It is that time of year that we are entering bulking season aka the holiday season. For most people this is a time of unwanted weight gain. This seems like a good time to understand the body’s signals for hunger and fullness. Decoding these signals can help you fuel better, perform better, and get the body you want. So during this holiday season, go from average joe to satiety pro.
Recognizing hunger and fullness cues is a skill that can enhance your athletic performance and body composition. It’s all about tuning into what your body is telling you, and responding appropriately. Here are some key strategies to empower your awareness:
- Tune into Your Body’s Rhythms
Your body has a rhythm for hunger and fullness. Unfortunately, most of us are clueless. We eat when we aren’t hungry and eat until overstuffed. Pay attention to what is happening in your stomach. You will gain valuable insight.
- Recognize the Difference Between True Hunger and Emotional Hunger
It is a ninja level skill to distinguish between real physical hunger and emotional cravings. Real hunger is physically characterized by a growling stomach and feeling of emptiness. Stress, sadness, or boredom triggers emotional hunger. This recognition is next level skill acquisition.
- Prioritize Nutrient-Dense Foods.
As Power Athletes, we want to fuel our bodies with the best possible nutrients. Focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods like lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and eating the rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Nothing empowers performance and maintains steady energy levels than nutrient dense foods.
Riding on Empty
Let’s dig into identifying hunger cues:
- Stomach Grumbles
That rumble in your stomach is your body’s signal that you need grub. It’s time for a fuel stop. Don’t ignore it-instead listen and provide a balanced high-quality snack.
- Lightheadedness or Weakness
Feeling a bit lightheaded or weak could be a sign your blood sugar levels are dropping. Grab a nutrient dense balance of proteins, carbs and fats to stabilize them.
- Decreased Focus and Alertness
Are you struggling to concentrate? Is focus in the toilet? You might need a small snack to kickstart your brain mojo.
Over the Top
Just as important as knowing when you are hungry is knowing when you are full. Check out these cues to throw in the towel on your eating and say I’m satisfied.”
- Slowed Eating Pace
Are you eating at a snail’s pace? Odds are you are nearing the full zone. Recognize this cue and stop before you over stuff.
Are you washed over with contentment? I’m not saying angels will be singing, but if you are started to feel content you are nearing a full tank. This is your body signaling satisfaction.
- Fill Up, But Not Too Much
Aim for a comfortable, mild feeling of fullness rather than stuffing yourself. Avoid that post-Thanksgiving heavy, lethargic feeling. You should not need to loosen your belt or pants.
It is hard to dominate the competition if you are overstuffed or underfed. Recognizing hunger and full signals is essential for peak performance and body composition. Developing this skill allows you to fuel your body optimally, which supports physical and mental performance. Remember to listen to your body, prioritize nutrient dense fuels, and stay tuned in with your hunger and fullness cues. Need a gameplan for success? Hire a coach! https://powerathletehq.com/nutrition-coaching/?coach=rob
Coaching: Power Athlete Nutrition Coaching
Education: Power Athlete Academy
Rob has been in the fitness/strength and conditioning industry for 21+ years. For the last 12 years, he has owned and operated CrossFit West Houston. Through CrossFit, Rob found Power Athlete the methodology course and earning his Block One. Nutrition is a passion which lead him to currently pursuing a Masters program in Nutrition at Lamar University and Power Athlete Nutrition coach.
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