Note from Patty: This is a friend & colleague of mine and I wanted to share this email from her!
How NOT to overeat this holiday season.
For the past few decades we have heard that portion control is the culprit when it comes to weight gain, obesity and diseases like metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
As a holistic person, I always trying to get to the source of the problem rather than focusing on controlling the symptoms. I believe the issue of overeating is deeper than eating large portions. Studies show that hormones play a large part in how, why and when we feed ourselves.
Yes, our portions are too large. (When you eat in a restaurant in Paris, you get that message loud and clear. Those teeny people do eat teeny portions.) Buy why do we need/want to eat so much. The reason I know firsthand is because this was me 20 years ago.
As a sugar-addict, bread-a-holic, bloated unhealthy twenty-something, I can tell you I was always hungry. I would eat a huge meal and feel starving. Cravings for sugar and salt and anything “bad” were too strong to fight.
The Obesity Hormone
Now I understand that my hormones were completely out of whack. The two hormones that will make you feel like you are hungry even after eating a big meal and disrupt your ability to gauge how full you are, are leptin and ghrelin. Studies show that leptin, the “obesity hormone” especially, is affected by eating foods containing high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This not only includes soda, most energy and fruit drinks and candy but most packaged sweets. I’ve even seen it in breads and tomato sauce. Its everywhere. Why? Because its cheaper to use in food production than sugar. Start reading your labels.
High-fructose corn syrup can be disguised on labels as:
- Maize syrup
- Glucose/fructose syrup
- Tapioca syrup
- Fruit fructose
- Crystalline fructose
Eating a diet high in processed foods, sugars and refined grains will create leptin resistance and confuse the body as to how much fat it has stored for energy, disrupt metabolic processes and create cravings and perceived hunger.
The Hunger Hormone
Ghrelin (the hunger hormone) effects your body’s “pleasure center.” It will actually remind your mind how delicious and satisfying a food is, creating the desire to eat more of it. In what has been named the “milkshake experiment” participants were fed a 300 calorie milkshake with some labeled an “indulgent” 620 calories shake and some labeled a “guilt-free, fat-free” 140 calories shake. The perceived satisfaction of the participants correlated with the label rather than the actual content of the shake.
This study shows that your beliefs play a huge roll in satisfaction levels. Besides your mindset around satiety and pleasurable eating, aspartame and other artificial sweeteners as well as lack of sleep have been shown to effect your ghrelin levels.
The Fat-Storage Hormone
Finally, the hormone insulin plays a big part in inability to lose weight, overeating and cravings. Insulin is your fat-storage hormone. Eating foods that cause your pancreas to secrete a lot of insulin (sugar, sweets, refined carbohydrates such as breads and pasta) will spike your blood sugar sky-high. The blood sugar will come crashing down shortly thereafter leaving you with symptoms of low blood sugar (weakness, fatigue, shakiness, headache, irritability, inability to concentrate, hunger) not to mention the long-term health problems caused by high blood sugar such as diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, nerve damage, blindness).
Which came first?
So what came first? Are you overeating because your hormones are out of balance. Or is overeating causing your hormones to dysfunction. Well, both. But getting to the root of the problem is the best place to start.
Ways to control overeating
- Eat to balance your blood sugar. Eating enough protein and good fat is imperative in balancing your blood sugar throughout the day. Since everyone is biochemically different, these amounts differ from person to person. Not eating enough food can also create blood sugar imbalance. Eating the right ratio of carbohydrates, proteins and fats is the key. Not starving yourself of a meal. This creates cravings and binge eating.
- Get enough sleep. Chronic lack of sleep increases ghrelin as well as cortisol levels, another hormone that can cause weight gain especially in the abdominal area.
- Practice stress-reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, talk therapy, EFT, and creating a strong social support system. Stress can lead to dealing with your problems through eating. (“Emotional Eating”)
- Exercise. Exercise is instrumental in controlling blood sugar levels, reducing stress, improving sleep and balancing your hormones.
- Change the way you nourish yourself. Many of us have been conditioned to eat in a way that absolutely is not nourishing our bodies. Once this foundation is formed, creating change is difficult at best because we have set up our entire lives to support this way of eating. From family and social gatherings, celebrations and holidays, to eating while traveling and at work, the way we eat touches every part of our lives.
As a holistic nutrition counselor, yoga instructor and personal trainer I assist people in creating the changes necessary to help the body come back in to balance.
▪ Redefine what health and healthy eating means to you.
▪ Redesign your day and your life to reflect true nourishment.
▪ Reinvigorate your passion for good, healthy foods and just feeling good!
▪ Realize that you need to take care of yourself first, if you want to be there for others.
To set up your appointment contact me at Nicole@NicoleFeyWellness.com or call 865-548-8208. (Holiday special through Nov. 30th. A Nutrition Breakthrough Session for $37 (regularly $125).
Nicole Fey, HHC
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