People have an innate fear of hunger. This fear is a legacy from ancient times when finding food was a matter of life and death. And although today most people are worried about the food innate response to hunger has not evolved at all.
For this reason, the thought of hunger can make you go to the store. What is hunger? A signal from the body that needs energy (natural defence mechanism). If you are trying to lose weight, hunger can be your assistant. To do this, you need to listen to the signals your body gives you and eat according – this will mean that you eat when and as needed. But if you ignore them, hunger will become one of the biggest obstacles to success. Having said that keep in mind that hunger signals are not always accurate especially when sugar is involved. Sugar can ‘trick’ some hormones responsible for hunger signals and mislead you. Also, those signals are not immediate, it takes 10-20 min to your body to acknowledge whether you are actually hungry or not.
Here are six tips that will help you not overeat and eat only when actually needed. Also, you will be able to control caloric intake and swing your weight without restrictive diets.
1.Use the “scale of hunger”
Depending on how much your hunger is, it sends different signals. Learn to recognise them is the first step to control hunger. Different levels in this kind of scale can be grouped as follows:
Starve: crisp feel discomfort and emptiness, maybe a slight dizziness, irritation or tremors caused by low blood sugar levels. The risk of overheating is highest.
Very hungry: your thoughts are constantly related to the next meal. If you do not eat within an hour, you will go into the above phase.
Moderately hungry, your gut may slightly rumble and think about the next meal. This is the optimal time to eat.
Fuller: you’re not quite full, but you have not hungry. You feel relaxed and you can wait until the next meal.
Full: if you still eating during this stage, then you do it by inertia. Remember, it takes time to feel full. The food is no longer as tasty as at the beginning and maybe feel a little-bloated belly.
Stuffed: feeling physical discomfort, possibly acids from your stomach to climb the oesophagus, causing a slight burning sensation.
2. “Recharge” every four hours
If, however, it is difficult to determine how you feel, use the following rule: moderate to intense hunger occurs 4-5 hours after your last balanced meal. If you delay your meal, you might enter phase “die of hunger” and overeat, no matter how strong your will is. There is another reason to eat regularly- to keep blood sugar levels stable and avoid energy shortages.
If you cannot last between the two meals, eat something like fruit or vegetables (but no more than 150 calories) – they contain a lot of water and fibre which will help you feel full without overdoing the calories. Also, there are nutritious as they are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
3. Always eat breakfast
You need to eat enough protein, fat and carbohydrates at breakfast if you do not want to feel hungry throughout the day. Try to take at least 250 calories with this earliest meal. In the event that your schedule is busy and often leaving home without breakfast, here are some tips:
Prepare your breakfast in advance – this will save time in the morning. If you have a refrigerator at work, put boxes whole-grain cereal or oatmeal containing one portion, and skim or soy milk, you can eat breakfast as soon as you arrive. If you do not feel the desire to eat breakfast in the morning, do not force it and just leave it for later.
4. Prepare bigger portions
Foods with high water content can help to suppress hunger. Such foods are also more low-calorie, so you can afford to eat more servings of vegetables and fruits, for example, than crackers or chips and still not overdo the calories. How to do this in practice:
Start the meal with a salad or just dinner with a salad (in this case, do not forget to include a source of protein such as lean meat or soy).
Choose fresh over dry fruits – a whole bowl of grapes contain as many calories as three tablespoons of raisins.
To low-calorie frozen dinners add vegetables for volume – broccoli, tomatoes, spinach.
5. Eat fibre throughout the day
Fibre can help you fill fuller fast and for longer. The reason for this is that the body processed foods containing them more slowly than others. Research studies suggest that fibre from grains reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Aim for at least 25 g. of fibre per day. It is not very difficult – just include more products like carrots and apples in your diet and choose whole grain products.
6. Always include protein to your meal
Consuming protein will keep you fuller for longer. Also, you will ensure optimal recovery and maintain lean muscle mass. Obtain your protein from foods like egg whites, chicken without skin and tuna. A serving of meat should be about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand (without fingers). If you do not want to take proteins from animal sources, consume foods such as black beans, soybeans and chickpeas – they contain lots of protein and fibre and less fat.