Here are some reasons why you might eat when you’re not hungry – and what you can do about it.
You’re not hungry but you eat anyway:
Life and calorie control would be a whole lot easier if we only ate when we were truly hungry. Then it would simply be a biological drive that needed to be satisfied – like downing a glass of water when your throat is parched. It’s the rare person who doesn’t eat for reasons other than hunger – most of us find ourselves doing it from time to time. Read more »
Most of my clients know the healthy eating drill pretty well – keep your fats down, eat plenty of fruits and veggies, make most of your grains “whole” and focus on low fat protein. But many of them have adopted some eating habits that they truly believe are healthy – and I have to spend some time trying to convince them otherwise. These eating habits sound like they’re healthy – but they really end up being less so when they’re put into practice. Are your eating habits as healthy as you think they are?
• Do you skip breakfast thinking it will save you calories? I’m always surprised at how many people believe that skipping breakfast is a healthy habit – and think it’s a sure thing when it comes to calorie control. There are so many good reasons to eat something in the morning. For one thing, studies have shown that those who practice the breakfast habit are more likely to keep their weight under control. And, a well-planned breakfast highlights foods we don’t often get the rest of the day – like high fiber cereals and calcium-rich dairy products. If you can’t face a full meal in the morning, at least aim for a shot of protein from a smoothie or a carton of yogurt.
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One of my long-standing patients has lost 150 pounds. Now, before you start thinking, “Wow – that’s a lot of weight” or “Gee – I wonder how she did that?”, let me just say that she didn’t lose it all at once. In fact, she’s lost the same 30 pounds five times now. She’s a classic “yo-yo dieter” – her weight goes up and down, but rarely stays in one place for long. It’s long been recognized that people are more likely to yo-yo when they adopt weight loss regimens that are too strict to stick with over the long haul. Once a dietary slip turns into a fall, old habits resume, weight goes back up and the cycle starts all over again.
There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious and eager to get your weight under control. Having the desire and the drive to meet your goal is half the battle in getting there. But recognize that trying to do too much, too quickly could be your undoing. Be realistic about how much you can change at once, and accept whatever those changes deliver in terms of weight loss.
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You can always tell when it’s the start of a New Year. Everywhere you turn – newspapers, magazines, radio, television or the internet – there’s another article about how to shape up.
Will you make a New Year’s resolution this year? Will it focus on nutrition and perhaps making more-informed food choices?
I’ve already had visits from several patients who are ready to ‘turn over a new leaf’ for the New Year, but what I often find is this – with this flood of diet and fitness information coming at them, many of my patients have more questions than solutions. Should they go vegetarian? Stay away from fruit? Not eat after 5 pm? Throw away the salt shaker? The list goes on and on. So today, I’m turning to you – what nutrition questions are on your mind? Let me know what you’re wondering about …and check back here in the upcoming weeks to find the answers.
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Spend some time around kids – or your household pets – and you’ll see that frequent grazing is the instinctual way to eat over the course of the day.
We certainly evolved as frequent foragers, not meal eaters, and frequent snacking isn’t necessarily a bad thing – if the foods you choose are appropriate, and if you are truly hungry, it can be a healthy habit.
We usually get hungry about every three to four hours, so several smaller meals spread throughout the day may actually prevent you from eating too much at meal time. Snacks should have some healthy carbs – like fruit, veggies, whole grains (like crackers) – along with some protein (like nuts, soy protein products or nonfat dairy foods).
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