Which emotion prompts you more to act upon? Feeling full or feeling hungry?

Our human nature is interesting: There is no system in our bodies that restricts calorie intake. However, if you feel hungry you have to eat to satisfy that feeling. Hunger seems to overshadow many other emotions required to survive. This made a lot of sense in the Stone age, where people had to outlast in periods of time of little to no food. Today, with fast food restaurants in every shopping centre, this mechanism makes it hard to lose weight permanently.

Over 40 the feelings of being hungry are often more severe due to the modifications in the hormone system. Do you understand how your body produces the feelings of being hungry?

There are two systems in place in your brain that require balance in order for you to lose weight over 40: The calories you put in your body, and the quantity of energy accessible. If the energy available in your body falls to a certain level, feelings of "hunger" are developed and you then think of food. This is totally natural, and not a weakness in your character.

There is a difference between feeling satisfied and feeling full. As you know, after 40 your body burns less calories- so you should eat until you feel satisfied and stop eating when you’ve reached that point to lose weight permanently.

Interestingly enough, we usually finish eating before our bodies absorb the nutrients in the foods. How long it takes you to eat and how often you eat meals has a big consequence on feeling satisfied. An simple way to lose weight permanently is to increase the come of meals and the time spent eating- you’ll feel satisfied earlier.

But: You have to eat consciously. Watching TV, driving or reading while you eat will distract your mind, and it won't register that you are eating. This will cause you not to realize when you are satisfied, and you will end up eating more, which will threaten your effort at permanent weight loss.

There are many messenger substances signaling the brain you need to eat. These substances make you feel hungry, repress physical activity and increase the amount of energy that is stored as fat. When you go on a diet or stop eating, Neuropeptide Y is released.

This is why you find it tough to lose weight permanently, and sometimes feel like your energy is low: The less you eat, the more the hormone system protects your body fat. And: After 40 this protection is getting stronger and stronger. The only way to lose weight permanently over 40 is by starting a gentle life style concept.

Many Neuropeptides are involved in making you feel hungry. For example, Orexin A and B are released when feeling hungry and stimulate overeating and food cravings- the common effect when on a diet. So this is not a lack of will power, it’s the nature of your body.

Leptin is another Neuropeptide that is produced by fat tissue. It transmits to your brain how full the fat storage system is. Women have more body fat than men by nature and correspondingly higher levels for Leptin. If the Leptin level drops below a certain point, you’ll begin to feel hungry.

The body image in western culture is extremely influenced by artificially thin celebrities. A certain quantity of body fat is actually healthy, and without it you’ll feel hungry day in and day out, leading to many emotional problems.

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