Categorized | Diet

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5 Tips For Taming Hunger

Do you find that you are always hungry? Is the hunger insatiable? This can be very frustrating especially when you’re trying to watch your weight or slim down. If you eat a meal, you want to feel full and satisfied and not hungry within an hour. It’s important to note that if you are trying to slim down and the leaner you get, you will experience some hunger. That dieting hunger is inevitable because it’s a survival mechanism. You are not dying of course, but your body is trying to preserve its body fat in case of a true famine. On the flip side, if you simply struggle with what feels like excessive hunger here are my top 5 tips for taming hunger:

Tip 1: Track Your Calories

Oftentimes people think they are consuming enough calories for their body but we’ve learned that most people are terrible at estimating calories. This tip is about using an app to track your calories so you understand exactly how much you are consuming. You won’t have to track your calories forever but it will start to give you a clearer picture until you figure this out. For weight maintenance you will want to eat in calories, your body weight multiplied by 14-16. This is a starting point, it’s important to monitor your weight and hunger levels. If you begin to lose weight eating those calories then increase them. Foods that are higher in calories are nuts and seeds so grabbing a small handful of those and eating them slowly can provide a boost. The fat in the nuts and seeds will also help with satiety.

Tip 2: Nutrients and Volume

If you are eating a somewhat restrictive diet whether on purpose to avoid certain foods or good groups or that is just how you eat, you could potentially be missing out on key nutrients. A hunger signal from the body is driving you to eat more in order to acquire what’s missing. Be sure to include lots of green vegetables and fruits to get those micro-nutrients in. Also, taking a greens powder mix daily will fill in those nutritional gaps. Alongside the nutrients think about volume. Volume foods are large in quantity, high in nutrients and low in calories. These volume foods will fill you up and keep you feeling full. Some great examples of volume foods are vegetables such as cucumbers, spaghetti squash, kale and zucchini. Berries are also great for providing nutrients and are low calories so have a bowl of sliced strawberries if you wish.

Tip 3: Drink Water

The part of your brain that interprets hunger and thirst signals is the same and signals sometimes get mixed up. When you are feeling hungry and you have recently ate, try reaching for a fresh glass of water instead of food. Oftentimes, having a big glass of water helps stave off hunger for another hour or two.

Tip 4: Sleep

When we get poor sleep, whether that be interrupted sleep or simply not enough hours it can affect our hunger levels for the next day. This lack of sleep will make you feel hungrier than normal and leptin levels go down. Leptin is our hormone that tells us we are full and to stop eating. Try working on creating healthy sleep habits in order to improve your sleep. Some tips for creating these habits are; set a schedule to lie down every night at the same time, dim the lights in the evening, remove all electronics and cell phones from your room, sleep in complete darkness, keep a journal beside your bed to write down any thoughts or ideas that pop up, and so forth.

Tip 5: Intermittent Fasting

Fasting (abstaining from food) has the ability to suppress appetite and reset leptin signals. A popular way to begin this protocol is to start with intermittent fasting. This is where you will fast for about 16 hours (mostly over night) and only eat your calories for the day in an 8 hour eating window. It depends on your lifestyle but it’s easiest to have an eating window later in the day to enjoy a big dinner. For example; fast from 8pm until 12pm the next day. Drink only water, black coffee or plain tea and eat your food between 12pm and 8pm. The eating window can shortened as you see fit as long as you consume all of your calories for the day in the eating window. By doing this, you will suppress your appetite throughout the day and feel full and satiated eating your calories in a shorter time frame.

Feeling hungry can be uncomfortable but do some personal investigative work and find out what the culprit could be. Once you know where an issue may be then you will feel confident in knowing how to correct it.

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