I hope you didn’t accidentally come here looking for Katniss. This hunger games article is ‘weigh’ more heart wrenching than the Katniss, Peeta, Gale love triangle.
This battle isn’t fought in any of the districts, but in the everyday lives of those all around us…
It’s our very OWN hunger games.
Have you ever been hangry? Think about a time that you waited too long to eat… you are hungry… and you are angry. This is not a game you want to play. You’re probably not shy about it either!
Most people assume that when they’re trying to lose weight, they can just expect to be hungry all the time. What if it’s all just a big misunderstanding?
I want to talk to you about hunger and how it can help you lose weight!
Let me explain.
I’ll make it easy on you by separating this article into three main sections:
- The Truth About Hunger
- Overcoming Hunger
- But I’m STILL Hungry
With additional information sprinkled in.
This article is for anyone who has struggled with weight loss, or knows someone who has. I have been there. And I worked AND searched long and hard to find the solution. I want to help you do the same.
Not only do I have a passion for fitness and nutrition, it is literally my job. I am the head fitness and nutrition expert for IdealShape, where OUR passion is to transform and improve lives.
Losing weight and finding your ideal body WILL transform and improve your life. But you must attack hunger first.
Let’s get hungry!
1.THE TRUTH ABOUT HUNGER
Hunger vs. Appetite
Yes, yes it does.
Hunger is a physiological need to eat food, whereas appetite is the desire to eat food. When we are trying to lose weight, the two feel pretty interchangeable.
Imagine you just started your diet. You are eating lots of healthy meals but you’re still “hungry” for your favorite ice cream. What gives? That’s actually your appetite sneaking up on you.
Now imagine you’re in the middle of an extremely important meeting at work, and your stomach starts growling. That’s hunger!
To address them both you should have two questions in mind:
- Do I NEED this food?
- Do I WANT this food?
All that matters is that hunger and appetite make losing weight HARD.
Hunger Was Ruining My Life
When I was at my heaviest, I was working out at the gym daily without any results. I was confused, and downright frustrated. After a few breakdowns, I decided to look at my routine through a new set of eyes.
I quickly realized that it wasn’t my workout routine that was sabotaging my weight loss, it was my weakness to hunger! My feeling of hunger lead me to nibble on bites, licks and tastes (BLT’s) throughout the day.
BLTs are not bacon, lettuce and tomatoes… they are the culprits that aid you in eating an additional 300 calories a day! A bite of chocolate before bed, a lick of ice cream when you’re scooping up some for your kids, or a taste of your friend’s birthday cake as your prepare it: these all add up.
We all have our hunger triggers.
- Cooking For My Family
- Not Eating Enough
- Social Eating
- Not Having A Plan
- Nighttime Snack Attacks
I knew that if I wanted to lose weight, I needed to take control of my triggers, and really my life.
What I Didn’t Know About Hunger
What I didn’t know about hunger was hurting me. It didn’t help that no matter where I looked, I found conflicting answers. One thing that most of us can agree on is that when you are dieting… you always FEEL hungry.
I didn’t understand this, so I would freak out whenever I felt hungry because I thought I was doing something wrong. Turns out, it is normal to feel hungry when dieting, AND it is totally okay.
Now that we’ve accepted that, how can we learn to love the process?
Plan your work, work your plan. Figure out your triggers and make a plan to address them. My original plan consisted of these top three things:
- Eating the right meals five times a day.
- Drinking plenty of water.
- Fighting the temptations of those BLTs (Bites, Licks and Tastes).
The less willpower you have to use, the better. Creating a plan specific to YOU, will help you deal with hunger on your weight loss journey.
And don’t worry, I’ll go into more detail on these three things later on.
My Family Made Me Fat (Or So I Thought)
When I decide to eat healthy, I feel like everyone around me is tempting me with unhealthy food. Rightfully so, as past studies have shown that food and drink choices are shared/copied between friends and family.
It is easy to blame family or friends for sabotaging our healthy motives. Peer pressure and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) are real. If everyone is eating brownies for Sally’s birthday, you feel bad missing out on all the fun. So, you end up going, eating the delicious brownies and then feeling guilty instantly.
How do we prevent this?
Before doing ANYTHING else, you need to make the hard decision of whether or not dieting is REALLY worth it.
At IdealShape, we call it “finding your why.” Why do you want to lose weight?
Dig deep for this answer. You’ll have to use it a lot.
It can be to fit into your favorite pair of jeans again, or it can be so you don’t go to sleep crying every night.
Once you know your “why,” you will have that extra motivation to keep you strong on the path to your ideal shape.
Next time you feel the FOMO coming on, just think about your “why.” Is that cupcake more important than fitting into those jeans?
The struggle is still real. Let’s address hunger.
What if I told you that eating healthy can still be yummy? Would you believe me? I’m not sure if I believe me… kidding. I know eating healthy can be delicious AND effective, because I’ve helped create the ultimate solution. It’s called IdealPlan.
IdealPlan was created to go against the norm of stereotypical “diet plans.” Forget depriving yourself of your favorite foods or sticking to a strict rulebook. Bring on yummy foods and snacks!
When I tried dieting, I always ended up HUNGRY! In my mind, dieting = constant hunger.
And we wonder why most modern-day diets fail…
Let me show you what IdealPlan offers:
- Conquer Cravings With Delicious Recipes.
- Feel Satisfied AND Full Of Energy With Carefully Selected Meals.
- Feel Confident That You Can Meet Your Goals With A Plan.
- Be Prepared By Learning How To Master Meal Prep.
Now let me show you how IdealPlan does it.
IdealShake (meal replacement shake) includes Slendesta (which is a 3 hour hunger blocker), whey protein (which helps you lose fat and preserve muscle), 19 vitamins and minerals, and is Gluten Free (except Cookies ‘N Cream) and Kosher Certified.
What does all of that mean? It means you get all of those benefits in a quick meal replacement shake!
Mornings are EXTREMELY hectic for me. Ideally, I would make some eggs and chop fresh fruit every morning, but reality sets in and that all goes away. That’s where IdealShake comes in. Quick, easy, yummy AND includes all the nutrients needed to kick-start your day.
I almost forgot to mention that it leaves you full for up to 3 hours!
How does it do that, you might ask?
Ummm, what is Slendesta? It’s a fancy way of saying hunger-blocker. But let me tell you more…
Slendesta is an all-natural potato protein extract designed to curb your hunger. To go into more detail, the potato protein extract is called Proteinase Inhibitor 2 or PI2 and can be found just beneath the potato’s skin.
I’m guessing you’re still wondering what Slendesta is? Let me throw out some more big words.
PI2 stimulates an increased body release of cholecystokinin or CCK. CCK is what tells the brain that the body is full and satisfied. When most people hear the word ‘diet’ they immediately think ‘hunger.’
It doesn’t have to be that way. We already talked about changing your appetite, but now we need to attack hunger.
Slendesta is not a stimulant, so it won’t conflict with your body’s natural metabolism. Manufactured using a natural, water-based process, Slendesta doesn’t carry side effects common to other dietary weight loss products.
Science and big words aside, in order to take control of your weight, you MUST control your hunger, and Slendesta does just that.
3.BUT I’M STILL HUNGRY
You’re reading this right now with your lips puckered as you turn your head from side to side thinking, “Nuh uh. I’ve tried all of these things, yet I am STILL hungry.” There are several reasons you might be feeling hungry but here are some of the top contenders:
- You’re Dehydrated: Water is one of your biggest weapons when it comes to weight loss. If you’re trying to lose weight, your water is the equivalent to a gun in the holster (unless you don’t like guns, then it’s another weapon of choice). This is going to save you throughout the day! H2O is a natural appetite suppressant, improves metabolic function, and helps you rock your workouts. (When I say metabolic I mean helping your metabolism). P.S. IdealBoost helps make drinking water less boring!
- You Don’t Know Hunger: You might think you know hunger, since you grew up with it your entire life, but you’d be surprised how dysfunctional your relationship with hunger really is. Sometimes hunger is really just a habit. Have you ever walked into a movie theater and instantly craved a big soda and popcorn? Even though you literally JUST ate dinner? That’s not hunger, that’s clever advertising and a learned habit. Just like any dysfunctional relationship, you need to zero in on the triggers and take back control of your hunger. And remember, symptoms of hunger can include a growling stomach, headaches, and feeling lightheaded.
- Boring Meal Replacement Shakes: If you have ever tried to lose weight, you might be familiar with meal replacement shakes. Some people steer clear of meal replacement shakes because they prefer to chew their food (sounds like another habit to me 😉 ). For those who have tried them, they can be extremely filling AND convenient. Losing weight is not just about lowering your calories, it’s also extremely important to make sure your body is getting the proper macronutrients. It is totally okay and even recommended to add some extra goodies to your smoothies. The amount of macros will vary based on your weight and activity level.
More Protein To Feel Full
Did you just hear protein and think of the Taco Bell commercial? If you didn’t, well you just have to watch it, so you can be in on the joke!
I don’t know who did it or why, but someone made protein a bad guy when it comes to weight loss. It’s almost as misunderstood as hunger. Protein is probably going to become your best friend on your weight loss journey. Let me list the reasons why: helps build muscle, helps repair muscle, helps rev your fat-burning metabolism, and helps keep you FULL longer!
If you’re trying to lose weight, eating right is only part of the equation. Proper exercise is the other half. Protein actually kills two birds with one stone. Let me show you.
When you work out (specifically lifting weights), your muscles actually rip and tear. Protein is what helps repair those muscles so you can get back out there and work out again!
Wait, I’m not even close to done yet.
Everyone needs protein! There are 10 essential amino acids (note: arginine is only essential for younger people) that your body needs and protein provides all of them. Don’t feel guilty eating your protein because your life relies on it.
Ok, now I’m almost done.
Protein helps you stay full longer. It won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar like most carbs do. Say bye bye to afternoon crashes. Protein gives you sustainable energy AND helps you crush your food cravings.
Replace Bad Foods With Good Foods
Duh! Easier said than done. You like bad foods because they taste SO good! They are also SO convenient. Oh yeah, and they’re also less expensive. Have you said all of these things when you’re talking yourself out of a ‘DIEt’?
I’m here to change your world.
Eating healthy can be yummy, convenient, and inexpensive!
Let’s address why eating bad tastes so good first.
Remember when I mentioned popcorn up above? Turns out it’s not as bad as chips, as long as you take it easy on the butter.
Swap some ice cream for a creamy, delicious weight loss smoothie. You will pinch yourself to make sure you aren’t dreaming.
There IS such a thing as healthy pizza. You can find a delish recipe in IdealPlan.
Second (and third), eating healthy can be convenient AND inexpensive. The 30 minutes you drive to get to your favorite food joint could have been spent meal prepping. Meal prepping can be fun!!
And guess what? It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Past studies have shown that Americans spend nearly $1000 a year eating out for lunch! On average, men tend to spend 44% more than women (stay strong, ladies). Some of you might be reading this and thinking, “That’s actually not bad, considering it’s the entire year!” Actually, this is only taking into account individuals, so if you have a family you can multiply that by the total number of people in your clan. That number goes UP.
I haven’t even touched on the fact that it is easier to eat unhealthy foods when you are eating out more often.
In this great article, Dave Ramsey offers some tips on cutting your food-budget fat. What he probably didn’t realize was that his tips help you bulk up your wallet while leaning out your bodies. When you have control of what you are cooking, you can choose healthier options.
Uh oh, here comes the struggle between hunger and appetite again!
It’s time to get down and dirty. You aren’t going to stop eating bad food without making some changes. Why? Because you have created a habit.
Art Markman addressed this in his book, “Smart Change.” It’s literally impossible to stop a habit unless you replace it with another habit.
Love eating chips every day for your snack? Switch them out with rice cakes! You still get a treat every day, but you are replacing a bad habit with a good habit.
If you REALLY want to lose weight and take control of your life, you need to start by replacing your bad habits with good ones.
How To Defeat Hunger (5 meals a day, plenty of water, BLTs)
This is how I defeat hunger every.single.day.
First, five meals a day! IdealPlan calls for a small meal approximately every three hours (amounting to five meals).
This is where meal prep comes in handy. It’s not just eating steak 5 times a day; you have to eat the RIGHT meals.
Eating the right meals at regular intervals helps stabilize your blood sugar levels, so you can avoid spikes or crashes.
Second, drink plenty of H2O. Water is a natural appetite suppressant and when you drink the recommended amount of it, you won’t be thirsty for much else. So for any of you soda fans out there, water can help quench your thirst!
Don’t be shocked about this, but I recommend that you drink anywhere from 12-16 cups of water per day! Extra perk: helps with your skin too!!
Third, I conquer my BLTs. The last thing I want to do is deprive you of foods that you love. I’d rather help you find new food loves. I want to encourage you to treat yourself daily, and that’s why I include some lip-licking recipes in IdealPlan. When you indulge in treats, you won’t feel deprived and you won’t resort to BLTs.
Now that I’ve shown you how I defeat hunger, I hope you have a better understanding of hunger and how you can use it to your advantage.
If you take anything away from this article, I hope it’s one of these topics:
- Do I NEED this food or do I WANT this food? (hunger vs. appetite)
- What is my WHY?
- Have I replaced a bad habit with a good one?
- Do I have the tools to take control of my hunger?
I searched far and wide for the best solution. The solution didn’t just fall into my lap. I helped create it.
How long does it take to create a habit? 21 Days? 66 Days? That answer is still blurry to me.
I want to help you build GOOD habits, starting with healthy meals and daily workouts. Since I’m still confused on how long it takes to build a habit, I played it safe and went with 84 days (12 weeks). Let me tell you more!
If you want to take control of your hunger, try some new food, and learn new workouts, you have to try the IdealShape Up Challenge.
Remember the meal replacement shakes I told you about? You get to use those daily! And don’t worry, I’m here to guide you the entire way.
When you sign up for the IdealShape Up Challenge, you also gain access to our EXCLUSIVE private community.
Not only do I answer any questions or concerns that you have, but your fellow challengers are there to support you as well.
Think of them as your allies in your very own hunger games.
Stop feeling hungry. Stop feeling sluggish.
Feel happy. Get strong. Overcome your hunger!
May the odds be ever in your favor.
Improve your odds by getting the right tools to help you shed pounds and change your lifestyle! IdealShake, IdealBars, and IdealBoost will help you curb hunger AND cut calories so that you can achieve your ideal shape.
Win the fight against hunger with IdealPlan!