Hungry all the time? Eating a lot and never feeling satisfied? Are you overweight and always hungry? Even if you aren’t overweight do you feel hungry but feel like you have to eat little to nothing because you know the calories are so high?
This is happening because you are NUTRIENT deficient. That is right. ALL that food and not enough nutrients. That is because it is primarily processed food that most folks are eating. There is very little NUTRITIONAL value – that means vitamins, minerals and the right types of macronutrients (healthy carbs, healthy fats and protein). Our country has access to “food” everywhere yet we will have a lot of vitamin and mineral deficiencies and the RIGHT type of macro nutrients are also challenging, this creates deficit.
This is called “hidden hunger.” You may not think that you are deficient – after all you are overweight right? Or you just ate a HUGE plate of pasta and sauce and you are still hungry or hungry again within a short time. How can you possibly be deficient? This causes a huge impact on your health in the long run.
Health Impacts of Hidden Hunger – AKA nutrient deficiency
Reduced Immunity or Autoimmunity
Endocrine and Cognitive Function
Physical development issues in children, as well as physical issues in adults.
One example I see a lot is a deficiency in magnesium. This can be found in a lot of sources from full fat dairy and cheeses, to greens and more. HOWEVER, these sources are often not the ones that people are actually consuming. Having low magnesium can result in chronic disease, like cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, depression and impaired cognition. (AND MORE!)
Nutrient deficiencies in this country are common with vitamins A, D, C as well. Taking a supplement isn’t the answer either, as I remind everyone I work with that SUPPLEMENTS are just that – they SUPPLEMENT a powerhouse diet and lifestyle. They DO NOT WORK without changes to food, and lifestyle that result in good digestion and better absorption.
If you are highly medicated or prescription medicated for anything you are also using a lot of resources to process those meds out of your system. Often magnesium, calcium, vitamin B, potassium and zinc are used to process meds. That means you are likely deficient in those as well.
How do we fix this?
1- Ditch packaged and processed foods.
This means eliminating most if not all packaged foods. These are foods that have a lot of additives, no nutritional value as they were stripped of it and then rebuilt for consumption after a longer shelf life and alterations to make them more appealing. No more cereal in the morning, make some eggs instead. No more bagged snacks. Choose a whole fruit or vegetable – even add in some dip! Reduce take out or eliminate it. Restaurants often use the same cheap ingredients that are highly processed. Just by ditching all these boxes and bags and going for Whole Foods that come from nature, you will be one step closer to achieving nutrient balance again!
Another tip here is STOP worrying about or reading the nutrition facts label. If you need to purchase something in a package you ONLY need to read the INGREDIENTS! Calories are insignificant in this way of eating. This is focused on whole food nutrients, so as long as the ingredients make sense and are Whole Foods, you are good to try it. You will naturally stop eating and feel satisfied without having to think about calories or overeating. I cannot tell you the last time I looked at the nutrition fact on a label – SERIOUSLY – MANY YEARS now. If I need to buy a package of nuts – I read just the ingredients. As long as it’s just the nut – I am ready to roll. I will have a small palm full and be satisfied and full – no need to worry about the rest. It will be many hours again before I feel hungry or a need to eat and my blood sugar will be fine. EASY! Although it might seem overwhelming to start, once you switch you will realize just how simple it is to grab an apple and feel great after. If you read ingredients on a label and you have NO IDEA what they are talking about – time to set that back down and walk away. As I told a client recently just think all those things = inflammation. No need to get involved with WHAT they are. They are things that do not belong in food or your body. Choose something better.
2- Eat real food.
This means foods that come from nature. Breakfast are some eggs, some fresh fruit, nuts and some veggies in an omelette even. Lunch is a greens salad with a lot of additional veggies, even a topper of fresh fruit, olive oil and vinegar with some spices, olives, and more with a GREAT protein source like pastured chicken, seafood, fish! Dinner is an amazing choice of any well-raised animal meat, A LOT of vegetables cooked in healthy fats like butter, olive oil, avocado oil. If you can tolerate grains, rice, quinoa, couscous. Potatoes are always welcome if tolerable in Whole Foods eating. Snacks should include things like nuts, healthy oils, vegetables, fruit. You will be surprised how satisfied you are from these simple foods. You will feel full and stop eating, and you will not feel the need to eat again until appropriate. Oh and more great news is that if you had blood sugar swings before, after eating like this for a few weeks those will disappear and you will feel even all day! You need a LOT of vegetables so get ready to start experimenting, go heavy with healthy oils and spices!
Choosing real food is simple. It’s the produce aisle in the store, or a farmer’s market! You can get meat from your local farmer’s market, your local farmer direct, or you can purchase at the store by understanding labels for good sourcing. If you are going to buy something like nuts for example (if not buying in bulk) you will look at the ingredients as described above. Think things you know in your mind as real food, and ditch the rest. Sometimes added salt to a product like nuts might be OK. If you are truly on a Whole Foods diet, a little sodium is OK in a product like that.
This is a simple missed thing for most people. Your daily BASELINE (that means starting point) is half your weight in ounces of water daily. You will need MORE than that. You will sweat, it will be warm, you will be active, or work out, etc. These things require more water. If you drink coffee or black tea – you need more to compensate for the diuretic effect of the caffeine. You get electrolytes needed for balance from water as well. These help conduct electrical signals in your heart and MANY other body functions. Not having enough water can also lead to poor digestion from stomach acid issues, to constipation and more! This is a simple thing to change even before your other dietary needs to focus on alleviating this hidden hunger problem!
The bottom line is this – if you are eating non stop, cannot go hours without eating, experiencing blood sugar swings, and never feel satisfied, you are deficient. BUT YOU have the POWER to change this. It’s really just as simple as these three steps above. You may need more support or have other chronic diseases or imbalances already that need MORE nutrients than this – and that is where the help of a practitioner like myself would come in. BUT you can start RIGHT NOW with these 3 things!