Women Over 40- How To Lose Weight Using Healthy Ways To Lose Weight

Why Are You Hungry?

Which emotion motivates you more to act upon? Feeling full or feeling hungry?

Our human nature is interesting: There is no system in place limiting our calorie intake. On the other hand, if you feel hungry you just have to eat. The feeling of hunger is dominant over many other emotions necessary for survival. This made a lot of sense in the Stone age, where people had to survive in periods of little to no food. Nowadays, with fast food restaurants in every mall, this mechanism makes it hard to lose weight permanently.

Over 40 the feelings of being hungry are often more intense due to the changes in the hormone system. Do you know how your body produces the feelings of being hungry?

Your brain needs to balance two systems: Calorie intake and amount of energy available. If the available energy drops under a limit, feelings of “hunger” are produced and you have to think of food. This is not weakness of character, it’s natural.

There is a difference between feeling satisfied and feeling full. As you know, after 40 your body burns less calories- so you should eat until you feel satisfied  and stop eating when you’ve reached that point to lose weight permanently.

Interestingly enough, we usually stop eating before our bodies absorb the nutrients in the foods. The feeling of being satisfied comes largely from how much time you take to eat and how often you eat. An easy way to lose weight permanently is to increase the number of meals and the time spent eating- you’ll feel satisfied earlier.

But: You have to eat consciously. If you mind is distracted, for example because you are driving or watching TV, it can’t register that you are eating. You won’t get the feeling of being satisfied early enough and eat more, threatening permanent weight loss.

There are many messenger substances signaling the brain you need to eat. Neuropeptide Y is one of them. It makes you feel hungry, suppresses physical activity and increases the amount of energy stored as fat. If you stop eating, for example when you go on a diet, Neuropeptide Y is released.

That’s why you feel less energetic on a diet and have a hard time losing weight permanently by dieting: The less you eat, the more the hormone system protects your body fat. And: After 40 this protection is getting stronger and stronger. The only way to lose weight permanently over 40 is by introducing a gentle lifestyle concept.

There are many more Neuropeptides involved in feeling hungry. For example, Orexin A and B are released when feeling hungry and stimulate overeating and food cravings- the usual effect when on a diet. So this is not a lack of will power, it’s the nature of your body.

Another Neuropeptide is Leptin. Leptin is produced by fat tissue and tells your brain how full the fat storage system is. Women have more body fat than men by nature and correspondingly higher levels for Leptin. If the Leptin level drops below a certain point, you’ll start to feel hungry.

The body image in western culture is highly influenced by unnaturally thin celebrities. A certain amount of body fat is actually healthy, and without it you’ll feel hungry all the time, leading to all kind of emotional problems.

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