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How Eating a Bigger Lunch Can Help Regulate Your Hunger



Over the years, I discovered a common denominator in women who regularly overeat and binge at night. It’s something many of us do thinking it can’t be that bad…


But as it turns out, trying to “save calories” throughout the day is one of the main triggers for excessive hunger in the evening hours. Even if you thought you had a perfectly balanced dinner.


Very often, clients will tell me they are just not hungry at breakfast and/or lunch, this is why they aren’t eating much (if anything). And is true that when our hunger is dysregulated, we may not feel hungry, even though our bodies do need nourishment to perform all the body functions necessary to sustain us throughout the day.


There are 3 key reasons why under-eating or skipping lunch increases the likelihood of nighttime eating & bingeing:


1.     Research shows our peak metabolic window happens between 12 noon and 13:30 pm: this means, lunch time is biologically our prime time to digest and absorb nutrients from food. When our metabolic needs are not addressed, we’re much more likely to instinctually try to “catch up” later on the day.


2.     Undereating at lunch time can set us up on the blood sugar rollercoaster: contrary to this, eating enough food at lunch time helps maintain blood sugar levels stable throughout the afternoon and into the evening hours, reducing cravings and the urge for extra food.


3.     A study found that participants who ate LESS than 40% their daily calories before 3pm showed a higher incidence of nighttime overeating & bingeing: although this is related to the 2 previous points also, the study referenced specifically the spike of hormones such as cortisol and insulin.Under-eating and restrictive eating (whether intentional or not) is extremely stressful to our body and it leads to abrupt changes in hormone levels.

Especially hunger regulating hormones such as leptin, ghrelin, insulin, cortisol and adrenaline, which have long been recognized as major triggers for overeating and bingeing.


On the flip side, eating balanced meals throughout the day, helps us stabilize our hunger.It may take some time, but our bodies are incredibly resilient and capable of re-balancing.


Look for lunches that contains fiber (found in complex carbohydrates), protein and healthy fats.


Here’s 3 of my favorite lunch options:


·     Stir-fry veggies & shrimp (or chicken) on a bed of rice


·     Ground turkey chili with loads of veggies + side bowl of quinoa


·     Sourdough avocado toast with eggs, tomatoes and micro-greens


Happy lunch!


Pamela

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