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Why is it important to feel hungry sometimes?

True hunger is the body's mechanism for alerting the brain to start looking for food. Being hungry for certain foods can indicate that there is a deficiency in the body for certain elements. An example might be a craving for meat in people with low iron. People unfortunately sometimes mistake food cravings for hunger when in reality they are feeling boredom, depression or some other emotional need.
Katie Rickel, PhD
Psychology
As a psychologist treating obesity, I work with patients who have developed such a fear of hunger that they eat when they feel the slightest twinge of emptiness in their bellies. They no longer remember what it’s like to feel hunger because eating has become so automatic.

If you want to lose weight, then experiencing some moderate hunger some of the time is a necessary part of the process. Physical hunger is usually a sign that your body is using more calories than you are providing it and therefore going into its “reserves” for energy. Guess what? That’s exactly what needs to happen for weight loss to occur. Dieters should actually take comfort in their experience of this moderate physical hunger -- it means the process is working.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.