Why can’t I eat less? This is the question most people ask themselves when they are trying desperately and unsuccessfully to lose weight. KURIER reveals seven reasons you can’t stop snacking and shares easy ways to beat cravings.
In theory, losing weight is quite simple: you just need to burn more calories than you take in from food. Ultimately, despite the other factors that come into play, calories are the biggest factor to consider when trying to lose weight. But eating less is easier said than done.
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Have you tried many but still want one? Or do you find that you’re never full despite eating big meals? Experts explain what the reasons are and what you can do about it.
1. You don’t eat enough
“Eating more won’t necessarily stop you from reaching your weight loss goals,” says nutritionist Eli Brecher. “In fact, it can be the opposite. Our hunger hormone, ghrelin, is produced on an empty stomach to tell the brain it’s time to eat. Letting hunger get out of hand can result in overeating at our next meal or ordering more than we need at a restaurant. Or one day, after restricting calories, we start drinking at night – and let’s face it, it’s not about pickles and lettuce, “he said.
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You will quickly fall into a cycle of overeating and restriction. That’s why Eli Brecher recommends, “Eat a balanced meal regularly and pay attention to your hunger cues. If you skip breakfast but have a mid-morning shower that makes you overeat by lunchtime, try a high-protein breakfast instead.” Intermittent fasting is hell!
2. They refuse to eat
“To effectively manage snacking cravings, it’s extremely important to make sure you eat three meals a day that contain all the essential nutrients your body needs,” explains nutritionist Jess Hillard. “It includes carbohydrates, protein, vegetables and healthy fats.”
The expert explains: “If you don’t eat at important meals, your body will struggle to stabilize blood sugar levels and you’ll feel like you’re in a constant state of hunger. It’s important to eat with important meals to prevent this and ensure your energy levels are stable throughout the day.”
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3. You don’t move enough
Food is one thing, but exercise can also play a big role in weight loss. “Don’t sit around waiting for results,” says Jess Hillard. “You need to be active in your fitness regime and continue to lose weight. Regular exercise is essential to a healthy routine, so find an exercise or class you enjoy and try to stick with it.”
Regular walks can also help. Try to set aside a certain amount of time to exercise every day, write it in your calendar as an appointment.
4. You don’t get enough sleep
“When the body suffers from sleep deprivation, the production of ghrelin increases, which makes us feel more hungry. At the same time, the production of leptin (the satiety hormone, editor’s note) decreases, making you more likely to overeat,” explains Eli Brecher.
He recommends getting at least eight hours of sleep a night to help control appetite impulses.
“Although this may not always be possible depending on individual circumstances, remember that this can affect your hunger and cravings.”
5. You are bored
“A lot of times we’re not even hungry for snacks and just have to make endless trips to the fridge because we have nothing else to do,” says Jess Hillard.
“When you’re sitting on the couch at night, why not do a sudoku puzzle or an adult coloring book to keep your mind active and not heading for the snack cabinet?”
Also, try to keep sweet, sugary foods away from home. When shopping, avoid cookies, chips and chocolate and spend your money on more nutritious options like fruit and nuts.
Because: if there is no garbage at home, you cannot eat even if you want to.
6. You get high blood sugar
“If we eat a predominantly carbohydrate/sugar-based meal or snack, it can cause our blood sugar to rise rapidly and then drop again shortly after,” says Eli Brecher.
“A drop in blood sugar can make us feel “hungry” and send us reaching for the cookie jar. But long-term high blood sugar is also linked to diabetes, heart disease, inflammation, accelerated aging and many other health complications.”
Get off the blood sugar rollercoaster by adding protein, fats, and fiber to your meals and snacks, as these can help minimize the rise and fall by slowing the release of glucose into the body.
7. You are in the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle
Hormonal fluctuations are a normal part of the menstrual cycle for women of reproductive age.
“The luteal phase of the menstrual cycle occurs approximately one week before menstruation begins. At this time of the month, food cravings are more common, which is probably due to the increase in the hormone progesterone,” says Eli Brecher.
She says it’s a good idea to listen to your body at this stage. “If you feel like eating a piece of chocolate or two, eat it. Balance and moderation are key.”
But it’s important to make sure you’re eating enough nutritious foods, including complex carbohydrates like brown rice and whole-wheat pasta.