It’s not always easy to identify when you’re hungry. For each person, it’s different, so it’s extremely subjective. Sometimes, you get hungry when you see food, just because it looks good. Sometimes, you’re simply bored. To make matters worse, thirst can mask itself as hunger, too. There are both psychological and physiological cues that tell you that you’re hungry. Both are equally convincing and it’s tough to differentiate between the two. There are ways to fight hunger on a fat loss diet whether you’re really hungry or are merely receiving a psychological cue.
Make sure you eat more protein and healthy fat.
Cut the refined sugar and simple carbs if you want to get rid of that feeling of hunger. They send your blood sugar spiking, only to have a low a few hours later. Lean protein should be at the top of the list when you want to feel full longer. It’s better than fat to leave you feeling full and a lot lower in calories. Make sure your meal has a good source of lean protein, such as fish, skinless poultry, red meat or even eggs. Not only will it help prevent those blood sugar spikes and valleys, it also helps prevent muscle tissue loss. Eggs, cheese and salmon are examples of food that provide both protein and healthy fat. You’ll stay full longer.
Add more fiber to your diet.
Don’t drink vegetable or fruit juice, eat the vegetable or fruit. You’ll get both the sensation of chewing, which actually makes some people feel fuller, plus you’ll get the sensations that come with eating, such as the feeling of food in your mouth and the act of chewing. Fiber fill the stomach, which is one of the signals to the brain that you’re full. It also stays in the stomach longer, keeping you full longer. Fresh fruits and vegetables are excellent ways to get fiber.
That’s right, exercise. Boredom can actually make you feel hungry. Your mind starts to wander and suddenly, the thought of a soft serve ice cream cone to use as a dip for fries sounds like a great idea. Exercise can leave you feeling satisfied and more relaxed. It also can leave you feeling hungry, so it can be a double-edged sword. However, if you exercise, you’ve taken a step toward a healthier thinner you, so why mess that up by eating something fattening. Exercise can also stimulate the brain to make more peptide YY that leaves you feeling full and decrease ghrelin that stimulates your desire to eat.
- Drink more water. Sipping water gives you something to do for that hand-to-mouth action, but also can help if you’re dehydrated, which can disguise itself as hunger. Drink a glass of water before each meal to boost that feeling of fullness.
- Have healthy snacks ready and eat smaller meals more often. I have a very thin client that eats constantly. It’s always healthy, like fresh veggies, fruit and nuts. She’s never hungry and never gains weight.
- Chew, chew, chew. Eat your food slowly. Actually taste it. Research shows that the slower you eat, the less you need to eat to feel satisfied.
- Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep is the enemy of losing weight. It slows you down and turns you into an idiot in front of the candy counter at the gas station or grocery. Catch those ZZZs and you’ll be able to resist.