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It’s pretty hard to resist the urge to say no to the food available around us, whether you’re hungry or not. It is even more difficult with the online food business which makes it easier for everyone to access whatever they want with just one click.

However, health practitioners say it is fundamental to understand when they are really hungry and when their minds are “playing tricks.”

Eating when you’re not hungry has always been linked to weight gain and other health issues like blood sugar issues. Although nutritional needs vary, Edward Sibomana, a health expert working with a nutritional health center in Remera, says it’s ideal to always listen to your body to understand its communication and hunger cues.

How to do it

Sibomana says that listening to and tracking your feelings of hunger and fullness can be important because it helps you decide what to eat and how to do it at the right time.

Sibomana says parents should learn to listen and teach their youngsters the importance of recognizing signs of hunger, something that will help promote healthy eating behavior as early in life as possible.

Another important aspect to consider when managing hunger cues, he says, is learning when to stop eating. Here, Sibomana explains that you can always try to stop eating before you get too full; adding that when you are too full it becomes uncomfortable for you which is another health issue.

“Relax before you start to eat, then eat slowly. Remember, it takes a while for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full. Stop at a quarter of your meal and check your hunger level, ”he says.

Nutritionist Erick Musengimana says eating when you need to don’t mean you have to stop yourself from eating completely.

He says following the body’s signals is the way to go; this can be achieved by developing an eating plan that includes healthy foods and the time to eat them.

“When you are really hungry, knowing your body signals can help you manage what you eat. If you eat healthy and pay attention to your body’s signals, you can eat when your body tells you to, ”he says.

Sibomana says paying attention to your body’s signals and eating just enough to achieve that level of satisfaction is the way to go. He recommends not overeating because you think you might not have time to eat again.

To manage this, try eating regular meals throughout the day, which can help you be more aware of hunger and fullness, he says.

Musengimana mentions that if you are eating and are still hungry you can continue to eat, however, stop again halfway just in case you feel full. Also, learn to serve small portions as this prevents overeating.

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