I thought giving up sugar will get much easier as I go along. But as it happens that has not been the case. It was such a surprise that it wasn’t sugar cravings that did me in. Oh no, that would have been much easier (I think…)
One of the unanticipated side effects have not been sugar cravings at all but the fact that I am constantly hungry. Of course when checking in with Prof Celene, her explanation made total sense to me.
So, here I was expecting cravings to chase me all around my kitchen, salivating and making strange grunting noises. Strangely, that has not been the case. The only sugar that I consciously had this week was one scoop of Pistachio Ice Cream. It was heavenly, the taste sensation out of this world, I could even taste some of the more subtle flavors that I know I would normally not have noticed. Much to my delight this one scoop was all I needed and wanted. I spent the rest of the week not wanting to indulge in anything sugary.
Seems like a health scare works well to keep the resolve strong.
When I didn’t constantly feel the need to raid the kitchen to find anything that is sweet (just once last week), I was surprised to feel the undertones of being constantly hungry.
After my chat with Prof Celene I realized what I am going through is quite normal and totally fixable.
The reasons she gave me made sense and I have a feeling this might be of help to you if you are in the same boat as me.
Knowing that there are valid reasons that I am experiencing, this helps me feel less judgmental of my own so called “needs”.
Since I haven’t been after the “Usual Suspects” – sugar, carbohydrates, chocolate, salt and for some, cheese, there might be something interesting going on.
One factor that I am sure is contributing to my being constantly hungry is Leptin Resistance.
Leptin is a hormone produced in your body’s fat tissue, that primarily stimulates your appetite and is responsible for telling you when you are full.
All is well when your body is running optimally, but when your leptin is out of whack and constantly tells your body you are hungry, you have a problem. Especially when you are trying to lose weight as I am.
I have been under the impression I have been eating purely out of boredom, but now I have reassessed that thought.
There are a few things that creates an environment where this happens:
- Too much body fat
- High sugar diet
- ingesting a lot of processed carbs
I am sorry to say I was guilty of all three of the above before I had my health scare. After having my health scare one month ago, I am more determined than ever to sort my health out. And even though I realise that it has been my imperfect eating habits that put myself into this flux, I am quite adamant that I will stop blaming myself and look for the best solution to get myself back on track.
Constant leptin surges creates a spiral effect that tends to repeat itself. In this spiral, those surges can lead to leptin resistance, and perceiving your real appetite becomes very difficult.
Since there is no medication to fix this and even if there was, it would only be a band-aid and would not be a long term solution for this problem; good old fashioned effort is needed. If you do not want to be a slave to cravings and hunger you have to master this hormone.
Eating a well balanced diet is the only option. With all the information out there I am sure we all know what that is. The one complication I see, is that we have become too used to this instant gratification life-style and the fact that everything is so easily accessible, that we don’t value the importance of a well balanced diet. I know this is what happened to me and I am fixing this in the hopes of getting back to a proper state of health.
There are other factors that have an influence on your hunger levels, but this is the one that I have identified as mine.
If this is not the reason you are constantly hungry, you can look into the following:
- Low serotonin levels (Surprise!! It is produced in the gut)
- Food Addiction
- Imbalances in the gut (gastro intestinal system)
- Emotional Eating
If you continue eating a poor diet, it becomes more and more difficult to make the improvements you need for optimum health. This is something I am finding out first hand, when I feel constantly hungry as I do now.
One month ago I was sure that if I only changed some of my not so good eating habits I will be okay. Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing dramatically wrong with my health, but I am not feeling as I would like to feel.
But, I am working on making the improvements to get me there. It is almost like some kind of science experiment, that appeals to me to find out what works to get me the results.
Since I am improving on my eating habits, Prof Celene did advise that I should increase the intake of “good fats”. She suggested I should try something like Almond Butter. I made myself some smoothies this week, and have found that to really help.
The constant hunger has not yet passed, but I am not feeling crippled by it anymore.
I added some fiber and maca powder to my smoothies, but it is too soon to report back on this new aspect yet.
A bit boring for most people reading this post I am sure, but I blame Tim Ferris. His podcasts make me think; the way his mind works is fascinating to me. He treats most things in his life like some sort of experiment he needs to figure out. For me, if I can figure out the inner workings of my body, I will never have to struggle with feeling unwell or the discomfort of being overweight.
I hope you have found this post informative. Please share any interesting manifestations you have come across in your journey.