Being hungry is like being hypnotized by a little food demon who removes your self-control and every cell of common sense. My behavior when I am gripped by hunger is as obsessive and neurotic as our big dog Hugo’s behavior was, when from another room, he would wake from a dead sleep because he got a whiff of a droplet of ham juice, believing it was the whole 30 pound ham bone.
It is hard to reach a weight loss finish line with ease and comfort for that permanent result when you are battling seductive food thoughts on a regular basis from unbridled hunger.
Just because you have a growling empty stomach,
are hungry and can’t focus on anything but food
does not mean your body needs fuel
If your hunger comes with profuse sweating, lightheadedness, a dizzy feeling, spinning, fuzzy twilight thinking, radical emotional swings or other conditions then you need to seek help from your treating physician to narrow in on possible blood sugar disorders or medical problems.
As uncomfortable as you are being hungry, your body is JUST as uncomfortable, that is why it is sending such intense sensations. Here I share simple solutions, with brief explanations, on how you can calm the empty stomach hunger crisis the next time it happens.
One: Drink a big glass of water. Not coffee, not tea – the caffeine is likely to stimulate your hunger more. Drink a big glass of pure water. Not flavored, not colored, not sweetened, not vitamin filled, not carbonated, nor diet water beverages – these just “tease” your body chemistry. Your body gets just as frustrated from being duped by “a tease” as you do. So stick to a glass of nature’s tried and millions of years tested water and give your body 30 minutes. Your body may simply need clean fluids to hydrate. The water fills and causes the stomach to expand while also diluting stomach acid and digestive juices, which reduce hunger messages.
Water is as important to your body
as air is to your lungs
Experiment with the temperature of water that you are drinking because the temperature influences how much you drink, how your body must respond and how fast your body assimilates it. Iced, cold, room temperature and hot water are not the same and each will force your body into different functional states.
Two: Take Calcium, Magnesium or a Calcium Magnesium supplement on your empty hungering stomach. Rising stomach acid between meals will spark hunger even when your body doesn’t need food fuel. This strategy quiets hunger by neutralizing the overabundance of hydrochloric acid in your stomach and in the whole of your body. A few signs your levels of hydrochloric acid are out of balance: impaired and uncomfortable mid-section, stool output that varies, eating calms the discomfort and pain, upper abdominal pressure that makes shallow breathing the norm, or a lower abdominal marsupial like pouch that does go away no matter how many abs you do. Too little and too much stomach acid share common ground. Too little stomach acid is marked by food that doesn’t drop into the intestine and ferments in the stomach with a sort of balloon like pressure in the lower part of your ribs.
Too much hydrochloric acid happens when there are exaggerated amounts of caffeine, alcohol, additives, animal products, proteins, fats, sugar and salt which are too abundant in dishonest processed, convenient and fast foods. Keep in mind that salt is sodium and a chloride which is the raw material the body uses to make hydrochloric acid. Exposures to allergens, body intolerances and chemicals disrupt internal bacterial, fungal and parasitic environments. Your body’s attempt to resolve the problems may be to increase hydrochloric acid.
Choose a calcium, magnesium or a cal-mag supplement that has NO other vitamins or minerals in it. Liquid, powder, chewable or capsules. Avoid tablets and do not use over-the-counter antacids as a calcium supplement because these have additives, colors and other harmful ingredients which create an unnecessary burden your body will have to manage, and find a solution for.
There are many types of calcium and each has qualities and attributes. Your body is unique, so try what you may have at home to see how your body responds. Ask friends and family for samples of what they have on hand to avoid ending up with a whole bottle of something that just isn’t your body’s best option.
There are also many types of magnesium, but I prefer the Magnesium Glycinate 450mg capsules by KAL. They have high absorption with a lower laxative effect compared to other types of magnesium. These do not have citric acid, the fillers are rice and silica, the powder has a sweet taste and each capsule has 225mg of magnesium.
An easy sell for this Calcium Magnesium suggestion is Country Life’s Cal-Snack. It is a big fat white chewable calcium magnesium supplement sweetened with fructose and mannitol with a natural vanilla and orange flavoring. Chewing it feels more like a special treat, but be careful not to indulge yourself. At a certain level the magnesium may have a laxative effect. Many types of laxatives work by pulling body fluids into your intestine. The excess fluid volume in the intestine causes your intestine to spasm which has you dashing off to the nearest toilet. The fluid loss from laxatives is a body sacrifice and leaves it dehydrated with imbalanced electrolytes. Most people feel disoriented and weak from the fluid loss which results in a natural impulse to eat, which defeats the purpose of this strategy!
This option has a lot of choices. Try calcium, try magnesium, take calcium and magnesium at the same time for your hungering empty stomach. Take an amount that makes sense to you based on what you know about your body in general and from past experiences. Let your body be your guide by how it responds. More or less? One, the other or together? Approach this suggestion with some playful curiosity and with NO expectations.
When people have expectations
they stop watching and start judging
which binds and blinds
Three: Give your empty tummy some fiber. Like a big glass of water, fiber makes the stomach expand, gives the empty stomach something to do and the body quiets because it knows you heard and delivered. Water dilutes stomach acid and digestive juices, but fiber absorbs and sequesters the fluids while simultaneously acting as an effective intestinal pipe cleaner for your body. A clear intestinal pipeline improves digestion, creates regularity at the toilet, balances bacterial environments, streamlines your body’s efforts and reduces bloating and gas to give you a flatter tummy.
Psyllium, flax, chia, shredded coconut and coconut flour are good sources of fiber and are available whole, ground, powdered or in capsules. Choose clean straight fiber options that have NO additives, colors nor flavors. There may only be one type of fiber that does magic in your body. If one makes you bloated and gassy then you know that isn’t the right one for your body. Take it on an empty stomach as your hunger eliminator and consider taking it on a daily basis.
Four: Eating natural and raw foods gives an overactive digestive tract a way to use that energy.
An overactive digestion is like an energetic boy. Refusing either one, denies a possible resource and just isn’t wise. In the same way I would get the energetic boy outside to cut loose and run around, I suggest you give an overactive digestion a healthy activity such as raw carrots, celery, cucumber sticks or an apple. Be sure to notice what happens. Was the apple perfect, but yesterday’s citrus fruit activated your allergies? Maybe cucumber hit the mark, but eating fruit jump started your sweet tooth or salt cravings. Was celery the choice for two weeks running because it was right there, but curiously you’ve noticed your urine is flowing better or your joints are more comfortable. Every observation is an insight, use the discoveries to your advantage.
The quickest way for your body to get your attention is to put you in a hunger headlock, but it may not be hungry. A toddler screaming for a piece of candy may have NOTHING to do with the candy. The toddler may be thirsty, tired, in pain, retaliating for some covert sibling behavior, or maybe they are upset they weren’t allowed to wear the magic purple boots because of the heatwave conditions. The more you experiment and pay attention (without expectation for a specific outcome) the more you will understand the underlying truth of your hunger. Sort of the same way that parents know the real reason their toddler is going haywire.
All four of these strategies are simple and effective, but if they don’t remove your hunger, than keep looking. I sometimes have to try 20 options before I find the perfect set of keys that work for me personally. While I prefer to go after the quick fix-it options, I know that sometimes a shift is needed in the psyche too which is where my next article will be taking you.