Does this sound familiar?
You’re having dinner with friends and family and you’ve just consumed that last delicious morsel of food. You place your cutlery together tentatively, feeling 100 percent satisfied. You wash your plate, decline seconds and dessert, feeling all too content after your meal.
If by now you're laughing to yourself or raising an eyebrow, join the club — this is a scenario that we would ideally see ourselves in, but the reality of it is that most of us do not have the same kind of willpower. However, this begs the question: How do other people get it right?
Well, today I’m going to share with you some possible blunders you might be making that may be causing you to reach for that second portion (or third).
1. You’re actually just dehydrated
Yes! You read this correctly. Research suggests people often confuse thirst with hunger, perhaps because both sensations are regulated by your brain's hypothalamus.
Not drinking enough water can also make you feel tired, and what do we do when we are feeling sluggish? We eat (and it’s usually something sugary, too). So if you feel hungry soon after eating, drink a large glass of water and wait 20 minutes. If your hunger pangs persist, eat a fruit that is high in water (watermelon, cucumber etc.)
The hunger-suppressing effect of water may even help you slim down. Studies have found that dieters who drank two cups of water before meals were less hungry and consumed fewer calories by the end of the meal!
2. You’re super stressed
If you are anything like me, I tend to stress eat when I can't handle my emotions (although everyone is different). So why do we do this? Science suggests that stress triggers a prolonged release of ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) which makes us want to eat. Plus, stress reduces serotonin (our happy hormone), which can also make us want to drown our sorrows in food. If you typically reach for sugar when feeling stressed, your blood glucose will peak and then crash, adding to your need for food. If you can't control your stress, control what you feed it!
3. You’re eating too fast
When you’re shovelling food into your mouth too quickly, you’re not giving your poor brain enough time to register that you’re full. So slow down your chewing, and your brain will kick in those appetite-related hormones to keep you feeling full. Tip: To slow your eating pace, avoid meals in front of the TV/computer. Rather eat at a table and be mindful of how fast you are chewing and swallowing - a pause between bites and enjoy your food.
4. You’re not eating enough protein
I’ve stressed this before in previous articles, and I’ll say it again- don’t skimp on your protein!
Protein also stays in the stomach longer than other nutrients, so it keeps you feeling satisfied for longer, and also gives you more energy. PS: Eggs are a great source of protein and will keep you fueled until your next meal.
5. You’re eating the wrong carbs
Highly processed carbohydrates found in white bread and other processed foods cause your blood sugar to spike rapidly. In response to this, your insulin levels increase, causing your blood glucose to drop and your brain to signal hunger. The aim here is to stabilize glucose levels so that you don’t get those pesky hunger cravings. To do this, replace white starch with 100-per-cent whole-grain bread and breakfast cereals, oatmeal, brown rice, barley, sweet potatoes and beans and lentils. Their fibre also adds bulk to meals which helps keep you feeling fuller for longer!
6. Eating when you’re not hungry
I left the most obvious one for last, but this is probably one of the most common mistakes! We have two “appetite hormones” called ghrelin and leptin. Leptin is a hormone made by fat cells, that decreases your appetite. Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite, and also plays a role in body weight. Levels of leptin are lower when you're thin and higher when you're fat.
My general rule of thumb is this: if you are hungry enough to eat an apple, then you are most like genuinely hungry. If not, you’re just being naughty and should probably eat a celery stick.
And that's it, folks!
The most important thing for you to do is listen to your body. When ghrelin tells you to eat because you're hungry, eat. When leptin tells you to stop because you're feeling full after eating, put down the spoon (or sneak in another bite, you only live once).
If all this talk of celery sticks, hormones and not being able to watch your favourite series with your dinner has you feeling extremely distraught, fear not. Fortunately, there are other natural supplements that suppress your appetite so that you don’t end up putting unwanted things in your body. If you’re looking for change at any age, CheetaThin Appetite Suppressant can help you gain back control of your cravings without changing your entire lifestyle. CheetaThin has a 30-day money-back guarantee should you not find this product effective and also has free delivery anywhere in South Africa! So, if you’ve tried everything to lose weight and celery sticks aren’t your thing, Grab your CheetaThin here.
You’ve got nothing to lose, but the weight!