HUNGER AND FULLNESS
Consistently ignoring hunger and fullness can contribute to over or
under-eating. Listening and responding to the body’s natural hunger and
fullness cues help get the energy and nutrients needed. This is critical to our
health and to the way we feel about ourselves.
True hunger is based on a physical need for food or drink. Hunger cues
or signals usually begin 2 to 3 hours after eating and can become quite
uncomfortable. It takes about 20 minutes after eating for the message to get
to the brain that food has been eaten and for hunger signals to disappear.
Children are born knowing when they are hungry and when they have had
enough to eat or when they are full. It is important to encourage children to
focus on and respond to their hunger and fullness cues.
Sometimes we eat when we are not hungry and do not stop when we feel full.
The following external factors interfere with our body’s natural ability to listen
to internal signals of hunger and fullness and to eat accordingly:
boredom, stress, anger, depression, happiness and
anxiety can sometimes cause us to either over or under-eat.
eating at scheduled meal times or skipping
meals in an effort to lose weight.
SPECIAL EVENTS AND CELEBRATIONS:
social gatherings and
celebrations often trigger people to eat more than their bodies
MARKETING AND ADVERTISING:
food companies often promote
large portions of high in fat, sugar, and salty food.
The feeling of fullness is the body’s way of telling us that it is satiated and does
not require any more food. When we eat slowly and listen to our internal hunger
and fullness cues, we stop eating naturally when we are full. When we listen
and respond to these cues, we also eat the right amount for our bodies which
helps us to maintain a healthy body weight and feel good about ourselves.
Adapted from: BC Ministry of Education: Healthy Eating and
Physical Activity Learning Resource, Grade 7, Lesson 1
BEING ME: PROMOTING POSITIVE BODY IMAGE / 30