Tag Archives: fat

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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All Or Nothing Behavior with Weight

When people feel frustrated with their weight or are faced with health issues that are worsen by their weight, they tend to make goals that are ‘all or nothing’.  Typically, this avenue of pursuit doesn’t end with you achieving your weight goal.

If you were making decisions involving a business, you would never decide to set goals that could not be attained; why do it with your weight?  

A more realistic, doable course of action for your weight is better.  

There are a lot of changes that can be made to improve your weight and health:

Ditch soda for quenching and refreshing choices

such as fruit/herb infused water, or brewed and chilled green tea.  I use lemon green tea, apple spice tea and dandelion tea (to soothe tummy troubles). I brew all three in a mug. Cool and add to 32 ounces of water. A squeeze of fresh lemon is wonderful as well.

Eat the foods you like, but tweak them over time toward lower salt, fat and sugar.  

This mindset allows you not to feel deprived and forced to eat foods you don’t like.  Portion control and frequency of consumption are important if you want to see your weight drop.  Over time, you will see your attraction to fried, over salted and sugary items reduce along with your weight.  

Eat at home more than you eat out.

Between the dreaded (but delicious) bread basket and not being in control of the ingredients or process of cooking, eating in restaurants can hinder your weight goals.  Cooking at home gives you the opportunity to try new recipes and to be in control of fats and ingredients.  

Take a cooking class, watch healthy cooking ideas on FoodNetwork, or visit my healthy food boards on Pinterest

Ignite a passion for flavorful, energizing foods. Many find using a healthy meal delivery service such as Hello Fresh delivers diet-conscious dinners for $11.50 per portion to your door for you to cook.

Make sure your plate is 1/2 full of veggies, 1/4 protein (non meat varieties work well), and 1/4 full of complex carbs (quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, etc.) at meals.  

Fresh fruit versus fruit juice is an easy change.

Snacking mid afternoon helps you avoid vending machines and drive thru windows.

I enjoy cottage cheese, 15 almonds with a string cheese, apples and a slice of sharp cheddar, Greek yogurt, or 2 hard boiled eggs and find them very satisfying.

Get your rest.

A lack of sleep can raise your cortisol levels (fight or flight hormone), which can lead to belly fat.  Evaluate your bedtime rituals if you have trouble falling asleep.

  • Disengage from electronics
  • educe stress with a bath or
  • reading all help signal that your brain needs to disengage and rest

Laughing and Gratitude

It may seem irrelevant, but laughing and being grateful can effect your weight. A constant state of stress and depression can keep you stuck at your weight. Look at what improves your mood, or ask for help if needed.

Being unhappy with your weight can be a vicious cycle of binge eating, rollercoaster weight loss and general unhappiness. Let’s work together to find a more permanent, health-oriented way.

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Weight Loss Study Shows Importance of Portion Control

For many years, sports science studies have stressed that varying amounts of fat, protein and carbohydrates are the key to weight loss. A January, 2012 article in the Wall Street Journal challenges those long standing beliefs. Continue reading

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