Kate Cornell was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2005. Since then, she has controlled diabetes through dietary changes, exercise, and, more recently, metformin. She shares her experiences and lessons learned here and on her blog, kates-sweet-success.blogspot.com, which was named as one of the top diabetes blogs for 2015 by Healthline.com.
Why do we overeat? Well, there are lots of things to blame, like stress, fatigue, and hunger. Maybe it’s just that food tastes so good.
Or maybe, ghrelin is the culprit.
Ghrelin is a hormone that is produced in the stomach. Its function is to increase hunger, prompting us to eat. According to this article by Yahoo News, it’s possible to train our bodies to produce more ghrelin at certain times of the day, causing us to eat more than we should. Overeating at night can be especially bad, which many of us do.
Here’s the scenario: On the drive home from work you might munch. You eat a normal dinner but then feel compelled to keep eating throughout the evening. You might snack on popcorn or ice cream or anything that tastes good. Because you know that you tend to overeat at night, you may cut back on your food intake during the day. Maybe you skip breakfast or lunch, or maybe you only eat light meals in anticipation of your food-fest at night.
That is the problem.
When we deny ourselves calories during the day, our body recognizes we aren’t getting enough food and increases the production of ghrelin, which makes us hungrier. This is nothing but a vicious cycle. So how do we break this cycle?
Retrain your food cravings
Eat breakfast and lunch. Ensure both include a minimum of 400 food-based calories, inclusive of 25 grams of protein (liquid food and protein sources don't count in these minimums).
Have a 100- to 150-calorie, solid food-based snack between meals. Each should include at least seven grams of protein.
For the first week, have an additional 150-calorie, solid food-based snack that includes at least 10 grams of protein 30 to 60 minutes before your struggles used to begin. Once the week is done, you're welcome to skip this step, but if struggles recur, bring it back.
The theory is that if we even out our eating throughout the day, our bodies will automatically adjust and we won’t feel so much hunger at night. There are many other factors that come into play when we eat, but these ideas are certainly worth trying.
Do you tend to overeat? What strategies have you tried to help get your eating under control?