Tag Archives: over eating

Your friends might be making you fat?

Have you ever given a thought to the fact that while eating out with friends you generally order what the majority of them are ordering, even though the food ordered might be unhealthy?

According to a new study from the University of Illinois, “Peer pressure may be to blame for your lack of control when ordering out.” Human behavior is being guided by a perceived group norm, so the implicit cultural beliefs make you decide ahead.

Researches from Harvard Medical School and the University of California found that when one individual becomes obese, the chance that his or her friend will become obese increases by 57%. Other members of people’s “social network” were also affected: their siblings’ risk increased by 40% and their spouses’ by 37%.

Eating is a social experience. For some of us it’s the only activity we do with our friends. For whatever occasion, a birthday celebration or either you lost a job or no matter what the crisis, your most supportive relationship turns you into a situation to eat and eat more. Over-drinking and over-eating are the most common ways to cope when you’re under stress.

Obesity is socially contagious. It is spread through the transmission of behavior and social norms. People within a social network often get engaged in unavoidable health impacting behavior, such as weekend parties with too much wine and cheese or buffet lunches of a variety of unhealthy foods or binge drinking parties. These parties or social norms may result in weight gain, especially if they become habits. Even more importantly, within a social network the comparison factors play an important role.

If unhealthy behavior is contagious, so is healthy behavior. Instead of going along with your friends’ unhealthy habits, make them get on the path to a healthy lifestyle. If this happens, your friends’ and you can manage to influence many others. Here are some ideas to follow so that your healthy habits are contagious to your friends and family:
1] Join a gym, yoga, aerobics, or swimming classes with a buddy. Join kickboxing or zumba if you want something more interesting.
2] Choose social activities that are physically active like evening walks with a friend, indoor rock climbing, bicycling, etc.
3] For stress or depression, exercise. Exercise is a potent weapon against depression.
4] Eat slowly and savor your food. Watch your portions at every meal.
5] Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.
6] Select healthy food options when eating out. You don’t always have to eat unhealthy when eating out.

Staying healthy and fit is a personal choice. And if you make an effort to take the path of health, you might benefit people around you, by encouraging them to do so too.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Foods that Make You Hungrier

Do you feel hungry even after a large meal? If this happens to you regularly, then you might want to check what you are eating. Quite often, it the food you eat that is responsible for post meal/snack hunger. Usually, natural whole foods make you feel fuller and satisfied, while processed and junk foods keep you craving for more. Here are 6 foods that make you feel hungrier:

1. Commercially available Chinese food (Specifically the type available in India and fast food)

Those who crave for Chinese food even after a big meal of Chinese food are doing so because of two reasons. One, the food contains specific types of carbohydrates which are usually high on the glycemic index and the body needs to produce additional insulin to digest this food, which causes the blood sugar to fall and increases your hunger. And secondly, these foods basically contain something called MSG, a chemical that provides flavor and makes food tasty. This result in continued cravings even after the flavor leaves the taste buds.

2. Pizzas / Burgers

Fast foods are highly processed foods and high in sodium. These foods, when ingested cause an increase of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and to neutralize the acid, the stomach sends a signal to the brain to eat more. Hence it becomes a vicious cycle.

3. Dark chocolates

Dark chocolates contain L-arginine (a vasodilator) and phenylethylamine, which makes you feel happy and the truth is that both sweet as well salty snacks are very hard to put down. Dark chocolate contains unhealthy fats, which is also another reason why we tend to keep eating more.

4. Alcohol

When we consume alcohol, it stimulates our hypothalamus which regulates things such as body temperature, circadian rhythms, and most importantly hunger. Alcohol is also high on the glycemic index, which leads to cravings for unhealthy food.

5. Artificial sweeteners

When we consume artificial sweetener, the brain keeps on waiting for the real calories to come. This causes a drop in blood sugar which triggers hunger and cravings for more food. People are not metabolically satisfied after consuming artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are known to rapidly stimulate the release of insulin and Leptin hormones that are involved with satiety and fat storage, and may therefore lead to weight gain.

6. Bakery products

Bakery products are processed and refined carbohydrates that contain high-fructose corn syrups that cause a spike in blood sugar and lower the Leptin hormone which leads you to crave more of those foods.

Nutritionally, you should make healthy changes in your regular dietary pattern like starting meals with salads, replacing alcoholic beverages with water, eating your meals slowly and keeping your portions in control.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

How to Control Overeating

Are you tired of your binge eating habit? Do you find yourself giving into temptation to gorge down delicious food and before you can control its too late and the damage of consuming excessive calories is already done. Why do we find ourselves making the same mistake over and over again and how can you salvage the situation and control overeating in future.

Binge Eating (Cr/freedigital)

The need to obsessively over eat is mostly triggered by emotional factors. Either you are too sad, too happy, too tired or simply bored when you get this intense urge to eat. Some studies even blame our ancestors for our compulsive binging behaviour. According to them our primal ancestors were hunters and gatherers and went without food for long periods, so once they found it they would eat everything they could get their hands on.  The latest research suggests that starving leads to overeating  and is also responsible for slowing down of metabolism. This leads to storing of food in our bellies which is linked to heart diseases and acquiring diabetes type 2.

A binging outburst can set you back to a minimum of 1000 calories per meal and above your daily calorie intake. This means that you could be potentially adding upto1 kg each time you have 2 bags of chips while just chilling infront of the TV! (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

How to Control In-between Meal Snacking

We ensure that most of our meals are healthy. The problem comes when we crave food in between meals. If you feel hungry so often then you certainly need to watch out as eating more  food whether healthy or junk leads to weight gain.

Untimely Meal (Cr/freedigital)

The biggest trouble with in between snacking is that one craves something that is satisfying and ready to eat. Unfortunately we dont find having salads or fruits as snacks satisfying enough. While junk food or fattening foods manage to hit the spot, instantly satisfying the hunger pang. Gradually these small food breaks stop having the same satiating effect. After sometime the portion size increases  giving way to more food cravings and constant need to eat something Most of the times this snacking is psychological, as in we condition ourselves to feeling hungry even after having proper meals. Here are some reasons and tips to keep the hunger pangs in control, making you eat less.

Untimely Meals: Not having meals on time is a big factor in making you feel hungry at odd times . The body follows no patterns and gets used to giving a call at random times which pushes us to eat more than a usual meal. Time your meals and eat food with high fiber and protein to keep you feeling fuller.

Breakfast: People who don’t have a balanced and satisfying breakfast often find themselves bingeing on odd time. The unsatisfaction of the previous meal  makes the mind want for more and eating unhealthy. Have a good nutritious breakfast with satisfying food. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo