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  • Lindsey O'Neill

Listen to those Hunger Cues

Updated: Jan 31

Working from home? Spending the day at home with the kids? Whatever the situation, a lot of us can agree that we have been spending more time at home, which means more time in the kitchen. Does the idea of snacking all day overflow your mind? Not to worry, I got you covered.


Whether we are actually hungry throughout the day or whether we are bored and choose to cope with food, there are a few tips and tricks to channeling into your hunger cues. My number one recommendation is that you should never feel guilty for feeling hungry! Those hunger cues are telling your body something. It is always important to honor those cues and fill your body with foods that nourish and make you feel satisfied. Our bodies typically take anywhere from 2-4 hours to fully digest a complete meal that includes all food groups portioned adequately. Eating balanced meals will help sustain your hunger longer than if you were to eat something very minimal at mealtime. Balanced meals will also help prevent a frequent urge to binge. But, depending on when you eat those meals, it is very likely that you will get hungry in between. During those times, we should be nourishing our body with the fuel it needs and desires.


Snacking is a complete mind- body connection that often gets viewed as something negative, when in reality it is actually another opportunity to nourish our body. When we feed our body, we are feeding our brain as well. Consuming nutrients, vitamins and minerals will help us get through the workday easier. Additionally, drinking water or non-caffeinated beverages throughout the day will increase hydration, creating a clear mindset to focus on work. Too much caffeine or coffee will not curb your appetite, and will eventually leave you feeling dehydrated, groggy and binging in the snack cabinet. I encourage you to practice listening to your hunger cues and honoring them! Before you indulge in your private snack cabinet, ask yourself how you feel in that very moment. Was your last meal a balanced meal? Are you eating out or boredom or stress? Are you emotionally stable at that time? Will indulging really fix the way you feel, or will it only make you feel worse? This allows you to bring full awareness to the entire body.


Another way to increase your awareness for these hunger cues is by practicing mindful eating. You can do so by savoring your meal, eating at a steady pace and noticing how those foods make you feel. This creates a better sense of how certain foods affect our overall wellness in regard to the mind and body.


Remember…snacking is never something to ashamed of. Practice becoming aware of hunger cues, how foods make you feel and honoring those cues when your body is asking for nourishment.


Not sure what to snack on when you feel hungry?


I always recommend snacking on foods that will satisfy your body. The more nutrients the better! Including at least two food groups in a snack is an easy recommendation to follow that will help keep you satisfied for a longer duration. You can choose from the grains, protein, dairy or fat, or fruit/ vegetable category.

Snacking Tips:

1. Working from home all day? Create a snack board to choose from throughout the day when you feel hungry. Fill it with nutritious foods such as nuts, cheese, crackers, fruit, vegetables and dips. Properly portion the tray so you don’t feel like you are over or under eating. Use the board primarily for snacking rather than meals. You can do the same for your kids as well!

2. Prep veggies and fruit by washing and cutting prior to the workday for an easy and quick grab in the refrigerator.

3. Create your own snack cabinet or drawer (separate from the kids if applicable) and fill it with food that will make you feel satisfied. Try foods such as protein bars, rice cakes, whole grain crackers, nut butter, nuts, Greek yogurt, cheese sticks, fresh fruit/ vegetables.

4. Prep or buy premade energy bites for the week for an easy go-to that is packed with nutrition.


Our Go-To’s here at Working Wellness Yoga:

1. Rice cake with hummus and cucumber

2. Greek yogurt with granola and berries

3. Cheese and crackers

4. Chocolate hummus and strawberries

5. Crackers or apple and nut butter

6. Energy bites


Recipe for Energy Bites:

Oatmeal Chocolate Energy Bites

Ingredients:

- 1 ½ cup quick oats

- ¼ cup hemp seeds

- ½ cup any nut butter

- ¼ cup chocolate chips (mini chocolate chips work best)

- ¼ cup honey or maple syrup


Steps:

1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl

2. Mix until combined

3. Roll into golf size balls- recipe will make 15 golf sized balls

4. Store in fridge for 1-2 weeks or eat right away



Written by Lindsey O’Neill


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