Is emotional eating always as “emotional” as it seems?
We suggest not…..
Those of you who have passed through the diet industry will identify strongly with the idea that you are an “emotional eater”. Someone who reaches for food to combat stress, anxiety or sadness; someone who turns to food for comfort, or for whom food is love. Sound familiar? You’re in good company. Take a look at these ten famous emotional eaters and their “stories” There’s a whole industry out there determined to prove that you have psychological “issues” around eating and that you are going to have to work hard to make a difference.
We say this is a “diet myth”. And we ask you to pause for a minute and tell us why it is so advantageous to the food and diet industry to have you caught up in this thought? We ask, is emotional eating always as “emotional” as it seems?
Let’s take someone who eats a highly refined carbohydrate diet and for whom blood sugar instability is an issue. When blood sugar levels drop, our bodies respond by secreting stress hormones – like adrenaline (the fight or flight hormone) and one side effect of this is increased anxiety…..Low blood sugar levels can trigger mood changes. Low blood sugar levels can cause cravings for those foods that will push sugar quickly back into the blood stream: doughnuts, white bread, biscuits, chocolate and overeating or binge eating is likely to ensue.
But WHAT caused the craving? What caused the overeating? What caused the low mood? What caused the anxiety? Was it emotions or was it the drop in blood sugar and the physiological response it triggered in your body?
We say it’s easy to write a story around your life that will keep you stuck in a sad place for far too long. Many of us truly believe that we are emotional eaters : the vast majority of us are not. Why do we say this? Because experience has shown that when an “emotional eater” turns to a paleo diet, unstable blood sugar becomes a thing of the past, the mind is calmed and the “emotional eating” issue simply disappears. So the best way to stop emotional eating is to try what we say and see for yourself.
Paleo Works ! For advice on optimal nutrition, paleo style diets and what this can do for you call us now on 0845 199 220 or e-mail email@example.com
- On wild horses and freedom (paleoworks.wordpress.com)
- How Do I Stop Feeling Hungry? (paleoworks.wordpress.com)
- Getting Back On The Paleo Diet Track (paleoworks.wordpress.com)
- Paleo Cupcakes, Sugar and Cocaine (paleoworks.wordpress.com)
How do I stop feeling hungry? Hunger is a strong desire, a craving, a need for food and describes the discomfort, weakness or pain caused by a prolonged absence or lack of food such as you will experience on a calorie controlled diet.
Hunger is also the biggest problem to sustained weight loss. Most people can put up with it for a few weeks even months but ask anyone who has tried a conventional diet long-term and they will all agree: over time, it is impossible to endure hunger and the associated feeling of deprivation. Not only does hunger make it virtually impossible to stick to a calorie restricted diet, throw in a large dose of exercise and 9.9 times out of ten, hunger will always win out! Worse still, give in to hunger at this point and you will find the problem goes into over drive and becomes one of over eating. You have let yourself get too hungry and everything else goes out the window! Been there?
Key here is the point that if you want to lose the weight and keep it off you must avoid feeling hungry. You must keep your appetite satisfied and chose foods that will truly satisfy your hunger. (Clue: think paleo/primal eating). Experience shows that if you let your appetite grow and get to the point of feeling very hungry (ravenous) you are more likely to reach for carbohydrates (for sugar for starch) than to sit tight in quiet anticipation of your next meal!
So the best food group for appetite control is protein. Eat a meal rich in protein foods and you will experience greater satisfaction over a longer period of time than a meal rich in carbohydrates. And you will find that you eat less over time but without experiencing hunger! It is worth taking a moment to understand the effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss.
There is no doubt that we do feel full after a carbohydrate meal but how many of us have experienced intense hunger an hour later? It is a food’s ability to satisfy hunger over a longer period of time that counts. This is key. This is what our forefathers knew though of course they did not have access to the junk food and highly processed foods that pre-occupy us today. Carbohydrates cause other difficulties for example they also disrupt our blood sugar. Fast sugar releasing carbohydrates – that is doughnuts, milkshakes, white bread, pasta and the like cause a spike in blood sugar that prompts surges of insulin that can affect blood sugar levels driving them down: this complex hormonal response will trigger hunger and strong cravings particularly for those fast releasing carbs. It’s a vicious circle and one to avoid!
Fat satisfies our hunger, period. Try it and see. It tastes good and gives texture to our meals. However it’s true value lies in the fact that it has no effect on insulin secretion. Let ‘s say that again. Fat’s true value as an appetite suppressant is that it doesn’t stimulate insulin secretion and thereby avoids all the problems with plummeting blood sugar levels outlined above. In addition, fat stimulates the secretion of the hormone cholecystokinin which slows down the rate at which the stomach empties of food and therefore helps to promote feelings of fullness for longer. It is also impossible to over eat fat, your body doesn’t let you..don’t believe us? Try it and see.
Check out the results of this eating experiment on overweight men in 2008. This study concludes that high-protein, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets reduce hunger and lower food intake significantly more than a high-protein, medium carohydrate non-ketogenic diet.
To manage our hunger our meals must be based on protein and fat. Carbohydrates are not necessary in our diet but can be useful to add variety and texture to our meals. In this way we avoid becoming hungry and we avoid situations where our ravenous hunger drives us to make poor food choices. And this is how I stop feeling hungry. The rest is up to you!