Lessons from my ‘boss’…

I felt bloated.

Could barely move (and looked kind of pregnant)

And no wonder…

I’d just had a 3-course meal

^^^ with help yourself sides (very dangerous)

And I’ve said before about how once I start eating...

You can’t stop me!

^^^ which is why the old ‘little and often diet’ didn’t work for me

So you could say my hunger hormones …

^^^ the things that tell me to stop eating

Are slow (a bit like me in the pub quiz…and on the football pitch)

And you could also say that a big part of me struggling to know when I’m really ‘full’ is habit!

After all, growing up in an Italian family where not finishing your meal (or asking for seconds, thirds, fourths and fifths) was disrespectful…

^^^ Nonna would throw her arms in the air. Raise her eyebrows. And mutter ‘I not bother next time’ (even after my 4th bowl of pasta).

But I’ve noticed another important contributor to why people like me and you…

So often overeat (and blame our ‘slow’ hunger hormones for not telling us to stop)

We eat too fast.

Like we’re being timed in an eating contest (Man vs Food…)

You see, my wife will happily leave food on her plate when she’s ‘full’.

My instant reaction is to finish her meal (as I did yesterday)

Even though I’ve had my meal, gone up for seconds (because I’ve obviously eaten too fast), and – in my head – am debating whether I’m still hungry.

^^^ Read that last bit again

Because this is where the lesson from ‘the boss’ hit home.

After coming back from the meal and taking the dog for a late night stroll <<< a top tip to help you really know if you’re full…

My wife wondered what I was doing (as I stood there in the kitchen)

To which I replied:

‘I’m deciding whether I’m hungry or not’

And she replied with these words of wisdom:

‘If you’re having to debate whether you’re hungry or not then you’re not hungry. You’ll know if you’re hungry’

The reason I was debating whether I was hungry?

Because "I’m used" to having a late night snack before bed.

It’s habit.

But the thing is…

I’d overeaten at dinner and wasn’t ‘properly’ hungry.

It just felt like I needed something to have.

And just being aware of this can be so powerful.

A bit like one of the members on my Fit For Life Body Transformation programme was talking about this week.

She mentioned that she, too, isn’t hungry when the cravings sometimes come in.

And that it’s just a habit.

So here’s 3 simple ways to help you in this situation:

1) Go for a walk

This gets you out of the kitchen, amongst nature, and away from the thought of food

2) Have a hot drink

Coffee (including decaf if late evening and you want a good night’s sleep) has been shown to help curb cravings

3) Watch some comedy, a good movie, or catch up with a friend

Often we want that emotional pick me up that the food will give us.

Watching some comedy, a good film (I've got one for you tomorrow), or catching up with a friend can help us feel good without the emotional pick me up that food can give us.

A few others to consider:

* Have you eaten enough?

Not eating enough or being deficient in certain nutrients is a stress on your body.

This may make you crave high sugar / fatty foods because they are high in energy and quick and easy to eat

^^^ that’s the ‘caveman’ in all of us…

* Are you getting enough sleep?

A lack of sleep is another stress on the body. Throw our tendency to become over reliant on caffeine on top and it creates a vicious cycle.

Also consider whether you're sleep is broken up.

If you're getting up for a 'wee' in the night, perhaps stop eating and drinking earlier in the night.

Are you drinking wine before bed? (Maybe Saturday morning is the wrong morning to ask you...)

And if it's the bambino keeping you up...then I can't say anything (yet...)

As for the dog, putting up a baby gate and dealing with a few nights of barking made made her learn to sleep through the night

* Are you hydrated (particularly with the recent weather)?

Speak soon,

Matt ‘accepting that the boss is always right’ Fruci

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