One of the biggest problems that most dieters have when they’re trying to get thin is snacking between meals or craving sweets and doughy carbs. This behavior begins when you allow your stomach to go empty and those hunger pangs begin to set in. Unfortunately, once these pains set in, it’s almost always too late to stop yourself from craving the things you shouldn’t eat, and maybe even partaking in a few treats. There are ways that you can prepare yourself so that you stay fuller longer, and don’t find yourself in this position.
Trick Your Body
One way that you can make yourself feel fuller longer is by tricking your body into thinking that you’re eating by chewing on something sugar free. Gum is the most popular choice for this, but some people also choose to suck on mints. Danielle Braff of Woman’s Day says:
Even though you don’t technically consume gum, you can still feel fuller from it. A study found that if you chew gum for 60 minutes in the morning, you’ll consume 67 fewer calories at lunch.
If you need a real snack, rather than faking it by sucking or chewing on something, you can try munching on a few almonds between breakfast and lunch, or between lunch and the end of your day. Count them out and only have about ten to fifteen nuts. This will keep you from taking in too much between meals. It’s also a good idea to stick to plain nuts rather than salted ones.
Eat More Meals
Believe it or not you can actually lose weight and keep yourself feeling satiated for longer periods of time by eating more meals per day. Most people who live by this philosophy eat five or six small meals a day. This could be half a tuna sandwich with low fat mayonnaise, a protein shake, or a small piece of protein with a healthy carbohydrate. Eating in this way not only helps you feel full but it actually speeds up your metabolism as well, because your body is constantly working to digest the foods that you’re eating. If you eat this way, the best practice is to cut out fats such as oils, margarine, and butter, and stick to low fat ingredients.
Bring Back The Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap in the health and fitness world, and it’s easy to see why when so many carbohydrates include sugars and starches, but carbs are actually essential to your diet. The carbohydrates that you eat energize your body and give it fuel to burn; while it’s true that without this fuel your body can begin burning its own fat instead, when your body runs out of fuel you’ll begin to feel those hunger pangs as well. Choose complex carbs such as whole grain bread, brown rice, and sweet potatoes.
Don’t drink your calories, but do drink your water. The amount of water that your body gets throughout the day can significantly affect how hungry you feel. Many people don’t know how to tell the difference between thirst and hunger, because so many people eat in front of the television, or drink at the movie theater rather than listening to their body’s signals as they drink and eat. Becky Hand of Spark People writes:
Drinking plain old water can help with your weight management program, especially if you are substituting calorie-containing beverages like regular soda, juice and sweetened coffee for water, which is healthy and calorie-free.
Drinking water throughout the day can also keep your mouth and hands occupied so that you’re not thinking about reaching for that bag of chips or box of cookies to keep yourself busy. Focus on getting in 8-10 solid glasses of water, or keep a water bottle at your desk, or in your car as you’re going about your day. Water is especially helpful for women trying to lose weight while menstruating, because it helps decrease signs of bloating.