Hunger Pains

It’s 7 a.m. Your dreaded alarm goes off and you roll out of bed, brush your teeth, grab a low-calorie breakfast bar and head to class. While that breakfast bar may hold you a over for an hour or so, you know it won’t get you through your full day of classes.

We need constant fuel. Our bodies are complex systems that require energy from food to carry out our daily tasks. In our time-constrained and diet-conscious society (A.K.A. college), however, many of us have been depriving our bodies of the consistent fuel and natural nutrients needed.

Sole consumption of “diet foods” and ignoring rumbling stomachs may do more harm than good. Understand this: food gives us energy and nutrients vital to taking care of our bodies, and in turn, energizing us throughout busy days.

Listen! That’s the first step. Listen to your body and its hunger signals. According to Sue Clarahan, RD, LD, owner, Clarahan Consulting, our blood sugar alerts us about every four hours that we need to eat.

When our stomachs growl, our body is telling us it is time to refuel. If we do not respond, our minds will continue to think about hunger until we have satisfied this physiological need, she says. “I always carry a small snack of fruit or almonds to avoid being hungry throughout my day,” says Alexa Fox, a health-counscious student.

This doesn’t mean gorge yourself all day. Rather, when you’re hungry, simply eat something. Preferably something healthy, of course. You’ve heard it before: the balanced plate, food pyramids, etc. By having a blend of the four main food groups– starches, fruits and veggies, protein, and fat- our bodies will receive the important nutrients needed to function all day and stay healthy in the long run. On the contrary, our bodies become fatigued without adequate nutrients.

Three meals a day and refraining from snacking is not an option. Pack yourself some options for the day and eat when you need to – your body, mind and grades will thank you.