Human beings have an instinctive fear of hunger. You may have read the book, “Into the Wild”. In it, one character fails to find food. Enraged, he screams and shakes fists to the heaven. This, perhaps, is the best example of our primitive nature. We need nourishment and when it is not there, we become one with animals.
Today, in a world where predictability is a must, we know where our nourishments are. Still, human nature often fails to evolve as fast as technology. And even the thought of hunger will make it run for the next meal. However, if you are concerned of those extra pounds, you have to regulate your food intake. You have to understand the signal your body sends when it is truly hungry.
Hunger is a cue your body sends when it needs more fuel. And if rightly used, it is your best friend in your efforts to stay fit. You just have to follow your instinct; you will only eat at the right time. Lose touch with that instinct and it becomes your dire enemy. You will keep on eating and will find yourself unable to control your craving for more. Fortunately, there are ways you can help yourself in this regard. Here are the ten most effective among them.
- Add cinnamon and vinegar
It is high time that you bid farewell to all those artificial sweeteners. There are more delicious natural flavors to get the same result. And they are also healthier. Vinegar, for instance, lowers the glycemic index of a food item. This slows your body’s ability to metabolize food. And it is the best way to add an acidic flavor to salads and other items. It also relieves you from the stress of having to worry about calories.
If a sweet smell is you want for your food or drink, add cinnamon. This combines with vinegar and boosts its effort. As a result, you stay full for long. They also lower your blood pressure and offer numerous other health benefits.
- Eat slowly
Your stomach needs time to send signals to the brain when it is full. It is the “stretch receptors” that do the job. They get activated as food and water enter there. They send signals to the brain through the nerve that connects gut with the brain. And when food enters your small intestine, it releases hormones signaling the brain that it is full. The process may take up to twenty minutes to complete. This is the reason experts often advise that you should eat slowly.
When you have your meal next time, set an alarm for twenty minutes. See how you feel and if you are still hungry, continue with your meal. Do it a few times and you will learn to detect the signals your stomach sends your brain when it is satiated.
- Be informed
The information that the delicious dish you just ate contained 900 calories is sure to alarm you. It is more than half of the daily dose you need. Read the label of the package before buying anything. That alone is enough to make you regulate your meal. If you don’t understand something, search online. You may also seek advice from your doctor.
- Try to relax when having a meal
Stress slows the body’s ability to metabolize the food you intake. This is great to a certain extent. Stress helps the body to fight or flee when in danger. But the modern lifestyle is such that most of us are suffering from chronic stress. It implies that our body’s ability to digest food is compromised all the time. This causes trouble for binge-eaters. The feasible option is to let yourself relax a bit when having food.
Avoid taking lunch in your workstation. Don’t have it when you are driving for work. Stay away from everything that reminds you of the stress of the day. If possible, enjoy your meal among friends.
Binge-eating is often the result of loneliness. When you feel tempted to eat something, visit your close friend. Talking to a stranger too is an idea worth considering. The way you forget food when involved in deep conversation is truly amazing. Get the most out of it and get rid of that nuisance to stay fit.
- Say no to restrictions
Forbidden fruit has a charm. This is not a cliché, but a bedrock truth. When you decide to deprive yourself of something, you feel tempted to violate that instruction. Be lenient with yourself and adopt the slogan “everything in moderation.” Feed into your mind the idea that you are free to have anything in small amounts.
- Help your body to burn those extra calories
When visiting a friend you know is the best cook in the world, you are not going to make compromises. You will have everything that he serves. The high fat and sugar are sure to cause havoc both for your mind and for your body. In such an instance, be willing to take a bit of extra efforts. Replace that elevator with stairs. Walk to your workplace instead of driving. All this will help your body burn up the extra calories you had during the meal.
- Do not skip breakfast
Studies show that those who skip breakfast overeat during the day. They are also prone to cardiac arrest and other health issues. The generally recommended food item for breakfast is egg. Egg is slow to digest and lets you stay full for hours.
- Be mindful of your emotions
At times, people binge-eat when stressed. This, they feel, will help them feel better. Note down your pattern of having a meal. Note down the triggers of over-eating. Doing this will help you form a personalized alternative.
- Be prepared for disappointments
Disillusionment of some sort is a part of life. You face it whenever you introduce something new in life. The same is the situation with measures to stop binge-eating. The practical thing to do here is to prepare an implementation chart. Write something like; “when I feel tempted to eat, I will visit a friend.” Modify it according to your tastes and preferences. Repeat the process several times. Gradually, you will reach a point when you won’t need such a reinforcement to help yourself.
Getting rid of the habit of binge-eating is not that easy. But be kind to yourself. Allow your body the time to heal itself with the external stimuli you provide.