You’ve been sticking to your nutrition plan and keeping on top of your workouts, but there is one problem: You’re hungry, i mean hangry. Do you have to feel famished in order to lose fat? Does this mean you are doing it right?
A recent study in found that two thirds of Americans are dieting at any point throughout the year. However, only 20% will succeed over the long haul. There are many reasons for people failing to stick to their fat loss goals but the one issue that everyone on this journey will face is hunger. When people try to lose fat, hunger pangs can stand in their way of success. It is normal to deal with some stomach grumbling as your body is adjusting to consuming less calories in the initial stages.
Fortunately, there are eating strategies to offset hunger pains that will make your fat loss process a lot more manageable
Here are 4 tips to fight off hunger:
- Start with a salad – It’s no surprise that more than half the people in this country don’t consume enough greens as part of their daily diet. By starting your meal off with a large salad you can offset hunger and eat less during lunch time. One study found that people who consumed 3 cups of greens before a meal ended up eating 12% fewer calories during the meal. The greens will not only help fill you up but will also provide your body with vital minerals and vitamins. Before your next lunch, try eating a large salad beforehand and you’ll see how full you will get.
- Pump up the volume with fibre – By consuming more high fiber foods it will help to reduce your appetite. By incorporating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans into your diet it will help keep you fuller for longer because of the high water content. Choose an apple or pear when your on the go and make sure to eat some fiber foods with most of your meals.
- Try coffee – I love coffee, not only for the taste but it only helps to suppress my appetite. Studies have found that by drinking 2-3 small cups of black coffee a day, it acts as a natural appetite suppressant. I’m talking black coffee with a little bit of cream but the “ grande salty caramel latte” doesn’t count. If you simply cannot drink coffee without the added sugar or cream then go for tea. It is similar to coffee in terms of caffeine content and comes in many different colours and flavours
- Learn to exercise your mental muscle – The things we tell ourselves have a big influence over our emotions and behaviour. If we are constantly telling ourselves we are hungry and need to eat we will feel that way every time our stomach rumbles. Instead, saying something like “this means I’m making progress and my metabolism is functioning more efficiently” will make it less stressful for you. A craving only lasts 12 minutes, if you can find a way to get over that 12 min hump, you will have an easier time dealing with cravings if you practice holding off. However, if you are so hungry that you feel like falling over, it is likely that you should eat something.
- Don’t skip your meals – When you skip breakfast which is the most important meal of that day, you will end up binging on calories later in the day. It’s common sense that by skipping a meal it will make you hungrier later in the day, this binging behaviour has been found to enhance lipogenesis and increase body fat. In order to have a stable energy balance, increasing meal frequency and will prevent metabolic fluctuations. You want your metabolism to be reved up, by feeding it at regular intervals it will be functioning a lot more efficiently.