What's stopping you reaching your healthy weight? Part 3-Hungry/craving...or just thirsty?

You have been dieting and exercising but the weight is not shifting - how frustrating is that!? The first thing to do is get yourself checked out by a medical practitioner, as certain conditions such as under-active thyroid can get in the way of your efforts to lose weight.  If your doctor gives you the all clear, however, it's time to look at other factors that may have affected your weight.

Did you know that the same part of your brain that signals hunger also signals thirst and it is easy to confuse the two.  So before you reach for a snack ask yourself if you are hungry or just in need of a drink.  You are unlikely to be hungry if you have eaten in the last 3-4 hours.  You should feel empty if you are ready to eat and may start to feel a little irritable. Try this test - if you feel hungry but have only recently eaten, try drinking a glass of water or herbal tea.  If you still feel hungry after 15 minutes, then eat.  

It is often best to avoid thirst which can easily be mistaken for hunger - if you are feeling thirsty, you are already dehydrated.  Try sipping water throughout the day.  

It is also easy to confuse cravings with hunger.  Cravings are more likely to be for sweet or salty foods, whereas if you are hungry you are more likely to make healthier choices. Cravings can be associated with boredom, stress or have an emotional connection. They tend to be foods that give you an instant lift by elevating your blood sugar but this is followed by a dip that can leave you craving more. The easiest way to deal with this is to avoid having foods you are likely to crave in the house.  Cravings are also more likely to take over if you go too long between meals so try to eat regularly. 

Please also see 'What's stopping you reaching your healthy weight-Part 1-Stress'
'What's stopping you reaching your healthy weight-Part 2-Lack of sleep'

Be healthy, be happy

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