Wild Appetite Swings

By Robyn Priebe
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“Why am I so hungry??”  From time to time I’ll notice a big increase in my appetite and hear myself uttering this question.  Whether it’s from a long run in the morning, PMS, sleep deprivation, or not eating enough protein, certain things can really rev up my appetite.  Similarly, if paying attention to how I feel, I will notice times when my appetite takes a dip. 

Part of mindful eating is paying attention to these changes in appetite and eating in response.  If you feel less hungry, eat less, if you are noticing your stomach won’t stop growling despite the fact that you ate a normal sized lunch, do something about it.  There is a bit of a back and forth to hunger; you don’t need the same amount of food every day.

This is one reason I take issue with calorie (or point or serving) counting.    If you get too locked into the idea that you need a set amount of food every day you really aren’t paying attention to what the body needs.  It could cause undereating or overeating.

For example, if you try to eat 1500 calories every day and one day after a ton of cardio paired with sleep deprivation your appetite has increased, that 1500 calories is not going to cut it.  By 9 pm when you’ve blasted through those 1500 calories and you are still up and starved it might trigger a full-blown binge.

On the other hand, eating a certain amount of food because it’s “your allotment” can be a cause for overeating.  If you were trying to eat 1500 calories every day and one day you would have only needed 1200 if you really followed your hunger cues, then eating 1500 is overeating that day.

What really revs up your appetite?  What have you done to manage this?

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