Trying to Lose Weight but Always Hungry? Top Strategies to Use When Trying to Lose Weight
Losing weight often seems like a never-ending battle for some people, particularly those who dislike lingering hunger pangs or who are emotional eaters. Unfortunately, hunger is an almost inevitable part of trying to lose weight. A good diet will have you cut down on calories, which usually means consuming smaller amounts of food, resulting in between-meal hunger. When you are trying to lose weight but always hungry, it opens the door for you to give in to those cravings and go off your diet. There are some strategies you can use, however, to stave off hunger and stay on your diet so that you can eventually have that svelte new figure you are working toward.
1. Attend a Weight Loss Camp or Resort
Learning how to eat well and to prepare tasty meals that stave off hunger while leaving you with a high level of satiation is par for the course when attending weight loss camp. This type of specialized camp is perfect for the dieter who is struggling to feel full and satisfied with their current meal plans. Weight loss camps generally offer cooking classes, nutritional advice, and personalized eating plans for dieters, and the skills learned at these types of camps can be employed once you’re back home and making your own foods. Learning how to eat well is important not just for losing weight but for maintaining your weight loss results for life. Attending a weight-loss camp or resort is also a great way to jump start your way to your weight loss goals while learning skills that will help you to keep off the pounds.
2. Avoid Simple Carbohydrates
One of the most simple things you can do to stave off hunger when trying to lose weight is minimize your consumption of simple carbohydrates. Simple carbs that have a high glycemic rating, such as sugar and white bread, cause severe spikes in blood sugar followed by sharp dips. A 2013 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that these spikes and dips in blood sugar levels may stimulate the part of the brain that triggers hunger and cravings. To keep hunger pangs at bay, stay away from high-glycemic foods and opt for whole grains instead. Choose brown rice and sweet potatoes instead of white rice and white potatoes, and avoid processed and sugary snacks at all costs. The study also concluded, however, that processed and simple carbohydrates may not affect everyone the same way. For those who have trouble controlling hunger and cravings, eliminating or reducing consumption of simple carbs might just be a good first step.
3. Indulge in Salads
A salad filled with fresh vegetables is a simple low-calorie dish. Many people who are trying to lose weight feel unfulfilled at mealtime with a salad alone, however, which often leads to between-meal hunger pangs. Research has proven that when you eat a large salad before lunch, you will typically wind up consuming 12 percent fewer calories by the end of the meal. Eat a smaller salad and see a 7 percent reduction in calorie intake. A large salad is defined as one that has roughly three cups of vegetables and equals 100 calories or less, and a small salad is roughly half of a large one. If you are trying to lose weight but always hungry, fill your salad with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, and celery, and toss it with a low-fat or fat-free dressing. Using regular salad dressings will pack on the calories. One tablespoon of a typical ranch dressing, for example, has roughly 73 calories. The same serving of reduced-fat ranch dressing has only 29 calories, and there are only 17 calories in the fat-free version.
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4. Allow a Little Fat
Many diets severely restrict the amount of fat you can eat, but that may be setting you up for between-meal hunger pains. A research study published in Cell Metabolism found that an unsaturated fat called oleic acid helps to stave off hunger. When you consume foods with oleic acid, the digestive process converts it into a compound that sends hunger-curbing signals directly to your brain, helping you to feel full. Foods that are rich in the fats that contain oleic acids include avocados, nuts, and olive oil. The American Diabetic Association cautions that you should limit unsaturated fats to less than 20 percent of your total daily calorie intake. When you want a snack that will keep you feeling full, stick to an ounce of nuts, a quarter of an avocado, or two tablespoons of all-natural peanut butter. Since your system burns off carbohydrates in just one to two hours, midmorning hunger pains are inevitable after a carbohydrate-rich breakfast. Add some peanut butter to your toast or bagel or enjoy a yogurt with your meal to keep you going until lunchtime.
5. Enjoy High-Fiber Foods
Foods that are high in fiber are natural appetite suppressants. Fibers are classified as soluble, such as those found in oats, vegetables, beans, and many fruits, or insoluble, including those found in wheat bran and whole-wheat flour, although many fiber-rich foods are a combination of the two. Most adults consume only 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day, but the recommended daily amount is 40 grams in order to stay full and avoid between-meal hunger. If you enjoy orange juice with your breakfast, consider eating an orange instead. One whole orange holds roughly three grams of fiber, which the juicing process strips out. Brown rice has roughly four times the fiber of white, and sweet potatoes have four grams of fiber compared to three grams in white potatoes. A breakfast consisting of two slices of whole-wheat toast and a cup of oatmeal will give you four to six grams of fiber. A fried egg sandwich using white bread contains very little in comparison. Other high-fiber snacks include almonds, fresh fruits and vegetables, and hummus with wholegrain pita chips.