Could you eat 1000 doughnuts?
I feel like I could.
Could you eat five hard boiled eggs though?
I bet you can't and it's not because it has more calories -- it's a hormone that's stopping you.
Our stomach actually has a built in sensor for eggs yet it doesn't for donuts. Well, it's actually the protein and fat that it can detect and it can't detect the carbohydrates.
It's a hormone called CCK (cholecystokinin). It acts like the dispatcher to the brain. It's secreted from the small intestine wall and it signals the brain that protein and fat are coming. It also tells the brain you're full -- and maybe you should put down the tub of ice cream.
If you eat too much fat CCK tells the brain to play tricks on you. It dispatches the gag reflex, the sore stomach, the fullness.
But not the case with "good old" carbar-ooos. Your prefer a light breakfast. Maybe it's a fat free yogurt, maybe it's a bagel with extra light cream cheese.
It feels "light" because CCK can't work. This signaling system evolved because for as long as we've been humans our diet has been mostly made up of fats and proteins. The body needed a way to regulate its energy. Only in the last hundred years or so have our nutrition spun completely out of control. To the point where our government even recommends that an adult eat 6-8 servings of grains a day.
Carbs are like ninjas. They sneak past the dispatcher.
They go through the stomach and into the intestinal wall without getting caught. In the end the secondary signalling systems catches them but by then you may be laying down in the fetal position.
While you may be laying there quietly your internal system isn't. There's a lot going on inside your body. What goes up must come down. Once your body clears this sugar from your blood stream you experience a dip in blood sugar.
In this dip you feel instantly hungry as your body wants to regulate it's sugar again. That's where the cravings come in. No wonder dieting is so hard.
If his roller coaster of sugar and insulin continues for weeks you get fat. If it continues for years, you get diabetes or other diseases.
So no wonder you can't stop eating when it comes to carbohydrate foods.
Now that you're aware of this, here are a few tips that have helped me and my clients.
1. Try to eat your meat first on your plate. This way you feel full and can pass on the potatoes, rice, breads at the end of the meal.
2. Start your day with a higher fat and protein breakfast. This sets the pace for the day and will help avoid cravings. My preferred combo lately has been eggs, salsa, guacamole and ham.
So, next time you catch yourself inhaling a bag of chips, stop and think:
"That's the hormone that guy was talking about."
Have you experienced this before? I would love to hear from you on Twitter.
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