|Posted on 4 March, 2018 at 8:10|
So it's safe to say cabin fever has well and truly set in for many of us during this snowy weather we are currently experiencing, here are a few tips on how we can help manage our appetite.
High sugar and high trans-fat foods aka buscuits, deep fried takeaway foods, pastries crisps, can stimulate our appetite when we’re not even hungry. And everything from emotions we're feeling to being snowed into our homes for a few days, can impact our appetite!
The most important thing to try to do is to get back on track with your good habits immediately, the amount of times I've heard, 'I may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb', when I'm working one to one with clients on weight loss programs, this irrational but very common thought after we have a slip can be the difference in gaining just one pound weight versus five pounds weight.
Three important factors: The 3 R's
• Regularity: try to keep blood sugars level by eating regularly like every three to four hours ensuring you eat a protein source such as meat, fish, cheese, eggs, lentils, beans, chickpeas.
• Reward: which is about your instinctive drive towards comforting foods rich in fats and sugars — our ancestors would have reached for foods with a higher nutritional value.
• Resist Cravings: We all have individual ability to resist feelings of hunger and cravings, but the more we are in tune with our cravings and just being curious about why we might be craving foods will help us deal with these cravings.
Understand your cravings
Cravings for popular foods — everything from cake to chocolate and crisps — are associated with trying to lose weight. And, like hunger, cravings can slow us down in reaching our weight goals.
Say 'NO' to fad diets that promise quick and fast results, this will only make cravings worse due to extreme deprivation. Try finding some better alternatives to satisfy those sweet or savory cravings you may be experiencing.
1. How Long Does it Take You to eat?
There are not may of us who have loads of time on our hands every day, eating on the go is a thing for many people, however when we eat slowly, we allow time for hormonal signals from the stomach to tell us that we are filling up.
How many times have you read or heard people on Facebook and Instagram saying they 'inhaled' their food, this is a sign of eating mindlessly, there are many of us, me included, who are guilty of this at certain times, for example if we eat in front of the tv or tuned into our phones or ipads while eating, our brain is not registering either that we are eating or that we are satisfying ourselves with food. This affects hormone release from our brain to our gut so there is less feeling of satiety or less of the full feeling. We ideally should not be taking less than twenty minutes to eat our breakfast, lunch and dinner.
2. Aim for High Protein & High Fibre
Eating food high in protein and fibre is key to promoting weight loss and helping control our appetite, rather than foods high in refined sugars and Trans Fats like the deep fried takeaway options, pastries, biscuits, doughnuts, and the crisps.
This is where Low Cal Meals Delivered can help you out: here are just three of their delicious options which are high in protein and fibre.
Lunch: Chicken & Egg Salad.
Dinner: Turkey Burger with Roasted Sweet Potato
Have a look on here under menu for more delicioulsy freshly prepared meals delivered Nationwide fresh to your door.
3. Emotional Eating
Something that can affect more of us than we actually realise, it's not the images we can have in our head of someone deeply upset eating their way through the biscuits and tub of ice cream
A common feeling when working one to one with people and helping them with weight loss is and understanding emotional eating is:
'Using food as a crutch when I needed comfort after a hard day or as a reward when I had a good day'.
Sound familiar? Emotional eating is a result of what happens in our mind and what can motivate us to eat, due to the emotion we are feeling at the time.
Emotional eating signals or emotional hunger can be characterised by:
- hunger happening suddenly and feels urgent
- A thought you cannot get out of your head
- Wanting only specific comfort foods
- Only feeling satisfied when you feel uncomfortably full
Once you are aware of this emotional eating you can find appropriate non-food related strategies for dealing with emotional hunger.
2. Know your triggers
One suggestion I would reccomend to spot situations or events that cause emotional eating is to keep track of food over a period of time in a Food Diary along with noting feelings or situations that occured when you had a slip in your normal eating habits.
Stressful day minding the children, and that moment you get to relax when they finally fall asleep after an exhausting day?
Or That Friday feeling sets in after working a long week, and you want to 'treat yo self'?
It is not wrong to feel this way however these scenarios and what we eat or drink as a result of our thoughts may be having a negative impact on you reaching your ideal weight as a result. Finding an alternative that is not food related is the way to help combat this.
Are there particular social situations coming up at which you know you’re almost certainly liable to over-eat? Plan ahead and come up with ways in which will help you deal with the situation and manage your appetite.
3. Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate
With this cold weather humidity levels are lower than normal and combined with the extra warm central heating we could all do with ensuring we are getting at minimum 2 litres of ideally water in daily, try warm water if you find water too cold to drink in this weather, add freshly squeezed lemon to flavour.
Drinking water with meals rather than a sugary beverages is better particularly to help our appetite and as high sugar beverages increase our calorie intake and give a sensation of fullness, whereas water will give you the sensation of fullness but minus those extra calories.
4. Get plenty of sleep
Sleep deprivation can disrupt your body clock and affect the release of appetite stimulating hormones, When you are sleep-deprived — research shows that adults generally need between seven-and-a-half and eight hours of sleep — you have a tendency to eat more high calories, and consume more energy-dense and simply unhealthy foods.
5. Watch the Alcohol
With it feeling particularly festive with many of us snowed into our homes for the last few days, our thoughts can turn to alcohol, because of the Christmas vibes, however alcohol and weight loss go together like oil and water, they don't mix.
Not only is alcohol high in calories, but it also has an effect our appetite, over-consumption can affect our control over our diet. The drop in blood sugar levels following alcohol makes us want to eat, hence for some people the post night out curry chips, as well as a strong desire for a fry the next morning! We've all been there!
Appetite is complex and everybody’s appetite, and what triggers it, is different for everyone, be curious about your appetite.
Our appetite is linked to our hormonal and gut chemistry meaning we will all have variations.
However we do have control, some things we may find difficult to control, but being more aware of our own individual appetite is one step ahead.
ARTICLE BY ELAINE BAXTER
Elaine is a Qualified Nutritional Advisor, who took the leap from the Financial Services Industry to her passion for nutrition and healthy eating. Owner of Food Wise Weight Clinic Enfield Co Meath, Elaine is working with LowCalMealsDelivered to provide information to help people improve their lifestyle. Elaine specialises in weightloss and works with clients on a one to one basis to help them achieve and maintain their ideal weight.