Why can’t I stop eating and how can I control my appetite? These are questions that are frequently asked by my new clients. Here are 5 reasons why you can’t stop eating and how to control your appetite so that you can conquer weight loss once and for all.
#1 WHY CAN’T I STOP EATING? YOU’RE NOT EATING ENOUGH FIBER
The best natural appetite suppressant is fiber.
Fiber doesn’t break down like other foods, so it stays in your body for longer, which will help to control your appetite. This slows down digestion and keeps you feeling full and satisfied throughout the day.
One of the best weight loss foods are avocados which has both fiber and healthy fats which are are super-filling and can help curb your cravings throughout the day. Got a craving for sweets? Try these Double Chocolate Avocado Cookies
Other sources of fiber include broccoli, beans, lentils, chickpeas, chia seeds and almonds.
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#2 WHY CAN’T I STOP EATING? YOU’RE FEEDING YOUR EMOTIONS
Learn to recognize the difference between emotional hunger and true hunger.
Keeping a food journal is excellent for helping with this. By writing things down in your food journal you’ll be able to make the link between real hunger or eating for reasons other than hunger.
Here’s how to spot the difference.
Emotional ‘hunger’ starts suddenly, whereas real or physical hunger comes on gradually.
Emotional ‘hunger’ feels like it needs to be catered to right this moment vs. physical hunger, where you can delay it. Think of all those times you sat hungry at your desk but pushed it out because you needed to meet a deadline; that’s real or physical hunger.
With emotional eating, you’re likely to keep eating even if you’re full. When you satisfy physical hunger, on the other hand, you’re able to stop once you’re full – usually 🙂
The next time you feel like snacking on a sweet treat or salty snack ask yourself – what am I really hungry for?
#3 WHY CAN’T I STOP EATING? TRY DRINKING YERBA MATÉ TEA
Research shows that Yerba Maté tea, known as the ‘Tea of the Gods’ [which comes from the Ilex paraguariensis plant], can reduce appetite and improve mood when combined with high-intensity exercise.
Not only may it help with weight loss it will increase your energy and mental focus as well. It has less caffeine than coffee and it won’t cause you to get jittery or interfere with your sleep.
It’s also great for digestion and is packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
#4 WHY CAN’T I STOP EATING? YOU’RE NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP
Lack of sleep and overeating are more closely intertwined than you may think.
Sleep also gives you more control over your brain. How?
When you’re sleeping, your body is at work releasing powerful fat-burning hormones that speed up weight loss and help you to lose weight.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces less leptin [which leads to constantly feeling hungry] and produces more ghrelin [the appetite-stimulating hormone]. If you’ve ever been unable to stop eating everything in sight when you don’t get enough sleep, then you’ve experienced this hormonal imbalance at work.
Allow me to introduce you to leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is secreted primarily in your fat cells and decreases hunger. It is the hormone that regulates your appetite, metabolism and calorie burning. Leptin also tells your brain when you’re full, and when it should start burning up calories and when your energy levels are sufficient. When you lack sleep, you end up with too little leptin in your body, which makes your brain think you don’t have enough energy. So, what happens is, your brain tells you you’re hungry, even though you don’t actually need food at that moment. Then when you eat, it stores the calories you eat as fat so you’ll have enough energy the next time you need it. The end result? Sleep deprivation decreases leptin, which leads to constantly feeling hungry, thereby slowing down your metabolism. This chain of events leads to….you guessed it, weight gain.
Then there’s ghrelin. Ghrelin is secreted primarily in the lining of the stomach and increases hunger. It’s the other hormone that’s linked to sleep and weight. Ghrelin is known as the appetite-stimulating hormone. It’s the hormone that’s responsible for increasing your hunger and driving you to handfuls of chocolate almonds.
The role of ghrelin is basically the exact opposite of leptin. It tells your brain when you need food, when it should stop burning calories and when it should store energy as fat.
When you sleep, ghrelin levels decrease because, naturally, sleep requires far less energy than when you’re awake. When you don’t get enough sleep, you end up with too much ghrelin in your body, so your body thinks you’re hungry and needs more calories. What happens is, it stops burning calories because it thinks there’s a shortage.
Bottom line, if you want to control your appetite – GET MORE SLEEP!
#5 WHY CAN’T I STOP EATING? YOU’RE SKIPPING MEALS
Avoid skipping meals as you’ll be more likely to overeat later.
When you sit down to eat you should be hungry but not ravenous as this will cause you to overeat.
Try eating some high fiber high protein snacks in between meals like an apple with almond butter, veggies and hummus, dark chocolate and nuts, avocado toast, almonds or a chia seed pudding.
The only exception here would be intermittent fasting where fasting is planned.
Intermittent fasting is basically a way of eating those cycles between periods of eating and fasting. With intermittent fasting, you compress your eating time into a smaller window, which helps your body to become more fat adapted, so that you release more fat. It can actually be quite effective for weight loss.
Tell me in the comments below which one of these tips will you use to help you control your appetite?