What is a Hunger Pang?
Firstly, we need to understand what hunger pangs are. We all have experienced sudden pain in our stomach at the upper side of the abdomen. Hunger pangs are caused when there are contractions in our stomach. These contractions happen when our stomach is empty.
They are called Hunger Pangs but it is not at all necessary that our body is hungry at that moment. These can happen when our body is habitual of specific mealtime or several meals in a day. Suppose I eat Snacks daily in the evening. If I skip my evening snack there is a sudden pain that arises out of nowhere, there are times when I am not even hungry.
Now hunger pangs are not time specific and happen differently with everyone. Some people can have it just after some time of their meal and some have it when they are extremely hungry for a longer period. This is for sure that everyone will face it if they go for a long time without drinking and eating.
Reasons for having hunger pangs
There are many reasons for hunger pangs. Maybe your body needs more nutrients. There is a feeling of fullness that your stomach has become habitual of.
The stomach is an organ that has capabilities of expanding and collapsing accordingly. When we eat or drink anything the stomach generally expands and feel that our hunger is satisfied. When for longer periods we don’t consume any food or drinks the stomach collapses causing contraction leading to hunger pangs.
Hunger is not just limited to food consumption there are many other factors which make us hungry
- Anxiety or Stress
- Craving for Good Food
- Lack of Sleep
- Hunger Hormones
You can also experience hunger pangs because your diet is not consisting of essential nutrients required. Hunger pangs are not caused by any Medical condition usually but if you are facing a severe amount of abdominal pain you must seek medical help immediately. If these Hunger Pangs are coming along with problems like Diarrhea, Fever, Puke, Dizziness, Headaches, and Vomiting.
Symptoms of Hunger Pangs
- Feeling emptiness in the stomach
- Painful Contractions
- Abdominal Pain
- Gnawing in Stomach
- Food Cravings
- Always thinking about Food
- Feeling Tired
Once we consume food Hunger Pangs are over generally. Once we eat food the contractions vanish instantly. We must eat enough If we want our hunger pangs to go away. However, if we are not eating essential nutrients hunger pangs won’t go away in that case, so it becomes very important for us to have essential nutrients in our diet.
Hunger pangs during dieting
Hunger pangs are very difficult to deal with when on dieting as the body has become habitual of a diet and we change the diet completely. During the first two to three days maintaining a diet is usually easy but maintaining that regularity is what makes it difficult. This is because certain neurons in our brain kick to fill our appetite when an amount of fat is reduced.
Hunger pangs can be difficult when on diet so here are some ways that can help you maintain your diet while on hunger pangs:-
Eating Small portion at Regular Intervals
Now you have started a diet plan that doesn’t mean that you have to start skipping your meals so you don’t get fat. People on diets have to make sure what they are having is not unhealthy and is also fulfilling hunger along.
Ghrelin, also called food hormone is released during our mealtimes. Sticking to a routine makes sure that food reaches the stomach at the time of stomach acid release which is in response to ghrelin spikes present in our stomach. You must carry low-calorie snacks like granola bars, fruit, and nuts when going outside in case you can’t have a full-fledged meal.
Having a nutrient-rich diet
While having your diet you must keep in mind that your diet is rich in nutrients and contains less amount of salts, sugar, saturated fats, and trans fats. Refined carbohydrates like white pasta and white bread should be eaten in moderation. Switch to healthier options like stevia instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Try having Low-Calorie food in your diet
Try eating low-calorie foods as they are more fulfilling and do not contribute to gaining weight.
Having a full stomach will cause your ghrelin to drop and thereby alleviates hunger pangs.
Some of the foods are -: salads, green smoothies, vegetable soups, raw/ steamed green vegetables, etc.
I follow a policy that I drink 8 glasses of water no matter what. This helps me keep myself hydrated plus my hunger is also somehow resisted for a while.
Get an ample amount of sleep
Now I always get cravings when I work late till midnight. It is healthy to follow a sleeping pattern. This practice helps to maintain the diet as our breakfast lunch and dinner time is fixed. We must take 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily.
Keep Yourself Busy
I become more hungry when I am not busy with any task. Trust me when I say this sitting idle makes you feel more hungry. Try to indulge yourself in activities like reading, running, walking, yoga, socializing, etc. This practice keeps our minds busy and we think less about eating.
Practice mindful eating
Try focusing on the food while eating. Do not sit in front of Idiot Box while having your food. You shall focus on the taste and texture of your food. Chew every bite 24-30 times at least.
When to see a doctor
Now we must understand that when things are going out of our hands and we need professional help regarding the same. If Hunger pangs are regular despite eating balanced meals. This can be a stomach disorder or an infection in which case we must consult a doctor.
People who are facing these symptoms along with hunger pangs should also consult doctor-:
- Feeling tired every time
- Sleep disorder
- Sudden change in weight
Hunger Pangs are normally in response to hunger. Usually, they are over once we eat something, although if there are any other symptoms we shall never hesitate to visit a doctor as soon as possible. Health is our greatest Wealth and we must take utmost care of it. People who are starting a diet must consult a dietician and should be aware of the fact that every diet plan is made according to the body type.