Life TherapyTM
Psychotherapy & Coaching + Mindfulness & Meditation

Why am I always hungry?

This is a contribution by Guest Blogger Sara Eddison.
I used to eat lots and lots of snacks. It slowly got to a point where I would freak out if I left the house without a little snack in my mouth, in my hand, and in my purse. For instance, if I knew we were going out to dinner in an hour, I would have a snack. My thoughts were, “Who knows, it could be two hours before we are sitting down to eat!” I feared the irritability and anxiety I felt if I wasn’t sure when I would eat next, so I made sure I was always eating.
My friends knew about my cranky moods, so they would remind me to eat something before we left the house. And friends who didn’t know about my blood sugar roller coaster issue, well, I always had a little snack for them, too.
I considered this healthy. Snacks consistent of granola bars, apples, almonds, carrots, or raisins. Or peanut butter. Oh don’t get me started on my addiction to peanut butter. There was a moment I went through a 26 oz jar of organic crunchy peanut butter in possibly in three sittings. When I sat there and realized that my jaw hurt and my stomach was full but my brain was on “must-have mode”, I knew there was a problem.
Now, as a holistic nutritionist, I started to connect the dots. These were cravings for energy. Fruit was the simple sugar I was seeking for fast energy and the peanut butter for caloric energy. Something more was awry and my body wasn’t using this energy optimally. Thankfully, I was in school at Bauman College to learn how to improve their diets and lifestyles. I was learning about nutrient dense foods and preparing foods for enhanced digestion. It changed my life.
A diet filled with nutrient-dense foods is amazing because I can give my body what it needs. I learned that cravings for sugar and fat are the body saying that you need more high quality protein and high quality fat. Now I enjoy spoonfuls of coconut oil with my eggs and grass-fed meat throughout the day. I am sure to load up with fresh leafy greens like kale and chard, cultured vegetables like cabbage and carrots in the form of kimchee, and whatever is organic and seasonal at the farmer’s market.
My energy and focus is high, my immune system can fight anything, and I can leave the house without a stimulant, snack, or other sugary desire. I do respect my need to eat meals at regular times but I rarely go hungry and I’m always happy!
The best part is that I work hard to show my clients how they can do the exact same thing. They come to me with a “healthy” diet, whatever that term means to them, but with symptoms of fatigue even after a good night’s sleep, struggling with PMS (yes, read PMS cramps are not normal!), or other mood related concerns that do not have to be part of our daily lives.
I introduce the idea that it is not a one-size-fits-all world out there like make diets and pyramids have led us to think. Our bodies change and need everything all the time. From carbohydrates to protein to fat and all the vitamins and minerals in between.
Here’s my primary advice to those who find themselves always a little hungry, eat lots snacks, hooked on coffee, crave sugars or other stimulants or might swear they have a “healthy” diet:

  1. Eat breakfast: Don’t skip breakfast and make sure that it is power-packed with vegetables, protein and fat. One great idea is to roll up some wild salmon with a hefty serving of arugula in a sushi nori wrapper. Simple. Done. You can even take it to work.
  2. Increase your healthy fats: Fats are crucial for the brain to keep chugging along. Whole fat dairy from organic sources, chicken with the skin, sardines, salmon, and  coconut oil in your sauté pan or raw cookies will stabilize mood swings, hunger, and absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K!
  3. Get your mineral levels tested: I have found this to be one of the most simple, least invasive and valuable tests. It’s also one of the most inexpensive. You submit snips of hair from your head to a lab and in return, you have access to a window of information regarding your metabolic rate, energy levels, immune system strength, hormone regulating gland activity, and sugar/carbohydrate tolerance! Then you can work with a holistic nutritionist to determine what foods are going to support your body’s constitution.

Be well!

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