I just want to add one thing to Jeff and Carol's suggestions which are excellent. Too often we tend to put something in our mouths because of some emotional change: we are bored, anxious, angry, disturbed, worried, lonely, frustrated, exhausted. If you are like most of us, you probably have eaten because of these feelings and many others like them. Food does comfort. We found that people eat carbohydrates because they act as an emotional tranquilizer without the side effects of drugs. And if, as we point out in the Serotonin Power Diet, you choose your carbohydrate carefully, you can eat for comfort and lose weight. But and this is important, if you eat foods that are high in fat for comfort, you won't lose weight. And just as important. If you don't figure out what is causing you to feel distressed and so something about it, you will be vulnerable to gaining weight after you diet is over. Weight loss does not make the problems that caused overeating to go away.
First, you have to figure out if you are really hungry or are you just thirsty, they give off the same signals. When you get a hunger pain, try drinking a glass of water and wait a few minutes, if you are stilll hungry, then you know its time for food.
The next thing to do is put yourself on a regimine of when you eat, you should eat something every 3-4 hours, no more than that or you will throw off your body's timing. You will have to get use to eating that often so start out with small portions and smaller amounts. Then, as you keep doing it, your body will crave to eat at those times.
That's part one of weight loss.
The other part is to get moving. It does you no good to cut calories if you aren't upping your activity and building musclse that will utilmately burn the fat for energy anyway. So while you are looking into when you eat, make sure you are setting a schedule for exercise also. You should start out with at least 2 days per week of some sort of strength training, such as a Pilates or strength conditioning class.
The final part of weight loss is cardio activitivity, which is walking, biking, running, swimming and anything that gets your heartrate up for at least 20-30 minutes at a time for 5 days a week. If you can't do 5 days, start with one and work your way up.
If you put this plan in place today, in just a couple weeks, you will start to see big changes.
Make sure that you are feeling hunger and not an acid stomach which mimics hunger. Also make sure that you are distinguishing between hunger and appetite. The former makes you content to eat anything; the latter comes in the form of " what do I feel like eating right now?" Feeling full without needing to eat out from appetite is easy however. You have a neurotransmitter in your brain, serotonin, which turns off appetite. It causes satiety which is the opposite of hunger. All you have to do ( and this is the basis of our diet book, The Serotonin Power Diet) is to eat a specific dose of carbohydrate like an English muffin or pretzels 45 minutes before a meal. Your brain makes new serotonin as soon as the carb is digested and the serotonin begins to turn off your appetite even before you begin to eat a meal. I usually eat about 3/4 of a cup of cheerios as they are very low in fat and protein, and these nutrients interfer with making serotonin.
There are a fews things you could try. You could try eating foods dense with fiber since they'll help you feel full faster, and longer. You could also look for healthier versions of your favorite foods. You won't have to cut anything out your diet but everthing you put in your body with be much better for you, and will help cut some of the weight. Do you eat large meals? If you do, you can try to eat a bunch of smaller meals throughout the day instead, which should boost your metabolism and help you a bit with protion control.
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