Why do we overeat? We have all been guilty of this at some point. Either we are mindlessly munching on a bag of pretzels or popcorn during a television marathon or eating a second helping of a meal when the first one was enough. Besides boredom, why else are we reaching for a snack when we should feel full? Some of it is pure habit and other triggers have to do with our body’s signals.
1) Lack of rest stimulates fake hunger pangs. Energy deficiency from lack of sleep makes us want to nourish our bodies. When you are thirsty or dehydrated you tend to overeat. Making sure to get at least eight hours of sleep each night can help to avoid the overeating pitfalls.
2) A lot of people misinterpret the feeling of thirst for a feeling of hunger. The symptoms of dehydration (low energy and sleepiness) are very similar to those of being overly hungry. Drinking a glass of water before eating and waiting ten minutes could save you hundreds of calories.
3) Maybe you just worked out and after a strenuous exercise session, you feel ravenous. Your body needs a specific type of nourishment, not just empty calories. Try eating grilled chicken, other lean meats or a protein shake to replenish your muscles. Ingesting protein after a strenuous workout will to help your body recover faster and ward off hunger longer.
4) You’ve had a tough day or tough week. When people are stressed out, they are more likely to turn to high-fat, salty or sugary foods. These comfort foods may taste good going down but this emotional eating is hurting your body. Stress not only causes you to overeat but it makes you eat foods that are bad for you. Find another way to de-stress.
Appetite control is a product of decision making. It’s as simple as that. Before reaching for foods that you know you shouldn’t be eating, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry”, “What am I about to eat? Do I really want to eat this?”
This is a delicious recipe that is easy to make and is very filling. I sometimes skip my morning snack after eating these pancakes for breakfast. I used 2 tablespoons of 1% cottage cheese in this recipe. If you are a vegan, a vegetarian who does not eat dairy or if you follow a Paleo diet or a gluten-free diet- substitute another ingredient for the dairy. I also use 1/2 cup of oatmeal in this recipe. If you follow a Paleo diet or gluten-free diet, then substitute another ingredient instead.
I understand that there are differing views as to the ingestion of dairy. I understand that there is a school of thought in the medical community who believe that dairy is the devil incarnate. I also understand that there there are medical providers, nutritionists and dietitians who believe that a certain amount of dairy in a diet is acceptable. My blog is not a thesis statement where I am obliged to address the pros and cons of every post. I usually issue a disclaimer that if you follow a Paleo diet then you do not eat this ingredient or substitute that instead. However, it is my opinion that the food posts and recipes which I have posted on my blog are not so inherently controversial- the food debates which can stem from one of my posts are more akin to differences in opinions- it’s not like I said that nicotine is good for you.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
1/2 cup oatmeal (regular old fashioned, not instant)
1/3 cup egg beaters or 1 extra large egg
2 tablespoons 1% cottage cheese
1 small sweet potato (1/2 of a medium or 1/3 of a large)- cooked and mashed
1 scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup of water or so- until batter becomes smooth
1 tablespoon nutmeg or cinnamon
To mash the sweet potato- peel and cut it in half, place into a saucepan filled with water, bring to a boil, uncovered. Once boiling, cover the pot and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Then mash the sweet potato and put into blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Drop batter into frying pan sprayed with olive oil spray. Once pancakes start to lightly bubble, gently lift with a spatula and if it looks cooked, turn it over. Enjoy!