How to stop the cravings and lose weight
One of the most common questions I get from people with a desk job is: “ I’m constantly hungry throughout the day and it causes me to want to snack pretty much all day. I know the snacking is causing me to put on weight but I just can’t seem to stop. Is there anything I can do to stop the cravings?”
In a word, “Yes.” There are actually two simple things that you can change to stop the cravings; diet and exercise.
Lets start with the diet. A very simple and straightforward way to address this problem with diet is as follows: 1) Stop or minimize your intake of simple carbohydrates and grain based processed foods such as sugar, anything with flour or grain, sweetened drinks, artificial sweeteners, sauces, salad dressings etc. 2) Eat whole food based meals. Here’s a tip, your meals should consist of some sort of protein and fat (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, raw nuts) and slow absorbing carbohydrates (vegetables- not potatoes as these are a simple carbohydrate).
See, most people are at 20% or greater body fat and when your body fat gets, say, above 13% or so, the fat itself starts to influence your hormonal balance so that you store more fat when you eat. This starves the brain for energy and when the brain is hungry, will power is no match. You will crave high calorie food, eat it, store it (because of the fat issue), and then become hungry again and repeat the cycle.
Your blood sugar will be high because of the foods that you are eating (quickly absorbed simple carbohydrates, sugars, grains, bread, etc) and your body will try to protect itself from hyperglycemia (can put you into diabetic shock) by storing the food. When you eat protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates, you will have smooth energy, no food coma, and stay satisfied until your next meal.
Now on to exercise. 30-45 min/day of aerobic exercise a day is enough to trigger a hormonal cascade in your body that will help stabilize your blood sugar, raise your insulin sensitivity (which slows the absorbtion of blood sugar, effectively suppressing your appetite), in addition to conditioning your body to metabolize fat for energy instead of sugar. Aerobic exercise is conversational pace (walking, running, biking, swimming, etc).