EATING WELL AND HEALTHY EATING
Dr Nancy Tice
Sunday, March 6, 2011.
Learning to manage your hunger is a very important key to staying on a weight loss plan
long enough to lose the desired weight. Hunger is a natural by-product
of limiting your food intake, and it's very important to learn the
difference between true hunger and a psychological desire to eat. Once
you are able to identify these feelings, you'll need to learn to
control your responses to them.
basic process of hunger can be likened to a traffic light: green means
start eating, yellow cautions that you're nearing the fullness point
and red means stop. Our physiology is actually designed to give us the
green, yellow or red lights, which could theoretically end the whole
calorie-counting business in favour of simply eating according to
physical hunger and fullness.
the practice isn't that simple. For one thing, distractions get in the
way of physical sensations. Though our body says "green light," we
might not be able eat at that moment. Often, people eat when they are
too hungry and continue to eat well beyond a comfortable feeling of
fullness. Doing this consistently can lead to weight gain.
refers to how long you'll feel full. In other words, how long the light
will stay red before turning green again. Many factors influence
satiety. A long list of hormones and physical mechanisms trigger hunger
and satiety. For example, low blood glucose and a hormone called
neuropeptide Y (NPY) are thought to stimulate hunger. Conversely,
hormones such as serotonin and cholecystokinin (CCK), as well as many
nutrients in the blood, contribute to satiety.
the list of reactions that physiological hunger and satiety trigger,
appetite is what most often determines how much we eat. Nearly everyone
eats for reasons other than just being hungry. Some people have learned
to eat "by the clock," so they eat on a schedule whether they are
hungry or not. Others eat in response to mood: sadness, anger, anxiety,
boredom or happiness. These triggers are types of psychological hunger,
and they can be very powerful cues to eat - and to overeat. This is why
it is helpful to keep a food journal and write down how you’re feeling
before, during and after you eat for reasons other than hunger.
that control learning behaviour vary. Hunger and appetite are the big
GO signals; satiation and satiety are the main STOP signals. A useful
scale to gauge your hunger by is:
1. You're so hungry you feel dizzy and irritable.
2. You need to eat and you’re having trouble concentrating.
3. You feel physical signs of hunger (stomach rumbling).
4. You're starting to feel like food.
5. You feel just right - perfectly comfortable.
6. You are comfortably full.
7. You feel a little too full.
8. You feel stuffed.
9. You’re very full and might need to unbutton your trousers or loosen your belt.
10. You feel intensely uncomfortable.
you recognise that you often wait too long to eat or you often eat
beyond the point of comfort, you might gain some benefit by keeping a
written record of your own feelings of hunger, using this scale. Take a
look at what and how much you eat - when you are too hungry versus the
times you eat when hunger is just beginning. See if you can move your
eating schedule to accommodate your true need for food.
What else can you do?
- Eat protein foods at each meal. Protein acts as an appetite suppressant to help control hunger pains.
- Avoid simple sugar foods. And, if you do succumb to them, ensure they are mixed with a meal.
Eat smaller meals. Eating smaller meals more frequently will help
reduce the intensity of hunger pains and keep your metabolism revved
up, helping you use calories more efficiently.
- Consume high fibre foods. At each meal, consume high fibre foods first to fill your stomach and speed satiety.
EXERCISE! It regulates appetite to control hunger and food intake (not
to mention burning calories and building muscle).