Be your own hunger and energy management expert!
How often have you been dumb founded by your hunger or cravings despite eating well?
How often have you exercised like crazy only to find you are more hungry?
How often after a bad nights sleep do you spend all day grazing on biscuits and drinking coffee?
How often have you wondered why you are so hungry mid-morning despite eating breakfast?
How often have you come home from work and literally cleaned out the contents of the cupboard or fridge despite your good intentions?
Ever wondered why you can wake up not hungry some days and starving on others?
Mostly when embarking on a diet, the first thing people think about is……..
Eat less and exercise more!
Am I right? This model has been around since diets began and I think we all know that diets for most DO NOT work. Here are some statistics.
Less than 5% of diets succeed
66% of dieters will actually end up fatter than when they began
The average diet only lasts 19 days
So the odds on success are severely not in our favour. Only those with cast iron will can manage to stick to a diet and even more will eventually cave in. For most of us, we are lucky if we last more than 19 days!
There is a huge missing link in the weight loss arena and it’s not what you think. What matters more than calories for successful long term fat loss?
Yes hormones need to be considered more than calories when embarking on body change.
So does that mean we don’t need to worry about calories?
Well, let me put it like this. Yes calories do matter when it comes to losing weight, but they matter less than hormones. In other words, when hormones are balanced and the metabolism is working efficiently then calories will take of themselves. In other words you will naturally only eat what you need to eat as your metabolism becomes finely tuned and able to adjust accordingly. Like a finely tuned car, it will respond with only a light press on the accelerator and it will effortlessly cruise along in low gears instead of racing around with your foot flat on the accelerator peddle in high gears. When hormones are balanced you will not experience wildly fluctuating hunger, energy or cravings.
What hormones and why?
Hormones are the little chemical messengers that give the body a set of instructions to carry out. Light, air, sound, thought, movement, food, sleep all affect our hormones. When one hormone is out of balance, then they are all out of balance. When hormones are out of balance we generally will struggle with a series of effects from cravings, tiredness, fatigue, hunger and apathy.
We have many different types of hormones within the body. All doing different things and all designed to work in harmony. Let’s take the example of Cortisol and Insulin.
Insulin is a really important hormone for both building muscles and for balancing blood sugar levels. Without this hormone we would be in trouble. However, when our diets are too high in sugars and starchy carbohydrates for example, then Insulin can be produced too much meaning our bodies become less sensitive to it. To put it another way, like a bad smell, you eventually get used to it and so the same is true of Insulin. When we constantly eat food high in starch and sugar, then our body produces lots and lots of insulin, eventually meaning that our cells no longer hear the message that this hormone is sending. The body then pumps out more in an attempt to reduce blood sugar levels.
This constant rise in blood sugar and then subsequent drop means Cortisol is released in response to this. Like Insulin, Cortisol is also an important hormone and it wakes us up in the morning and enables us to react in stressful situations. And like Insulin when our bodies are constantly pumping it out, the cells become resistant to the message. So you can see how our delicate metabolism can become disrupted. What’s worse is that this constant see-saw of Insulin and Cortisol will make you feel exhausted, lethargic, sleep badly and crave starchy foods and stimulants such as coffee which……..YES makes it all worse.
The end result is we not only store fat more easily (belly fat anyone?), we are unable to burn it off as the combinations of Insulin and Cortisol makes sure the fat stays locked in the cell, unable to burn it off even if YOU GO ON A LOW CALORIE DIET!
In fact if you calories restrict, either by eating less or exercising more you can actually make it worse as even more stress hormones are released!
So what about exercise?
This is one aspect of our lifestyle that is the least important when it comes to embarking on a fat loss lifestyle in the early stages and this may surprise you….. and you may want to know more.
Well the reason is becuase we interact with food, sleep and stress much more than we do exercise. In the early stages on fat loss it’s more important to balance hormones. Exercise plays an important role but always remember that hormones matter more than calories and calories matter more than exercise. Just like eating less, exercising more can actually cause more hunger, cravings and energy issues due to the impact it has on our hormones. Choosing the right type of exercise is critical and this involves walking (low intensity) and high intensity shorts burst of training such as Metabolic Effect and on my fat loss programmes.
When embarking on fat loss and health the main goal should be to balance hormones. When they are you will experience the bliss that is lots of energy throughout the whole day, no excessive or wild cravings and less hunger. By choosing the right foods (ie foods that are NOT #beigedeadfood) you will naturally eat more of the right foods meaning your hormones will be balanced.
So how do you learn the ways of a fat controller?
Start to keep track of how you feel before and after you eat?
Keep track of how you sleep and how it effects you the following day or two?
How does certain foods make you feel?
How does coffee make you feel?
Do certain foods lead you to overeat?
Are there foods you can never resist?
Do you have times in the day that are worse than others?
By starting to play a detective role in your diet and exercise routines you will start to understand how they can impact hormones. Only when you start to be mindful of how you feel and respond can you start to become a hunger and energy management expert.
Check out my first two fat controlling cookery books!
If you would like to know more about learning how to be a fat controller, hunger and energy management expert, then please join our FREE support group and I will guarantee that you will never look at food!
Big love, small tummies!
Jill – The Fat Controller