Besides hunger what else might be controlling your eating habits?
1. Your Body’s Thermostat: People tend to eat more when it’s cold outside, even restaurants capitalize on this by turning down the temp. People tend to choose warm high fat options instead of salads and cold vegetables. The Fix? Start with a bowl of broth based soup, wear another layer, or turn up the heat a little.
2. Your Job: If you sit at a desk all day you are more likely to mindlessly eat and be unaware of how many calories you actually consumed. The Fix? Take your lunch away from your desk and turn off technology. If you must snack at your desk, make sure it’s low calorie vegetables like cucumber slices, celery, or peppers.
3. Your sleep patterns: Lack of shut eye wrecks havoc on your hormone system increasing ghrelin (hunger hormone) and suppressing leptin (satiety hormone). Also if your energy is low you tend to reach for higher carb lower nutrient density foods, which pack on the pounds and raise blood sugar, thus making it hard to sleep. It’s a vicious circle. The Fix? Sleep between 6-8 hours a night and make sure your snacks are packed with healthy fats and protein. Also try to avoid eating 2 hours before bed, extra carbs can keep you awake. If you MUST have a snack before bed, try a little fat and protein, like 1TB of nuts or a slice of turkey with 1 slice avocado.
4. Your Period (sorry not a suggestion for men unless you want to help your lady): estrogen increase creates sugar cravings. The Fix? The week before your period add dairy to your diet or calcium to your supplement regime, 500mg 3 times a day. Calcium reduces cravings for carbohydrates when estrogen is high.
5. Watching TV: Just like your job (#2) sitting in front of the TV and eating is mindless. If you are paying attention to the tv you aren’t paying attention to your food. The Fix? Portion your food onto a plate or bowl. That way you are aware of the calories; also try to pay attention to how you feel while eating--emotions can take control of your appetite.
AUTHOR: Jennifer Tingstad