Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Filling the Empty Space- With Cheese

Sometimes it feels like the most powerful driving force in my life is my appetite, especially after 3PM.  I asked "Professor Google"  why this is, and I found some helpful information about how insulin and leptin effect hunger signals.  In a nutshell, insulin is a storage hormone which allows glucose to get into muscle and fat cells.  If you've ever trained in a gym you probably know that some bodybuilders tout carb/protein combos like chocolate milk to help muscles grow after training.

Leptin on the other hand signals the brain to tell us to stop eating.  It's the "You've had enough" hormone.  The only problem is, insulin prevents leptin from delivering its message to the brain.  Two theories on why are one: that insulin keeps leptin from crossing the blood brain barrier, and two: insulin blocks leptin receptors in the brain.

The science is fascinating, but I'm a personal trainer with a theatre degree.  My emphasis is on Action.  Knowing insulin's effect on hunger, what do we do to manage its hold over our appetites?

I've been posting menus lately, and it must be pretty obvious that I've cut sweet and starchy carbs to a bare minimum in my eating plan.  Going low carb simply soothes the savage beast that is my appetite.
(By the way, the campaign to eliminate artificial sweetener is going well.  This is day three, and I miss my gum and Cherry Coke Zero less and less.)  That being said, I'm still experiencing these mad periods of hunger at around 3PM, and again when I get home from teaching Zumba.  How do I ease this hunger?  With cheese.  Rich, tangy, calorie dense cheese.

What is going on?  Further digging has brought up the fact that caffeine and stress trigger insulin release just as effectively a chocolate milk.

What am I going to do about it?

I'm reaching for the cheese because it's fast, and I don't have better alternatives ready to go.  So in the interests of preparation, I'm going to cook up some organic chicken and grass fed ground bison today.  I'm also join to make sure the lettuce in the fridge is washed and ready to go, and that I've got plenty of cooked and raw vegetables on hand.

The habit of preparation is vital no matter what is on your best menu.  I know a woman who lost 40 pound on Weight Watchers, and she said the secret to her success was being able to eat fruit whenever she got hungry.  I suspect she didn't have to drive to the store whenever the hunger pangs hit.

Today, I'm going to prepare for success, and leave the cheese alone.




Breakfast:  Coffee with cream, Lippman shake (Remember the cleanse?  I've got plenty of shakes left over.)

Lunch: Large mixed salad with olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing, 1 4oz chicken thighs, 1C cauliflower.

Snack: Lippman shake

Dinner: 4 oz grass fed beef, mixed salad with dressing as above, 1C broccoli.
8 glasses of water.