Cutting carbs, calories: You lose weight, that’s for sure. But those between-meal hunger pains are vicious. Can you make it home tonight without chewing off your hand?
For more than a decade, nutritionists have investigated this issue of “satiety” — feeling full — to help us fight off hunger pains, writes Barbara Rolls, PhD, in her book, The Volumetrics Weight-Control Program. Rolls is the Guthrie Chair in nutrition at Pennsylvania State University in Pittsburgh.
“Cut calories by simply eating less, and you’ll feel hungry and deprived,” she writes.
Rolls’ extensive research has led to this conclusion: By strategically increasing a meal’s water and fiber content — with the addition of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains — you can dramatically cut the calories per portion, she tells WebMD.
Fruits and vegetables naturally have a high water content, which allows you to eat more, because the food is “energy dense.”
It’s the grapes versus raisins concept: A cup and a half of grapes equals ¼ cup raisins for a snack that is about 100 calories. The water in grapes lets you eat more, so you feel fewer hunger pains, she explains.
Also, a tiny bit of fat helps you last longer, Althea Zanecosky, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, tells WebMD. Your system burns carbs in an hour or two, so the hunger pains hit midmorning. “If you add a little fat to your breakfast, low-fat rather than skim milk, or low-fat yogurt, or a smear of peanut butter on a bagel, you’re not hungry so soon afterward.”
- 5 Tips if You’re Trying to Lose Weight But Always Hungry
- Trying to Lose Weight but Always Hungry? Top Strategies to Use When Trying to Lose Weight
- 1. Attend a Weight Loss Camp or Resort
- 2. Avoid Simple Carbohydrates
- 3. Indulge in Salads
- 4. Allow a Little Fat
- 5. Enjoy High-Fiber Foods
- On Schedule or Just When You Feel Like: When Should You Eat?
- The benefits of trusting your body’s hunger signals
- Don’t wait till you’re starving to eat something
- The argument for an eating schedule
- The argument against scheduled meal times
- How to Enter Fat Burning Mode, Without Starving Yourself Or Living In the Gym
- Drink Exogenous Ketones
- Eat Under 20g of Carbs Per Day
- Eat A Lot of Fat (Natural Foods Preferred)
- Go For A Short Walk
- Feel the burn…
- Before you go…
- 7 Smarter Ways to Lose Weight Without Starving Yourself
- And I have something else for you today…
- This exclusive 7-Day intensive is the first step to a new you.
- How to Not Be Hungry on a Diet: 12 Tips Backed by Science
- Why Am I Always Hungry?
- How to Control Hunger for Weight Loss
- Tip #1: Keep a Food Diary
- Tip #2: Eat a Healthy Breakfast
- Tip #3: Get More Protein Each Day
- Tip #4: Load Up on Low Carb Veggies
- Tip #5: Fill Up on High Fiber Foods
- Tip #6: Eat Less Added Sugar and Empty Calories
- Tip #7: Drink More Water
- Tip #8: Slow Down and Practice Mindfulness
- Tip #9: Learn How to Meal Prep
- Tip #10: Get Enough Sleep
- Tip #11: Manage Your Stress
- Tip #12: Drop the Booze, At Least for a Little While
- More Tips for When Hunger Hits
- How to Lose Weight Without Feeling Hungry
- 7 Scientifically-Backed Ways To Not Be Hungry While Losing Weight
- A Quick Digression Into What Causes Hunger
- The 5 Scientifically-Backed Ways To Curb Hunger While Losing Weight
- Bonus – Mentally Prepare Yourself
- If You’re Chronically Hungry…
- How can I lose weight quickly without starving myself?
- How to lose weight without starving yourself
- Eat healthier food
- Get more exercise
5 Tips if You’re Trying to Lose Weight But Always Hungry
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.
Related Article: Need Motivation to Lose Weight? 7 Tips to Drop Pounds
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.
On Schedule or Just When You Feel Like: When Should You Eat?
Should you just eat when your tummy lets you know or should you establish a regular eating timetable for your meals and snacks? There are pros and cons to both approaches, but which one is advisable for your weight-loss goals?
The benefits of trusting your body’s hunger signals
One of the most basic signals your body sends out is one for hunger. That familiar stomach growl lets us know it’s time to eat something. Ghrelin, the body’s hunger hormone, is produced in the pancreas and stomach lining and works to stimulate the appetite.
Eating because you’re hungry comes naturally because hunger pangs are just the body’s way of saying it needs an energy boost, ideally in the form of something nutritious.
Whether you prefer 3 main meals a day or 6 smaller ones, never stop listening to your body telling you it’s full. If you’ve provided it with enough energy, it will let you know, usually within 20 minutes after your mealtime. Eat slowly, listen carefully and put down your knife and fork when your stomach says “enough”.
Learning to correctly interpret your body signaling when it’s hungry and when it’s full is extremely important. We sometimes confuse emotions, both positive and negative, or cravings with hunger signals.
Don’t wait till you’re starving to eat something
Do you wait to eat until your appetite is so big you’d eat pretty much anything? Bad plan — this usually results in overeating. When our blood sugar drops fairly low, we tend to grab any and all food we can get our hands on. This is obviously less than ideal when you’re trying to lose weight.
For people suffering from blood sugar issues, such as diabetes, this extreme drop in blood sugar can be particularly dangerous.
The argument for an eating schedule
The debate rages on: 3 larger meals a day or 6 smaller ones? Sticking to a timetable helps many people avoid feelings of extreme hunger. This, in turn, can reduce the risk of overeating or emotional binge eating. A meta-analysis of 15 studies on the relationship between eating frequency and weight loss showed that smaller, more regular meals can help weight loss efforts.
The argument against scheduled meal times
If you’re rigid about eating at a certain hour, you might begin eating out of habit instead of hunger. This means you’re taking in calories even if your body isn’t asking you for them, which can lead to weight gain instead of loss. Additionally, there are a lot of people who just aren’t comfortable with a strict eating schedule. For some people, paying more attention to the timing means paying less attention to the natural hunger signals, or ignoring them all together.
Keeping yourself nourished should be a natural process, not one full of forced rules and regulations. Both timing-based and instinctually-based methods can aid in weight loss. If you choose to follow an eating schedule, make sure you aren’t forcing yourself to eat even if you aren’t hungry. What if you’re hungry, but your next meal isn’t scheduled for another 2 hours? Tide yourself over with a nutritious snack, like these granola bars! Ultimately, you need to listen carefully to your body. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. If you’re making sure nutritious, whole foods are the main staples in your diet, then you should be able to reach your weight goals using either method.
How to Enter Fat Burning Mode, Without Starving Yourself Or Living In the Gym
Sean MeyerFollow Aug 14, 2017 · 9 min read
It’s not as difficult as you’d think….
Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash
I don’t know about you, but most weeks, I simply don’t have enough time to make it to the gym.
It seems like life always finds a way to keep me from pumping iron, and for the longest time, I thought this meant I had no chance of losing weight either.
So I continued with this sob story for many months, but then one day I came across an interesting concept, one that allowed me to burn fat without living in the gym.
At first I was skeptical as there’s always a new diet that’s supposed to change millions of lives, but this one seemed different, so I decided to give it a try.
And let’s just say, within 12 months — all of that skepticism was gone…
Because I was finally able to lose the excess fat I’d carried around for many years, without having to starve myself or even go to the gym.
Now don’t take that the wrong way, I’m not saying the gym is a bad thing and it definitely helps, but I am saying you don’t have to go there 6 days a week to lose weight…
And in this article, I’m going to show you how you can lose the dreaded fat, even if you don’t have time to workout every day.
Drink Exogenous Ketones
The first key concept that I came across was exogenous ketones.
And I know this sounds like some scary steroid that’s reserved for elite athletes, but don’t let the name fool you, it’s actually a source of energy that can be naturally created by your body.
So what exactly is it then?
Well, a ketone is the source of energy that’s created when your body burns fat.
This is commonly known as the “alternative” source of fuel, because there’s only one other source that our bodies can run off of, and that’s glucose. Glucose is energy that’s created when carbs are burned, and since we all love our carbs, most of us live our entire lives in “glycogen burning mode”…the mode that primarily runs off glucose.
Okay, so ketones are the source of fuel, and exogenous simply means something you take.
If you want to get real technical, the definition of exogenous is “growing or originating from outside an organism”.
In other words, when you take exogenous ketones, you immediately get a great source of energy, without having to do HIIT training and burn fat.
Now this is great for many reasons as ketones have been proven to have many therapeutic effects.
I can’t confirm this, and it’s merely an observation, but I get a huge rush of euphoria every time I take exogenous ketones…so I’m almost starting to think this is a big reason (if not THE reason) that intense exercise makes people feel so good.
And I could go on about these benefits for days, but from a fat burn standpoint, it’s extremely useful as it tells our body to start burning fat.
This was confusing to me at first, but then I got to thinking about it, and it started to make a lot of sense.
There’s a lot of science in it, but I’m a fan of simple — so in simple terms…
These ketones are only produced when we’re in fat burning mode, so when we take exogenous ketones, it tells our body that we’re in fat burning mode and it instinctively makes the switch.
Yes, it’s that easy, and here’s the best part. With advancing technology in this field over the recent years, these exogenous ketones are extremely easy to get ahold of.
I personally recommend KetoCaNa, which can be found at ketosports.com, and they have a few other options for you to choose from as well.
The other product that I’ll take sometimes is MCT Oil by Quest Nutrition. Now this MCT Oil isn’t exactly exogenous ketones, but the body quickly converts this oil into ketones, so it’ll still get the job done.
And that’s the 2 products that I enjoy, but if you go to Amazon and search for ketones, you’ll see how many different options there are today.
Okay, and that’s how you enter fat burning mode, but then we have to entertain the next part, staying in fat burning mode.
Eat Under 20g of Carbs Per Day
So as I briefly mentioned earlier, there’s 2 sources of energy that our body can run off of — ketones and glucose.
Ketones is the source of energy that’s created from fat burn, and glucose is the source of energy that’s created when carbs are burned.
Okay, so that parts easy enough, but here’s where things get tricky — the 2 don’t work well together.
And it’s not really the sources of energy that don’t work well together, but it’s the fact that our body can only be in one “mode”.
What I mean by “mode” is the difference between “fat burning mode” and “glycogen burning mode”.
Now to be completely honest, our bodies do use both sources at all times, but the secondary source is always minimal and pretty much irrelevant. I think it’s just enough to let your body know that the other source is there, but other than that, it doesn’t do anything.
And this works both ways, but when your body is in “glycogen burning mode”, then it’s really hard to burn fat.
There’s a few different reasons for this as well, but the biggest reason is that our bloodstreams can only have so much sugar (glucose) at one time.
In other words, when you’re eating carbs, your body is going to have its full focus on maintaining this energy. It’ll instantly start using it as fuel and if the glucose levels are too high (i.e. you ate too much carbs) then insulin will kick in and start removing the excess sugar from your bloodstream.
Now that’s a good thing, but here’s the kicker. When that excess sugar is removed from the bloodstream, guess where it goes?
That’s right, straight to your lovehandles…in the form of body fat.
Now that’s bad enough, but since most of us are constantly in glycogen burning mode, that makes it very difficult to ever access and burn the energy that was converted into fat…
Starting to see the problem here?
Okay, so here’s where I’m going with this.
In step 1, we drank ketones to enter fat burning mode.
In step 2, it’s important to stay in fat burning mode, and we have to do this by avoiding glycogen burning mode.
As we just discussed, the only way to avoid glycogen burning mode is by staying away from glucose, or in layman’s terms — staying away from carbs. The amount will fluctuate for everybody, but if you start at 20g per day, then you’ll be in fat burning mode.
And I know, this sounds terrible at first, but trust me — once you start to see the results…you’ll love it.
Plus, don’t worry…this doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself either!
Eat A Lot of Fat (Natural Foods Preferred)
Yes, you read that correctly, I want you to eat more fat.
And before you think I’ve completely lost my mind, please hear me out.
I realize it’s hard to understand how eating more fat can help you burn fat, to be honest, it took me a lot of months to wrap my head around this.
And I couldn’t of done it by myself, I had to reach out to a lot of professionals that simplified it for me and eventually got me to a point of understanding.
I think this is another point I could talk about for days, but in my best attempt to simplify it down further, I think the reason for this can be explained in 5 key points:
- When you eat fat in fat burning mode, you’re just adding fuel to the fire
- Body fat is stored energy, so there’s no biological reason why we should believe eating fat makes you fat. As I mentioned earlier, excess sugar is quickly converted into body fat, so in all honesty…carbs create more body fat than dietary fat does
- Fat is filling and keeps you full longer. When I first started dieting, the hardest part for me was being hungry all the time. I absolutely hated this feeling and I think that’s what led to my constant battle with “yo-yo” dieting
- Eating a lot of fat helps regulate your “ghrelin” levels. Ghrelin is the hormone that regulates your hunger, so when you eat more fat, you aren’t hungry as often and you don’t have the sudden urges to eat all the time
- Eating fat DOES NOT give you heart problems. This is a completely different subject, but if you want more information on this, I highly recommend Cholesterol Clarity by Jimmy Moore
Okay, so that’s the 5 key points to why eating fat is actually good for you…but again, that’s only if you’re in fat burning mode.
If you eat a lot of fat while you’re in glycogen burning mode, then yes, it can easily be converted into stored energy…and that’d be counterintuitive to your goal.
So that’s why steps 1 and 2 are so important, and once you start these steps, you can start to enjoy the benefits of a high fat diet.
The 5 points explain most of the benefits of high fat, but there’s 2 more things I wanted to mention.
- Make sure you’re eating actual fat
When most people hear fat, they instantly think of things that make us fat, like snickers or candy.
As we mentioned earlier, the reason these things make us fat is because they’re full of sugar (glucose), and that’s something we need to stay away from.
On the other hand, actual fats are good for you, and those include things like:
- Grass-fed beef (any beef is okay, but grass-fed is always better)
- Fatty fish (sardines, salmon, etc.)
- Pork (pork chops, pulled pork, even bacon)
- Butter (just make sure it’s real butter)
- Full-fat sour cream
- Full-fat cheese
- Cream cheese
- Coconut oil
- Olive Oil
- Avocado Oil
2. Be careful with your protein intake
So we’ve talked about carbs and fat, but we’ve left out 1 macro — protein.
This macro has gained a lot of popularity over the recent years, and everybody now thinks it’s the miracle food that’ll help you build muscle and lose weight overnight.
Don’t get me wrong, protein is a great macro and something that our body absolutely needs, but I also think people consume too much of it.
There’s a few reasons for this, but for the purposes of this article, too much protein can kick you out of fat burning mode through a process known as “gluconeogenesis”. This is a fancy way of saying that extra protein is converted into glucose, and when glucose starts to show up…our fat burning mode turns off.
So how much protein should you eat then?
This is a highly debated topic in the low carb industry, and rightfully so. Some health bloggers make it sound like one bite of chicken will kick you out of fat burning mode while other health bloggers claim 100% protein will get you into fat burning mode.
Now I’ve tested both extremes, and I’m here to let you know that they’re both wrong. Your body uses protein for a lot of different things and it takes A LOT to reach the point of gluconeogenesis, but at the same time, it’s possible.
I think the easiest way to do this, and one that seems to work for everybody, is to eat a ratio of 1 gram of fat for every gram of protein.
I realize this can be tough to do with some meals, so I’ll always melt butter and dip my food in there if I’m having a protein-heavy meal.
And at the end of the day, don’t worry too much if your grams of protein are a little higher during one meal. The key thing is to stay away from straight protein sources (like protein bars and shakes), get a fair amount of healthy fats, restrict carbs…and you’ll probably be okay.
Go For A Short Walk
Last but not least, going for a walk.
So if you follow the first 3 steps, this one is completely optional, but it does help.
Long walks have been proven to deepen ketosis (fat burning mode), and besides that, it’s always good to get out for awhile.
I personally love going for a walk 4x a week just so I can stay up-to-date with my favorite podcasts, but if your schedule doesn’t allow for this right away, you’ll still be okay.
Feel the burn…
Congrats! You officially know how to enter fat burning mode now.
This is the mode that allows you to actually lose the dreaded fat that’s been lingering for too many years, and it does all of this with minimal effort.
That’s not saying it’s easy and you’ll drop 50 lbs a week, but I am saying that burning fat while in fat burning mode is much easier than doing so while in glycogen mode…
And from personal experience, that was the one shift I needed to finally get the results I’d tried so hard to achieve.
Before you go…
I did my best to explain everything you need in this article, but if you’d like to learn more, I did create a Free 5-Day Video Course that explains everything in more detail.
I’m not sure how much longer I’ll leave this course up for free, but if you’d like, you can get your free access by visiting seanmeyer.com/video-course
7 Smarter Ways to Lose Weight Without Starving Yourself
Weight loss on your mind? But you’re tired of all the fads, gimmicks and starvation diets! Well, I want to tell you that there IS a better way to go about losing weight and doing it so you maintain a balanced lifestyle.
You’re in luck because today I have a great video where I’m having a conversation with you about how to best approach your weight loss efforts – WITHOUT dieting or starving yourself.
The fitness industry, on the whole, has really skewed our perspective around food and developing a healthy relationship with it, where we can have progress and maintain long term goals. So today, let’s flip the script and talk about smarter and sane ways to lose weight without dieting or starving yourself.
Here are a few cliffs notes about what we’ll cover today.
- We’re going to take a look at this from a new perspective.
- So much of what we’ve come to know about dieting has been taught from the masculine energy perspective. Very linear, based on numbers, obsessive counting and more. I want you to start to step AWAY from that.
- Instead we are going to come at this from a more intuitive feminine energy aspect with our fitness and completely rewire your way of transforming your body – coming from a place of nourishment, nurturing, and self-care.
- Eating in a caloric deficit is key
- Start tracking your meals with MFP to ensure you eat enough.
- Allow yourself to enjoy cheat meals, they are crucial to the process.
- Swap out foods on your meal plan or tracking to allow freedom and variety.
- Eat lots of fruit and veggies to stay full and to kill sweet tooth cravings
- Don’t rely on supplements. Focused on balanced eating.
- Release yourself from food anxieties and begin
And I have something else for you today…
I am currently accepting new RoxStars into my Empowered Feminine Fitness Group Coaching & Mentorship Program.
And I want to invite you to check it out – for free.
I’ve taken elements of my amazing 1-on-1 coaching program, and packaged my group program in a way to allow clients to work closely with me in a more cost effective way.
Most importantly, Empowered Feminine Fitness is all about not only guiding you with a fully customizable training program and flexible approach to nutrition…
But giving you the tools you need to blossom into the most amazing, open, intuitive, self-confident, self-loving, and dare I say – EMPOWERED – version of yourself than you ever have been before.
How would it feel to you to look in the mirror and simply LOVE what you see…?
Who you are.
And who you are becoming.
- and glowing woman who lives her best life,
- and does it on her terms.
This exclusive 7-Day intensive is the first step to a new you.
And a chance to experience various elements of this amazing coaching program first hand.
I’m going to breakdown for you exactly what’s going on with your approach to your training (and I bet various aspects of your life) that are simply holding you back.
And then, I am going to give you the step by step blueprint to getting those hurdles out of the way.
This 7-Day journey is going to give you a chance to explore fitness in a way that not many people are teaching you right now.
And I can promise you how opening your mind to this, and experiencing how making some major shifts over the next few days, can really help you to get back on the road to success in your efforts once again.
I hope today’s email was really inspiring for you.
Do me a favor, forward it to a friend you know may need to hear it.
And as always, hit that reply button to open up conversation with me if you wish.
Talk to you soon,
How to Not Be Hungry on a Diet: 12 Tips Backed by Science
Welcome to the real hunger games – the act of cutting calories to lose weight quickly. Are you constantly thinking about food and desperately trying to reduce your calories without cravings? Do you want to learn how you can stick to a diet without feeling hungry all the time? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Below are the best, evidence-based strategies to help you drop a few pounds as painlessly as possible.
Why Am I Always Hungry?
When it comes to hunger, it is an inevitable part of decreasing your calories. But there is a difference between feeling starved and just a little hungry.
If your hunger level is getting to the point of severe discomfort and constant food obsession, you may not be eating enough. Yes, eating less is the most effective way to weight loss, but not eating enough is not only uncomfortable but may not help you lose more body fat in the long run. Very low-calorie diets often require drastic measures and do not establish habits that set you up for success after losing the weight. Not to mention, crash dieting can negatively affect your mood, energy levels, overall nutrition intake, and may cause you to lose more muscle mass (1,2,3,4).
Starving yourself is not the answer. Weight loss takes time and patience, you just need to trust the process. If you go about it the right way, results will come. And often times slower, more sustainable progress is more likely to stick and can be less painful overall.
Instead of cutting as many calories as possible, focus on the following:
- Eat the right amount of calories for you. Find the sweet spot (around a 15 to 20% calorie deficit) to promote steady weight loss.
- Pay attention to how you feel. If you are constantly thinking about food or uncomfortably hungry, you may be cutting calories too low. And if you are feeling stuffed all the time, you may be eating too much.
How to Control Hunger for Weight Loss
While cutting calories may help you drop pounds fast, there are additional steps you can take to make your efforts feel a little more bearable and improve your chances for success. Sustainable, healthy weight loss is best achieved through small changes in diet and lifestyle. And learning what changes can make the biggest impact for you is key.
We took a look at the research and what works best for a lot of people and compiled these 12 simple steps to lose weight fast and keep it off:
Tip #1: Keep a Food Diary
Regardless of which type of diet you choose to follow, tracking your daily food intake is one of the best ways to ensure you are sticking to your calorie and macro goals. In one study, participants who logged their food intake lost twice as much weight as those who did not. And additional studies continue to find a link between self-monitoring your diet and weight loss (5).
Tracking your calories is also the easiest way to hold yourself accountable and give yourself daily confirmation that you are sticking to your diet. It’s also one of the best ways to see where you may want to consider making some changes.
I cannot stress this enough: If you aren’t counting calories, losing weight is going to be pretty damn hard. You don’t need to starve yourself, you just need to hit your calorie goals consistently. Get this part right and everything else becomes easier.
Most people fail at weight loss because they aren’t consistent. They are either underestimating their intake, not measuring their portion sizes correctly, only tracking some days of the week, or just not tracking at all. The calorie equation is not a perfect model, but it’s pretty close. So do your best to track as accurately and often as possible – especially if you are just getting started.
Tips for Better Tracking:
- Be precise. Use measuring cups or scales to get an accurate portion size.
- Include every single ingredient used – such as cooking oil, seasonings, and dressings.
- Use brand names or a barcode scanner.
- Track every food and drink, including cheat meals, small bites, and alcohol.
- Track every day, at least to start. This will allow you to see your weekly calorie average and know exactly how consistent you are being.
Do this for at least four weeks. After a while, calorie control becomes more inherent and your knowledge of nutrition increases, making sticking to your diet easier – even without a food log. But once you become a pro, still checking in with a tracking app every now and then can be a great refresher and an easy way to get back on course if needed.
Calories vs Macros
You can also choose to track macros instead of just calories – after all, macros are really just your calories organized into carbs, fat and protein intakes. This approach can help give you a leg up on overall diet balance and still maintain calorie control.
Most tracking apps will also calculate your calorie needs with a little bit of key information, like your weight, height, age and activity level. You can even opt for a “macro-friendly” app, like Trifecta, that allows you to quickly input and track your macros with premium features.
Want even more out of tracking?
You can also log your energy levels, mood and stress levels with each meal or day. This will give you great insight into how your diet is making you feel and how stress is potentially affecting your nutrition.
Tip #2: Eat a Healthy Breakfast
How often you eat or when you eat is likely not as strong of a factor in determining weight loss than how much you eat overall, but eating more of your calories earlier in the day may help curb appetite and improve your energy levels (6).
In other words, eating breakfast could help you lose more weight by reducing your hunger levels all day long. Numerous studies have associated breakfast with better daily calorie control (7,8,9). Especially when it comes to high protein breakfasts (10,11,12,13,14). It’s no wonder why so many still claim that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
But what if you aren’t hungry in the morning?
If you’re just not a breakfast person, don’t feel the need to force yourself to eat. The research also implies that eating more of your calories when you are using them, which is earlier in the day for most, is part of why breakfast is so key. And adding an additional meal could also mean adding additional calories to your day.
To figure out whether or not you should be eating breakfast, consider the following:
- Eat when you are hungry, even if it takes a few hours after waking up.
- If working out early in the morning a light snack may help beforehand, followed by a quality breakfast for recovery.
- Pay attention to your appetite all day long. If you are experiencing increased hunger from skipping meals, try eating smaller meals more often. And if you are having trouble controlling your calories, try eating less often or restrict your calories to a certain time window.
Tip #3: Get More Protein Each Day
When it comes to foods that support weight loss, not many stack up as well as nutrient dense proteins. Protein has not only been linked to improved appetite control in multiple studies, but it may have added weight loss benefits (15,16,17):
- Protein is more thermogenic than any other macro – meaning eating more protein might help you burn a little more calories just from digesting your food (18).
- Protein helps build, repair and protect your muscles. And maintaining lean muscle mass while cutting calories means more of the weight you lose will be body fat. Not to mention, muscle is more metabolic than fat and gives you that lean, toned look most people are seeking.
- Protein is also the least likely macro to be stored as body fat in a calorie surplus (19). Meaning when you cheat or overeat, getting more of your calories from protein might help reduce body fat gain and support muscle gain instead.
So, exactly how much protein should you be eating?
The US Dietary Guidelines suggest protein intake should make up 10 to 35% of your daily calories. But this is a fairly wide range and the amount you need is most closely related to your amount of lean muscle mass and how much you use your muscles in general. While cutting calories, research suggests that eating 1.04 to 1.4 grams of protein per pound of muscle is needed to maintain lean mass (20).
When looking at percent macros, popular high protein diets recommend roughly 30% to 40% of calories come from protein and this amount might not be too far off. In one study, consuming 30% of calories from protein caused participants to eat almost 450 calories less per day – leading to twelve pounds of weight loss in 3 months (21). Some research has even suggested 25% of your calories coming from protein can help curb cravings (22).
The best sources of nutrient dense protein comes from lean meats, fish, eggs and some plant-based sources.
Tip #4: Load Up on Low Carb Veggies
Calorie control may be key to dropping a few pounds, but your body doesn’t run on calories alone – you also need good nutrition (aka micronutrients) to function properly. When your diet is lacking in essential nutrients it signals to your brain to keep your hunger signals turned on so that you need to keep eating until you get the amounts you need. Eating food higher in nutrients can help you satisfy this need much sooner.
This may be why eating more nutrient-dense foods is thought to help manage appetite better (23,24,25). And the most nutrient dense foods you can find come from non-starchy vegetables – basically all vegetables except peas, corn, and potatoes.
Veggies tend to be high in nutrition and very low in calories, giving you more bang per bite. And because they are so low in calories, loading up on veggies can help keep you satisfied and cut calories without having to sacrifice portion sizes.
Try stacking half of your plate with non-starchy veggies for automatic calorie control without going hungry.
Tip #5: Fill Up on High Fiber Foods
Research also points to eating more fiber to help shed pounds (26,27).
Certain types of fiber (soluble fiber) are digested more slowly and pull water into your gut, which can help you feel fuller longer. And other types of insoluble fiber cannot be broken down or absorbed by the body as a source of calories – this can also help keep your digestive system moving along since it tends to be pushed right out.
To keep your hunger at bay and gut going strong, aim to eat at least 30 grams of fiber a day.
And opt for whole food sources over supplements or added fiber ingredients. Research on added fiber for weight loss is not as convincing as fiber from foods (28,29). And naturally, fiber-rich foods also tend to be high in important nutrients. The top sources of fiber in the diet are plant-based foods, like fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
Tip #6: Eat Less Added Sugar and Empty Calories
Excluding the right foods from your diet can also make cutting calories easier without having to feel hungry all the time.
Empty calorie foods contain little to no nutritional value and tend to be higher in calories – essentially the opposite of nutrient-dense foods. Identifying and eliminating empty calories from your diet is a great approach to weight management because it can allow you to create a calorie deficit without sacrificing the nutrition your body needs.
Added sugar tops the list for many as one of the best sources of empty calories to avoid when trying to drop pounds. Refined grains, like added sugar and white bread, are absorbed more quickly than starchy, high fiber carbs – this can mess with your appetite and energy levels, causing you to feel hungry again sooner.
The US Dietary Guidelines recommend keeping added sugar intake below 10 percent of total calories consumed and the American Heart Association recommends no more than 25g of added sugar per day.
Other common sources of empty calories include:
- Soda and sugar-sweetened beverages
- Fried foods
- High sugar, high-calorie desserts
- Pretzels and potato chips
- High-fat meat like sausage and bacon
- Added processed oils and butter
Tip #7: Drink More Water
Before grabbing for a bite to eat, try drinking a glass of water first.
While the actual act of drinking water itself doesn’t necessarily help you lose weight, drinking more water pushes out empty calories from your diet and might also help you feel more satisfied.
Water contains zero calories and is an easy way to fill your stomach while keeping you well hydrated. In fact, having a glass of water 30 minutes before you eat might help you reduce your calorie intake (30, 31). In one study those who drank 2 cups (~16 ounces) of water before their meals, lost 44% more weight in three months, compared to those who didn’t (32).
Plus, hunger can be a sign of early dehydration, since it causes your body to use up stored energy more quickly. In other words, if you are mildly dehydrated and feeling hungry, drinking water could help calm your appetite (33).
How much water should you drink a day?
You are able to get fluids from both foods and beverages, not just water. So the best gauge of how much water you need could just be how thirsty you are (34).
But if you’re looking to add a bit more structure than that, have a 16-ounce glass of water before each meal and see if it helps you feel fuller longer.
Tip #8: Slow Down and Practice Mindfulness
Eating more slowly may help you maintain better calorie control and eat more mindfully! Research implies those that take longer to eat – 30 minutes vs. 5 minutes – can reduce feelings of hunger and increase feelings of fullness, regardless of calorie intake and hormonal responses to food (35).
Slow down. Put the fork down between bites. Take your time to taste your food and enjoy it. This will not only help you be more mindful of what you are putting in your mouth but will give you the opportunity to get to know your hunger and fullness cues a little better.
Tip #9: Learn How to Meal Prep
Systematize your diet by establishing a pattern or eating routine. Research suggests this might be is key for managing calorie control (36).
Planning ahead and preparing some or all of your meals in advance could be a lifesaver when it comes to staying on track with your diet. There’s nothing worse than getting hit with hunger and not having anything healthy to eat around. We’ve all been there when lunchtime rolls around, were starving and the only thing on hand is leftover donuts you had the willpower to avoid from the morning. As hunger creeps in and timing gets tight, it can be extremely difficult to make healthy decisions.
Meal prepping ensures you have options that fit your diet on hand when you need them. It can also help save you time and stress if you’re making most of your meals in advance. It’s a no brainier why research continues to suggest that meal planning is linked to better nutrition and more weight loss (37,38,39).
Ready to get prepping? Check out these meal prep recipes and templates to get you started!
Not interested in cooking or prepping your meals? How about an already cooked, weight loss meal plan delivered to you each week?
Tip #10: Get Enough Sleep
Being tired, cranky and hungry all tend to go hand in hand. When you aren’t sleeping enough your body isn’t running as well as it normally would, which could cause you to store more fat and crave unhealthy foods (40,41). In addition, being sleep deprived often means you are moving slower and get less physical activity throughout the day – causing you to burn fewer calories than when fully energized.
You should be sleeping at least seven hours a night – uninterrupted, quality sleep.
If you think trying to catch up on sleep during the weekends is going to counteract the lack of sleep you got all week long, think again! Daily rest is essential and you need a decent amount of sleep each night. Make your rest a priority. Remove distractions, like your TV, phone, or pets, and find a dark, quiet place to lay down. Use earplugs or sleep masks if needed. Your body and your mind will thank you.
Tip #11: Manage Your Stress
Stress not only messes with your mood, but can also impact certain hormones associated with appetite, and may also cause an increased desire to eat overall(42).
High stress levels are thought to decrease peptide YY (PYY), a hormone that signals fullness (43). Stress has also been associated with increases in hormone cortisol. And cortisol may increase cravings and feelings of hunger in some people (44,45,46,47).
If stress is inhibiting your weight loss efforts, try yoga! Or learn to meditate. Research suggests yoga is positively associated with decreased stress, increased fat loss, and improved mood (48,49,50). The practice of yoga is centered around controlling your breath and being more conscious of how you react to the world around you, helping you channel your stress in a more positive way.
Tip #12: Drop the Booze, At Least for a Little While
Alcohol can provide a significant source of empty calories to the diet and it can be easy to overdo it. In addition, drinking puts a temporary pause on your metabolism and potential fat loss and can affect cravings and hunger.
Alcohol is a toxin and your body will prioritize metabolizing out this toxin before anything else. So if you are drinking, you change the way your body metabolizing food and other macros – potentially shifting the balance towards more fat storage (51,53). For most, it takes roughly one hour to metabolize one alcoholic drink.
Drinking in excess can also cause your blood sugar to drop temporarily which may make you feel hungrier later that night and even the next day – which is exactly why you start to crave high-calorie foods after a night out on the town!
More Tips for When Hunger Hits
Still need more weight loss tips? Here are some things you can try when hunger hits:
- Drink sparkling water
- Chew gum or use breath mints
- Drink sugar-free coffee or tea
- Make sure you aren’t cutting your fat too low
- Stay busy
- Snack on a small amount of dark chocolate
Eat more and weigh less — a dieter’s impossible dream, right? Maybe not. “Foods that have a high water or fiber content add bulk to your meals, so you’ll feel satisfied without having to eat more calories than you should,” says Barbara J. Rolls, Ph.D., professor of nutritional sciences at Pennsylvania State University in State College and coauthor of The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan. So say good-bye to bird-food diets. We’ll show you how to turn these “bulk” foods into delicious low-cal meals.
- The Density Lowdown
Fruits and vegetables contain lots of fiber and water, so even if you eat a big, fat tomato, it’s going to be low in calories. Such foods are low energy density, meaning they have relatively few calories compared with what they weigh. At the other end of the spectrum are high energy density foods like cheese, crackers, and fatty meats: They contain a lot of calories relative to how heavy they are, so you end up eating a ton of these foods before you’ve had enough.
- Why You Feel Hungry
“Your stomach is more sensitive to the volume of the food you eat than to the number of calories the food contains,” says Rolls, whose research shows that people tend to eat the same weight of food on average over a few days. So if you slash your daily calories — say, from 2,500 to 1,500 — by eating much smaller portions of your usual fare, you’ll likely feel starved before your next meal, which puts you at risk of wolfing down too many snacks on the side. But if you add some low energy density foods to your low-calorie meal, says Rolls, it will look hearty and satisfying, you’ll spend more time eating — and enjoying — the food, and the increased volume will prompt stomach receptors to signal to your brain that you’re full. You’ll feel more satisfied, which means you’ll be less driven to sneak in more calories.
- Eat Big and Eat More!
The photos below show the difference in volume that you get for 100 calories: The foods on the left contain less water and have a higher energy density than those on the right. That means you can eat 2 1/4 cups of strawberries for the same calories as a handful of M&M’s!
The 100-calorie comparison
All of these foods can be diet-friendly snacks, but the Jell-O and the strawberries will leave you feeling more full.
|23 M&M’s||1/4 cup of
|5 ounces of
|2 1/4 cups of strawberries|
If you’re still skeptical that you can eat big and lose big, check out this one-day meal swap. We’ve replaced high energy density foods with low energy density foods, supersizing the portions while slashing 1,000 of the original meals’ 2,425 calories. Make substitutions like these every day, and you could lose two pounds a week.
Instead of: 1 cup grapefruit juice, 1 (5.5-ounce) carrot-raisin muffin (660 calories)
|Have: 1/2 grapefruit, 2 low-fat waffles, 4 ounces light yogurt, 1/2 cup raspberries, 2 teaspoons chopped almonds (320 calories)||Tip: Most muffins are packed with calories from sugar and fat. Choose low-calorie, low energy density waffles, and you can add yogurt, nuts and whole fruit (which is more satisfying and has fewer calories than juice).|
Instead of: 6-inch ham sub with mayonnaise, 12 ounces cola (590 calories)
|Have: Ham and veggie wrap with honey mustard, 1 cup fat-free milk, 1 wedge (11 ounces) watermelon (420 calories)||Tip: Choose a high-fiber, low-calorie wrap over bread — and substitute veggies for some of the meat to make a mega-sandwich. Soda adds calories without making you feel more full; fat-free milk triggers receptors to tell the brain you’ve had enough.|
Instead of: Barbecued spareribs, 1/2 cup baked beans, (935 calories)
|Have: 5 ounces spice-rubbed pork tenderloin, 1 cup black bean and tomato salsa, grilled red peppers and zucchini (500 calories)||Tip: Fatty cuts of meat are high energy density; leaner cuts have fewer calories. Keep lean meats slim but tasty by using low-fat spice rubs and marinades to add flavor.|
Instead of: 1 scoop Ben & Jerry’s strawberry ice cream (240 calories)
|Have: 2 scoops Sharon’s Raspberry Sorbet (160 calories)||Tip: Ice cream and sorbet contain lots of water, but since the sorbet is fat free, it is much lower in calories and in energy density.|
Lunch: broth-based soup
Dinner: simple salad (greens, vegetables, and low-calorie dressing)
Research shows that if you make a first course out of one of these appetite tamers, you’ll eat fewer calories overall. These low energy density wonder foods demand to be eaten slowly, which gives your stomach time to register feelings of fullness. Once you get to the energy-dense part of your meal (meat, potatoes, etc.), you’ll be content with smaller portions.
To figure out energy density (ED), you’ll need to do some simple algebra — but no groaning! (After all, you want to subtract pounds, right?) For packaged foods, look at the Nutrition Facts on the label. To get the ED, divide the calories per serving by the weight of the serving in grams. For example, if 1/2 cup ice cream weighs 74 grams and has 180 calories, then 180 calories divided by 74 grams equals an ED of approximately 2.4. Use this chart from Barbara J. Rolls to figure out whether the ED is high or low:
ED below 0.6
Very low (most fruits and vegetables, reduced-fat milk, light yogurt, broth-based soups)
ED 1.5 to 4.0
Medium (dried fruit, hard candy, pretzels, fat-free chips, cheeses, salad dressings, meats)
ED 4.0 to 9.0
High (crackers, most chips, chocolate, candy, cookies, nuts, bacon, butter, oil)
The bottom line
Low ED foods are best at filling you up. But you don’t have to give up your favorite high ED foods — just eat them in moderation and be sure to balance them out with some low and very low ED options at every meal.
Whether you’re following a specific diet regimen or just trying to eat smarter, these ED-based tips will help you slash calories.
- Cut down on dry foods such as pretzels and crackers. These may seem like low-fat choices, but they’re high ED, you’ll end up consuming hundreds of calories without thinking twice.
- Avoid fried foods. They add calories and cause ED to soar. Four ounces of boiled shrimp has around 110 calories and an ED of 0.9. Breaded and fried, the same amount has almost 275 calories, with an ED of 2.4.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Full of water and fiber, they’re low ED champs. Add them to any recipe to make it more filling. (Eat dried fruit in moderation — it’s quite energy dense.)
- Combine high ED foods with low ED ones. A small amount of Roquefort (ED: 3.7) spread on pear slices (ED: 0.6) offers more satisfaction — and fewer calories — than the same cheese on crackers (ED: 4.8). Use butter and oil sparingly on low ED foods.
- Choose high-fiber grains. Fiber adds bulk and takes more time to digest, so you’ll feel full longer.
How to Lose Weight Without Feeling Hungry
Two things you might not know about me: I love to eat, and I hate feeling hungry! I used to think these qualities ruined my chance for weight-loss success. Luckily I was wrong, and I’ve learned that feeling hungry is more than just no fun; it’s not healthy and can actually make it harder to lose weight.
The Secret to Losing Weight for Good
You don’t have to follow a strict diet plan to lose extra pounds and keep them off. In fact, the best strategy is very straightforward: Fill up on nutrient-dense foods throughout the day. Rather than focusing on how much you’re eating, it’s much more effective to watch what you’re eating. It’s almost impossible to overeat if your plate is filled with high-fiber, nutrient-packed foods.
I made the shift from calorie counting (and constant frustration) to filling up and leaning out (without counting calories) by adopting a vegan lifestyle. By eliminating animal products from my diet, I was able to make lasting positive changes in my life, including weight loss, increased energy, better complexion, improved athletic performance (beach volleyball), and relief of all digestive problems. To top it off, every meal I eat tastes amazing and leaves me completely satisfied.
How to Get Started
Drastically changing your diet overnight can seem overwhelming (and rarely leads to lasting change), so take it one step at a time. Start with one food substitution and slowly add in others. As my friend and New York Times bestselling author Kathy Freston, says, “Leaning in is about setting an intention for what you want, and then nudging yourself ever so gently in that direction, even if getting there seems impossible… It’s all about crowding out, not cutting out.”
Here are a few simple swaps to get more plant-based foods into your diet:
Instead of: Dairy milk
Drink more: Almond, rice, hemp, soy, or coconut milk (unsweetened)
Instead of: Meat
Eat more: Beans, legumes, tempeh, or non-GMO tofu
Instead of: Cheese
Eat more: Hummus, olive oil and balsamic (with veggies), baba ganoush
Instead of: Eggs
Eat more: Plant-based protein shakes, almond butter, oatmeal
Go to the next page for 5 no-fail tips for lasting results>>
Top 5 Tips for Lasting Results
1. Always Eat Breakfast
Eating breakfast provides your body with energy to fuel physical activity throughout the morning. Plus, eating a healthy meal in the morning may help you avoid the temptation to reach for a quick-fix at the vending machine when your stomach starts growling around 11:00 a.m.
Try: A quinoa or oatmeal bowl to get a combination of complex carbs, protein, fiber, and healthy fat. Start with one half cup of hot grains (of your choice) and add almond milk, walnuts, berries, cinnamon, and honey. If this is not convenient, try a piece of multi-grain toast with almond butter and banana.
2. Snack Smarter
The best snacks to keep you feeling energized are a combination of protein and carbs. Just like eating breakfast, snacking on nutrient-packed foods throughout the day can help you avoid becoming so hungry that you’ll reach for anything. (Trust me, your body would rather you eat an apple and an ounce of cheese than a bag of chips from the convenience store).
Try: Snacking on small amounts of nuts, fresh fruit, or veggies and hummus every two or three hours.
3. Choose Complex Carbohydrates
Yes, you can eat carbs and have a knockout body, just make sure you eat the right carbs. Avoid processed and refined carbs (the white stuff) and choose complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, oats, and legumes. Complex carbs provide dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which slow down digestion and make you feel fuller longer (the key to weight-loss success). Refined carbs are highly processed and often full of added sugars. These foods break down easily to supply quick energy in the form of glucose. This is a good thing if your body needs quick energy (if you’re running a race or playing a sport), but most people are better off choosing unprocessed or minimally processed whole foods that contain natural sugars, like fructose in fruit.
Try: Find ways to fit more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet, oats) into your everyday diet. Some refined carbs to limit: white bread, white pasta, and sugary baked goods.
4. Enjoy the Good Fats
Just like carbohydrates, not all fats are created equal either. The “good” fats (omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA) are very beneficial to your health. Research shows strong evidence that the omega-3s EPA and DHA can boost heart, brain, joint, eye, and skin health.
Try: Fatty fish like salmon and tuna and fish oil supplements are the easiest significant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
5. Drink Water All Day Long
Water is the elixir of good health. Staying hydrated does everything from boosting energy levels to promoting healthy, glowing skin. Drinking water also helps to flush out toxins and waste products in the body.
Try: Drink two, 8-ounce glasses of water before every meal. You’ll not only hydrate your body, but you’ll be less likely to overeat during the meal.
- By Nora Tobin
Always Hungry? The Truth About How To Lose Weight — Without Deprivation
It sounds so simple. If you want to lose weight, just eat less and move more. We’ve been taught that with just a few straight-forward changes –like skipping dessert and walking an extra 20 minutes a day — virtually anyone could become lean for life. It’s just a matter of “energy balance,” of burning more calories than you eat.
This way of thinking gave us the low-fat diet. Since the fat in food has more than twice the calories as the same amount of protein or carbohydrate, cutting back on dietary fat should lead to automatic weight loss.
This seems great in theory, but unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as expected. Instead of losing weight, we’ve been gaining weight — and lots of it. Rates of obesity in the US skyrocketed as we diligently followed doctor’s orders and replaced fat with carbohydrates. In fact, recent scientific studies show that typical low-fat diets produce less weight loss than other comparison diets. Even more concerning, following a reduced fat diet may actually increase risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and cognitive decline according to new findings from the PREDIMED — a major clinical trial that provided participants with high fat foods like olive oil and nuts.
Clearly, the low-fat paradigm has failed, but not for lack of trying. So where do we go from here? I’ve devoted the past two decades of my life’s work to answering that question.
Why We Really Overeat
When I began my career as an endocrinologist at Harvard in the early 1990s, the low-fat diet had become near universally accepted. The USDA had just published the original Food Guide Pyramid of 1992, which encourage us to fill up on grains (6 to 11 servings per day!) and consume fat sparingly. But I had little formal training in nutrition. Medical schools are notorious for neglecting diet in favor of drugs.
My ignorance turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Rather than thinking of obesity as a simple problem of energy balance, I instead became interested in why people overeat. What made some people feel persistently hungry, despite eating enough food to satisfy calorie requirements? And why were so few people able to lose weight over the long-term, even as they suffered physically and emotionally from being heavy and, more often than not, tried very hard to lose weight?
To explore these questions, I spent months in the Harvard medical library poring over neglected research studies, some dating back a century. Though the knowledge isn’t commonly appreciated in clinical practice, scientists have suspected for decades that biology, more so than will power, determines body weight over the long term.
When experimental animals are forced to eat more than normal, they of course gain weight. But the animals lose all interest in food and metabolism speeds up in an attempt to shed the extra weight. Human volunteers in force-feeding studies feel just as miserable as those in starvation studies. Afterwards, their weight naturally declines right back to where it started.
From this perspective, the conventional approach to weight loss –measuring calories in versus calories out and stressing self-control– seemed misguided.
Intrigued by these insights, I determined to dedicate my career to obesity research and patient care. This 20-year line of investigation led me to an entirely different way to think about diet — not as a delivery system for calories, but instead according to how food affects our hormones, our metabolism, and ultimately our fat cells. And I’ve come to a striking realization:
Overeating doesn’t make us fat; the process of becoming fat makes us overeat.
Our low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet (along with other unhealthy aspects of our lifestyle) has triggered our fat cells to hoard too many calories for themselves, leaving too few for the rest of the body. So we get hungry and metabolism slows. Cutting back calories only makes this situation worse, creating a battle between mind and metabolism we’re destined to lose.
The calorie balance model fails in real life for a simple reason — humans aren’t machines. Though we tend to think of obesity as a state of excess, it’s really a state of starvation to the body. The fundamental problem isn’t having too many calories in fat cells, but too few in the blood stream and available to fuel the brain and other organs.
The three-phase program in Always Hungry? aims to address weight loss at the very source — fat cells stuck in calorie storage overdrive. With a diet designed to lower insulin levels and calm chronic inflammation, fat cells can be retrained to release their excess calories back into the body. When that happens, cravings vanish and metabolism speeds up, leading to weight loss without the struggle. And because this approach works with rather than against biology, you get to eat until satisfied, snack when hungry, and never count calories again.
This is dieting without deprivation. You’ll eat nuts and nut butters, avocados, full-fat dairy, rich sauces and spreads, savory proteins (with vegetarian alternatives), and even real chocolate. But this isn’t an a very low-carbohydrate diet either. You can enjoy a range of natural carbohydrates. And in Phase 3, we mindfully reintroduce some of the more processed carbohydrates, based on your body’s ability to handle them, creating an individualized plan that’s right for you.
This diet is so luscious and satisfying, you won’t miss all those highly processed carbohydrates you might have overindulged during the holidays. Participants in our 16-week pilot test consistently reported less hunger, fewer cravings, improved energy levels and enhanced well being — often before they even shed the first pound. Donna A from Selah Washington, who lost 22 pounds and 5 inches off her waist, said that:
“My husband didn’t think I was on a diet — he said diets are full of deprivation and, since I wasn’t feeling deprived, I couldn’t call it a diet anymore. It does feel good not to be driven by my stomach! I feel so different in such a good way.”
So this year, don’t make another impossible-to-keep resolution that will leave you hungry, frustrated, and stuck on the scale. Instead, I invite you to forget calories, focus on food quality, and let your body do the rest.
7 Scientifically-Backed Ways To Not Be Hungry While Losing Weight
Louise Hendon | January 23
A friend of mine went on a juice diet a few years ago and I swear hanging around her for those 2 days was probably more painful for me than for her.
One of the evenings, she insisted on coming with me to a restaurant to get dinner. And while I tucked into my juicy steak, she ordered a glass of water and stared at me eating.
Yes, she stared at my steak while I cut it. She stared at my fork while I brought it to my mouth. And then she returned to staring at the rest of my steak while I chewed.
It was the most disturbing dinner EVER!
And even worse, all that suffering was for nothing as she totally ditched the diet after the second day because she was so hungry.
If you’ve been into weight-loss or dieting, then you’ll know that not feeling hungry while you lose weight is a HUGE benefit.
So much so that drug companies make lots of money selling appetite-suppressing pills and supplements (like the popular and yet very unproven garcinia cambogia).
All the while, there are completely proven real-food ways to curb your cravings and prevent yourself from overeating all the while eating nourishing foods.
Am I for real? Could you really to say goodbye to hunger pangs while eating healthy delicious food that helps you lose weight?
Let me answer that rhetorical question…YES
And there’s actual science to back this up.
A Quick Digression Into What Causes Hunger
This is a subject that occupies tons of scientific funding as our obesity problem grows and grows. The American Health Association estimates that “nearly 78 million adults and 13 million children in the United States deal with the health and emotional effects of obesity every day.”
And the exact answer is complicated and still not completely known. A few of the causes are:
- Certain hormonal signals
Your body produces a complicated concoction of chemicals to tell your brain how you should feel.
Leptin is one hormone in this hunger system. Leptin is mostly produced by your fat cells.
When you have enough fat, more leptin is produced to tell your brain that you’re not so hungry and should eat less.
Ghrelin is another important hormone in the hunger system. It’s often referred to as the hunger hormone as higher levels of it makes you feel hungry. (1)
Other hormones involved with hunger include (2):
- Cholecystokinin (CCK)
- Pancreatic polypeptide
- Peptide YY
- Glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1
- How Full Your Tummy Is:
This is perhaps the easiest signal your body receives. When you eat a ton of food and extend your stomach and intestines, a signal is sent to your brain via stretch receptors in gut saying “YOU’RE FULL – STOP EATING.” (3)
It’s also partially why some types of bariatric surgery involve shrinking the size of your stomach. (4)
3. Mental thoughts
Ever seen a cake and suddenly started salivating? Or smelled some freshly baked bread and got hungry? (5)
Or have you found yourself getting hungry at the same time each day? A familiar eating habit can also cause hunger. (6)
In the end, it’s likely that all these factors (as well as others) interact to produce the uncomfortable sensation of those annoying hunger pangs (which are actually stomach contractions). (7)
The 5 Scientifically-Backed Ways To Curb Hunger While Losing Weight
1. Eat More Protein
There’s been a lot of research concluding that high protein diets make people feel full faster and for longer. (8, 9, 10)
While the mechanism for this is still unclear (11), making sure you get sufficient protein in your diet is never a bad thing.
Eating adequate protein could also help you retain muscle while you lose fat and burn up more calories. (12, 13)
And if you’re worried about your bone health, then this 2011 review concluded (14): “dietary protein works synergistically with calcium to improve calcium retention and bone metabolism.”
How Much Protein Should You Eat?
There’s a lot of debate on this. The US government recommends we eat 5.5 oz of protein per day (for a 2000-calorie diet), which corresponds to around 30% of your calorie intake. (15)
And many scientific studies showing benefits of high protein diets used diets where people ate around 30% of the calories from protein. (16, 17)
Our calculator can also help you determine more exactly how much protein you need depending on your current weight, body fat percentage, activity, and goals (weight loss, muscle gain, or maintenance).
2. Remove Hyperpalatable Foods
I didn’t make up that word!
Hyperpalatable foods are addictive foods, and over the past 10 years, they’ve garnered a lot more attention in the scientific community. (18)
And as one research paper has pointed out, “A growing body of research has identified many similarities between conventional addiction disorders and excessive consumption of calorie-dense foods.” (19) The similarities between hyperpalatable foods and addictive drugs is scary!
So you’re gorging out of control on these hyperpalatable foods…you think you’ll take just one bite but in less than 10 minutes, that entire party-sized bag of potato chips or that Costco-sized bag of cookies is completely gone…sound familiar?
What Foods Are Hyperpalatable?
We evolved to eat non-processed foods. Let’s face it – potato chips, chocolate chip cookies, and even sodas have all been invented in the past century or so. Before that, we ate foods that were either high in sugar (like berries and sweet potatoes) or else high in protein (like meats) or high in fat (like bone marrow). (20)
But with processed foods came the mixing of these types of macronutrients. A recent study concluded that “highly processed foods, with added amounts of fat and/or refined carbohydrates (e.g., sugar, white flour), were most likely to be associated with behavioral indicators of addictive-like eating.” (21)
So, foods high in both fat and refined carbs (like potato chips, cookies, cakes) are all culprits.
In many ways it’s not our fault we finish that whole bag of chips or cookies. Please don’t blame it on your lack of mental willpower. We’re biologically designed to do this.
And food companies are exploiting our innate weakness. They’ve hired teams of food scientists to systematically design foods that are addictive to the max. What chance do our poor DNAs have?
How To Avoid Hyperpalatable Foods?
Since hyperpalatable foods tend to have both lots of fat and lots of carbs, one easy way to avoid them is to eat food that’s either low in fat or low in carbs.
Not surprisingly, researchers have found that both low fat and low carb diets cause you to feel more full. (22, 23)
However, we generally suggest people go lower in carbohydrates rather than lower in fats for 2 huge reasons:
- 1. It’s harder to find processed foods low in carbohydrates.
The low-fat craze over the past few decades has produced a huge influx of processed low fat foods.
From skimmed chocolate milk to low-fat yogurt and reduced-fat cakes and cookies, you can’t miss the plethora of low fat foods in any grocery store.
Unfortunately, this means you’ll just substitute your regular junk food for low fat junk food that’s loaded in extra sugar (to make it taste better). Let’s just face it, it’s not healthy!
- 2. To ensure you get fat-soluble vitamins
Which brings me to reason 2…
It’s really difficult for you to get sufficient essential vitamins likes A, D, E, and K on a low-fat diet. These vitamins can only be absorbed into your body with fat. (24) So you can drink as much skimmed milk fortified with vitamin D as you want, you still won’t get very much vitamin D into your body unless you also eat fat with it.
- 3. PLUS…
A 2-year study comparing low carbohydrate diets found that those on the low carbohydrate diet “reported being less bothered by hunger” than those on the low-fat diet for those 2 years. (25)
This could be because sugary foods (even if they’re zero-calorie and fat-free) can give you a dopamine rush that can lead to bingeing and sugar-dependency. (26)
So cut out the refined carbohydrates, eat less processed foods, and don’t be so scared of foods that naturally contain fat.
3. Eat More Fiber
You’ve probably heard the advice to eat more fiber, and this can help you feel full faster and be less hungry. (27)
Some types of fiber also gets fermented in your gut to form short chain fatty acids that can potentially make you feel full. (28)
This third method of not feeling hungry seems to contradict eating less carbohydrates (which I suggested in method two above). And while bran and whole wheat bread is very high in fiber, it can can cause digestive issues due to the gluten-content. (29)
So in general, we recommend you eat real vegetables (or fermented vegetables).
You know…those green things that grow in gardens.
So eat lots of vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
4. Get Rid of Leptin Resistance (By Reducing Processed Carbs)
I mentioned the hormone, leptin, at the beginning of this article. It’s produced by our fat cells, and it signals to our brain (the hypothalamus region in particular) to let it know when we have sufficient fat in our body. (30)
When we have plenty of fat in our body (our fat cells are full), the amount of leptin in our blood will be pretty high. This blood will flow to our brain where the leptin will go across the blood brain barrier (BBB) and attach to the leptin receptor (LEPR-B) in the arcuate nucleus, which is a part of your hypothalamus.
However, when you become leptin resistant, your fat cells still produce tons of leptin but your brain doesn’t seem to recognize it. (31) Obese people tend to have more leptin in their blood but yet they still feel hungry. (32)
So, someone with leptin resistance will eat a ton of food but still feel hungry and their metabolism will still be sluggish. It’s not surprising that many diabetics with insulin resistance also have leptin resistance. (33)
What Causes Leptin Resistance?
One reason for leptin resistance is high levels of triglycerides in our blood. This has been found to prevent leptin from crossing the blood brain barrier and reaching the leptin receptors in the brain. (34)
Inflammation is another factor that can contribute to leptin resistance. (35)
How to avoid or get rid of leptin resistance?
Luckily for us, leptin resistance can be reversed. (36)
Since leptin resistance is linked to high triglyceride levels, it would make sense to reduce triglyceride levels so that your leptin signaling pathway can start to work normally again.
A low carb diet has been found to reduce triglycerides in overweight people. (37, 38) Conversely, a high carb diet (even if it’s complex carbohydrates) has been shown to increase triglycerides. (39)
Losing weight and getting rid of insulin resistance can also get your leptin pathway back to normal. So, following the other methods on this list will also help with leptin resistance.
5. Drink Lots of Water – in the Morning and Before Meals
Studies found that drinking just over 500 ml (just over 1 pint) of water before a meal helped people feel less hungry. (40, 41)
A large glass of water 30 minutes before breakfast can make you eat less. (42)
And even a low calorie soup at the beginning of your meal can naturally prevent you from overeating. (41)
When you drink more water, you stretch out your stomach more, and you likely activate those stretch receptors that I mentioned at the beginning of this article. (42)
6. Sleep Enough
Lack of sleep is often linked to hunger. This is even the case in healthy young people after just 2 days of sleep restriction. (43)
And just one night of sleep deprivation followed by a stressful day could also cause increased hunger. (44)
Part of this could be because sleep helps to regulate leptin levels. (45) And as I discussed at length above, ensuring your leptin signaling pathway is normal really helps to prevent hunger when you’ve already eaten plenty.
Over 1/3 of the US adult population sleeps less than 7 hours per night. (46) So if you’re in that group, then increasing the amount you sleep each night will also help you curb hunger.
It’s unclear whether stress actually makes you more hungry. But it is clear that stress can increase your cortisol levels, which can make you eat more. (47)
So, de-stress because it makes you eat more and let’s face it, being stressed isn’t fun way to live!
Bonus – Mentally Prepare Yourself
You can also set yourself up to eat less just by being more aware of your eating habits.
For example, people feel more satiated if they can recall what they just ate. (48) Hence the recent increase in popularity of mindful eating. (49)
Tricks you can use ensure you don’t overeat include: using a larger fork can help you eat less (50), wider and colored plate rims can make you feel like you’re eating more (51), and using small plates and bowls will also help you eat less (52).
If You’re Chronically Hungry…
As I pointed out in the first section of this article, hunger is a complicated process. And if you feel hungry all the time, then it could be a sign of some health problems. So, please go get that checked out and addressed before starting any diet.
You can stage a coup on calories without ruining your life or eating a single rice cake: Just follow this simple advice for how to lose weight fast.
You might even be surprised by how easy (and delicious) some of these tips are to follow.
1. Always Eat a Man’s Breakfast
No more Lucky Charms—you want some protein and fat. Scrambled eggs and a few sausage links will keep you fuller longer than an airy doughnut will.
2. Eat More!
We’re talking three good snacks and three healthful meals. But what do you serve during the bowl game if you can’t have chips and dip? Mixed nuts—especially almonds—will satisfy your craving for something crunchy while helping to build muscle.
For an easy-to-follow 28-day program, check out the Metashred Diet.
3. Just Say No to Starches
Foods like pasta, white bread, and potatoes make you fat. If you must have pasta, make yours whole-wheat. Same goes for bread, and swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes. Just don’t eat too much! A perfect example of a great swap are these crispy sweet potato fries. You’ll never go back to regular potatoes.
4. Lift Weights
Yes, you have to hit the gym, and no, lifting beer cans during happy hour doesn’t count. The muscles you build will not only improve your performance, they’ll stoke your metabolism so you burn calories long after your workout is over.
Want a challenging workout that can help deliver results? Try Maximus Body, from the world’s best transformation coach, Bobby Maximus.
5. Think Before You Eat
Don’t just stuff your face with the stale cookies left over from the holidays, eat what tastes good and what’s good for you. Take your time eating; you’ll stay fuller longer. Here are 7 ways to harness your hunger from a grumbling stomach.
6. But Have Fun Once in a While—or Once a Week
Stifle those cravings for too long, and you’ll be miserable and might fall off your new plan forever. Just splurge reasonably—two slices of pizza, not the whole thing.
7. Go Low-Carb
It’s the easiest way to drop weight fast. The cravings are hard at first, but it gets easier—especially when you see the results.
8. Run Intervals
It’s easier to alternate between hard and easy running instead of going for a long run—especially if you don’t like running. Plus, you’ll be done faster and burn more fat.
Break your speed limits by boosting your speed with intervals. You’ll not only get faster, but your gut with flatten in no-time.
9. Never, Ever Drink Sweetened Soda
But go ahead, have a glass of wine now and then. Low-carb beer is fine, too, in moderation.
10. Don’t Fear Fat
It makes you feel full, helps control your appetite, and your body needs it. Of course, some fat is good while others are bad. See How Fat Attacks, and how you can make it work for you.
The Editors of Men’s Health The editors of Men’s Health are your personal conduit to the top experts in the world on all things important to men: health, fitness, style, sex, and more.
How can I lose weight quickly without starving myself?
Thank you for clarifying that you don’t want to starve.
Because too many people think they need to restrict, starve, and deprive themselves to weights loss.
But I guess, if you don’t know, you don’t know, right?
So let’s help you out and give you some answers.
I will tell you, from real experience, that you can lose quite a bit of weight (like pretty damn close to 10 kgs in a single month) with some fairly easy dietary “tweaks.”
I recently launched a program where most people were able to lose between 13 and 18 pounds in 28 days.
I’m not about to throw up a bunch of testimonials to try and “sell” you the program, but here is what you can try for yourself:
1)FOCUS ON CUTTING THE EXCESS “CRAP”
Avoid excess sugar and alcohol. This is obvious, but necessary. There’s lots of sugar and other crap ingredients found in many processed foods, that you’ll need to avoid.
Cut out the foods that cause internal distress. Dairy, grain, and some raw fruits and vegetables will cause inflammation for some people. If you eat something and shortly after feel bloated, gassy, sniffly, mucousy, or sneeze or cough or generally feel “different,” then that food should be avoided (at least for the short term).
2)EAT MORE PROTEIN THAN USUAL
Women should aim to get about 20–30g and men should aim for 40–50g of protein at each meal, and aim for 3–4 meals per day.
Protein is super crucial for maintaining the lean tissue that you already have, and will help you stay satisfied and even burn a few additional calories “secretly.”
A common problem with people who diet and lose weight quickly is there is no emphasis on maintaining higher protein amounts, and muscle tissue is also lost with water and fat mass.
This leaves you weaker than when you started, and you’ll put rebound weight back on quicker.
3)SAVE THE CARBS FOR WHEN YOUR BODY CAN USE THEM BETTER
Once you’ve cut out the excess crap from the diet and focused on increasing protein per meal, the next step is to get quality carbs when your body is better able to handle the glucose surges.
Like when you’ve finished up a workout and your muscles are like sponges ready to soak up the calories at your next meal.
Carbs get a bad rap, but “smart” carbs can be useful to get you leaner, keep your energy levels high, and keep you sane and on the plan.
Are they 100% necessary? No, many people get lots of benefit from low-carb, keto or Atkins diets.
But a lot of people love foods that are high in carbs, and allowing you to still eat them can go a long way to staying motivated and on-task.
So save the high carb foods (like potato, sweet potato, sugary fruits, rice, quinoa, whole grains) for the 1 or 2 meals following your strength training workouts.
Try to keep your serving sizes at each meal to about 20g, or a cupped handful, each time.
4)GIVE YOURSELF 2 MEALS PER WEEK TO TAKE A “BREAK”
Hear me out.
Going low calorie will get weight off of you fast, but being able to stay in a calorie deficit most days per week, consistently, will help you continue to lose weight and keep the weight off.
So setting a weekly “budget” of meals where you go out and order what you’d like (I call them “freedom meals” will keep you motivated, keep you from breaking down and losing control, and will help you lose more weight in the long run.
But I have a couple rules:
- You have to choose either an indulgent dinner OR dessert, not both. If you go for the burger and fries, you gotta skip the cheesecake. Or if you have a nice big salad with chicken, then you can have a glass of wine and brownie or whatever.
- You only get 2 per week. Plan out the days in advance and when the time comes, ENJOY the meal. You’re still staying on track and compliant to the program. No guilt here!
There you have it.
Some pretty simple plans to follow so you can drop weight pretty quickly, without doing anything stupid.
This stuff works, I promise you.
Focus on cutting the excess, bumping up your protein, time your carbs better, and give yourself a mental break a couple times per week.
Hope that helps,
P.S. – If you are in a real time crunch to lose weight, download a free checklist that will give you 3 Tips To Lose 5 Pounds By FRIDAY.
Nothin’ gimmicky, just 3 simple, proven tips that will help you drop a few more pounds before the weekend.
Go HERE to download the checklist (again, it’s free!)
How to lose weight without starving yourself
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by Tom Johnson on Dec 31, 2013 •
As this is New Years time, I wanted to write about a goal that many make every year: the goal to lose weight. For technical writers and other IT professionals, staying fit and healthy can be a real challenge. We sit in desks and stare at computers all day, generally being as sedentary as can be. It’s easy for our bodies to degenerate into unhealthy blobs.
As a technical writer, physical activity is not the norm on the job. In fact, you can show up at 9am, sit in your desk pretty much all day, and leave at 6pm, getting up only for bathroom breaks and lunch.
As a technical writer, you have to be extra vigilant to stay in shape. All the wearable fit tech trending in 2014, like Nike Fuel, Jawbone Up, or Fitbit, isn’t going to really solve the problem (though they would no doubt may make the process more fun.)
Here’s basically how you lose weight: burn more calories than you consume. It’s a math problem, essentially. That’s not the difficult part. The question is how you operate on fewer calories than you need without feeling like you’re starving.
In general, to lose 2 lbs a week, you have to limit your calorie intake to about 1,500 calories a day (actual numbers depend on your size, of course). The problem is that 1,500 calories barely makes it past lunch. Unless you eat about 2,500 calories in a day, you’ll feel weak and lethargic — starving.
The trick to overcoming the starving feeling is twofold:
- Eat healthier food (which allows you to eat more and hence feel more full)
- Exercise more (which adjusts your net calorie count and suppresses your appetite)
Eat healthier food
If you eat healthy food, mostly fruits and vegetables, you can eat a lot, and it’s more filling than junk food. For an example, check out this stunning visual Photographic series showing what 200 calories looks like in different foods.
For example, you can eat a whole plate of broccoli or about 2/3 of a Snickers bar:
You can eat an orange and a whole plateful of spinach, and you’ll be full for hours. Or you can eat a bag of chips and be full for an hour before feeling empty again.
Healthy food doesn’t have to taste like grass. Rather than eating raw spinach, for example, sauté some onions and mushrooms, add some sausage, and put in a couple of handfuls of spinach. Add a couple of eggs and stir it around for 5 minutes until the spinach is droopy but not lifeless. You’ll find this spinach is the most flavorful, filling food you’ve ever eaten.
Same with broccoli. Sure, eating raw stalks of broccoli isn’t going to be fun. But steam the broccoli, add some butter and cheese and salt (but not too much — just a bit to flavor it), and bam, the broccoli is actually edible. It even tastes good!
How about apples? Apples are pretty nutritious, but they’re a bit boring. The next time you eat an apple, throw in a tablespoon of peanut butter. Not too much peanut butter (maybe 1 tbsp), but enough to add a little excitement. You’ll soon be eating several apples a day.
Don’t like grapefruit? Try this. Peel about 6 grapefruit and cut them in half, and then dice them into thumb-size pieces. Put the pieces in a container full of sugar water so they soak. When you’re hungry for grapefruit, spoon some from the container into a bowl. Delicious!
Of course you can add too much sugar, butter, cheese, peanut butter, dressing, or whatever to fruit and vegetables in an effort to spruce them up (and therefore cancel their healthiness). But adding a little “excess” so that the food is more enticing isn’t a sin. It’s the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down.
Get more exercise
Eating fruits and vegetables helps you feel full longer, but it isn’t enough to take away hunger pangs. You have to exercise too. If you exercise for an hour, you can add the calories you burned to your total calories available. This becomes your net calorie intake.
For example, ride your bike for an hour and bam, you’ve just increased your net calorie limit from 1500 to about 2200.
Go on a 30 minute walk at lunch and a 30 min. evening walk after dinner and voila, you earned yourself an extra 600 calories for the day.
When choosing exercise, I recommend alternating between high impact and low impact activities. I love to play basketball (which is high impact, especially on a cement court), but after playing for a couple of hours, my joints and bones get tired and my body gets sore. Sure it’s good exercise, but if it puts me out of commission for several days, that exercise works against me.
However, by alternating high impact activities (usually sports, which are fun) with low impact activities (such as swimming, biking, or walking — often less fun but still rewarding), you can both recover and burn a lot of calories without wearing out your body.
With low-impact activities, I listen to books from Audible to make the exercise more enjoyable. For example, last night I walked about an hour while listening to Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheart.
If you’re looking for some good Audible book recommendations, try these:
- Mistborn, by Brandon Sanderson
- The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
- The Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan
- Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
- Inferno, by Dan Brown
- The Millenium Trilogy (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), by Stieg Larrson
- State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett
And some non-fiction:
- Big Data, by Viktor Mayer-Schöberger, Kenneth Cukier
- Too Big to Know, by David Weinberger
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain
- A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
- No Easy Day, by Mark Owen
- Forged in the Name of God, by Bart Ehrman
- Your Brain at Work, by David Rock
I love listening to audio books. The $15 a month subscription fee with Audible is money well spent. The narrations are clear, professional, and delightful to listen to. Most of the actors use voices when reading characters. If you want to save money, libraries also have lots of audio books for free.
Of course the more you exercise, the hungrier you’ll be. But exercise reduces your overall appetite, so you’ll save calories overall.
Between the extra nutrition you get by eating healthy food and the extra calories allotted due to exercise, the 1500 calorie limit is actually achievable. With an hour of exercise, your net calorie limit ends up being about 2300.
You’ll still be a bit hungry, but not starving. And after a few days, you’ll hit a new normal where your standard mode changes a bit. You won’t be full, but you won’t be starving either. You’ll be somewhere in between. At first you’ll feel a bit hungry, but then as time goes on and the new normal kicks in, your half empty stomach at 8pm will feel somewhat normal. Not entirely normal, of course, because your body is losing weight so the extra fat has to burn. But you won’t be starving, and so it’s bearable.
Finally, in trying to lose weight, remember to be patient. Even though losing 2 lbs a week may be the goal, losing 1 lb / week is probably more realistic. But the cool thing is, once you start making progress, it’s exhilarating. You feel greater than ever before, with more energy, self-confidence, agility, quickness, and endurance. These positive results feed in to your motivation to keep you moving forward.