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9 tips to manage hunger
Nail this & you'll nail your fat loss.
1) Make sure your calorie target is suitable.
This is probably the most obvious one - if you are in a huge deficit you will quickly find it’s not sustainable. If you are not sure what your calorie target should be fill this in to give me some info about you and I will help you.
2) WHAT you eat matters - not just how much.
If you are eating 1600 calories of primarily whole foods, high protein, ample fibre then you will find yourself far more satiated than if you are eating the same 1600 calories of highly processed foods.
Add to this that both protein and fibre are harder to digest and have a higher thermic effect of food (calories required to break down food) & that protein especially reduces hunger and you can see why what you eat matters.
Foods higher in fibre also have a lower caloric availability - in simple terms - you absorb less calories from sweet corn than you do from Doritos.
Whole foods are more satiating than processed foods per calorie consumed.
High fibre & protein foods are harder to breakdown and get further down your digestive tract where there are sensors which tells the brain to down regulate hunger.
3) Have bigger meals and snack less.
Most people who diet tend to do very well at meal times. It’s the mindless snacking between meals that is the problem. Not only is this beneficial from a satiety perspective but you will also find you concentrate far better when you are not constantly thinking about food.
When you eat eat with intent. Sit down and enjoy it. When you are working , work with intent - sit down and focus instead of being constantly distracted by food and snacking. You will find you are far more productive.
You will also find improved digestion and a small metabolic advantage here too.. you clear blood glucose quicker when you haven’t snacked before your meal.
Not constantly spiking glucose throughout the day is likely a good thing for your metabolic health. You could call this periods of fasting but really it’s just eating meals and then not eating in between.
And honestly for many people reducing snacking is all they need to do to lose fat.
4) Meal timing
This one is rarely spoken about but consistent meal timing is something I would consider if you are struggling with hunger. This is because your body gets used to when to expect food. Your short term hunger hormone (Ghrelin) increases before your usual meal times and falls after - this pattern occurs even if you don’t eat. example: have you ever missed lunch and then found you aren’t really hungry at 3pm because you don’t usually eat then? that’s ghrelin at work.
Try to keep your meal times consistent and you will find hunger much easier to predict and manage.
5) Sit with it.
The realisation that hunger will often pass even when you don’t act on it can be quite eye opening. You get to choose how you respond.
Is it easier said than done? Yes, yes it is. So is everything so that is not a valid excuse not to do it.
Sometimes you really are just thirsty. or often it’s 'Kuchisabishii' which is the Japanese word for ‘lonely mouth’ I don’t think I need to elaborate further - I am sure we can all relate.
This one always blow-ethsss my mind! your expectations of what you’ve eaten impact your hunger. If you lead someone to believe they have eaten more (example from one particular study - tell them they’ve consumed a 4 egg omelette rather than a 2 egg omelette) they naturally feel less hungry.
Another study showed that simply asking people to recall what they had for lunch lead them to eat less cookies when offered.
- Get busy!!
It’s actually easier to diet when you are busy. If you struggle with boredom eating come up with something else to occupy your mind. Most people overeat when they are bored, tired & often lonely in the evening… not when they are busy during the day.
8) Food volume.
Eat foods that you can eat more of for less calories.
Research shows we are driven to eat a certain weight of food independently of the calorie value of that food.
In more practical application - we will habitually eat a certain portion of food wether it is 1,000 calories or 500 calories.
You can use this to your advantage when dieting by picking foods higher in volume and lower in calories eg fruit and veg to bulk out meals.
added bonus is it slows you down and increases chewing too which is also linked to reduced hunger…in fact my final tip for today…
9) Eat slower.
Sit down, remove distractions and take your time.
Research shows slower eaters have a lower BMI.
It probably gives your satiety some time to catch up & you enjoy things more when you don’t rush them.
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