When trying to lose weight, it seems like there is always something getting in your way: hunger. Hunger has become a feeling that so many people don’t want to feel because unfortunately for many, hunger means eating or overeating which means weight gain.
There are so many diet programs and weight loss supplements on the market that promote appetite control as a marketing strategy, but the truth is, these products harm you more than help you.
So what are you to do when you feel hunger and you are trying to lose weight?RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
1. Don’t fight the hunger.
Hunger is a natural “signal” your body is giving you to tell you that you need energy; it’s there for a reason. So, rather than ignore or try to fight your hunger you should embrace and honor it by eating a well-balanced meal or snack.
The more you fight your hunger, the stronger the feeling will eventually become and the more likely you will be to overeat at your next meal.
2. Incorporate lean protein within each meal.
There is a growing body of evidence to show that eating a substantial amount of lean protein foods like lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs and legumes aids in appetite control and weight loss.
It’s been suggested that the most effective way to control your weight is by incorporating lean protein into your morning meal.
Start by adding a glass of fat free milk over a sugary beverage or incorporate eggs into your breakfast.
At lunchtime, add flaked fish or chicken chunks to your salad and include cottage cheese spread on celery sticks at snack time. Keep the protein at dinner lean, and mind your portion.
3. Eat an adequate amount of fiber and whole grains.
One of the reasons why dietary fiber has gotten such a good reputation is because of its ability to keep you fuller longer. Dietary fiber does two things: it slows down digestion and helps food move quickly through the digestive tract for healthy elimination.
Though dietary fiber is found in fruits and vegetables, it is also abundant in whole grains, which is why it is best to choose whole versus refined grain foods.
4. Don’t shy away from healthy fats.
Eating a moderate amount of healthy fats from foods like nuts, avocados, olive oil and fatty fish has been shown to influence the level of the hormone leptin, also known as the satiety hormone.
As a general rule of thumb, understand that “healthy” fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (which are found in the food listed above) and “unhealthy” fats include saturated and trans fats, which are found in red meat, processed and fast foods.
5. Add foods that have a naturally high water content to increase satiation.
This is a concept known as “volumetrics”, and it refers to increasing the volume of nutrientdense foods in your meals versus energy (calorie) dense foods by including a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Foods like green leafy vegetables, bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini, grapes, melon, peaches and citrus fruits are low in calories but still fill you up due to the high amount of water they contain.
Therefore, you can eat higher quantities of these foods and still keep your caloric intake under control.
The concept of fighting your hunger when you are trying to lose weight might seem logical to you. But in the long run, it will cause your hunger signals to atrophy so that you only hear them when you are ravenous.
When you begin eating from a ravenous state, your food choices are not as healthful and you tend to bypass your appropriate fullness level and you end up overeating.
Honoring your hunger and nourishing your body by including the foods listed above in your meals and snacks will help you lose weight without having to fight it.