Hunger: Public Enemy No.1
Let’s face it, dieting for fat loss is no fun. The constant feeling of hunger makes it tough to fight off cravings and stay on track with your fat loss goals. Luckily, there are quite a few hunger fighting strategies that can you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Here are five hunger fighting strategies for you to try in your next fat loss phase.
1. Regularly incorporate protein into your meals and snacks
Protein is one of the best macronutrients for fat loss. Not only does it help with the retention of lean mass, it also has strong appetite suppressant effects. Higher protein diets have been shown to increase the feelings of fullness after meals. A rule of thumb that many of our Fuel clients follow is regularly incorporating about 20-30 g of protein per meal and 10-15 g of protein for snacks. For instance, 20 – 30 g of protein could look like a palm-sized portion of lean meat, 3 eggs, or a Greek yogurt with almonds. Good snacks include two cheese sticks, a beef jerky stick (depending on the brand), or a serving of dried edamame.
2. Incorporate high fiber foods
Fiber is another important nutrient to emphasize in a fat loss diet. High fiber foods include legumes (beans and nuts), fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fiber can help suppress appetite by adding bulk to your meals which is a key to signaling hunger fighting hormones. An easy strategy to incorporate is adding in at least two fist sized portions of non-starchy vegetables to each meal.
3. Incorporate coffee into your day
This one is a personal favorite of mine. I mean who doesn’t love coffee? Coffee is full of antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid which has been shown to decrease appetite (interestingly, decaffeinated coffee has stronger appetite-suppressing effects although researchers are not sure why). Another strategy that many of our Fuel clients use involves incorporating our protein iced coffee recipe into their day. The hunger fighting effects of protein and coffee make an excellent combo to help you stay on track.
4. Eat slowly
It takes your brain roughly 20 minutes to get the message from your stomach that you should probably stop eating because you are full. Many of us probably take 10 minutes or less to finish our meals. An easy strategy to help slow down meals times to aim for a certain number of chews per bite or setting down your utensils in between bites.
5. Minimize distracted eating
Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar. It’s 7 pm on a Wednesday and you’re about to watch a few episodes of The Office before you call it a night. You open up a bag of chips for a snack and within 20 minutes you reach into the bag and find it completely empty. This is a perfect example of distracted eating. When you’re not fully paying attention to what you’re eating, you’re less likely to notice satiety cues (how full you are). Taking the time to pay attention to and savor your food will help you recognize when you’re truly satisfied. This results in less overeating and a more satisfying dining experience.