Willpower - let’s talk about it. It’s not uncommon to believe that the reason you were unable to stick to your diet was due to a lack of willpower. You tried to be “good” and eat a low-calorie, “clean” breakfast (or maybe you skipped breakfast), then ate the low-calorie, “clean” lunch you packed (or maybe you skipped lunch, too). Then 4:00 rolls around and you’re starving. You find yourself scouring the cupboards and munching on all the chips, cookies, and candy you can get your hands on… because you didn’t have any “willpower”.
There’s a very good reason why you feel so out of control around food, and it has absolutely nothing to do with your willpower. And here’s why…
You are legitimately hungry and your body needs FUEL. Here are several ways in which dieting, restricting calories, and under-eating impact your ability to feel in control around food.
1. All of those “lite” meals you ate throughout the day didn’t provide enough energy (aka calories) to support your daily activities (like your brain, heart, lungs, muscles, etc). There’s a widely misunderstood perception that calories are bad and must be reduced as much as possible. That could not be farther from the truth. Calories are energy, and are a requirement for functioning optimally. When calories are restricted it actually results in food obsession. When food (one of our most basic needs for survival) is taken away, or severely reduced you may find yourself day-dreaming about burgers and fries, or a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. This is the power of BIOLOGY in action. No willpower can override the body’s survival mechanisms.
Biology 1, Willpower 0.
2. Blood sugar crashes trigger cravings. Again, this is your body’s attempt at achieving homeostasis… blood sugar is low, therefore you need to eat in order to bring it back to normal levels. Low blood sugar also increases the likelihood of experiencing fatigue, poor concentration, headaches, irritability, and anxiety. Now you’ve found yourself with low blood sugar, intense cravings, and feeling down in the dumps - a perfect recipe for emotional eating.
Biology 2, Willpower 0.
3. Hormones that control appetite can be out of balance with inadequate amounts of protein and/or fat in your meals. During the digestion process of proteins and fats a chemical message is sent to the brain improving appetite control - and keeps you feeling full, satiated, and energized for hours. Proteins and fats take a lot longer to digest and make its way from the stomach to your small intestine compared to carbohydrates. And the hormone that increases hunger is produced in the stomach when it’s empty. So, the faster you digest your meals, the quicker your stomach will empty and start producing the hunger hormone.
Biology wins 3-0!
You’re not weak.
You’re not a failure.
You’re not broken.
Under-eating, skipping meals, and depriving your body of the nutrients it needs to function optimally has your biology working against you!
Now, if you’d like to learn how your food choices and eating behaviors can affect your biology in a way that supports things like your metabolism, energy levels, mood, and immune system - check out my 8 Week Online Nutrition Course, Own It!
You’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. You’ll see exactly how you can prevent extreme cravings, feel more energized and vibrant, and feel more in control around food. If you’ve ever thought to yourself… ‘I just want to eat like a normal person’, then this course can give you the roadmap to discovering a way of eating that feels easy, fun, and enjoyable.
So if you’d like to join me for that, check it out - we start Monday, March 25th! To join us, simply click on the link below.
8 Week Online Nutrition Course: Own It! Start taking ownership of your body, your food choices, and living life on your terms.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article, and I look forward to seeing you soon!
In health & happiness,