How to lose weight without feeling hungry
Do you find it difficult to change your diet simply because you just get so hungry? I often hear my patients describing symptoms of extreme hunger whenever they try to cut down their portions or limit their snacks. This makes it almost impossible for them to make the changes they need to make, and they feel hopeless. This blog contains some healthy eating tips to help tackle hunger!
It sounds obvious but eating regular meals is essential. Some people say they do not feel hungry in the morning, so they skip breakfast, but then come lunch time they are ravenous! They then feel hungry for the remainder of the day and seem to be playing ‘catch up’. We are not always good at recognising our hunger cues so look out for the subtle signs. Remember that skipping meals only causes a reduction to metabolism which is counterproductive if you are trying to lose weight. Start the day right with a healthy breakfast, for example wholegrain toast or cereal with a source of protein and a portion of fruit. Soon enough, your body will become conditioned to expect food in the morning, this then triggers hunger and starts a healthier rhythm for the remainder of the day.
Try not to go ‘cold turkey’ when reducing your portion sizes. If you are used to eating a plateful of rice, then suddenly reduce to a quarter of the plate, there is no wonder your stomach will not feel full! Reduce portions step-by-step and increase your vegetables.
There is a lot to be said for volume eating. This is bulking up your diet with plenty of high fibre, low calorie foods that make you feel much fuller. This way you can still enjoy a full plate of food but see the benefits. Get creative with adding different types of vegetables, salad, pulses, and beans.
It can be very difficult to keep to a healthy diet if you are not busy or lack a daily routine. Make sure you have a routine of activities and get outside for some exercise. If you are working from home, snacking can be tempting distraction. Ensure to set some boundaries and find healthier ways to take a break from your desk.
Do not forget to stay hydrated, this is so essential for your brain to function optimally and has been shown to support healthy diet changes and weight loss. We often mistake thirst for hunger so drink at least 2L of water or sugar-free fluids per day.
Be careful not to end up riding the sugar roller-coaster! If you skip meals or have run out of time to prepare something for yourself, it can be easy to grab something sugary on the go. However this causes a sharp rise in blood sugar followed by a drop, you then need another snack to pick yourself back up again. Plan ahead or take a packed lunch so you do not fall into this trap!
Carbohydrates provide us with essential energy and without them you can feel sluggish. Carbohydrates also make a meal enjoyable and give us an important sense of satisfaction. We are therefore less inclined to go back for more. You can still lose weight eating carbohydrates including bread, pasta, rice etc.
Choose high fibre and high protein snacks such as fruit, boiled eggs, nuts, wholegrain crackers, hummus etc. Protein has been shown to suppress our appetite hormones and keep us satisfied for longer. Foods high in sugar or rapid-releasing carbohydrates (high glycaemic index foods) cause a rise in insulin which can promote hunger.