Portion sizes, a fast lifestyle, processed foods, refined sugars, stress and depression are all factors that can lead to overeating.
When you wake up in the morning, you are meant to feel good. You are not meant to feel groggy or guilty about all the things you ate the previous day. You’re meant to have energy and a zest for life – but the reality is that many people don’t feel this way.
During the holidays we are bound to eat more than usual and I wouldn’t feel too bad about it. That said, you don’t want to overeat on a regular basis as it can negatively impact your health.
The fact of the matter is that we don’t need to eat that much during the day. I am not talking about counting calories as I don’t believe in this, I am talking about nourishing your body and keeping your blood sugar levels balanced. If you can control your blood sugar levels first thing in the morning, it will make a world of difference to your eating behaviour for the rest of the day.
Research shows that if people don’t raise their blood sugar levels first thing in the morning, they can:
- Keep cravings under control.
- Eat less throughout the day.
- Feel better mentally.
To get you started, start your day with a savoury meal.
To get you started, start your day with a savoury meal…
Instead of starting the day with sweet breakfast, like a banana and date-laden smoothie or porridge/toast with honey, simply change your breakfast to a savoury one.
Examples of a healthy savoury breakfast include:
- Boiled or poached eggs and vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, baby spinach or cooked kale and a drizzle of healthy fat like olive oil.
- Scrambled eggs, avocado, top with bitter herbs and greens like watercress, rocket and baby spinach, then drizzle with good fat like olive oil.
- Chia pudding with nut milk or oats with lots of cinnamon, seeds, nut milk and berries.
- A super smoothie with collagen or plant-based protein powder, avocado or frozen banana, fresh berries, cacao nibs, sprinkle with cinnamon hemp/pumpkin seeds.
- A Mediterranean breakfast, ideal for summer, of sliced cucumbers, broccoli, tomatoes, hummus, olives, a hard-boiled egg, fresh parsley and watercress.
- A Shakshuka breakfast of eggs poached in a base of tomatoes, mixed peppers, olive oil, garlic, paprika and salt. It works well as a family or entertaining brunch, and if you want to you can scoop up the remains with quality sourdough bread.
The ideal order for eating food
Food combinations also make a massive difference to getting the balance of blood sugar levels, digestion, satiation and nutrient absorption just right. When planning your meal (and other meals for the day) this is the ideal order in which to eat your food:
- Start with vegetables as they contain fibre which is important for digestive health. They also help coat the intestine to reduce the absorption of glucose from starches and sugars, and they keep the digestive tract flowing.
- Move on to protein and fats, as eating this before starches slows the rate in how the food passes from the stomach to the intestine.
- Starches and sugar last because whenever you’re going to have sugar or starch, you should always try to pair it with a fat or protein for your blood sugar to remain stable.
Berberine and ACV
Berberine, together with Apple Cider Vinegar, help lower blood sugar levels. I recommend taking this mixture 30 minutes before meals.
I also understand that there is a mental component to overeating, especially in women and especially in times of stress. For women, it is important to understand that fluctuating hormones are often associated with cravings and emotional eating, so it is important to get to know your biological cycle so you won’t beat yourself up should you fall off the bandwagon. Take a read through my blog, SELF-SABOTAGE: UNDERSTANDING WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO to help you along the way.
In addition, when we are feeling anxious or stressed, we often reach for food for comfort. But understand that anxiety and feelings of stress are often the result of blood sugar imbalances.
Harnessing mental health through nutrition is very important and it is a passion of mine. If one wants to feel good mentally, you need to look at your blood sugars. Changes in blood sugar levels affect the mood and mental status – lows, highs and irritability.
Simply put, if the only thing you do is control your blood sugar levels, you will feel less hungry, have fewer cravings and feel better for it. Treat nutrition as a skill set, it is the most powerful health tool you have.
Have a happy, blessed and healthy season!
Much love x