Being hungry, and also angry about it, sets you up for restrictive eating – an unnatural relationship with your body. This type of eating can cause a disconnect where you no longer heed your body’s signals about sustenance. And if you become out of touch with your internal warning system, constipation, tummy troubles, inconsistent sleep, lower sex drive, bad decision-making, and depression can occur. Most of us eat for reasons beyond fueling our bodies. According to Suzanne Higgs and Jason Thomas from the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, eating is affected by many social influences. Factors like family, culture, evolution, and economic status influence how, why, and what we eat.
How do you know if your eating plan has become too restrictive? According to the Paleo Foundation, it may be a matter of perspective. If you think it is too restrictive, it just might be. If you think it is satisfactory, it will be. Understanding the psychology of choice and whether we perceive them as forced upon us or our own can be critical. Also, if you are eating the same predictable meals day in and day out, out of convenience, your diet may be too restrictive by accident. You may be missing the variety of needed micro-nutrients; not to mention becoming bored. Sometimes, we need to break out of our comfort zones and try new recipes or flavors. Change happens when the thought of not changing is scarier than trying something new. Deciding to eat enough is always a good choice because your body requires and deserves healthy fuel.
Feeling satiated and nourished is important for our bodies and our mindset. The anti-inflammatory lifestyle promotes eating nutrient-dense foods in wide variety, so that you do not feel hungry. But for those new to eating more protein than carbohydrates, there is a learning curve. You need to get organized and prepped. To keep yourself on track: avoid skipping meals, choose healthy habits like eating at familiar places, keep things simple, eat a range of different foods, be mindful of the types of foods and environment you eat in, stay hydrated. Another tip is to track foods if you are distracted while you eat, but don’t track if you become obsessive, and do listen to your body.
Eating enough protein is also important for the anti-inflammatory lifestyle. The recommendation is to get at least 4 to 8 ounces at each meal along with a variety of vegetables or 75 to 90 protein grams for the entire day. If you are still hungry, grab more protein first unless you have kidney disease, then check with your doctor for recommendations. Nourishment is key for your happiness and living a full life to avoid hangry attacks!