Do you know that 63 percent of people in America are overweight?
And do you know where the problem is coming from?
We eat more than we need. We’re guilty for munching that junk food while watching TV. But boredom and indulgence aside, why else are we reaching for a snack when we should feel full? Some of it can be bad habit, while other has more to do with our body’s signals for hunger.
OK, so here is the list of the most common overeating reasons I discovered in my personal training career, and simple solutions for avoiding those.
1. Feeling thirsty or dehydrated.
Dehydration mimics the symptoms of being hungry (sleepiness, low energy). That may lead you to think you need food to increase your energy level. When you’re thirsty, your mouth becomes dry, a symptom that eating will temporarily relieve. Instead of eating drink a tall glass of water or cup of herbal tea, and wait for 10 minutes to see if your body’s hunger signals will adjust. That can save you hundreds of calories.
2. Post-workout meal.
You know that you need to eat after exercising, right? And, particularly after exercise session like an boot camp workout, interval-training workout, we tend to very hungry. But that doesn’t mean your body needs extra calories. It means your body needs a specific kind of nutrients in specific dosage. Roasted chicken or other lean meats (protein will replenish your muscles) and brown rice or other whole grains (complex carbohydrates take a while to break down) to help your body recover faster and keep off hunger longer.
3. Not enough sleep last night.
Not enough sleep stimulates two hunger triggers: energy deficiency, to which our natural reaction is to nourish our bodies, and appetite hormone confusion. When our bodies are drained, levels of leptin—a hormone produced by our fat cells that controls our appetite—decrease, while levels of gherlin—a hormone produced by our stomach that stimulates our appetite. That’s two hormones working against you. And what your Naperville fitness expert recommend to avoid that? Sleep eight hours a night. But If you do fall short, be sure to load up on naturally energizing foods—such as fresh fruit, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins—throughout the day to help your body feel satisfied.
4. Feeling hungry after you just finished your meal.
You’ve just eaten lunch but you’re still hungry. Before you assume you didn’t eat enough, consider that maybe you ate too quickly. Appetite hormones need time to tell your brain you’re full. To prevent post-meal hunger eat slowly; put down your fork between bites; choose flavorful and satisfying foods; and include a combination of fat, protein and carbohydrates in every meal.
5. Its “mealtime”.
We have a habit to eat on autopilot. While some regularity is encouraged so that you don’t become overly hungry, it’s also important to listen to hunger signals. So next time you sit down to eat, ask yourself: ‘Am I really hungry?’ If the answer is ‘no,’ than eat a smaller portion or leave it for an hour later—but not longer than that. You should apply this when you flying too. Pay attention to timing. Know how long the flight is and plan satisfying meals around it. Also, take advantage of the free (hydrating) beverages, as the enclosed space leads to hunger-causing dehydration.
6. If you’re taking medication that causes hunger as a side effect.
Taking an antibiotic can make you feel hungry. “Medication that contains mild steroids, like prednisone, a corticosteroid, ramp up hunger big time,” says Milton Stokes, RD, owner of One Source Nutrition, LLC. “If you’ve already eaten a normal-size meal, ignore the hunger,” says Stokes. Instead, try an oral fix like chewing gum, sipping warm coffee or brushing your teeth, he suggests. If you’re on long-term steroid therapy, consult a dietitian for an eating plan that will help you feel more satisfied throughout the treatment.
7. The women around when you’re eating.
Women tend to mirror other women’s eating habits. When one overdoes it, the rest often follow along. To avoid this copycat effect, take a quick minute to reassess your own eating habits, or be the one who sets a healthy example for your girlfriends to follow. Their waistlines will thank you! Just as obesity is contagious, so are healthy habits.
8. “Mmmmm, it smells delicious” or “mmmm it looks so yummy” .
Lots of times we eat with our senses more than our stomachs. When we smell or see food—even if it’s in a photo, advertisement or TV show—our mouths water, which stimulates our appetite. Onset factors can include smelling a batch of cupcakes baking, seeing snack food lay out on the counter or watching a cooking show. So what we’re doing in situation like this? Leave the room, hide the candy jar, and turn off the TV— and the craving to eat will likely disappear.
9. Drinking alcohol.
It’s been suspected that alcohol increase appetite. Underlying mechanisms are unknown, but common hypothesis is that it makes food more palatable. What we do know is that alcohol decreases our defenses, which is detrimental to those who restrict their eating. Also people expect that alcohol will make them eat more, which leads them to unabashedly do so. What is the solution? Eat before you order that glass of wine, beer or cocktail. To prevent overeating the next day, especially after a night of heavy drinking, be sure to drink plenty of water to replenish your dehydrated body.
When people are stressed, they are more likely to turn to high-fat, salty or sugary foods. These foods are comforting and feel good in the mouth. But it’s not all about emotional eating. Increased levels of the stress hormones cortisol and insulin may be associated with triggering appetite. Either way, appetite control boils down to decision-making. Before reaching for the ice cream tub, try quickly clearing your mind. Drink tea, eat row nuts, rub your ears, take a vitamin C, eat berries, do yoga, stretch for balance, eat complex carbs, do 10 jumping jacks or 10 pushups or anything that will get the blood through the body, laugh out loud, or eat good mood foods like: turkey (high in tryptophan, taurine and B6); pumpkin seeds, spinach and black beans (all high in magnesium); papaya (high in vitamin C); and bananas (high in potassium).