Following a healthy diet can feel like a full-time
job. There’s the meal prep, carefully weighing portions, and of course the calculating of carbs, proteins, and fats to try and make sure you have the perfect balance of nutrients.
All of that work usually leads to one direction: hunger. It’s definitely not the reward you expected.
Much of this difficulty comes from just two factors almost all healthy/weight loss diet plans have:
1. When you start eating less, hunger increases.
Often this hunger can become unbearable, and you quit altogether.
2. The so called “dieting rules” are unrealistic.
Being obligated to only eat clean foods with a perfect macro ratio, can be and is challenging.
Additionally, research also indicates that dieting can in fact drain your mental health and require true willpower to succeed if you’re going to avoid snacks and treats when hunger hits.
Even though searching for a balance between health, sanity, and enjoyment is difficult for most of us, here’s some good news: controlling hunger can actually be simple.
With a few diet changes – a little more of one thing, a littles less of another – can have an immense impact on making the process of dieting and eating healthy a lot easier.
When you’re not hungry all the time, there won’t be a reason to hate your diet that much, which means you can stick to it for a longer period of time. And this should be your goal.
Today I can help you reach that goal. Just keep reading and discover the simple tips you can implement right away to suppress your hunger!
How to Control Hunger
1. Meal Frequency
You might think that having frequent meals is
the way to go, but that’s not entirely true. If you’re trying to gain weight or muscle, then sure. But, the outdated advice of eating more often to “boost metabolism” can do more harm than good.
Firstly, eating more often does NOT boost your metabolism. If you like eating smaller more frequent meals, that’s fine. But, just don’t be surprised when you experience sudden hunger pangs.
In fact, the frequent meals may be the single biggest factor that is causing you to feel hungry.
One study placed two groups of people on a calorie restrictive diet, the first group ate two and the other six times per day. While
both groups lost weight, the twice-a-day group dropped their body mass index by an average of 1.23 points over 12 weeks, while the six-meals group only dropped their BMI by 0.82 points.
Other findings also concluded similar results, more is not always better. From a practical standpoint, every meal is an opportunity to overeat or pick something that isn’t really healthy. Meal timing can be stressful as well.
So, focusing on fewer meals per day (2-3 ideally) can make things much easier and better.
2. Protein with Every Meal
Compared to carbs and fats, protein is a more-filling macronutrient. When you eat more protein, satiety goes up and you feel fuller for longer.
Added bonus, it’s also more metabolically active (it has a higher thermic effect of food), which means your body needs to work much harder to digest protein, burning more calories along the way.
Furthermore, focusing on protein may reduce “reward-driven eating,” so you won’t find yourself endlessly snacking on everything from the pantry. Adding it all up, protein is a no-brainer.
3. Eat More Seeds
Fiber is very important when it comes to fullness. While veggies are loaded with fiber, most people struggle to eat enough
servings every day. Seeds are the second best option.
Nuts usually get most of the credit for being high in fiber (which they are), however they are also very rich in calories and can be difficult to combine with other foods. Seeds on the other hand are more flexible, lower in calories, and can be implemented in almost any meal.
Many seeds also possess nutrients that can further improve your weight loss experience. For example, both flax and sesame seeds contain lignans, a compound that is proven to aid in weight
management, cancer prevention, hormonal balance, and digestion.
Therefore, why not try mixing a tablespoon of flaxseeds in with your yoghurt, oatmeal, or protein shake, and sprinkle sesame seeds into rice, on top of protein, or into salads. You will feel less hungry afterwards!
4. Don‘t Forget Your Fruits
Fruit has a bad reputation because of its sugar content. But, actually it’s not a reputation it deserves. If we look at the research, eating fruit is one of the best things you can do for your health.
In fact, scientists have consistently found that most types of fruit have anti-obesity effects!
When eating fruit, you are basically setting yourself up for a diet that’s easy to follow. That’s because fruit is relatively low in calories, has a pleasant taste that keeps you satisfied, and is high in fiber and water – both of which keep you full. Not to mention the essential vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients contained in fruit which are vital for overall health.
This combined impact of fruit helps you limit overall calorie consumption, as well as any diet cheating or hunger.
Suppressing hunger can be a hard task, especially for those who are trying to maintain or lose body weight.
However, by incorporating some of the tips I outlined today, such as consuming fewer meals, eating more protein, adding healthy seeds to your diet, and having fruit on a regular basis, you can effectively manage hunger and reduce dieting trouble.