What’s for dinner?

We are living in unprecedented times and we have learned many new things about ourselves with our habits under a magnifying glass.  One of those things is facing the “quarantine fifteen,” the jolly term for the weight many of us have added on during the global shutdown.  As society slowly opens up, you might even be leaving the plentiful quarantine stashes in your kitchen for the socially distanced restaurants. Or have you depleted all the snacks?

It’s not all gluttony – there is some science behind why we tend to eat more when we have more food around.  The hypothesis is that we as a species have evolved to store calories efficiently to be better prepared for unexpected periods of famine. Outside of shopping at the grocery or hardware store and maybe going to work, we were (and maybe still are) facing more sedentary schedules which make weight control more difficult.  Our smaller to-do lists translate into fewer calories being burned.  So if we know that, why are we still flexing more upper body muscles to reach for food and not the weights? 

There are several hormones at play when it comes to controlling and signaling hunger.  Here are some for background information:

Ghrelin – tells you when you are hungry

Leptin – tells you when you are full

Peptide YY – reduces appetite when eating

Insulin – stores energy

You may have heard of some of these before but there are many more hormones involved in the digestion process.  Before you get overwhelmed, there are a few key points that you can wrap your brain around now. 

  • Keep it steady – The best way to control your hunger is to avoid experiencing rapid sugar surges and drops.  The foods that will most likely cause the rapid up and downs are – you already know – carbohydrates and sugars.  Carbohydrates usually come in the form of the white/beige family groups: bread, crackers, pasta, rice, potatoes and the white sugar that seems to pop up on almost every ingredient list. 
  • Be full-filled – For satiation, incorporate more fats and protein because they take longer to digest. Protein is the real winner macronutrient out of all the 3 groups mentioned as it is the slowest to digest.  
  • The Power Couple – Exercise+Sleep. Getting regular exercise and getting enough shut-eye helps to reduce cravings and boost your metabolism. Exercise can also improve sleep, which can be a struggle for some during stressful times.

Are you still struggling or interested in more tools to make your comeback from quarantine? Give us a call to get an appointment scheduled.