False Alarm

scaling back
Background img by Sylvar, used with permission

If you are just joining us in our journey, please consider going back to the beginning with Welcome to Scaling Back. We began with a prayerfully considering a goal to keep before us in this journey. Then we discussed drinking water, detox, and learning how our bodies signal hunger. But as was commented last week, our bodies can send out false signals. Our bodies can behave as if they are hungry, but not actually requiring food.

Image from Encyclopedia of Science

The hypothalamus sits on top of your brain stem and manages the nervous system. The nerves are what send signals around your body. When the stomach signals it’s empty, the hypothalamus has to interpret the signal. Since the body sends the same message whether you are hungry or thirsty, you simply receive the signal to put something in your mouth, quickly. This often leads to problems because you can eat something and still feel dissatisfied. So you look for something more, hoping to satiate your stomach and stop the annoying signals, but to no avail. 

To combat this possibility, I have a few suggestions to help you determine if your body needs actual caloric intake or if it is simply thirsty (because we just don’t like drinking water, right?).

~ When you feel hungry, drink an 8oz portion of water first. Give that 10 minutes to settle (those messages don’t travel fast between tummy and brain). If after 10 minutes you still feel that gnawing hunger pain, then go ahead and reach for calories.

~ Another trick I learned in one of my weight loss classes (years ago) was to drink an 8oz portion of orange juice. This is a natural hunger fighter and having orange will help to squelch the desire to inhale everything in the fridge. Again, give the OJ 10 minutes to allow for signal to be received and then make decisions.

A word of caution about orange juice: make sure you check the sugar levels in the OJ you purchase. Some may state that they are made from real oranges, but do add sugar to an already naturally sweet fruit.  

Finally, for some humor, I can’t hear the words ‘false alarm’ and not hear Bill Cosby talk about women running to the rest room together. I have my father to thank for such mental bridges, but what clean, funny man Bill is!!! Just the first 2 minutes of this video clip will hopefully help you understand why I hear Bill Cosby say “false alarm” every time 😉

This is part of a blogging series Scaling Back.

More Resources:

Hungry or thirsty?
Hypothalamus definition


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