You are sitting at your desk at work and your stomach starts to growl loudly. You try to ignore it, but the hunger is real. You’ve been trying to watch what you are eating with the weather getting nicer, but your stomach says otherwise. No matter what you do, it feels like you are always hungry…
Sounds familiar?? When I start working with a new client, on my first consultation I always ask them if they were trying to follow a diet before. 99% of the time the answer is ‘yes’ and my next question is always ‘why did you stop?’. And again, the vast majority of my new clients respond that they simply couldn’t deal with a rumbling stomach all the time.
It’s true, diets fail for a lot of reasons but one of the main ones is simply the fact that the fitness enthusiasts end up being always hungry. Here are some top tips to help manage those ongoing hunger pangs and succeed on your meal plan!
Always Hungry? Follow These 8 Simple Tips!
Balance out your meals
If you’re hungry soon after eating a full meal, you might not be getting enough of the right stuff. Start with non-starchy veggies. Add plenty of protein and either a dose of healthy fats (avocado, nuts or seeds…) or a starchy carb that is high in fiber (baby potatoes, squash, carrots, beans, quinoa, oatmeal). All those nutrients are good for your body, and they promote feelings of fullness. You’ll be less likely to experience hunger when you are eating the right stuff.
Staying hydrated can be a huge help when it comes to weight loss and maintenance. That’s because it’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger. So next time you feel snacky between meals (or between snacks!), try having a tall glass of tap, flavoured water (0 calorie, sweetened with stevia, if possible) or some carbonated equivalent. Then wait a few minutes to see if your hunger subsides.
Eat several mini meals instead of three big meals.
We go in a greater detail about this in all of our diet plans. In a nutshell, the three-meals-a-day model doesn’t work for most of us who are on the go. If you find yourself getting hungry between meals, try eating a mini meal every few hours instead. Remember to balance out your mini meals with the right nutrients, just like you would with three square meals.
Cut back on calorie dense foods, processed goods and starchy, sugary carbs.
There’s nothing wrong with carbs and dietary fats, but certain foods — white bread, cake, cookies, desserts, etc. — are nothing but empty calories. They satisfy hunger pangs for the moment, but they don’t keep you full for long. As a result, your insulin rises and then drops rapidly and you end up being always hungry. Snack smart!
Always keep a stash of veggies nearby.
Some of the best things you can munch on are veggies. And one of the best ways to eat veggies is by dipping them in low fat plain Greek yogurt or salsa. This combo is both low in calories and super filling, making it the perfect snack to keep on hand if you’re always hungry. Baby carrots, jicama sticks, bell pepper slices… Time to hit the grocery store!
End your meal with a small sweet treat.
Capping off your meal with something sweet can signal your brain that you’re done eating for the time being. Think some fruit, or a cup of coffee with a little no-calorie sweetener.
Keep a food journal.
Tracking your food is one of the best things you can do if you’re trying to lose weight or change your eating habits. Write down everything you eat, and look for patterns. What are you eating before you find yourself extra hungry? Certain foods (and beverages) may be triggers for you, leaving you hungrier than before you ate them. For me, it’s pretzels, so I tend to avoid those.
Go for a walk.
Sometimes, you might feel like you’re hungry when you’re really just bored or restless. Next time you find yourself with an urge to hit the pantry or the fridge, try walking around the block instead. Bonus: Extra calories burned!
I can always relate to my clients who report failed successes at eating a healthy diet, due to the constant feeling of hunger – it literally is always on your mind! This will not only affect your diet plan, but also your entire day. That said, there is many things you can do to counteract this. Your diet plan must fit into your lifestyle – book an appointment with me for the best possible (and easy to follow) meal strategy and lose weight, get fitter and healthier, while eating delicious food!