One of the aspects of nutrition most people have trouble with is getting hungry between meals. This is a common issue that makes it harder for you to stay on track and achieve your goals. To help with this, we’ve created a list of what we believe to be the 10 most important tips to outsmart your cravings.
1. Avoid “Diets With An End Date”
First thing you need to avoid is to follow a “diet with an end date”. Instead, you should focus on learning how to make a lifestyle change and make healthy eating and portion control a habit.
2. Set Realistic Goals
Sticking to a plan is extremely hard if you set yourself unrealistic goals and rules. Eating meals at exact intervals every day, measuring every gram, prohibiting all ‘cheat meals/treats’ is more than likely going to set yourself up for failure. Instead, you should make a sustainable lifestyle change, that allows for flexibility and consistency.
- Allow yourself a treat once a while.
- Schedule in your treat/cheat meal, that way you can look forward to it and won’t feel deprived when eating healthy and feel guilty after eating your “treat”
3. Measure Your Daily Intake
Additionally, make sure you are measuring your nutrition by tracking your daily calories, proteins, carbs, sugars and fats. This helps you keep on track of what you are eating throughout the day and assists you in achieving your goals by making sure you do not eat more than you should be. There are plenty of apps on the AppStore that can automatically do this for you, our favourite is Calorie Counter – MyFitnessPal.
4. Eat Enough Protein
Adding more protein to your diet can increase feelings of fullness, make you eat less at your next meal and help you lose fat, according to Authority Nutrition. By having protein in every meal and frequent meals (5-6 meals a day), the blood sugar level will remain stable and cravings will be reduced accordingly.
- Lean animal protein choices: chicken breast, turkey, kangaroo, white fish, egg white, prawns
- Vegetarian protein choices: sugar/fat free Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu, lentils, black beans, almonds, seeds, chickpeas
5. Drink Plenty Of Water
Are you having enough water? Human muscles and organs are around 70%-80% water. Your body can’t function properly unless you are feeding yourself enough water, similar to how a flower can’t grow unless it’s being watered regularly. Scientists believe that about 17 oz (500 ml) of water is sufficient to stretch the stomach enough to send signals of fullness to the brain.
- Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go to make it easier to drink water regularly.
- If you wait till you are thirsty to drink water, then you are already dehydrated. So make sipping on water a habit.
- Drink a big glass of water upon waking up to rehydrate your body from the water you lost when sleeping.
6. Have A Meal Before Bed
Having foods that are slow releasing before you go to bed makes sure that the energy and nutrients will slowly release into your body when you are sleeping. Thus, a meal before bedtime will prevent you from feeling starving when waking up in the morning so you won’t overeat during breakfast time.
- A serving of protein powder with a teaspoon of coconut oil or 2 teaspoons of peanut butter.
- Use food processor to blend cottage cheese, frozen berries and a little bit of almond milk to have as a “dessert” before bed. You can also add in some protein powder for extra protein, especially if you weight train. (Cottage cheese is a great source of casein protein, it’s slow digesting and perfect to have before bed)
7. Indulge In Dark Chocolate
Are you a chocoholic? Treat yourself to a couple of squares of dark chocolate in between meals to curb those cravings. According to Authority Nutrition, the bitterness of dark chocolate is thought to help decrease appetite and diminish cravings for lollies. Additionally, researchers also believe the stearic acid in dark chocolate can help slow digestion, further increasing feelings of fullness.
8. Rest, Rest, Rest
Getting enough quality sleep can also help reduce hunger and protect against weight gain. Studies show that too little sleep can increase hunger and appetite by up to 24% and decrease the rate of fullness levels after breakfast by 26%, stated by Authority Nutrition. Be comfy, warm and snug in our collection of Mens and Ladies Sweats and Hoodies, to ensure a good nights sleep.
9. Reduce Your Stress
Excess stress is known to raise levels of the hormone cortisol, which increases the desire for cravings.
10. Avoid Diet Sodas
Have you ever felt hungry within an hour of drinking a diet soda? Although these drinks have less sugar, companies FILL them with artificial sweeteners and flavours to make up for it, causing you to crave more food and interfere with your body’s hunger/satisfaction signals which can make you hungry, according to Martha Mckinnon. Next time you reach for that bottle of “diet” coke, make sure you remember this article and opt for a big glass of water with lemon, vegetable juice, green tea or sparkling water instead. To see more information on the issues of diet soda, check out Martha’s article “Top 4 Reasons Why I Stopped Drinking Diet Soda.”
Do you have other interesting tips on dealing with being hungry all the time? Please share your advice and knowledge in the comments section below or on our Facebook Page.