Tag: hunger

Why Am I Always Hungry?

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Common Complaint

I can remember, many years ago before I started eating David’s Way, trying to control my eating and being so hungry so much of the time. Frequently I hear people complain that they might try to lose weight but they are NOT going hungry. I don’t blame them. I’m not either and you don’t have to go hungry to manage your waistline. As a matter of fact, allowing yourself to get hungry and stay hungry will undermine your efforts at weight loss. You will automatically binge if you let your blood sugar get too low for too long. Always have healthy meals and snacks available.

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This was my breakfast today. Birchbender’s Keto Pancakes , scrambled eggs with homemade cheese sauce, Hormel Black Label Thick Slice Bacon, Maple Grove Farms Sugar Free Syrup and watermelon, 573 calories of paradise.

There are common, known reasons for chronic hunger.  Address these basic needs and watch your hunger disappear.

1-You’re not eating enough protein. Read David’s article, Protein Supplements to discover how much protein you should be eating. Sometimes I am appalled when I look at someone’s diet and find they are eating almost no protein. You will never be satisfied if you are skimping on protein. It’s the basic building blocks that our bodies use to build and repair everything. If you aren’t eating enough, your body will provoke you to eat  until you are. Protein is involved in regulating the hormones that signal hunger and fullness. Make sure to include a protein source in every meal and snack.

2-You’re eating too many refined carbohydrates. Refined carbs are lacking in fiber so you digest them too quickly to provide a sense of satisfaction. They just don’t “stick to your ribs”. This may cause sudden spikes in your blood sugar which can stimulate an insulin release. As the insulin does it’s job to remove sugar from your bloodstream, your blood sugar falls and you may feel hungry again very quickly. Just think about how much cake you can eat and never get full! It’s not just because you like it. It’s also because all that sugar demands a lot of insulin which metabolizes the sugar and you just keep on eating in this vicious circle but always feel hungry. Do yourself a favor and dump the simple carbs.

3- You avoid fat. I remember the low-fat fad of years ago. We had a terrible time trying to control our weight. We could drop it pretty fast because when we quit eating most fat, our caloric intake dropped. The problem was, we were never satisfied and ate way too much to compensate for giving up fat. We also felt justified to over-indulge because everything tasted like cardboard and we were constantly looking for something that tasted good. Healthy high-fat foods include, but are not limited to, coconut oil, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna, walnuts, avocados, olive oil, eggs, flaxseeds and full-fat yogurt.

4- You’re not getting enough sleep. Sleep is necessary to help regulate the appetite-stimulating hormone, ghrelin. If you skimp on sleep, you will produce more ghrelin and be hungry all the time. Catch some zzz’s.

5-You’re not drinking enough water. Water is necessary for you to feel full and quite often thirst is mistaken for hunger, provoking you to eat when you are not hungry. Read David’s article How Much Water Do I Need?  for a good, quick reference concerning hydration. There’s no need to get on the possibly dangerous bandwagon of drinking X amount of water per day. Some of those programs are deadly. David breaks it down very well in the aforementioned article. Consult your physician for recommendations on hydration if you have any health issues whatsoever. Some medications require a specific fluid balance in the body to work properly and some medical conditions require careful measuring of your fluid intake.

6-You work out, a LOT! David and I are both avid exercisers and we record every bite that we eat because we eat all the calories that we need every day. Use the Calorie Counter Pro to determine your caloric needs and eat those calories! Starvation diets never work  in the long run. We advise losing no more than a pound a week for comfort and practical application. If you try to lose too fast, you will give up due to being miserable all the time. Always consult your physician before beginning any weight loss program.

7- You drink alcohol. Alcohol has been shown to possibly inhibit the hormone, leptin, when it is drank before or with meals. Leptin is one of the hormones that tells you when to stop eating. Along with alcohol stimulating hunger, it also lowers your inhibitions and impairs your judgement so it’s much easier to overeat. Avoid alcohol if you want to be truly fit.

8-You drink too many of your calories. The smoothie craze did not produce healthy, lean people. Think about it. Most of the people at a smoothie bar are overweight. There’s a reason for that. When we drink our calories, they pass through our stomachs so fast, we don’t even have time to register satiety. We finish those calories quickly, before our brain has time to register fullness and we  get hungry again very soon, but we are out of calories for that meal and we have just ingested tons of carbs with little to no fiber to slow their absorption into our system, so next is the insulin dump. Make sure to chew your calories by eating solid, whole foods.

9-You have chronic, acute stress. Stress causes you to have more cortisol in your body and cortisol is a “fight or flight” hormone that makes you crave food. Here at David’s Way we teach and live, “Make Your Life Small”, which means to cut away excess stress and everything and everybody that is a negative force in your life. It’s amazing how quickly this lowers stress levels. I have recreated my life entirely and continually work on this concept of “tossing out the garbage”. It’s amazing how much this lifestyle helps with major stressors.

10-You eat too fast! Fast eaters are more likely to be overweight. When we wolf down our food, we don’t chew it well. Chewing our food slowly allows our brain to have time to send out signals to stop eating. Try calming down before you eat with a few breathing exercises and pause between bites to allow yourself time to chew your food. If your brain never signals that you are full, you will always be hungry. Learn to slow down.

While hunger is real, and can be a huge stumbling block when we’re trying to lose weight or even maintain our weight, it can be managed. There was a time in my life when I felt like I was never full and it seemed that I was always hungry. These are the strategies that worked for me then and the same ones that I still use today. I have a motto: “NO EMPTY CALORIES!!!” That one thing alone can fix your hunger. I employed all of these tactics at one time or another but if I eat NO empty calories, calories devoid of good nutrition, I am never hungry. Oh, yeah…did I tell you?

11-Don’t eat added sugars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get to Goal By Eating Well

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First of All

I am frequently asked, “What should I eat?” I usually answer with the single most important piece of advice that I can give, “Don’t eat sugar.” which is imperative for weight control because sugar causes cravings. Once you are committed to that, however, it’s time to go in a little deeper.

Hunger No More

All calories are not created equally. I worked for a large weight loss company that perpetuated the idea that we can eat anything that we want and still control our weight. I beg to differ. I was a member of that program before I was an employee and could never control my weight because I had almost uncontrollable cravings and was always hungry, on the prowl for something to eat. I thought about food all the time. There are foods that are known to keep us more satisfied. These foods are high in protein, high in fiber, high in volume and low in energy density or low in calories for their weight. Foods with a low energy density are very filling. Whole, unprocessed foods are usually more filling than processed foods because your body has to break them down. They will “stick to your ribs” much longer. Some of these foods are as follows:

1-Boiled potatoes are high in water and carbs and contain moderate amounts of fiber and a bit of protein. Compared to other high-carb foods, they are very filling. They contain a protein called proteinase inhibitor 2 and this protein may suppress appetite. They score the highest on the food satiety index of all the foods tested.

2-Eggs are a wonderfully healthy, nutritionally dense food. They are a great source of high-quality protein containing about 6 grams per egg including all 9 essential amino acids. They score high on the satiety index and are very filling. Having eggs for breakfast may help you control your appetite for up to 36 hours.

3-Oatmeal is the third most filling food of all the foods that have been rated. It has a high fiber content and soaks up a lot of water. It stays in your stomach for a long time so you naturally feel fuller. The soluble fiber is believed to cause satiety hormones to be released and keep you from feeling hungry.

4-Fish is a source of high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids that may increase a feeling of fullness in overweight individuals. Some research indicates that fish is better at controlling hunger than other protein sources.

5-Soups are the only liquid food source that is believed to be good at controlling hunger. Make them at home. Canned soups do not have this quality.

6-Meat is high-protein so it’s naturally good at controlling hunger. Beef scored second highest of the protein-rich foods on the satiety index.

7-Greek yogurt is thicker and higher in protein than other yogurt. I always buy the whole milk version. It tastes better and is much more satisfying. Look for plain, whole milk Greek yogurt and add your own extras for taste and texture. Use a no-sugar sweetener of choice and whatever flavour profile that you like. I sometimes add nuts, peanut butter powder or even Crystal Light for a fruity taste. Lemonade Crystal Light makes a healthy version of Lemon Pie. Use your imagination and create a healthy sundae.

8-Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals and various healthy plant phytochemicals. They are high-volume and low calorie, rich in fiber and water. Eat up!

9-Cottage cheese is similar to eggs in protein content and calories.

10-Legumes such as beans, peas, lentils and peanuts are loaded with fiber and plant-based protein and yet have a low energy density. They are very filling and have been found to cause a 31% increase in satiety.

11-Whole fruit can help you feel full. Don’t drink juice and limit the amount of fruit that you consume. It is a source of natural sugar.

12-Quinoa is a good source of protein with all the essential amino acids. It’s higher in fiber than most grains so the high protein and fiber combine to make a satiety powerhouse.

13-Nuts are energy-dense and high in healthy fats and protein. While they are very filling, you must control the amount that you eat because they are high in calories.

14-Coconut oil is a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides which can reduce the appetite and total caloric intake. It is also credited with having a positive impact on reducing belly fat. I always use this in place of butter.

15-Popcorn is high in fiber and volume and low in energy density. It is wonderful for creating that satisfied feeling of fulness that you may crave between meals. (1)

The Dark Side

Just as there are foods that increase fullness and help with weight management, there are foods that you need to avoid if satiety is your goal.

Cheese has the ability to induce an opiate-like craving. The more you eat, the more you want. Try to steer clear of this creator of cravings. Juices are void of their fiber and tend to cause an insulin spike which makes you hungry, Eat your fruit whole. Low-fat, sugar-sweetened yogurt is always a bad idea. You might as well eat a candy bar. While egg whites are a source of protein, they don’t contain the saturated fat that’s in the yolk that provides satiety. They won’t keep you from being hungry. Many people think that fat-free salad dressings are good but they usually have more salt and sugar than full-fat dressings and both sugar and salt cause cravings. Use the real thing or nothing at all. Foods that are labeled healthy predispose us to over-eating. Regardless of the health claim on the label, judge the food by the nutrition label. DON’T EAT ADDED SUGARS. Granola bars are high in calories and usually sugar. They are very deceptive. Most are little more than a candy bar. Regular ketchup is mostly sugar. Try Heinz No Sugar Added Ketchup. It’s great. Avoid healthy sounding muffins and all sugary breakfast cereal. They will sabotage your weight management efforts every time. Skip the refined grains found in crackers and white bread. They have little to no fiber and soon break down into sugar in your bloodstream. They will increase hunger. Avoid processed, salty snacks. Salt triggers dopamine production which is a pleasure hormone. The more of these salt-bombs that you eat, the more you want. Just don’t. Avoid fruit smoothies because they are sugar bullets that drop straight into your bloodstream devoid of the fiber of whole fruit that slows this process. Again, eat the small amount of fruit that you eat, whole. Don’t drink alcohol. It lowers your inhibitions and is a source of sugar in your diet. It’s a bad idea almost all of the time.

Plan to Succeed

With a little forethought and planning you can manage your weight and stay satisfied. I am not “on a diet'”. I live a healthy lifestyle and practice these habits myself. So does David. You can read more about how I eat in my article, “What I Eat at 63”.  We practice what we preach and know that this lifestyle works. Always consult your physician before beginning any weight loss program.

(1) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/15-incredibly-filling-foods