Probably everyone has experienced a hunger attack that appeared suddenly and unexpectedly. This phenomenon is known not only to people who are trying to lose weight. What can the so-called wolf hunger?
Not only appetite, but also hunger may be “wolfy”. We talk about it when we suddenly feel a very intense need to eat everything we have at hand, even though our stomach is not empty at all. An attack of “wolf” hunger is most often emotional, although it may also have other causes.
“Wolf” hunger – what is it and what does it result from?
The feeling of hunger is a normal signal from the body that it needs food, which it will then convert into energy for action. However, sometimes the suction in the stomach is so strong that it makes normal functioning difficult. It happens that hunger wakes a person up at night and prevents him from working or studying. The reasons may vary.
Reasons “wolf“ hunger:
- drinking too little fluids (an adult woman should drink 8 glasses of water a day, a man 10),
- lack of sleep (to get enough sleep, an adult needs at least 7 hours of good quality sleep),
- feeling cold (when the body feels cold, it needs more energy to warm up; according to scientists, when we are cold, we automatically eat more),
- accumulation of emotions (in stressful situations related to excessive tension, we eat much larger portions and eat more often than usual),
- too low calorie content of meals (using extreme diets, e.g. the ballerina diet and starving yourself, has the opposite effect – when we make our body feel hungry, we eat much more than we should),
- irregular eating (according to nutritional recommendations, meals should be eaten at regular intervals, approximately 3 hours – metabolism runs more efficiently),
- skipping meals (if the break between meals is longer than 3 hours, a stress reaction occurs in the brain, which translates into reaching for the fridge more often).
How to distinguish emotional hunger from physiological hunger?
“Wolf” hunger may have an emotional basis. How to check if this is actually the case? The basic difference between emotional and physiological hunger is that the former appears suddenly as a reaction to some event or emotion. However, physiological hunger increases gradually. In the case of emotional hunger, a person wants to continue eating even though his stomach is full. He can’t forget about his food cravings. Most often, these are sweets, salty snacks, and ice cream. All thoughts revolve around what he will eat and when. After the meal, he feels remorseful, angry, and guilty. To understand the causes of emotional eating and establish a strategy for coping with this situation, the help of a professional, e.g. a psychodietician, is necessary.
What to eat if we are extremely hungry?
In crisis situations, when we feel sudden hunger, we should reach for filling snacks that will provide the body with important nutrients, including proteins, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Chips, bars and energy drinks will certainly not calm your hunger in the long run – these products should be avoided.
The following products will satisfy your sudden hunger:
vegetables with high fiber content, e.g. peppers, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, leafy vegetables,
fruits such as pears, avocados, apples, berries,
whole wheat bread,
products containing lean animal and plant protein, e.g. legumes, eggs, poultry, fish,
dark pasta and groats,