1. You skip breakfast
Skipping breakfast seems to be a good way to limit calories, but studies show that people who skip breakfast finally eat more calories than those who have one. Why ?
Because when you skip breakfast you get hungry for lunch and so you eat more than normal and can not make healthy choices (like when you go shopping on an empty stomach!). In addition, your metabolism slows down because the body does not receive food and do not spend energy to digest.
My advice: Prepare a healthy breakfast to boost your metabolism and to eat less the rest of the day.
2. You don’t drink enough water
Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to manage your appetite and your diet. If you don’t drink regularly, you will probably be slightly dehydrated. And if you’re busy, you can confuse dehydration and hunger signals, and you will go straight to the fridge or the cupboards (with your favorite cakes, candies, sodas or chips…) , instead of what your body really needs: a large glass of water!
My advice to stay hydrated: bring a bottle with you, put it on your desk to see it and think to drink. You can also put some reminders on your phone !
3. You are bored…
We use to be multi-task but when we have nothing to do, we get bored very quick. And to fill this boredom, we tend to head for the fridge, even if we’re not hungry! When we have nothing exciting to think or to do, our mind starts to look for something. Maybe there are still some leftovers in your fridge like a piece of cake or pizza… And your mind will only think about it all day long… But we don’t want that.
My advice to avoid this is to find some activities to occupy your mind and your hands, such as reading, knitting, meditation, playing an instrument, doing crossword puzzles, or activities such as biking, walking, volunteering… to relax yourself without “doing nothing”.
4. You manage your emotions by eating
Some people eat when they are sad, others eat when they are happy. In times of stress, some throw themselves on chocolate and eat the whole tablet while others have a knotted stomach and cannot eat anything.
Each person has a unique emotional relationship with food. The problem occurs when we turn towards food to drown our sorrows, to forget the stress, rather than confront the emotion by itself. Emotional eating can feel good in the moment, but it does not solve the real problem and can really drown your efforts.
My advice : the first step to solve emotional eating is to become aware of feelings that push you to eat. If stress is your trigger, find a sport, meditate, or write a journal. If it’s sadness or loneliness makes you eat, gather with friends or call a relative. If instead happiness or excitement make you forget your healthy diet, keep a food diary to help you keep control while making you happy.
5. Your hormones
The two major hormones that regulate hunger and appetite are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin causes hunger while leptin deletes appetite. Under normal conditions, the quantity of ghrelin increases after several hours without eating, and hunger appears. But after, leptin increases after you eat, you feel satiated. Poor eating habits and lack of sleep can disrupt its quantities causing you to have more hunger than normal and low satiety after eating. Another hormone which triggers the eating habit is cortisol, an adrenal hormone that is released during short periods of stress. When stress becomes chronic, cortisol levels rise as well as hunger, in addition to decreasing the effectiveness of insulin, resulting in fat storage.
My advice: the best way to maintain hormonal balance is to get enough sleep, eat complex carbohydrates (rice and whole grain bread, semi-wholemeal pasta…) , lean proteins (chicken, fish, eggs…) , and avoid sugars and meals high in fat.
6. You don’t sleep enough
If you don’t sleep at least seven to eight hours a night, you are probably sleep deprived. As I explained to you earlier, the lack of sleep really disrupts hormones that regulate appetite the next day, increasing one hormone that causes hunger while reducing one that deletes appetite. Then you eat more, which can ruin all your efforts…