Monday, April 25, 2011


Picture this: It's 6.30pm. Your day's finally drawing to a close. You have to pick up your kids, or maybe run some errands on your way home, when bam! it hits you like a wall - that overwhelming hunger! The next thing you know you're in a fast food joint, packing away the burgers while thinking - 'I'll watch my diet from tomorrow'. But it only takes a few minutes for incredible guilt to set in. Sounds familiar? That feeling of 'overwhelming hunger' is a huge blow to your resolve to be healthy. Doctors suggest that when and what you eat has a direct impact on how often the hunger pangs strike. And today we're looking at the reasons behind strong hunger pangs that make us cheat on our diets.

1. You eat the right food, but at the wong time. Sensible eating is all about tuning into your body’s hunger signals. Eating haphazardly can have adverse effects on your metabolism. It is observed that those who eat at routine/regular times tend to eat less, when compared to those who eat at different times each day.

The fix: Plan beforehand. 
Review your eating patterns for a week. Once you note current habits down in yourweight journal, create a schedule which focuses on meal timings. For ex: Breakfast could be two hours after waking up, lunch could be 3-4 hours from breakfast, with a mid-day snack in between. Try to eat every 3 to 4 hours for the rest of the day. The schedule doesn't have to be in a diary - use that smartphone, create an Excel sheet, or save it in a mail draft. Failing everything, rely on the good old sticky notes on your office desk or fridge door.

2. You always eat breakfast, but don't ensure that it's healthy and sufficient. Some people believe that any breakfast is better than none. They couldn't be more wrong. The right breakfast greatly impacts your weight loss plan and helps you feel satisfied for the rest of the day. Here are a few rules you must adopt when eating a healthy breakfast. 
The fix: Eat a simple yet healthy breakfast. 
An ideal breakfast should be a mixture of carbs and proteins. Here are a few sample breakfast ideas:
  • A large bowl of skimmed milk and whole grain cereal. Add your favourite fruit to it.  
  • A tiny size bran muffin along with raisins and a medium-sized glass of skimmed milk.
  • One egg, whole wheat toast, and a glass of orange or apple juice.
  • 1/2 bagel with peanut or almond butter and glass of fresh mixed fruit juice.

3. Your diet is healthy, yet something is missing. Most people forget to keep healthy food interesting. If you eat boiled and steamed food all the time, you will end up cheating on your diet because your feeling of hunger won't be satisfied by a carrot or boiled potato. Keep it simply and healthy – but do keep it flavourful. 

The fix: Flavour your plate! 
Try and break away from the monotony by trying new healthy recipes every time. Try and opt for these healthy cooking tricks which will add the much needed twist to your daily dose of healthy food. 
You tend to drink your meals. Researchers at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, conducted a study that compared people who drank juices and other beverages to stay healthy, with those who ate wholesome whole foods. They gave the first group (of juice-consumers) around 500 extra calories in the form of fluids, and continued a normal diet for the second (whole foods consumers) group. Result? People who ate a normal diet felt less hungry whereas those who consumed juice were too hungry too soon. This is because chewing helps in releasing hormones which indicate fullness and also because solid food is slower to digest than juices and liquids.  
The fix: Stop those juices, and introduce more whole foods in your diet. 
Sipping down a meal might be fast, easy and convenient, but eating solid foods is far better. Understand the right way to eat your fruits and focus on a combination of healthy foods which will take you to the next level of weight loss and healthy living.

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