My eating has started to veer slightly out of control recently. I am not bothered about calorie counting but I have been eating too much sugar. It started with a bounce ball here and there and has escalated so that whenever I eat I want something sweet afterwards. I know some people say that you should allow yourself a treat every day but I must say I don’t agree. Firstly, you are using food as a reward and I this is where a lot of our problems stem from. We place an emotional attachment onto food and use it to deal with other problems. If we didn’t associate food with emotion then we wouldn’t eat when we weren’t hungry which would mean that we also wouldn’t have weight problems. How many times have you eaten chocolate to recover from a bad day or break up? a clear sign that you are an emotional eater.
Food should be fuel, not something we use to feel good. The problem is that sugar does evoke a release of serotonin so we can get addicted to it. That little boost that it gives us is enough to make us keep going back for more. Once eating something sweet after meals becomes a habit, it can be a tough one to break. The thing is, sugar does not make us feel good long term. Aside from putting on weight it also makes us feel sluggish and makes our skin break out. For more details on the side effects of sugar visit http://articles.mercola.com/sugar-side-effects.aspx.
In order to break a habit, it is important to replace it with something else so that you are not left with a void. Going for a walk or reading something are good options to do instead as they distract the mind rather than simply watching TV (which usually have lots if adverts for food!). Waiting 20-30 minutes after eating to see if you still want something sweet is a good idea as usually the cravings have subsided by then. I never have sweet food in the house as if it is there I have absolutely no self-control.
I have also found that once I start eating I can’t stop, even though I’m not at all physically hungry, I just enjoy eating. I know I am being greedy and as of today I am going to tackle it. I eat too fast and usually eat whilst doing something else as well. I am going to sit down properly to eat and not have my laptop or book to hand and instead concentrate fully on eating. I read somewhere that you should take 30 minutes to eat your meal slowly, I may not manage this but I will try to savour each mouthful instead of shovelling it in.
As well as giving up sugar I also intend to get back into the habit of doing Time restricted eating (TRE) (this is when you only eat within a certain ‘feeding’ window). I have done it in the past and noticed the benefits but haven’t been able to stick to it since I got back from India.
Because I usually work in the evening I try not to eat when I get home so I am setting my feeding times to 8.00-17.00. This means I have a 9-hour eating window and a 15 hour fasting window.
Some of the effects of fasting are as follows:
- A 13-hour fast reduces to risk of breast cancer recurrence by 40%.
- A 13-hour fast reduces to risk of breast cancer mortality by 20%.
- A 13-hour fast could possibly help in cases of:
- Fatty liver
- Acid reflux
- Time restricting is easy to do without disrupting your life too much.
- Its success often encourages people to do more.
- Fasting decreases haemoglobin A1C level, which is a marker on the average glucose in our blood.
- It’s a powerful marker used to test diabetes drugs.
- Fasting offers is an alternative to drugs.
- Time restricting can reduce CRP, an indicator of inflammation, if people start to fast fairly early in the evening.
- Fasting promotes repairs in the body by clearing away damaged cells.
- Just like you need a rest day after exercising, you need a resting period after eating.
Starting today, my last meal will be at 5pm and I won’t eat again until 8am. Physically this is easy for me as I don’t get hungry very often, it is all in my head that I want to eat when I get home. This is another reason why I want to do this, I need to disassociate my eating with my emotions. I will let you know how I get on.
For more details on Time Restricted Eating check out this YouTube video with D. Rhonda Patrick