Myth Buster: Your Diet Will Keep You Hungry
Posted by Katie
If you’re dieting, one of the main obstacles you may face is hunger. No matter what type of diet you are on, typically one of the biggest factors is that the portions become smaller than what you are accustomed to eating. However, if you increase your portion sizes to fight hunger while dieting, you will have a harder battle trying to lose weight. So how do you stick with your diet plan without feeling as though you’re starving?
As your body gets accustomed to eating smaller amounts of food, your stomach will shrink a little. While this doesn’t happen overnight, it doesn’t take months either. For many people, it only takes a week or two before they realize their diet doesn’t make them as hungry anymore. If you are still dealing with hunger issues when dieting, however, there are some things you can do to help speed the process along.
Water, Water and More Water
Most people don’t get enough water during the day and many mistake pangs of thirst for pangs of hunger. So, keep a large bottle or cup of water with you and have a glass before you sit down to eat your meal. You’ll be surprised to find that you will feel full faster. Of course, the body processes water quickly, which is why you should also eat a balanced meal of protein, fat and fiber to keep you satisfied until your next meal or snack. In addition, you can add a lot of high-water foods to your diet, such as watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, etc. Over time, you won’t need as much water to help you feel hydrated.
Go for Whole Grains and Fiber Rich Foods
If you are limiting carbohydrates, you can replace your favorite foods with whole wheat versions. The body takes longer to process these types of foods, which will leave you feeling full for longer. The same is true for foods high in fiber. You can purchase foods that specifically state they are high in fiber, and there are also many proteins, fruits and vegetables that offer enough fiber to help you feel full longer. Apples, avocados, broccoli, spinach, beans, and peanuts are all great options. Keeping these high fiber foods on hand can help battle hunger without ruining your diet. See our post on fiber for more information (hyperlink)
Eat Smaller Meals and Snacks More Frequently
Schedule meals and snacks every 2 – 3 hours to stay on top of hunger. Also eat more slowly and concentrate on your meal. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that it’s full. Putting your fork down between bites and concentrating on your meal will slow you down and it will leave you feeling less hungry at the end of the meal. Don’t eat while distracted, such as in front of the television, as you will be less inclined to pay attention to what you are eating.
If you follow the above guidelines you will most likely keep hunger at bay and stay on track.