“I have a Huge Appetite, Adam, what do I do?”
1. Eat large quantities of lower-cal foods that are high in fiber to help fill you up. For example, I eat lots of lettuce when I make my salad. I have at least two veggie sides at dinner, too.
2. Drink a lot of water! When you feel as if you are starving, pound a liter of water and see if that helps.
3. Sleep! While doctors have known for a while that many hormones are affected by sleep, it wasn’t until recently that our appetites entered the picture. Research has shown that leptin and ghrelin, two hormones that regulate appetite, are both directly affected by how much sleep we get.
Have you ever experienced a sleepless night followed by a day when, no matter what you ate, you never felt full or satisfied?
That’s because of leptin and ghrelin. Together, these hormones work to control feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates appetite. Leptin, produced in fat cells, sends a signal to the brain when you are full. When sleep is restricted, leptin levels go down and ghrelin levels go up.
Sleep is so important for so many different reasons! Another reason to get your eight hours is that lack of sleep can trigger the release of cortisol, a nasty stress hormone that is responsible for storing abdominal fat.
As you can see, anyway you look at it, lack of sleep can cause you to overeat and gain weight! And if you can’t sleep 8 hours then sleep as much as you can!
4. Are you SURE you’re not eating emotionally, mindlessly or habitually? The next time you are really hungry, or at least think you’re really hungry, stop yourself from heading to the fridge and ask yourself the following questions: When was the last time I ate? Was it more than 3 to 4 hours ago?
If your stomach isn’t growling or you aren’t light-headed then the answer to these questions is no, you aren’t hungry at all. You, my friend, are engaging in emotional, mindless or habitual eating! Go for a walk, chew some gum, read a book, email me, do your work or figure out some other nonfood related activity!
The best way to manage purposeless eating is to start finding ways to comfort yourself that aren’t related to food. Stop sabotaging yourself and remove fattening trigger foods from your kitchen, dorm room, office, etc.
Take up a hobby to help fight eating out of boredom.
(That’s why on your Daily Feedback I want you to tell me WHY you ate something bad, if you did. I’m not asking for perfection. That doesn’t exist. I’m asking for honesty. Because if you’re honest with me (and yourself, most importantly) we can begin to examine what’s causing you to want to eat. What your triggers are. And we’ll slowly but surely change your old habits into new habits that don’t sabotage your success.)
Don’t panic. You WILL lose weight. Exercise is the key though. Working out harder and more often will help burn those extra calories you might take in if you have a bad day. I know that when I indulge I try to work out extra hard the next day.
It’s all about the U-Turn.
Make sure you get back on the correct track so you can feel amazing again!