It’s very common to hear that the best diet is the one you can stick to, and this phrase is correct. To make this happen a diet plan has to be customized toward your needs.
The Fundamentals of A Good Diet:
– It allows you to stay in a prolonged caloric deficit
– You’re getting about 1 gram per lbs of lean body mass in protein per day
– You consume minimally processed foods most of the time
– You get 5-6 servings of vegetables per day (servings is a fist size) + 2-3 servings of fruit
– The diet allows for flexibility and fits your lifestyle
A very interested approach on the topic of over-eating was researched by obesity scientists from Oxford and Cambridge. They came up with 3 different eating behavior types based on a variety of factors.
Over 3 months, they put 75 dieters through a series of tests and monitored them to find out why they eat too much.
They were divided in 3 groups, each based on different reasons for over eating:
1 – Feasters
When it comes to feasters they came to the conclusion that these people produce less of a gut hormone which tells them when to stop eating. Basically, it takes them longer to realize when they are full. Once they start eating it’s hard to stop.
The solution for feasters would be a diet that makes them feel full for as long as possible.
A high protein definitely helped with this. Foods with a high satiety index with the addition of plenty of vegetables to each meal, thus increasing the volume of the meal is also recommended.
2 – Constant Cravers
For the people they hypothesized that they have “hungry” genes. Essentially their brain is tricked that fat stores need to be replenished all the time.
The body manipulates Leptin and ghrelin (hormones that play a key role in regulating hunger & satiety) constantly to leave the dieter constantly not knowing if they are actually hungry or just feeling a craving.
“Constant cravers” seems to prefer the combination of sugar, fat and salt which is well known for its palatability. In the particular study the way they “solved” the problem was put them on a 5:2 intermittent fasting diet.
In addition to the intermittent fasting technique, these participants would eat 5 days normal and then 2 days of only 800 kcal.
3 – Emotional Eaters
People in this group tend to eat more as a response to negative feelings, such as unhappiness or stress. This sort of behavior easily turns into habits that are hard to break. Every time you indulge you re-enforce the habit and the behavior. It becomes a vicious cycle.
For this group they found that being a part of an online support group massively encouraged them to stick to their diets because of the accountability factor.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is also a useful tool to help thoughts associated with emotional eating. It is a talking therapy method that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.
It is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems.
On top of that I would recommend daily meditation as a great tool to help deal with anxiety and emotional stress.
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