Foods to fill the emotional void:
Many times, you would have noticed, there is a sudden urge to eat something called a ‘comfort food’ when one feels emotionally drained or depleted. The best options that one grabs in such cases are chocolates, cold drinks, chips which suck the water and health out of us. This is years of advertising and conditioning coming through. When we feel low on energy, the tendency is to run towards the sugar heavy foods which can give us an instant ‘kick’. The after effect is an addiction to such substances.
Let’s examine some reasons that we as a generation are lacking in the physical fitness due to our connection with food. There is a reason we are overeating and still not getting the strength and vitality that is the demand of the current time.
1. Hunger of dehydration: This is an interesting one. Hunger or thirst of water may seem to us like hunger. Our bodies need a lot of water in order to flush out the toxins that are produced in the body. Imagine replacing all that water requirement with food. That too food which is not fruits and vegetables, but fast foods which in fact suck out all the water from our body. Being hydrated helps our brains and body better perform throughout the day. Try replacing a few snacks with a simple water and see the impact on the weight.
2. Hunger of boredom: Humans need variety in their life. This is true for variety of work, variety of emotions, experiences and social life. This need for variety has become the paradox of variety. There is so much variety available in restaurants, with online food deliveries, online food videos and shows like MasterChef, which have induced a never-ending craving for newer dishes. Remember the time a few decades ago when food outings were limited to occasions. I am not saying that eating out is bad, however when we even refuse to eat the same cuisine for 2 days in a row, we are training our minds to become anxious. Cut to the pandemic and what do we see? There is no option to eat out for months and people are eating simple home cooked food. Result – a deeper connection with food, with family, with self and no unnecessary weight gain.
3. Hunger from a low blood sugar: Here is an absolutely amazing hallucination. A sudden loss of energy is felt very often in the evenings. We tend to grab the unhealthiest snacks at this hour. And this is almost always followed by a guilt of having eaten rubbish. And the most responsible hour for putting on weight. This is a very vicious circle. Once having taken in things like street food, coke or soda at this hour, body starts having a craving to eat more and more of these. These foods contain an exorbitant amount of sugar and sodium, both of which make our systems weak, damage our organs and most of all, they are highly addictive. Replacing this hour with a healthy food is a tough task, but when you know the outcome, that should be a driving force to change your habit.
4. Hunger from an emotional outrage: Our connection with food is one of the basic desires that humans have. When we are born, we have less control over our thinking, but one of the things which can provide us a sense of security is food. Have you ever noticed a child putting everything into his/her mouth when they are little? It provides them a sense of control and security and a connection with their surroundings. As adults, when we feel insecure, our primitive mind takes over, and we feel secure by eating foods that are easily available.
5. Empty stomach hunger: What do we do when we need to do an annual clean up of our house, factory or garage? The best way is to take out all the stuff, clean and refurbish it and then move the stuff back. This holds true for our stomachs also. Although, all the organs that are there, need to be provided with work. If something is unused, it becomes useless and gets discarded by the body. Result is ailments. But time to time fasting which is the religious part of some cultures around the world is to refurbish the system. Its healthy once in a while to be a little hungry.
6. Hunger of Nutrition: So we saw there are so many types of hunger and some of them are purely related to behavioral theory. Next time you feel a sudden urge to eat something that you come across, just think and be aware of the feeling that is behind it. Is it really hunger or just your mind playing one of its tricks? Or worst still, is it pure addiction that is getting triggered.
We now come to the real hunger, which is the nutrition hunger. This is the real food that your body is demanding in order to remain healthy. If your body could speak, it would tell you what kind of foods it wants, proteins, fats, carbohydrates. But it cannot, moreover, it does not know what is available with you at the current moment. So it is important to develop this habit of being aware about your body and its needs. The more you listen to it, the easier it will become to understand its exact calling.
Feeling excessively hungry means not getting enough of nutrition so craving for more food in the hope that you will get it by eating more quantity. If we eat the right kind of food, there is no need to eat a lot of quantity.
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