While dieters might feel great about taking steps towards good health, it can be daunting to make such a big lifestyle adjustment. For individuals who love food, large portions, and eating whatever and whenever they please, dieting becomes the ultimate test of willpower.
If you happen to be one of these individuals, don’t give up! It IS possible to control hunger while dieting! By doing these five simple things you’ll be well on your way to reaching your goals. Best of all, you won’t be starving yourself and you’ll feel better than ever!
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1) Just Add Protein
Many people who diet have the best of intentions but go about it in the wrong way. They think that in order to lose weight they must consume less calories. While this is true, consuming less calories will not work if you’re simply cutting portion sizes.
This is the recipe for hunger and sabotage. You don’t necessarily need to eat a lot less food just because you’re on a diet; choose foods that are high in nutrition and take longer to digest. When it comes to curbing your hunger, protein is your new best friend.
Your body takes longer to digest protein rich foods than any others, therefore you have a much longer time span until you begin to feel hungry again. To reap its full benefits, make sure you are getting plenty of protein with your breakfast.
You’ll have a more reasonable appetite for the rest of the day. Popular protein foods include eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, beans, tofu, nuts and of course poultry, lean meats, and fish. Make sure you are including a protein with each main meal.
2) Grain Is Good
While it might not be a great idea to scarf loaves of white bread if you’re on a diet, you do not have to give up all bread and pasta. Make sure they are made with whole grains and this will actually help curb your hunger. This is because whole grains are an excellent source of fiber – insoluble fiber to be more specific.
While your body can’t actually absorb insoluble fiber, the fiber sure can absorb water – leaving you with a full and happy stomach. Besides whole wheat bread and pasta, whole grains come in many delicious forms. Popcorn, oatmeal, and most varieties of rice fall into this category as well as buckwheat, barley, farro, and corn.
These whole grains foods often have more complex flavors and textures than their more processed and refined cousins; if you’re not already incorporating them into your diet you’ll wonder what took you so long.
3) Eat The Rainbow
We’re not taking about Skittles, but eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Not only are they loaded with almost all vitamins you can possibly think of, but they are your other best friend when it comes to helping you curb hunger while dieting.
Fruits and vegetables also contain fiber, both insoluble (think skins, stems, and seeds) and soluble (the part your body absorbs). Soluble fiber actually digests as a sort of a thick goo in your stomach. It takes longer to empty so you feel full.
Many people rave about their juicing machines. While they may create delicious concoctions that are full of vitamins, they are not getting the full goodness of the fruits and vegetables. Trying this as a snack or meal replacement will just lead to hunger sooner because the fiber is missing.
It’s best to just eat the fruit or vegetable if you really want to satisfy your appetite. Best of all, Mother Nature took a lot of the guesswork out of choosing which fruits and vegetables to eat. Try to eat as many different colors as you can to get the most balanced variety of nutrients.
4) Get Moving
While certain foods can help you to feel full longer, exercise can also help in this process. Won’t exercise make you work up an appetite? Not exactly. The answer to this actually might vary a little from person to person, but often those who possess faster metabolisms will get hungrier after a workout.
What regular exercise can do is make you want to eat more of those foods that help keep you full longer. Protein is an important component of all your cells and is necessary for repairing and building your muscles. To follow an exercise program, you must be able to do the exercise routines for consecutive days in a row. If you become too sore or weak that you can’t continue and have to take too long of a break, you might end up sabotaging your program and diet.
If you exercise regularly (and vigorously enough that your body feels challenged) you will find that you will start craving protein, whole grains, and vegetables. Your body knows that it performs and feels best with this kind of fuel.
The possibilities are pretty endless here; choose a form of exercise you enjoy and make sure you workout at least 4-5 days a week. It will also do wonders for your brain chemistry and overall attitude, so that you’ll feel more motivated and positive.
5) Food Is Your Friend
What happens if you get hungry while you’re on a diet? Have a snack! The longer you wait, you actually put your body into a sort of panic mode. You’ll start craving sweets and refined carbohydrates because your body will want what it can digest the quickest.
Unfortunately for you if you give into that temptation you’ll soon be hungry again and more likely to really chow down. When you start to feel hungry, have some fruit and yogurt, some almonds, banana with peanut butter, or some whole grain pita with fresh hummus.
Have your healthy snacks readily available. It may seem like you’re eating more, but you’re actually not. Imagine how much more food you’d consume if you tried to ignore your hunger!
Dieting can take a lot of effort and hard work, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer. Just by using these five simple tricks, your hunger will be under control, but your stomach and spirit will still feel full.