Stephen Cabral, CPT/CSCS is the author of Fatlossity as well as founder and director of FitLife by StephenCabral.com. The Diet.com video contributor has been an active member of the fitness and personal training community for over 10 years. His passion has led him all over the country in pursuit of continuing to further his education, certifications, and health & fitness philosophies.

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by Stephen Cabral, Fitness Professional

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In terms of random hunger cravings this is a problem... and even some of the top personal trainers make this mistake when coaching their clients.

3 Times to Ignore Hunger Cravings This issue is whether or not you should listen to your body when it's telling you that you are hungry and need to eat.

So, if you're someone who is looking to drop body fat, and you're currently eating 3 meals/2 snacks spaced out throughout the day, and you still sometimes get crazy urges to eat... then this article will explain why these "mind-based" hunger cravings come on so strongly.

Now, I know this is a controversial subject and what I'm about to tell you will run contrary to 90% of what most "health & fitness experts" will advise you, but I would rather you know the truth. So instead of me giving you the popular answer, here's why you should NOT always listen to your body when it's telling you to eat.

First off, in order for what I'm telling you to make sense, you need to know why you're getting these "false" hunger urges.

Here are a few of the main reasons:

Issue #1: Down Time

Ever notice that when you're sitting down on the couch at night you have food on your mind? You probably just ate dinner, and now you're hungry again? The reason is that you are no longer pre-occupied with all the "to-do's" of the day, and therefore, your mind can switch modes into its comfort zone.

Issue #2: Anxiety

Nervousness or high energy can lead to binge eating where you never feel like you're getting full. In times of high anxiety you could just go on eating forever in an attempt to calm your nerves by taking your mind off what is bothering you.

Issue #3: Boredom

This relates back to the first point about "down time," but it occurs during the workday when you aren't busy moving through a bunch of high-priority tasks. This boredom lets your mind stray to thinking about food.

There are many more reasons, but these are the big 3, and since eating fills the time and is enjoyable, our minds signal us that we need to eat... when really we don't.

Listening to these false hunger readings are why so many people become overweight in the first place, and that's why we need to take a good hard look at whether our body really does need fuel or not at that moment in time.

Please also keep in mind the 3 flip sides to this argument:

1. If your goal is to lose weight, but you're dropping more than 1% of your body weight per week, then you may actually be hungry and will need to increase your caloric intake until you feel less hungry.

2. Make sure you're getting at least 30 grams of fiber spread out throughout the day " this will help you stay satiated longer.

3. Eventually you will begin to develop a better mind/body connection. Although very few people can remove the constant chatter of their minds in order to achieve a true understanding of what their bodies are telling them, if you continue to work on it you should be able to.

This process involves relaxing your breathing, reducing anxiousness, and then quietly listening to what your body is telling you throughout the day.

When you really tune in you will even be able to figure out what foods give you energy and what foods make you sluggish or cause an adverse reaction (slight allergy) after eating them.

This is a whole other topic for another day, but for now just remember to examine your hunger cravings throughout the day to see if they're really warranted or if you're just experiencing a false craving your mind has made up.

Also, ...    Continue

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@ 6:37pm ET on May 13, 2010
I also recommend drinking water throughout the day to cut back on hunger!

@ 3:27pm ET on December 23, 2015
Great article sir. Always a good read, and full of helpful advice :)

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