Experts tell us we are what we eat. A disturbing thought when we consider how much sugar, fat and white flour is consumed daily, hidden in ready meals and fast foods. It’s time to change the bad habits we have developed over the last three decades and start eating to improve health, not destroy it!
A vital area of life that requires our attention is this….learning to answer hunger pains appropriately. If we neglect this, weight can increase and well-being may suffer.
Whether you need to lose weight, maintain weight or tone up your body; inappropriate eating habits can jeopardize your best efforts. This articles will help you start to understand how to manage hunger in a busy lifestyle.
If it’s sticky and sweet, made with sugar and saturated fat, then you must only eat it as a rare treat. Can the same be said for a delicious bowl of strawberries, or a juicy sweet orange? That is the problem here? Why do we choose cakes and chocolate over nature’s best offering?
If you do not have a genuine glucose imbalance, one cause perhaps is that sweet treats are deeply connected to our childhood, where frequently, ‘sweeteners’ were given as a reward for good behaviour, or to placate or console the unhappy child. Our memory will automatically associate sweet foods as a reward or a comfort. That bar of chocolate or sticky bun you devour mid-way through a stressful afternoon could be you rewarding yourself for hard work!
If you think you may be using sweet treats as a ‘reward’ or comfort and want to kick the habit, simply remember that putting on weight is NOT a reward. Then think of a reward that doesn’t involve food!
Guard yourself from the sweet snack attacks by being prepared and planning your day’s food patterns.
1. Incorporate protein in to your breakfast AND lunch. Protein is key to controlling carbohydrate cravings. The RDA of protein for women is 60 grams a day. For women wanting to lose weight, health professionals recommend approximately 100 grams of protein daily. Why? One of the principle advantages of protein is that it creates a feeling of fullness and satisfaction in the body that makes overeating much less likely. Source your protein from ultra lean sources so you don’t pick up unwanted calories and saturated fats.
Even better, than providing a sense of sustained fullness, protein can block the triggering effect that carbohydrates can have on the brain. If you eat protein with a carbohydrate it will reduce the cravings caused by eating the carbohydrate.
2. Never skip meals. Research has shown that people who skip meals are more prone to obesity than those who regularly eat 3 meals a day. In fact, people who space their daily food requirements by making appropriate use of healthy snacks do even better. Why is this? When you skip meals you are more likely to get hungry and fill up on easily obtained fast foods which are often trigger foods.
3. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water throughout the day. For some people sugar laden soft drinks are a trigger food. Make sure you don’t get thirsty in the first place. Water creates a sense of fullness and has a host of other health benefits.
4. Plan the timing of your meals so that you don’t get hungry. Despite having three healthy meals a day, sometimes your work schedule can mean the spacing of those meals still does not guard against the carbohydrate cravings. If you have a long gap between meals, make sure you carry healthy snacks to cover the distance, otherwise hunger will set in
5. Plan your snacks. Plan out your weekly snack schedule with some delicious, healthy snacks. Purchase these with your weekly shopping so that you are fully prepared. If you need to, get up a few minutes earlier in the morning so you have time to prepare and take your snacks to work. Remember, healthy snacks don’t live in a vending machine! You are less likely to get hungry when you have a ready supply of healthy snacks.
6. Carry emergency supplies of nutritional protein bars in your handbag or brief case. When you feel a carbohydrate craving, eat the protein bar instead and wait 30 minutes before acting on the craving. More often than not the craving will pass and you will be in control again. This truly works.