There are various diets and exercises to lose weight, but you often end up with hunger pangs and a rumbling stomach. It eventually leads to long hours of agony and then extra snacking. However, you can avoid all of this with straightforward and effective tips.
Before moving on to the tips, it is crucial to understand the difference between hunger and appetite. Hunger is the need for food when your body is running low on sugar, and appetite is the want or desire for food. Hunger keeps us alive, but appetite contributes more to gaining weight.
The following tips will help you to reduce your appetite and work on your hunger.
Stress is a major factor of not feeling full even after having a full meal. Stress increases cortisol levels, leading to hunger and overeating, making it very difficult to lose weight. To tackle this, you have to learn to control your stress level by relaxing. There are several different techniques. You can specifically eat stress-fighting food. Talking to friends or/and therapist is an excellent way to deal with stress. Some other ways are to go for a walk, meditation, and yoga. Once your stress level goes down, so will your stress-eating.
Beef Up The Salad
There is no doubt that salads are must-eat diet food. After all, the green, leafy vegetables are full of innumerable nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. But the crunchy dish is incomplete as it does not have carbohydrates and protein. The carbohydrates provide energy to the body and brain, and the protein makes you feel full and satisfied. This inevitably leads to craving more food and an extra intake of daily calories.
To make a salad fulfilling, you have to beef it up with healthy fats or/and protein. You can add nuts, beans, eggs, or chicken. As fats and protein take time to digest, they stay in the stomach longer, making you feel full and reducing your appetite.
Sometimes, all you need is a tall glass of water when you feel hungry. The hypothalamus regulates both hunger and thirst, and it often ends up mixing up the signals. So, having a good amount of water intake throughout the day not only ensures the reduction of your appetite but also keeps your energy up along with keeping the metabolism high. It is extra beneficial to drink water before a meal. Avoid artificially sweetened drinks like sodas and energy drinks as they only contribute to weight gain and health problems.
Avoid TV While Eating
In our frantic lives, we try to squeeze in a little TV time or scroll on the phone while eating. This gives us time to catch up on our favorite shows, but this is risking our waistline. When we multitask during eating, especially in front of a screen, it prevents the satiety signals from reaching the brain on time. Research shows that people can end up consuming hundreds of extra calories when distracted rather than focused on their meal. To avoid this extra intake of calories, make sure that there are no distractions around you while you eat.
Perceive Larger Portions
For dieting, you need to eat small portion sizes. But if you perceive those same portions as bigger, you will feel fuller and more satisfied. Psychology plays a big part in weight loss and feeling full. You can manipulate your beliefs by using smaller cups, bowls, and plates. So, even if you had a smaller portion of food, your brain will think you had more. A study conducted served two groups of people the same amount in their smoothie, but one group was shown a larger quantity of fruit than the other. The group with the higher quantity of fruit was satisfied for a longer period of time.
Cut Your Food Into Smaller Pieces
Another way to cut down your appetite is to cut your food into smaller pieces. Researchers showed that people who ate smaller portions of the same meal for breakfast consumed 25% fewer calories during lunch than those who did not eat smaller pieces. To feel full and satisfied, you can cut your sandwiches and other food items into bite-sized pieces. This ends up tricking your brain into thinking that you are eating more than you actually are.
We often consume extra calories when we are eating quickly as it takes time for the signals from the stomach to reach the brain that we are full. It is recommended to stretch a meal to 20 minutes as it takes the hunger hormones this long to convey the message between themselves and then to the brain.
Start Your Meal With A Small Salad
Eating a salad before your meal makes you feel fuller and reduces the total calorie intake, which will also reduce the after-meal snacking. A high-volume salad with low calories is full-filling and is very healthy. This also helps control blood glucose levels. Try eating a salad before your meal next time.
Get Some Shuteye
Dieting and feeling full is more than just what you eat and do not eat. It is also about taking care of your body. Getting quality sleep is a major factor. Lack of proper sleep leads to the irregular secretion of hunger hormones. The hunger hormone ghrelin, increases and the satiety hormone, leptin, decreases when you do not get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation also increases the level of a chemical called endocannabinoids, which causes you to indulge in eating anything sweet, salty, or fatty even when you are not hungry.
To avoid all this, you should get six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. Having a consistent sleep schedule reduces night-time snacking.
Stick To Solids
Everyone likes smoothies and juices, especially when on a diet. Still, nothing can replace a solid diet because your body can’t register the liquid calories the same way it registers the solid calories. A liquid diet is also way less satisfying and provides less energy than a solid diet—the very physical act of chewing leads to physiological satiety. Also, as solid food takes more time to digest than liquid food, it stays in the stomach for longer and makes one feel fuller.
Do not completely rely on a liquid diet. It’s okay to enjoy an occasional smoothie, but a solid diet is a must.
Toss The Junk Food
This may be a no-brainer for weight loss but knowing the science behind junk food is important. Junk food is chemically engineered to trick our brains that we are still hungry, leading to almost never-ending snacking. They are calorically dense but lack the actual nutrients. Hence, we keep eating non-stop, and our brain eventually gets the message we are full.
Say “No” To Fat-Free
More than often, the fat-free yogurt backfires when trying to lose weight. Fat takes time to digest, making you feel full for longer. Also, as fat already provides flavor, the fat-free or low-fat food is loaded with taste-boasting sugar and salt, which leads to more than necessary eating.
Stock Up On Artichokes
If you want to feel full on just a few calories, eating fiber-rich food is the best way. Such food adds bulk to your meal, which gives physiological satiety such as chewing. Fiber-rich food takes time to digest, making you feel fuller for a longer time.
Artichokes are one of the best high-fiber foods. Just a single, medium artichoke can serve 40 percent of your daily required fiber intake. Along with this, artichoke is one of the foods with the highest soluble fibers. It also controls the ghrelin and leptin levels in the body.
Trail mix is delicious, easy to carry anywhere, and extremely healthy. Furthermore, it is full of the satiating trio: protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Timely snacking on trail mix can keep your appetite in check and reduce binging during meals. It will also keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day.
Instead of eating cold and sugary cereal for breakfast, try eating oatmeal. It can be cooked with various garnishes and is very fulfilling. The Beta-glucan fiber, soluble fiber, in oats makes you feel full and reduces the hunger pangs. These soluble fibers take time to digest, giving you the long-lasting feeling of satiety.
These tips are easy and undemanding. Now weight loss does not have to be an uncomfortable experience anymore. Use these tips in your everyday life to avoid hunger pangs, overeating, and have an enjoyable weight loss experience.