Friday, 8 November 2013

Slow it Down!

How many people are guilty of scoffing down their lunch at their desks or their dinner while watching TV! Certainly me, what makes it worse is that while eating I am watching a programme about food! No wonder why sometimes I am still hungry when I have finished my meal. So why is it that when we focus on something else while eating we never feel very full?



When we eat its our brains that starts off the digestion process. Ever wonder why your mouth waters when you smell food? Well that's your body preparing itself for digestion. Your saliva is full on enzymes that start to break down the carbohydrates in food so that your stomach can focus on digesting the food and taking in the nutrients. It's the same with chewing, the more you chew your food the less work your stomach has to do which can result in reduced bloating and wind!

When you are eating its also important to slow down and think about all the tastes and textures so that your brain can pick up on the signals for fullness. It takes around 15 minutes for the signals to reach your brain to tell you that your full. So the quicker you scoff the more likely it will be that your brain will miss this signals.

There are two important hormones that come into play when you start to eat, these are Ghrelin and Leptin.
  • Ghrelin is a hormone that is released by the stomach when its empty, it then flows into you blood and travels to your hypothalamus (the hunger control in your brain). If you want to lose weight you want less ghrelin so that you do not get hungry - which is why a good nutritious meal is your best option as it will keep your digestive system busier for longer. Remeber different foods get digested at different stages of your digestive system. (Click here for more on specific nutrients)
  • Leptin is another hormone that is made from fat tissue which is transported to your hypothalamus where it tells it that you have enough fat. This then stops you from eating more, so generally the more fat you have, the more leptin you make. In turn the less fat you have the less leptin you will make and the hungrier you will be. So basically for fat loss the more leptin the better (healthy fats please). 
The problem is that people who have dieted for years have messed up there hormone levels so they will no longer know when they are full or when they are genuinely hungry. The best way to overcome this is to start listening to your body, eat three meals a day with a snack morning and evening - now it will take a while for your body to adjust but you must stick with it. Stop scoffing down your food and listen to your body, understand the feeling of satiety rather than that uncomfortable feeling you get from over eating. Let your body start to do what its intended to do. When you were younger how many times did you hear your parents say 'eat all your dinner or you can't have dessert', there is the first problem, children over eat so they can eat MORE! Eating processed foods will also interfere with your metabolism as your body do not recognise these foreign flavourings and preservatives making weight loss difficult. Remember processed foods contain a lot of chemicals that your body does not recognise, if it does not recognise these foods it cannot use them and it becomes all confused!

I've even found a little video for you :)



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