One of my favorite topics when working with clients is not the latest vitamin or mineral and definitely not calorie counting. It is much closer to your basic need for survival—hunger. Learning to identify, manage, and honor hunger is a very important part to feeling energized and focused, as well as managing weight. 
When you let yourself get too hungry you’re likely to overeat at meal or snack time. However, when you learn to identify true hunger, eat to manage hunger levels, and honor your body when it is hungry, you’ll learn one of the secrets to long term weight management. 
What Are You Hungry For?
Housewife thinking

"Hunger is your compass! It is a positive feeling to be hungry at different points of the day; as it is a healthy response to satisfy your hunger. There is an internal debate with food that occurs in most of us. We can talk ourselves into anything we want in life. It just so happens that we have opportunities with food everyday."
- Suzie Solenberger, MS, RD

When you sit down to a meal you want to be hungry, but not ravenous. Going to a table ravenous will only increase the likelihood of overeating or binge eating. One of the best ways to prevent overeating or binge eating is to understand your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Then learn how to respect and honor them.

The top three principles of hunger management include:

1. Identify foods that satisfy (or satiate you)
2. Recognize the difference between desire to eat and actual physical hunger
3. Learn when to stop eating once no longer hungry

Steps to implement these three principles:

Step 1: Keep a food log.
Journal what you eat and note how hungry you were before and after your meal. How long did the snack or meal sustain you? Take a test:

  • Test 1: Eat a 150 calorie “nutrition bar” such as Nutrigrain, Fiber One, or Kashi. Note if you are satisfied after you eat it and/or how long it sustains you.

  • Test 2: Eat a 1/2 turkey sandwich - make with 1 slice whole wheat bread, 2 - 3 oz turkey and a sliver of avocado (or another source of fat). Now note if you are satisfied and how long this holds you over.
Identify how your environment influences what you eat, how fast you eat, how much you eat, etc.

Step 2: Ensure a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat at each meal and snack.
Generally speaking, you’ll be satisfied if you have a balance of adequate carbohydrate, protein, and fat in a meal.
Having adequate protein with healthy fat at meals and snacks will help ward off hunger. Eating quality carbohydrates with protein and fat will help with the fullness sensation.

Step 3: Pay extra attention to hunger and fullness sensation.

  • Keep a food journal and use the hunger and fullness scale in the next article to rate your hunger and fullness.

  • Ask yourself these questions when keeping your hunger and fullness journal:

  • When was the last time I ate? Was it less than 2-3 hours ago? If yes, then was my meal balanced with carbohydrates, protein, and fat?

  • Am I really hungry, or do I want to eat out of habit?
Cream-less Cauliflower Butternut Squash Soup


Cream-Less Cauliflower & Butternut Squash Soup

Recipe Courtesy of Meal Makeover Moms


Makes 6 Servings
  • 1 leek, white and light green part only, cut into ½-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 small head cauliflower, trimmed, cored, and cut into 1-inch florets
  • 8 ounces peeled butternut squash, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • One 32-ounce carton all-natural vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • Optional garnish: Shredded, reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Break the leek rounds apart into little rings, place in a bowl of cold water, and swoosh around to remove any dirt trapped between the layers. Drain well in a colander.
  3. Place the leeks, cauliflower florets, squash, 2 tablespoons of the oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and toss to coat evenly with the oil. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the vegetables are golden and the leek rings become crispy, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir well every 10 minutes to ensure even baking.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Stir in the cooked vegetables and the broth. Cover, raise the heat to high, and bring to a low boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the milk, and let cool slightly.
  5. Transfer to a blender and puree in batches until very smooth and creamy. You could also use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with optional toppings.
You don't have to cook ...
"You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients." – Julia Child
Make Your Exercise Count!

When it comes to your regular workouts, there are ways to increase your overall calorie burn without adding more time! Here are a few ideas to increase your metabolic burn:

Increase the intensity of your workout. Interval training is highly effective for burning more calories without adding more time. Add intervals to your workout such as sprints or speed walking for a more efficient, fat burning workout.

Increase the resistance and/or weight of your exercise. By simply increasing the resistance of your workout you will give your body an increased metabolic burn because your body will have to work harder and expend more energy to lift the weight.

Jump rope. Jumping rope is one sure way to burn a massive amount of calories in a short period of time. Just fifteen minutes can burn 187 calories. Jump for an hour and you can burn 748 calories in 1 hour.

Increase the incline of your treadmill. Walking at a 10% incline at 3 MPH will burn 255 calories in 30 minutes. That’s about 50 calories more than walking at the same speed on a flat surface.

Hit the bag. Spending 20 minutes hitting the boxing bag will burn 115 calories and give an increased metabolic burn all day because of the added resistance you get from punching the bag.

Do a circuit! Circuit training is an excellent way to get a whole body workout in a short period of time. Here is one of my favorite “Home Circuit” workouts! Repeat 3 - 9 times depending on your fitness level and the schedule!

  • 1 minute bodyweight squats

  • 1 minute jog in place

  • 1 minute push ups

  • 1 minute mountain climbers

  • 1 minute plank
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