Hello, fitness enthusiasts!
When it comes to managing our weight as a way of life, establishing and maintaining a healthy relationship with our food and drinks are of the utmost importance. As we all look to succeed in this area, I encourage everyone to develop a true respect for exactly how difficult it is to establish this relationship as a way of life.

Hello, fitness enthusiasts!

When it comes to managing our weight as a way of life, establishing and maintaining a healthy relationship with our food and drinks are of the utmost importance. As we all look to succeed in this area, I encourage everyone to develop a true respect for exactly how difficult it is to establish this relationship as a way of life. Please believe that it is very easy to get in the bad habit of going through each day without accountability, consuming foods without regard to calories, content, portion size, or what effect the foods are going to have on your bodies weight gain or health status. And before you know it, you look up 10 or more years later and a minor annual weight gain of only 5 pounds has turned into 50 pounds or more of unwanted, unhealthy weight. It is my challenge for everyone to continue educating themselves, increase their effort, and show even more commitment to ensure that by the end of each day you have given your body what it needs to be nourished.  Your health is just too important to take this important area in our lives for granted. It has been my experience that only when you start to respect the difficult art of eating healthy, can you truly be prepared to put forth the effort, and start utilizing the tools it takes, to make it become a reality for you. Now.... the good news is that once you’ve gotten it established, it’s like any other habit...you can begin to maintain it comfortably as a way of life for you and your family!

In today’s health, nutrition, and fitness tips, I am going to discuss appetite, hunger, and cravings. I truly believe these are three key components, that are at the very root of, successfully establishing a healthy relationship with foods. We confuse them as if they were the same, but hunger and cravings are very different. I encourage everyone to spend more time each day taking a closer look at when your’e hungry versus when your’e having cravings! Why?... Because when you understand the difference, you will be able to apply realistic solutions daily that help you manage each of them. In addition, over time you will evolve to a level of comfort that allows you to become more satisfied with your meals, while reducing your calories to healthy portions, without feeling the need to continue eating.

Hunger is when you have a normal drop in blood sugar about 4 or 5 hours after a meal. Hunger is your need for food. It is your body’s way of trying to tell you that too much time has passed since your last meal, and it needs to be nourished again. These hunger signals usually come from your stomach in the form of growls, pangs, or an empty hollow feeling. Signals also come from your brain in the form of fatigue, trouble concentrating, irritability, or headaches. Of course delaying meals to this extent is never healthy, and actually increases the hunger urge and promotes overeating. Hunger does not go away, it only gets worse. And any food will satisfy your hunger and take the hunger signals away...good or bad.That’s why it is so important to follow your daily regimen of 5-6 small meals, healthy fluids, and vitamins daily to give your body everything it needs to stay satisfied, perform at optimal levels, control hunger, stay nourished, healthy, and strong.You should never let more than three hours go by before you have eaten. When it comes to hunger, it is also a great idea to pay attention to how you are feeling before and after you eat, because once done, you can start to make changes in what, and how much you eat, based on your hunger. It’s always best to eat when you are starting to get a little hungry.This gives you the best opportunity to make healthy choices and at the right portion size. Try not to wait until you are very hungry or starving because you are more likely to make unhealthy choices, as well as overeat. On the other end of the spectrum it is always a good idea to stop eating when you are a little full. Never continue eating until you are uncomfortably full, save the remainder for later.

Now, let’s talk about your appetite. Appetite is your interest in food. Appetite can literally override your hunger or fullness signals. Many times when people get stressed, they lose their appetite and choose to ignore hunger signals, and not eat. They have lost their interest in food for that moment. In addition, your appetite can work against you negatively with fullness signals as well. For example, how many times have we sit down at a buffet or family dinner and gotten uncomfortably full, and continued to eat more of our favorite foods or mouth watering desserts? If you are like me...it is very easy to do. We know it is going to make us even more uncomfortable, but we do it anyway. We certainly weren’t hungry in this scenario...right? This is is definitely an example of how our appetite, or interest in food, overrides feelings of fullness.

And finally, how about those cravings? Cravings in a nutshell are, your desires for a specific food. You know it’s a craving when you have urges that start within a couple of hours or much sooner after your last meal. Some foods can trigger your cravings. Usually the foods you crave are not a necessity, and do not support a healthy lifestyle, or your goals. Cravings are unlike hunger signals because they will change over time, even as quickly as 10 minutes. Many times your cravings are triggered by emotions, stress, sadness, boredom, etc. Many times our fondness for foods, or just being around and seeing certain foods can trigger our cravings. Cravings are also caused by spikes and dips in your blood sugar after you have eaten highly processed carbohydrates like white breads, cakes, or other baked foods, white rice, white pasta, etc..Candy other sweets, and table sugars can also cause cravings. Many studies show that it takes fewer calories to prevent cravings, but requires a whole lot more to satisfy them once they occur. Proactively satisfying yourself in advance to prevent cravings is definitely the way to stay on track. I have said many times before, that your body is very smart, and it has an amazing ability to do what it is supposed to, when you give it what it needs! Here a are a few more things to think about when dealing with cravings. Many times cravings are a result of a deficiency in our nutrition regimen. Try getting foods in your system every 2-3 hours, include all food groups, drink plenty of healthy fluids, and take quality vitamins everyday. Don’t give into temptation by buying food and drinks you are likely to crave. If it is not in the pantry, you can not consume it. Try brushing your teeth and gargling with mouthwash to detract your cravings when you have them.

Hopefully, today’s information will help you establish a healthy relationship with your foods that bring pleasure and satisfaction when you eat. Dealing with cravings in a controlled manner are a normal part of our healthy eating plan. Giving in to cravings and or appetite, and confusing them with hunger, will only add stress in our lives, promote unwanted weight gain, overeating, and unhealthy eating that includes too much salt, saturated fat, and sugar. This just gives us more reasons to pay closer attention to the big three (hunger, appetite, and cravings). It will take time to master these feelings, but as you improve, you are well on your way to managing your weight without feeling hungry or deprived. And that my friends, is a recipe for your health, nutrition, and fitness success for life! You can do this!

Until next week, please make it a nutritious and healthy day. To get started on healthy weight loss, muscle building, sports performance, vitamins, and or wellness nutrition products call Reggies Personal Training and Nutrition @ (405) 613-0237, 104 E. Main, Downtown Shawnee, or email to reggiesnutrition@hotmail.com or message me on facebook @reggies personal training and nutrition!

Reggie Grovey is a local 21-year fitness professional and nationally certified personal trainer and Advocare Nutrition independent distributor.