Hunger Part II

One of the most common questions that I get from anyone I speak with on health and wellness revolves around hunger. The perception that living a healthy life involves starving yourself to death. That denial is the cornerstone of any plan to get you fit. The perception is not misplaced. Too many fads and diets involve giving up all sorts of food or worse living on soup and salad for days until the fat will magically melt away. Nothing could be further from the truth. A well-designed plan to get you back in good health is by definition sustainable. Even the most disciplined among us will not be able to sustain starvation for too long.

If you are eating poorly, in fact, hunger would be a familiar acquaintance. It shows up regularly. Several times a day even. My hunger pangs would occur at 5 p.m. at which point I would be willing to eat pretty much anything put in front of me. Denial would result in irritability or anger. If the food was made available, my appetite knew no boundaries. The entire cycle was driven by what I had eaten through the day. Therein lies the secret to hunger.

Many factors can cause hunger. The primary reason is the composition of what you ate earlier. If it were quickly digesting carbohydrates, you would feel hungry again soon. Instead, if you had a couple of spoons of olive oil and salad, chances are you might not have felt so hungry. The lack of hunger would be because the olive oil and the vegetables in the salad would break down more slowly making you feel full for much longer. Hunger can also be caused by lack of potassium or sodium making you feel hungry when what you are seeking is a minor amount of minerals. A well-balanced meal, in fact, eliminates your hunger as you have given the body what it needs – adequate nutrition.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.