There are a lot of us that feel the need to snack when we’re bored, or when we’re depressed, or when we’re stressed. On the other hand, many of us eat because we’re constantly hungry. We struggle with calorie intake because we struggle with controlling our appetite. We rarely feel full and dieting feels like starvation. So, how do we get rid of that feeling? How do you drop calories without starving yourself? Here’s five things you can do to keep your hunger levels and calorie-intake down.
5 – Water. Seriously.
I know, we’re beating a dead horse here, but drinking enough water each day has sooo many benefits that it’s hard to avoid in any health conversation. Did you know most people misinterpret their body’s signals of dehydration as hunger? Water is also found in many foods you eat and because it’s so important, when you’re dehydrated, your body will send out a signal that says ‘seriously, eat something, drink something, get me liquid now!’ Drink water throughout the day and you avoid that mix up. You’ll only feel hungry when you’re actually hungry, not just dehydrated.
4 – Look for Fiber-rich foods
Fiber-rich foods are not just for those trying to keep themselves regular. There are tons of other benefits to increasing your fiber intake. Fiber contains 0 calories and actually expands in your digestive track. It breaks down slower and increases the amount of time you feel full.
3 – Volumetrics
This is a pretty hot item right now, but it’s not really new. Volumetrics is the idea of eating foods that have a larger volume for the same calories. Like a single cookie and an entire fruit and yogurt parfait have the same amount of calories. Eating the parfait is obviously going to fill you up faster and keep your fuller, longer. If you’d like to read up on specifics in volumetrics, we would recommend a book called “The Volumetrics Eating Plan” by Barbara Rolls. It has some great principles that can be applied into your nutrition plan to increase your intake of food without increasing your calories.
2 – Addictions Effect Hunger
There is a hormone called CCK(cholecystokinin) which has been shown to be released into the body to increase the feeling of satiety. Studies show that obesity and drug abuse are two things that significantly reduce the effectiveness of CCK in your system. Dulling the effectiveness of CCK increases your tolerance to opioids. You know how the longer someone is on drugs, they need a larger dose just to get high each time? That’s partly because of CCK and food works the exact same way. As you eat, your body releases CCK into your system. The more you eat, the less effect the CCK has on you and the more of it you’ll need to feel full. It’s not just because your stomach grows, it’s because you’re slowly becoming an addict to food.
1 – Frequent Intake
Hey, there’s that dead horse again. Grab the sticks! Really, though, eating 5 times a day in smaller calories is a great way to stave off hunger. It also makes resisting temptation easier. If you normally eat a planned, healthy snack or small meal at 3 in the afternoon, when 2:30 rolls around and you’re feeling a bit peckish, there’s less stress because you’re going to eat in 30 minutes anyway. If you eat at 5 or 6 instead, then you’re going to tell yourself “I cannot wait that long! I’ll just get something to tide me over.” Well, you haven’t planned for that food so what are you going to eat? Probably a candy bar from the snack machine, or a donut out of the break room. There goes all that calorie counting awesomeness you’ve had for the day. It’s not worth it. 5 small meals makes you lose weight and keeps you feeling full.
In a lot of people’s minds dieting and starvation go hand in hand. This doesn’t need to be the case! A little planning goes a long way when it comes to feeling satisfied while on a healthier nutritional lifestyle.”