The truth about overeating

A brief history of my dieting shows that I've tried almost everything! The Diabetics Diet, Montignac Diet, Carbohydrates Addicts, Dr. Phil, Atkins, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, low-cal, all-natural, blah, blah blah! With all those diets, I have experienced two things that made success very unlikely: deprivation and cravings.

Those of us who have dieted know the feeling: "If I can just stick with this-- that brownie will not defeat me!! Must. Not. Eat!" Most diets focus on cutting things out. Less calories! No carbs! Low fat! Don't! Don't! Don't! It's all very intense and stressful. But food shouldn't be that way.

Food should be tasty, but we should be able to-- and want to-- stop eating when we've gotten enough nutrition. There's a hormone whose specific purpose is to tell us to stop eating. It's called Leptin and it sends messages from your cells to your brain to stop consumption. At least it's supposed to.

But here's a little tidbit of knowledge that most people don't know about: Leptin can be turned off! When people consume too much fructose or alcohol (both sugars, btw), Leptin stops working. There's no message to the brain, "Thanks, we're done now!" So, you keep eating until you feel your stomach is full. By then, you've probably eaten more than you need.

Once your Leptin is working, you get those "I'm satisfied" messages to your brain again and you don't sit around thinking about food and feeling deprived. True story. At least, true for me!

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