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Here’s why you’re always hungry. (Hint: It's got absolutely nothing to do with calories).

If you often grumble about not being full or always being hungry, you may be a leader in the world of negative dietary displacement. Are you relying on fake foods to meet your nutrient and satiety needs?

Have you ever been at a function and noticed two different people attack the buffet with different results. One person selects a good portion of vegies and two pieces of fruit and happens to be lean. While the other, who appears to be overweight, chooses the soft drink along with a good serving of desert.

Who cares, you say? Shouldn’t people be allowed to pick whatever they want for lunch?

The dietary displacement gods care and you probably should too. These daily choices can help explain why humans might be getting fatter and more unfit.

What is dietary displacement?

Negative dietary displacement Have you ever known someone who skips out on a salad with greens, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, beans, sunflower seeds and flax vinaigrette in order to budget their calories for the dessert later that evening?

Welcome to the land of negative dietary displacement. It’s when someone skips out on healthy eats and displaces them with non-nutritious foods.

But even with this displacement, who really cares? I mean, as long as calories are balanced we’ll be just fine, right? Not necessarily. Negative dietary displacement generally leads to:

  • rebound overeating

  • lack of satiety

  • atrocious nutrient intake

  • loss of muscle mass

  • low energy levels

  • increased body fat

In other words, you feel crummy, you don’t look your best, and on top of that — you’re still hungry! Well that's annoying!! Positive dietary displacement On the flip side, have you ever known someone who skips out on the massive dessert brownie, or only has a small piece, because they are satisfied from a nutritious meal of whole, real foods?

This is positive dietary displacement: when someone eats enough nutritious food each day, leaving little or no room for the non-nutritious foods.

When people eat this way, it generally leads to:

  • consuming the right amount of food for your energy needs

  • satiation after meals

  • a stellar nutrient intake

  • lean muscle development

  • high energy levels

  • lower levels of body fat

Unlike the negative dietary displacement, you feel good, you look good, and your tummy is happy. Sign me up. Why is dietary displacement so important? When individuals are trying to eat healthier, they tend to focus their efforts on what they should be cutting out and restricting.

But what does that really accomplish? Shouldn’t they worry about how they’re going to eat enough healthy food over the next 24 hours? That’s usually difficult enough.

Humans usually eat about 1.5 kilograms of food per day. If we add in enough healthy foods, we won’t have much room left for unhealthy foods. We can use this to our advantage.

Similarly, if you fill your day with activities related to a rewarding career, enriching relationships with family and friends, and personal wellbeing, there isn’t much of an opportunity left to engage in smoking and other poor habits.

All calories are not created equal We all know by now that many first world countries are getting fatter. This can make us fixate on meeting a daily calorie quota. We worry about daily numerical goals instead of food’s quality — about how much we eat, rather than what we eat or how our food contributes to keeping us healthy.

If someone saves their goal number of calories to dine on Pancakes, Milkshakes and chocolate, that’s poor nutrition. But people do this because they realise they only have a limited number of eating opportunities each day. They might not want to “waste” these eating opportunities on foods that don’t taste as good as the Pancakes, Milkshakes and the chocolate they crave.

However, a sugar calorie is much different than a kale calorie. “Non-food” calories are more likely to be stored as fat, degrade health, lead to further hunger, lead to further food preoccupation, and low energy levels.

It’s time to start displacing the poorer food selections from your menu with better ones — instead of the opposite. Eat enough nutritious stuff first. And if you desire a less-than-nutritious food option, have the nutritious one beforehand, and then see how you feel

Want help becoming the healthiest, fittest, strongest version of you?

Most people know that regular movement, eating well, sleep, and stress management are important for looking and feeling better. Yet they need help applying that knowledge in the context of their busy, sometimes stressful lives.

Over the past 11 years, we’ve helped over 1,000 clients lose fat, get stronger, and improve their health… for the long-term… no matter what challenges they’re dealing with.

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