Today I will show you nutrition from a different angle. I read messages on a daily basis where people share that they are gluttonous, they do not have will and they can’t live without bread and chocolate. All of these are just labels that help us identify, when in reality the labels show us just our conditions. Conditions which we cause through the choices we make. I work with a lot of people and I have huge basis for comparison. I can reassure you that the mistakes most people make are the same and that what is gonna help one person, is gonna help many. And because my mission is to share everything I’ve learned and all my observations, so I can help people achieve optimal results, without deprivation, self-blame and without making more effort than it is required, it is time for the 5 signs that we do not eat a nutritious diet.
1.We get hungry an hour or two after breakfast
Most people gain weight not from what they eat with their main courses, but from what they eat in between their meals. You have no idea, how many people don’t even count their multiple snacks throughout the day,, and in reality it is important for the overall quantity of the food we eat for the day and the energy that adds up.
Usually, women have a huge problem with breakfast – they either don’t have a breakfast and instead substitute it with coffee with milk… and they add more and more milk or they have a scarce breakfast that consists of some yogurt with a two table spoons of oats; or maybe just a piece of fruit or of course a couple egg whites and a grapefruit. These are the scenarios, which lead to the mid-morning hunger and find ourselves in the office, where somebody has brought cookies and chocolate and it turns out that even before we have time to judge the situation, we are already on the third biscuit and we are reaching for the chocolate. Sure, we will say that we are gluttonous and that we do not have will or that we can’t live without sweets.
In reality, when we wake up the body needs the most energy, yet we do not give it any and we fall in our own trap. In the morning, cortisol levels (the stress hormone) are the highest, because in order to wake up, its levels must go up. Having a nutritious breakfast, helps to lower cortisol levels, helps us start the day feeling energetic and keeps us from reaching for the cookies and the chocolate in the office, just because it is just 10 a.m. and the lunch break is a mirage, yet we are starving.
2.You have strong carb cravings in the afternoon or in the evening
Ask a couple people – when they have the strongest carb cravings. All of them will answer – in the afternoon or in the evening. As if there is something in the air throughout this part of the day, which is making us think just about foods rich in carbs, even though we have cooked some salmon with veggies. It is just that the thought about chocolate or brownie doesn’t want to go away.
In reality, carb cravings throughout this part of the day show two things:
1.You do not eat enough nutritious food and you probably do not have enough healthy fats.
2.You do not have an afternoon snack or at least not a nutritious one. The afternoon snack is something like a bridge between lunch and dinner. The type of afternoon snack we have, determines if we have energy, or if we starve before dinner or if we feel satiety after our last meal or we constantly crave carbs.
Try the healthy brownie for travelers – it is quick to prepare and you can take it to work. You can share it with your colleagues and you can save them from the afternoon hunger and cravings. The end of crackers and nuts in the afternoon.
3.You snack right before dinner
This is a consequence of the former sign and the fact that your afternoon snack is not nutritious enough. Thus, while you are traveling back home and you are waiting in traffic, you feel tired and you can’t wait to eat. You either buy something on the way or while you are cooking you are cutting a couple pieces of cheese, some bacon or a handful of nuts. You do not realize that you always choose foods, that seem small, but they are actually calories dense and after you add your dinner, you have definitely eaten more than you need. Besides that, when a person goes hungry for longer period, then you need more time to feel satiety and usually, you feel like you can eat everything in sight. Ten minutes later, you feel like you overate and you are bloated. This could be easily taken out of your lifestyle, if you just plan your afternoon snack. It is not time consuming and it is totally worth it.
4.You have a second dinner
The second dinner or in other words the late dinner around 9-10 p.m. It has been just an hour or an hour and a half since your main dinner and you still feel like eating. You are not hungry, but you definitely need to eat something. More often than not, these are the foods you avoid the most. Believe it or not, this second dinner is once again a result of the fact you haven’t eaten enough in the afternoon. It sounds a little bit cliché, but it is no coincidence that our parents used to emphasize so much on the afternoon snack. It doesn’t need to be a large meal, but just something nutritious that will pick us up. In the afternoon we start losing energy. The body lacks energy and the inner balance is lost – i.e. the body needs to return its homeostasis and usually a nutritious afternoon snack, which contains enough protein, some fats and carbs – does wonders.
5.You wake up late at night or early in the morning and you are hungry
This is a daily scenario for people on a diet – exactly because they are deprived. More often than not, this is typical for women who limit their fat and carb intake. You need to realize that the food we eat is information for the body and that it helps for certain processes to take place and certain hormones to be released. Sleep and as a whole the proper functioning of the body is directly connected with a certain order in the dynamic between the hormones that are being released. When the body lacks certain micro and macronutrients, then the balance if neurotransmitters is being disturbed, a well as some hormones do not reach their peak state, when they are supposed to and they are actually suppressed by other hormones that are not supposed to dominate during this part of the day.
If you wake up late at night – around 12a.m. or early in the morning – around 3-4a.m., then you should rethink your diet – you need to increase your calories a little bit and add enough fats and carbs. I would give you the advice to focus on having a more nutritious dinner, to add some rice/ potatoes, a fattier source of protein – for example salmon or red meat and some veggies. Sure, this doesn’t mean to overeat. You will see that even if you eat half a piece of salmon, a couple table spoons of rice and some veggies, you will feel satiety and you won’t feel hungry, nor bloated.
And because waking up at night won’t disappear immediately, if you have the problem, listen to your body and eat something small, but something, that contains carbs and fat – a date with a piece of cheese. You will see how the combination of fats and carbs, even though in a smaller quantity, will take your body out of this state and it will help you fall asleep.