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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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Are You Sabotaging Your Fitness Goals?!

We are drawing January to a close and New Year’s Resolutions for eating healthier, losing 20 pounds and exercising regularly are slowing or have already come to a screeching halt for many.  Usually, next comes the personal-boxing session where you personally beat yourself up for not resisting those chicken wings at lunch, wondering why you can’t stick with a fitness plan or why the numbers on the scale are so stubborn? Continue reading

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