It Starts with Food: Epiphany #2–Hormones

ex whole 30 horemonesLet’s get back to why I am doing this. I have had to read the chapter on hormones three times to fully take in the reaction my body has when ingesting nutrient-poor but incredibly rewarding {to my tongue and mind} food. The best example in this chapter is when a good day is compared with a poor day. In both days the person in question is attempting to make good choices but the small differences make a huge impact on whether they can’t get out of bed in the morning or are snacking after dinner on empty calories.

The breakdown of the day has the person {and I saw a lot of myself in it} having a breakfast that has carbs and sugar in it{for me it was my latte with sugar and sometimes a breakfast sandwich that had a bun}. This would give me a sugar rush that would ultimately have me crashing by 10am {it seriously happened almost at that exact hour}. I sometimes would make myself another coffee but I definitely had a snack, usually involving sugar. The issue is that my liver and muscles were full from breakfast so most of this morning snack was stored. My lunches were pretty good, but I sometimes had a desert with it. The sugar from the desert made my insulin and blood sugar levels, meaning in a few hours my insulin is low again, prompting me to want a snack. It also left me tired {yup} and foggy {I sometimes found it hard to concentrate}, which lead me to snack. Looking at it now, I see how much sugar was in every meal I had. This snack is no exception. Nuts with honey on it, sometimes a chocolate bar. And by now you should anticipate the rise in blood sugar and insulin levels. I was literally creating a roller coaster within my body. This trend continues to dinner, and because I love dessert, I had it almost every night. By about 9pm I was feeling peckish, why? Because my insulin levels were crashing and it was communicating to my body that I was hungry even though my liver and muscles were full from dinner.

ex good fatNow I know not everyone eats the way I did. I would always start out the day strong, or so I thought. Eggs. Veggies. Sugary soy latte. Little good fat. But by noon I would be having a little bit of dessert with lunch AND snacking on chocolate in the afternoon. I mean I might not have been having dairy or wheat, but I wasn’t holding back on the soy and the sugar! This had a huge impact on my night snacking. I had no idea why I was hungry so fast after dinner.

Here is what I have seen since I started my Whole 30 journey–I cut sugar out of my diet entirely the first 7 days, I didn’t even have fruit. Here is what I did have every meal:

  • 1 portion of protein
  • 2 portions of veggies
  • 2 portions of good fat

So what has the key to not snacking in-between meals? The good fat. The book told me it would be the key and I have had enough meals this week to confirm it. I had a few meals with less fat and I was finding I wanted to snack more in-between meals.

So the big lesson? Avoid foods that will make your blood sugar and insulin levels rise quickly and eat 2 servings of good fat every meal. This lesson has been instrumental for me week 1.