What is hunger?  True hunger is a physiologic response we are all born with.  Our body will tell us when we need energy (food); it also tells us when we are full.  The only good example I can give is a baby.  Babies cry when they are hungry, spit or throw food back when they are full. Can you relate?

Let’s take a look at the bodies’ physiologic need for energy.  The body will digest and utilize the energy (food) you give it within 3 or 4 hours after eating.  You must refuel within the three or four hour time frame, in order for your body to function optimally.

Hunger cues differ from person to person, but a few ways hunger may present could be: headache, moodiness, quick temper, fatigue, and cravings. Whether or not you listen to your body is another story– it is up to you to determine your own body’s cues. If you continue to ignore those cues the penalty will result in poor performance, academically and athletically, and most likely unwanted weight gain.

What is Habit? Habit is eating when you are not physiologically hungry .

– It is when you are grabbing for food after you just ate

– It is overeating on unnecessary calories

– It is eating due to emotional stresses: Exams, loneliness, relationship problems, family issues ect.

– Habit also rears with certain associations, for example, the movies.

As soon as you walk into the theater it automatically triggers the want for popcorn, even if you don’t want it, or even if you just had a meal

So, the bottom line is, until you identify your habits, poor nutrition will follow you through your lifetime. Nip it now!

When you think you are hungry, take the “apple” test: ask yourself, would I eat an apple right now? If the answer is yes, than you are hungry, if the answer is no, then you are not hungry. This is when you determine what it is that is causing the want for food and tackle the issue instead of using food as a way out.

P.S. the apple test can be any food that is good for you. If you don’t like apples, substitute the food item for something else.