You are on your journey to getting fit and losing a few pounds; eating healthy meals, exercising daily, but there’s one problem. You feel HUNGRY!
How can you manage hunger? And what do you do if you still feel hungry after meals?
Guest writer, Holly Brown from ConsiderMeFit.com gives you her Top 4 Tips.
Tip 1. Drink a LARGE glass of water 20 minutes before every meal.
You hear it time and again, “Drink more water”, but it’s true, drinking plenty of water throughout the day is essential for controlling hunger, assisting with digestion, helping to maintain normal bowel function, relieving headaches and supporting your metabolism.
Hunger is often confused for thirst. Drink a big glass of water 20 minutes before every meal. This helps to make sure your body is well hydrated and you are not mistaking hunger for thirst.
**Note: Avoid excess drinkingduringa meal. This will dilute your stomachs natural digestive enzymes and stomach acids, making it difficult for the stomach to breakdown food. Stomach acids are dissipated with the act of consuming liquids with solids because water is digested faster than solids.
The amount of water each person needs is individual, but if your pee isn’t mostly clear, you are not drinking enough water.
Tip 2. Still hungry after a meal? Wait 20 minutes, then have more protein and leafy greens.
It takes roughly 20 minutes for your brain to register feelings of fullness. Chew slowly and give yourself 20 minutes after eating to digest. If you still truly feel hunger, fill up on more protein and leafy greens.
Getting the Right Macro’s
Macro nutrients refer to proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates; nutrients the body requires in large amounts (unlike micro nutrients, aka. vitamins, minerals) which your body needs in smaller amounts.
Never eliminate a macro nutrient completely from your diet (aka. eliminating carbs or eliminating fats). Making sure you keep each of the macro nutrients in your diet will play a huge role in managing hunger, your energy levels and your body composition (what your body looks like).
We are all unique little flowers, and different percentages of each macro nutrient will work better for each individual. Some individuals work well eating a higher percentage of carbohydrates, while others work best consuming a diet higher healthy fats while eliminating grains and getting their carbohydrates from veggies.
How do you know what will work best for you? Trial and error.
A general rule of thumb is consume:
1 gram of protein per pound of goal body weight
Roughly .5 grams of healthy fats per pound of goal body weight
and fill in the rest of your calories with carbohydrates (veggies, fruits, slow digesting carbs such as sweet potato, oats, and brown rice.)
For example, an individual who has a goal body weight of 140 lbs should aim to consume:
140 grams of protein (about 23 grams per meal)
70 grams of healthy fats (about 11.5 grams per meal)
fill the remaining daily calories with complex carbohydrates
Get the basics down first. Make sure you have a protein, a carb and a healthy fat in each meal. Once you’ve got the basics down you can start to make adjustments.
Keeping your calories roughly the same, try eating a little bit more carbohydrates and a little less fats. How did you feel? How did you body react? Was there weight gain? Or did you feel more energy?
Then, try eating fewer carbohydrates and more healthy fats. How did you feel? Do you have less bloating? Does your body shed pounds on less carbohydrates?
Experiment with timing. Does you body feel better eating carbohydrates before / after your workout? Or do you sleep better saving your carbs for your final meal of the day? Does your body feel better with a higher protein/fat breakfast or with healthy carbs like oatmeal?
Unfortunately, you will need to do a bit of experimenting to see just what works best for you.
Tip 3. Eat more veggies
Vegetables are fibrous and help fill you up without breaking the calorie bank, so make sure you are adding a serving of vegetables to every meal.
Soluble fiber vs. insoluble fiber
Soluble fiber, like that found in cucumbers, blueberries, beans, and nuts, dissolves into a gel-like texture, helping to slow down your digestion. This helps you to feel full longer and is one reason why fiber helps with weight control.
Insoluble fiber, found in foods like dark green leafy vegetables, green beans, celery, and carrots, does not dissolve at all and helps add bulk to your stool. This helps food move through your digestive tract more quickly for healthy elimination.
Many whole foods, like fruits and vegetables, contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Tip 4. Chill out. Don’t be so emotional
Do you stress eat or emotional eat? Or no matter what you eat you can not seem to lose the weight?
Stress and emotions play aHUGEpart in weight control.
Why? Elevated levels of our stress hormone,cortisol, increases your appetite and cravings, affects how you sleep, and affects your activity level.
While removing your stressors may not happen overnight, you CAN help lower your cortisol levels by exercising daily (walking, jogging, biking, hiking, swimming, etc.) and by eating nutrient dense superfoods like hemp seed, chia seed, dark leafy greens like kale, swiss chard and spinach, and antioxidant rich fruits like blueberries, blackberries, goji berries and pomegranate.
Do you know someone who would benefit from this article? Please share!
Eat Clean, Train Mean, Live Green
Guest Author, Holly Brown is a health and fitness blogger and owner of ConsiderMeFit.com