When people address weight loss, they tend to address the problem, but not the issue.
For example, if I want to quit smoking, instead of just saying I’m going to stop, I have to look at why I smoke in the first place. It might be when I am stressed, when I am bored, when I need a wake-up or to help me fall asleep.
The same goes with your nutrition goals. I don’t want you to stop eating to lose weight, I want you understand why you are hungry in the first place. With this information you can stay ahead of the hunger and truly achieve your goals!!
To address hunger we have to understand a little bit of how our body works and the different reasons why each person has trouble addressing their nutrition goals. The following are a couple of the most popular reasons that I see people get beat by hunger or lose the battle in their nutrition goals.
When we think of an athletic body, we don’t typically envision the body of a sumo wrestler. However sumo athletes go through painstaking training and are actually extremely regimented when it comes to nutrition. Most people who see sumo wrestlers would think that they eat all day long. The truth is that they only eat twice a day. They eat something called Chanko-nabe, which is a mixture of various meats and fish with rice and vegetables. They starve their bodies through the night, eat, then again starve their body through the day and eat once again before bed. The reason that this is so successful in weight gain is because in starvation mode, the body’s main goal is to preserve energy, basically, hold onto anything it can. Many people without even thinking about it have a similar diet.
Typically, they get so busy, they miss breakfast and end up starving. By the time they eat, they tend to overeat and because their body is in starvation mode they will end up storing a majority of that food. Eating more frequently keeps hormones balanced, helps us stay in front of the hunger and tells my body that there is no need to store fat. It’s easy to forget meals, so put a timer on your watch or phone to let you know it’s time to eat. Also make sure to always carry a little bag of nuts so if you get stuck somewhere, you’ll have something to keep you from crashing and going into starvation mode.
Then there is the person who constantly skimps on sleep. When we sleep, it not only resets our mind but it also resets our hormones. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you you’re hungry. When we don’t get adequate amounts of quality sleep, our body produces a large amount of this hormone. This type of person tends to never feel full. If this is the case with you and you just don’t have the ability to get more sleep, try increasing your protein intake in the morning with egg whites. This has been shown to decrease your ghrelin levels throughout the day.
If you were to look at a graph of the amount of stress in your life lined up against a graph showing your weight and you see a correlation, then this could be the thing that’s killing your success. Stress causes the release of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is actually called the stress hormone. When released in excess, it tells our body to store fat; and unfortunately the type of fat storage from this hormone has been shown to go straight to the gut.
Along with the release of cortisol, when we are stressed our body also tends to release ghrelin (the hunger hormone), since it calms the body, in addition to making us hungry. If you go on a vacation and eat junk but end up losing weight, that’s another sign that stress is causing your lack of weight loss results. If this sounds like you, staying away from caffeine and doing physical training will help lower cortisol and ghrelin, and in turn will help you stay on track with your goals.
If I told you that the number one fat burner in the world is water, you would have a hard time believing me. But it’s true. Three percent dehydration can equal a thirty percent decrease in performance. Not only does water increase metabolism, but it also increases energy and lubricates joints. For a lot of people, it’s not actual hunger they are feeling, but their bodies’ desire for water. If you are hungry and haven’t been hitting the water bottle, drink 16 oz and wait 15-20 minutes. If your hunger diminishes, this could be the key to your hunger. Think of water as the gas pedal to your body’s car. The more you press the pedal, the faster your body uses fuel and the faster you lose weight!!
When we consume carbohydrates that are high glycemic (white bread, white rice, sugar, candy), it releases a hormone called insulin. This hormone tells your body to store energy. This is needed at specific times like after a workout, but during the day it can have a lot of negative effects. When I spike my insulin, it goes way up and then tends to go way down; once this happens you can get the shakes and feel light headed, and because of this your hunger will increase drastically.
To prevent this, you want to keep your insulin in check. You need to stay away from high-glycemic foods during the day as well as avoid overeating which tends to increase insulin as well. If you happen to let insulin get the best of you, consume about a tsp. of cinnamon. It’ll flat line your insulin and help curb your appetite in the future.
Addressing our specific weight-loss issues will help us achieve goals much more proficiently than just trying to stop eating. For some of you, more than one of these issues might apply. In a perfect world, we could just eliminate stress or have a perfect night’s sleep every night. This is obviously not possible, but there are ways to counter each of these issues. Knowing which issue is causing you hunger in the first place will help give you the ability to attack it before it beats you and makes you detour from your goals.
The program we designed for you will address each of these issues. It gives you what you need when you need it. If you stray, just get back on the wagon and keep trucking forward.