Tag Archives: cravings

Why Are You Eating That? Hunger Evaluations

Why do we choose the foods we eat? Is it just willpower? Is it programmed in our DNA? Can we really control our cravings?

I think we have all eaten a less-than-healthy food choice and had moments of regret. But why?

Hunger is how your body communicates a need for fuel to keep its systems running efficiently. But what kinds of food delivers and what kinds pad the organs they are supposed to protect?  

Processed carbohydrates do the least amount of good and move through your body quickly without delivering the goods.  EatingWell.com suggests that a plain bagel with low fat cream cheese gets digested quickly, causing blood glucose levels to rise.  It leaves you feeling full, but because both the bagel and low fat cream cheese are low in protein and fat, your body starts producing insulin which communicates that your cells need to soak up calories and glucose to control that sugar increase.  And so begins the spiral of hunger and low energy.  What’s the better way?

First, evaluate why you feel hunger. Is it physical or emotional?  Habit, mood and stress also impact your choices.  If you feel hungry, controlling what food choices you make can be a challenge.     

Some tips that help you manage your hunger:

  1. Don’t skip meals.  Many nutritionists recommend eating smaller regular meals in combination with sensible snacks and plenty of water (not soda).  Make sure you’re eating enough protein.  Eating about 25 grams of protein at a meal helps balance any carbs.
  2. People often confuse hunger with dehydration.  Drink a glass of water before meals.  Add citrus or fresh herbs to increase your enjoyment.  Water keeps you hydrated and flushes out toxins.  Alcohol can also mask your true hunger motivations, so be moderate about alcohol intake.
  3. Don’t be sedentary.   Exercise will not make you hungrier.  If anything, it works the opposite for me.  
  4. Monitor your sugar intake. Sugar drives that insulin crash, leaving you feeling low and hungry again. 
  5. Get enough rest.  Running on empty encourages your body to produce cortisol, the fight-or-flight hormone.  When excessive amounts exist in the body, it can suppress immunity, and cause fat deposits on face, neck and belly.*
  6. If you feel that after trying these, but you’re getting nowhere, keep a food and fitness diary for two weeks. There are apps or create one on paper.  Be honest and use the diary as a tool to pinpoint ‘hot-spot’ times when your willpower is low.
  7. Don’t give up on yourself. Things aren’t black-and-white. Some days you make food choices you wish you hadn’t. Tomorrow or right NOW, is a good time to bolster your confidence to make better choices, for your health!

Recognize that managing your hunger helps you manage your weight, but it also helps you promote better long-term health!

*LifeExtension.com

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What Happens to Your Brain When You Eat Junk Food (And Why We Crave It) by James Clear

Most of us know that junk food is unhealthy. We know that poor nutrition is related to heart problems, high blood pressure, and a host of other health ailments. You might even know that studies show that eating junk food has been linked to increases in depression.

But if it’s so bad for us, why do we keep doing it?

There is an answer. And the science behind it will surprise you. Continue reading

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Is Our Society Addicted to Sugar?

I am NOT one to sit in judgement on any ones’ issues with sugar.  I fight that battle every day, just with different products than the average American.   According to a revealing article in the August issue of National Geographic magazine, the average American eats 22.7 teaspoons of sugar per day.   You find sugar in people’s diets in obvious sources such as candy and soda,  but also in many processed foods such as beef and pork bologna (1.18 tsp), ketchup (3 tbsp, 1.77 tsp), and low fat fruit yogurt (8 oz- 6.16 tsp). Continue reading

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