Every now and then we are caught by the “hunger monster” whose intentions are to stuff our stomachs until we are filled with that self-loathing feeling. You know, when our gut is full but our void is somehow left unfulfilled. We did it again... In fact, often it’s intentional. When we’re that hungry we feel great, because we know what’s coming. Food! We look forward to eating and we've no sense of portions and no stop sign is placed in our head or in our gut.
Can we stop this? Yes. Because we are not fighting a disease, we are fighting food addiction that can, yes, lead to several diseases if we don’t get a grip.
When I myself landed at rock- bottom, 330 lbs. with more than 40% body fat I made a plan or a program if you will, that made losing weight fun and easy... Sounds great, I know and too good to be true. It’s all about mindset and determination, to see one self at the finish line, to know what one wants.
However we have to start somewhere. Here are 12 easy steps to prevent binge-eating.
When does the “hunger monster” pay a visit?
Yes, when it’s been too long since the last meal, and often it’s intentional. Because the food addict gets his high when he’s enormously hungry and stuffs his face after starving himself for 10 hours or longer. Now, here for the advice:
1. Always eat breakfast. The food addict normally doesn't eat breakfast, so make sure you eat a wholesome breakfast filled with nutritional values, good carbs and fiber, low on sugar and fat. Therefore I do recommend the good old fashioned OAT MEAL, or WEETABIX squeezed into a bowl with semi-skimmed milk and a handful of raisins and a little bit of cinnamon for taste.
2. Eat every 3-4 hours. This is the perfect way to stop bingeing, because if we eat something every 3-4 hours we don’t get the feeling that causes our addiction to shine. We choose what our body needs and the increased metabolism caused by eating less and more often does the trick. Combined with exercise you are bound to lose weight, and not only weight, fat too.
3. When you go out, pack a BANANA an apple or a pear with you at all times. Easy to grab when the hunger feeling approaches and you don’t head for the fast food place to stuff your hunger with thousands of calories when you can get better results from only 1-200 calories from that fruit you have with you.
4. When you start to feel too hungry and you haven’t followed my previous advices, don't panic. Have a protein drink and a glass of water. It takes a little effort and conscious thinking because you know you want something yummier, but if you drink the water and the protein drink you lose that total hunger feeling and you gain self-esteem and pride.
5. Before you sit down to eat, have a glass of water first. It kills most of the greed and then place food on your plate. A good rule: Always have ONE portion. Common sense will tell you what you need so place that amount on your plate and after consuming that portion you get up from the table. If you still feel hungry after one portion, you’re not, it’s greed.
Stand up and wait for 15 minutes. Voila! You’re not hungry anymore.
6. Never shop hungry. That’s common sense. Have a banana or a protein shake before entering the supermarket. It will surprise you how many calories and dollars you will save. Remember to prepare a shopping list, and follow that list thoroughly.
7. Maybe you´re just thirsty. Make sure when the hunger strikes you that you are actually hungry because sometimes you’re just dehydrated. Have a bottle of water and then decide.
8. Stop flirting with the yummies. Make sure you don’t have any sweets or high calorie food and baked goods at home unless it’s your special “yummy” day. You will eat it eventually if it exists in your cabinets or fridge. It's a good idea to allow yourself one day pr. week which is what I call a 'yummy' day, without overdoing the 'yummy's though.
9. Find an hour every day to exercise. Remember, exercise doesn't have to take place in the gym. A walk outside will do too, if you DO IT. You will notice automatic changes in your eating habits when you start taking care of your body.
10. Create a colorful plate. Make sure that 33% of your plate is vegetables. Cooked Brussels sprouts and broccoli for instance are very tasty and help with the digestion process. They cost very few calories and are very filling.
11. Are you a TV snacker? Are you consuming too many calories in front of the TV every night? Try to go out for a walk after dinner or simply go out with the kids and play with them. When you come back inside you have almost no need for unhealthy TV snack and therefore you automatically start to lose weight.
12. Turn off the TV early and get your 8 hours of sleep. Miracles happen when you get enough sleep and you eating habits will change along with your energy and mood. Remember: "Tired body, fatty foods".
Take care of the temple of your soul. It's your body, but treat it as borrowed and maintain your body like a well-kept car.