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Drastic or too-strict diets can trigger mood swings, headaches, physical and mental fatigue, irritability, digestive upset, and brain fog. Too few calories and too little carbs seem to be the biggest culprits.
Build in an extra snack, increasing portions, or adding back some fruit. To succeed, take a Goldilocks approach – not too little, not too much, just right.
Chronic hunger generally indicates that your diet is imbalanced or inadequate, which can cause your body to conserve energy and resist weight loss.
Include healthy foods that boost satiety and keep you fuller longer, namely those high in lean protein (organic eggs, poultry, fish, beans and lentils), fiber (fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, lentils), and good fat (avocado, nuts, seeds, and extra virgin olive and coconut oils).
Trying to be "perfect" week after week typically leads to feelings of deprivation, resentment, even anger or depression, and culminates in either binge eating, or diet abandonment.
Ditch the "all or nothing" mentality. In that mindset, one small diet deviation triggers thoughts like, "Well, I blew it, I might as well go all out!" which keeps you stuck. Allow yourself small splurges in ways that reduce the chance of overeating.
One recent study found that friends who eat together consume more food than those paired with strangers, and friends give each other "permission" to overeat.
Break the eating-as-entertainment pattern. Rather than scheduling social time around happy hour and dinners out, mix things up. Go out dancing and volunteer to be the designated driver, so you can sip on H2O all evening.
We're practically programmed from birth to use food emotionally. We bond and celebrate over meals, use food to show our affection, bring others food in times of crisis, and use food as a means of comfort.
When you're really sad, angry, or scared, and you know that eating ice cream is going to make you feel better right now, it's easy to push away thoughts about how you'll feel tomorrow. You can change that pattern.
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