One of the hardest (and most offputting) parts of trying to lose weight is the thought of having to constantly battle those hunger pangs!.
The thought of spending day after day obsessing about our next meal, which will undoubtedly be less than filling, the longing for something tasty to resolve the cravings that have been building and will continue to build for as long as we continue trying to lose weight. Little wonder we get a few days in and have a chocolate binge, I mean, reward.
If only there was a way to fill up whilst cutting out the calories! Well there are some tricks you can try. They won’t completely remove the need for just a teensy bit of willpower (sadly) but hey, every little helps right?
1.Make sure that half of every meal you eat is made up of vegetables or salad. These are the foods that are least energy dense, meaning that you will fill up whilst still saving calories. Plus you will find it easy to make your ‘5 a day’!
2.Practise mindful eating. Allow your body to recognise when you are full. Take your time over meals, eat with no distractions, savour every mouthful.
3.Follow the ’10 minute rule’. Wait 10 minutes after eating before deciding whether you are really still hungry- it can take this long for feelings of fullness to register.
4.Include protein with each meal. Protein can help us to feel fuller for longer but many of us eat most of our daily intake with our evening meal. Try to spread small portions throughout the day instead.
5.Drink plenty of water. It is often easy to confuse feelings of thirst with feelings of hunger, ensure you are well hydrated and this may reduce ‘hunger’ pangs throughout the day. Some studies have shown that drinking water before a meal helps to reduce portion sizes(1).
6.Don’t skip meals. Skipping a meal can lead to overeating at the next meal as you feel much hungrier than you would have done. Eat regularly in order to avoid getting very hungry, this will help you to stay in control of your portion sizes.
Try using a few of these tricks and see if they help you to avoid those feelings of constant hunger that can often accompany attempts to lose weight. This will help you to be in control of your eating habits and achieve you goals whilst keeping the pain to a minimum!
Davy BM, Dennis EA, Dengo AL, Wilson KL and Davy KP. Water consumption reduces energy intake at a breakfast meal in obese older adults. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Jul; 108 (7) :1236-9