because I’m healthy! I’m not going to make self-deprecating jokes about it anymore. In actuality, I’m the one who gets to eat something delicious 5-6 times a day. Who’s laughing now? 😉

Questions for You –

  • Have you ever felt embarrassed of your hunger? If so, how do you deal with it?
  • How frequently do you eat something?
  • Do you keep a food log?
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