Tame Your Appetite

Our bodies evolved when food was not plentiful, so we are programmed to eat as much as we can whenever we can and to conserve every calorie, storing away an excess as fat. We cannot change our genes, but we can learn what triggers the insidious pattern of oversupply and overeating.

1. Giving In To Temptation

Willpower alone is rately enough to resist the basic biological urge to eat.

The solutions:
Stock up on low carb foods that you can eat to your heart’s content, e.g. dried fruits and nuts, low-fat cheese, fruit and low card snack bars.
Turn off the TV to screen messages prompting you to eat.
Downsize your portions. Studies show that people tend to passively overeat by about 25 percent. Eat small amounts often rather than big meals with long gaps in between.
Use affirmations to help you to make better food choices. Positive thought patterns move you towards acting out of self-respect.

2. Feeling Bored, Depressed or Anxious

Stress-triggered overeating is often a way of easing nervousness or alleviating boredom.

The solutions:

Deal with the causes, not the symptoms. List everything that makes you anxious and look at ways to cope better.
Do something else. Call a friend, take a warm bath, listen to soothing music, or just get up and dance.
Enlist professional help. Ask your naturopath about possible hidden causes of anxiety and nervousness: food allergies and deficiencies and certain vitamins or minerals may be to blame. St John’s wort is a fantastic herb for anxiety, depression, stress and poor sleep.
Get Active. Dozens of studies have show that exercise improves self-esteem, eases mild depression, and helps maintain weight loss. Your appetite for sweet foods will often decrease after exercise because insulin levels will have dropped.
Question grains. Dr Mercola believes one reason most people struggle with giving up sugar is that they are still eating grains which break down to sugar and so perpetuate the addiction. Eliminating grains and sugar together is often the way to go.
Plan ahead. Snacking can be a problem if your day is not busy, interesting and structured. Make sure each day is profitable to yourself and others.

3. Craving Sugar and Carbs

The more sugar your eat the more you will feel that you need it. Reginsed sugar acts like a chemical in your body; the less you have, the better you will feel in the long term.

The solutions:

Start the day right. If you eat too much sugar for breakfast, your body will be looking for more for the rest of the day. Have protein at breakfast, e.g. effs, cheese, nuts or a protein smoothie.
Balance your meals. All meals should be balanced with the right amount of carbohydrates, good fats and protein. Too often in Western dishes the carbohydrate content is off the chart.
Talk to your naturopath about correcting mineral imbalances.

4. Eating Too Quickly and Too Often

You may think that you are hungry, but the real problem is that we eat so often and in so many different locations wthat we see reminders about food and eating almost everywhere we go.

The solutions:

Limit that places that you eat.
Eat mindfully. Eliminate distractions, like TV or radio, and really pay attention to what you are eating. Eating slowly will give your body time to signal that you have had enough.
Do a hunger check. Eat a small amount before you become absolutely ravenous.
Add water. Dehydration can be mistaken for hunger. Drinking lots of filtered water will also help your body to flush out toxins and boost your energy levels.
Minerals can help, especially magnesium and chromium.

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