Blog By: Konika Luke
Losing weight is like doing a jigsaw puzzle. You choose your puzzle because you like the picture and want to create it. You hope it will be really easy and not take too much time to put together. You hope you will sail through the reduced calories and you ll be slim in no time.
It’s going to take time. You ve got to build up your picture piece by piece and fit it all together in your busy life. You need to stop being a dieter and start being a detective. Your goal is to eat and exercise in a way that stabilizes (HEC). Hunger, Energy and Cravings are hormonal sensations. These are your biofeedback clues. By paying attention to these sensations along with keeping track of your fat loss, you can decipher your own metabolic formula.
THE SCIENCE OF HUNGER CONTROL
Our natural eating instincts are regulated by three hormones insulin, ghrelin and leptin. When we haven’t eaten in several hours and our bodies have finished metabolising and absorbing the nutrients in our last meal, insulin levels drop to a baseline level. Ghrelin levels then rise which stimulates hunger. When you eato food leptin levels rise which “turn off” the hunger. When you are in a calorie deficit, leptin levels decrease and ghrelin levels increase . The net effect of this dieting for weight loss makes you feel more hungry and makes meals less satisfying. That’s why keeping hunger under control is so important when dieting for weight loss.
STRATEGIES TO REDUCE HUNGER
Make protein your best friend. It keeps you full and satisfied for longer period. It helps to preserve muscle mass. Low carbohydrates cause diets cause decline in strength due to lower glycogen levels and increase hunger. A high protein and moderate carbohydrate diet makes for a double whammy of satiety. Increasing fibre intake also increases satiety.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUNGER AND CRAVINGS
When you are truly hungry, you need food to satisfy that hunger. Any type of food will satisfy that physiological treatment. Then you ll no longer have to eat because your natural hunger has been satisfied. If you finish a heavy dinner but just have to get dessert. That is craving. Boredom eating is a craving because it is a head response, and not a gut response. Cravings are very much associated with with brain chemistry and stress hormones. They trigger cravings due to cortisol reactions.
Food cravings behave very much like waves. They build, crest and then disappear. If you can “surf the urge”, you have a better chance of beating it altogether.
TIPS TO BEAT CRAVINGS
Have enough water between meals. Opt for healthy snacks like fruits, nuts and yogurt between meals. They ll add nutrients to your diet and keep you full longer than a bag of chips or a candy bar.
Make your home craving free. Try not to bring home products you don’t want to eat. Limit food choices at meals. It’s so easy to overeat when a meal has more variety. High fiber vegetables keep you full and not craving more.
Energy levels can vary a lot with food consumption and exercise. Exercise doesn’t always cause hunger but can curb it. Exercise may lower levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite in the short term. This satiating effect ends about an hour later when your body starts to crave energy it used up. Don’t waste a perfectly good workout by downing the wrong nutrients.
Energy levels can vary a lot after eating. Having balanced energy after each meal means you have found your tipping point, where the amount of food eaten is balanced for your metabolism.
Once HEC is balanced, then see if you are losing fat. If not, you must adjust your diet and exercise accordingly. Just as each person is unique, so are the components needed to achieve individual weight loss goals. This approach requires you to be a detective, not a dieter. Find the pieces that fit right for you.
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