So, What is Hunger ?
'True' hunger is the condition of our system, where all the stored glycogen in the liver from the past meal has been used up, and the process of burning muscle to get energy is impending.
It's the signal our body gives our mind, that we must re-furnish the glycogen sources back in the liver.
It's important that our mind respond by fueling up on the required amounts of macro-nutrients that will fuel our 'body' at it's current levels of energy and required physical work to be done.
Skipping meals or going without food for too long can result in the body burning muscle for energy, and lead to loss of muscle, which we do not want. It will also result in overeating in the next meal. Our stomach does not stretch or grow any larger just because we haven't eaten in a long time. So, eating at the right time is really the way to keep our metabolism and bodily functions running smoothly.
Digestion begins from the time we're thinking about food. As our digestive nervous system begins the process of creating acid in the stomach, and sending out signals to various parts of the system to get 'ready'. Our mouth secretes saliva at the thought or sight of food (whether it's fried dumplings or healthy mixed vegetables)
Visible signs of true hunger are listed in an article by Dr. Furhman as sensations in the throat and salivation.
I have found using the 'Vegetable test' to determine true hunger works best for me !
If my mind says 'No' to eating a vegetable that meal, then most probably it's the a 'Brain food' that I'm craving, i.e. some 'comfort food' which will result in a dopamine response and make me feel better in a tough situation, or maybe a 'feel good' requirement at a joyous occasion.
In the latter case, I go ahead and try the food, instead of gulping it down, and trust ,my instincts !
In the former case, I give in in very rare situations, but otherwise I know to figure out what's 'scary' for me right now that I need to face head on :)
Should we drink Water after a meal ?
Water is an essential 'Macronutrient' !! And a Superfood !!!
I like to drink it first thing after waking up, and also about 1/2 hour before each meal,to help with feeling full after each meal without tightly filling my stomach to the brim, making it unable to churn.
Drinking lots of water right after a meal, would turn the digestive fire out.. literally.
It's basically hydrochloric acid created by the stomach parietal cells, that is running the show, breaking down the larger food particles, and pepsin and leptin enzymes are needed to start the breakdown of protein and fats present in it. Drinking a lot of water down after eating a meal, will dilute the acid and enzymes in the stomach and slow down digestion !
After a good meal, sitting back to work is not recommended.. Ayurveda suggests to take a short walk half hour after your meal to kick up ur metabolism!
It's good to sip water through the day, rather than gulp a lot in one go.
I prefer not to keep a goal for how much water to drink in a day, and just go by how thirsty I feel.
Really Mom ???
You're probably going...
"Enough of all this 'Instruction' !!!! Food is so basic, all humans should have figured it out by now!! I know my body, and I 'feel' this way, I cannot be confused !!!"
Right, Funny how we should have, really :)
But the 'advancement' of humans from the wild, into a sedentary, away from nature lifestyle, has taken away our environmental advantage, though our instincts still stay the same millions of years later... after we stopped evolving !
We could naturally make good choices for ourselves back then as all the food came from nature. It hardly led to any toxin or waste management, unless it killed us ;)
So in this "domesticated" and needs us to know what worked for us back in the "wilder" days, that lead to bodies that show up in the anatomy books that we refer to now, to match up on where we should be!
Enjoy your meal !
It's good to choose each meal to our 'True satisfaction' at that point, so we can enjoy it to the fullest !
Smell it, taste it, feel it's texture, and chew every bite thoroughly to taste and savor every bit of the food we use to nourish ourselves! Cause, that's how the brain, body work in combination and get all their jig right !
And our body thanks our mind for making the 'Right Choice' for that. Once this becomes a habit, every meal going forward !
Can hunger be 'Toxic' meaning a 'Deception' with consequences ??
Yes. If in the period post-digestion, when there is still glycogen in our liver, symptoms caused by some waste management being done in our system might cause us to 'think' we're hungry, and eat pre-maturely. This means that the waste management is postponed until later, and our cells are left as is with the toxic waste in them.
This hunger increases the toxicity of our being, and hence is called 'Toxic hunger'.
Our bodies need to clean up and get some down time between meals. Else they will not function as well as we want them to. This toxin removal also sets in during the night, when we catch some good deep sleep and relaxation....
Imagine! Secret helpers... scrubbing through our internal food processing plumbing 😃 just like our dads clean up the dishes, after we finished eating leaving behind scraps and grease 😉
Here are some signs that your body in fact is doing 'Waste Management'...
- I just ate, how can I be hungry again ?
- Feeling light headed.
- Unable to think straight