There are both physical and psychological reasons your appetite could change even when it seems your eating and exercise routine have not. First, check the calendar: Hunger can come and go with your menstrual cycle. The week before your period, your levels of progesterone peak, and along with that often comes a tendency to overeat; your metabolism speeds up a bit around this time, too.

Are you taking any new medications? Certain prescription drugs can amp up appetite. Your hunger could also be a side effect of a medical condition, such as a thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, or depression. If you’re concerned about your heightened hunger and it’s been going on for weeks, it’s worth discussing it with your doctor, especially if you don’t think stress is at play. In the small chance that a health issue is actually behind the appetite change, it’s (of course) important to get it diagnosed as early as you can.

How to Reprogram Your Appetite to Crave Healthy Foods

Exercise dampens your appetite

A good sweat session works up an appetite, the thinking goes. But recent research shows that exercise may actually make you less likely to overeat. A study from the U.K. found that women who ran on a treadmill for 90 minutes had lower levels of hunger-inducing ghrelin and higher levels of appetite-suppressing peptide YY. The opposite was true for women who achieved the same calorie deficit by eating less. Later that day, when the dieters were offered a buffet meal, they ate roughly a third more than the exercisers. “If you’re engaging in vigorous exercise because you’re training for a marathon, then, yes, you will feel famished,” says Pamela Peeke, MD, clinical assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and author of The Hunger Fix. But that won’t happen after a dance class, she assures, in which you burn about 350 calories.

emotional-eating

If your recent appetite surge doesn’t seem to track with your time of the month, it might be due to ongoing stress or anxiety. While feeling overwhelmed does tend to dampen appetite in the short term for many people, the opposite can happen over time. The constant grind of stress may trigger a rise in the hormone cortisol, which, in turn, helps make insulin levels go up and blood sugar drop (enter the out-of-control junk food cravings).

Are you taking any new medications? Certain prescription drugs can amp up appetite. Your hunger could also be a side effect of a medical condition, such as a thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, or depression. If you’re concerned about your heightened hunger and it’s been going on for weeks, it’s worth discussing it with your doctor, especially if you don’t think stress is at play. In the small chance that a health issue is actually behind the appetite change, it’s (of course) important to get it diagnosed as early as you can.

You get those menstrual munchies for a reason

Hey, you, sitting on your couch devouring a bag of salt-and-vinegar chips: Yes, you can fault your hormones. There’s bona fide research to explain PMS-related bingeing. Women are more likely to overeat before their period, when their progesterone levels are peaking and their feelings of body dissatisfaction are highest, suggests a study from Michigan State University. Ever wondered why it seems easier to stick to your diet midcycle? Some research suggests that estrogen, which peaks before ovulation, acts as an appetite suppressant.

How to curb PMS cravings

Have small, frequent snacks throughout the day. “It’s important to eat regularly so you never get too hungry,” says Klump, “and don’t avoid sugar or high-fat goods completely; it will increase your cravings for them.”

Rewire PMS cravings: Certain vitamins and nutrients can help control PMS cravings. Some experts recommend getting 200 to 300 milligrams of magnesium and 100 to 200 milligrams of B vitamins.

Late-night snacking

What it means: You may be overtired. Hunger-controlling hormones, like ghrelin, leptin, and cortisol, can all be affected by lack of sleep, says behavioral therapist Robin Frutchey: “If there’s an imbalance, it can change your satiety levels, causing you to crave carbs.” Or you might just be bored at night, adds May, “looking to reward yourself after folding laundry—or you want a treat while you watch a TV show.”

To indulge late-night snacking: The problem with eating too close to bedtime is that it can mess with digestion and disrupt your sleep. If the hunger is real, Kroff proposes having a small liquid snack that will satiate without keeping you up. Her go-to: a cup of warm unsweetened cashew milk with cinnamon and clove.

stop-emotional-eating-with-these-5-tips

For all cravings, try the 30-minute rule

Most cravings pass after about 15 to 30 minutes, explains Robin Frutchey, a behavioral therapist at Johns Hopkins Weight Management center, so wait them out—even set a timer. “Cravings come almost in a wave, and most people give in right before the peak,” she says. “If you visualize getting over the peak, you can push through.” Go for a walk: One U.K. study found that taking a brisk 15-minute jaunt reduced cravings for high-calorie foods afterward.

Source: health.com

Facebook Comments