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Are you sick and tired of dieting and not getting results? Each diet plan starts out the same and ends the same. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
What if you’re doing everything right—except for one thing: you do the wrong things as soon as you feel hungry. You might eat the wrong foods, eat at the wrong times, or eat too many portions. If this sounds like you, we’ve got you covered. Here are eleven things you should do when you feel hungry:
1. Identify the reason
If you’re eating for emotional reasons, it would be best to deal with the emotion. Decide to stop using food as a way to change your psychological state. Then again, your brain might be sending you a legitimate distress signal. Perhaps you are low on blood glucose and need to replenish your store. In this case, it would be a mistake to simply ignore your craving for food.
2. Eat some protein
Often trying to repress the urge to eat doesn’t do you much good. Even if you do refrain now, at some point, you’ll throw all caution to the wind and overeat. A better idea might be to eat some lean protein, as it is low-calorie and can help to curb your appetite. It could be a snack like nuts and seeds or a meal like low-fat chicken, fish, or tofu.
3. Eat some fruit
Fruit is a sweet treat that is packed with nutrients, making it a great alternative to the other not-so-nutritious snack foods that we often reach for when we are hungry (think candy, soda and cookies). Be sure to eat mostly whole fruits, as the peel is where you will find many of the nutrients, especially fiber.
4. Eat some fiber
Fiber can help with hunger cravings. It stretches the stomach, which alerts the brain that you’re full. It also slows the rate at which gastric juice leaves your stomach. Increase the amount of vegetables you eat to get more fiber.
5. Eat some healthy fats
Unsaturated fats are considered a healthy source of fat and should be part of your diet. Fats are digested slowly and help you to feel full for longer. Choose foods that include higher amounts of unsaturated fats and lower amounts of saturated fats. Good sources of unsaturated fats include avocados, olives, fish, nuts, and seeds.
Exercise releases endorphins and catecholamines to create a positive state change. Your mood improves when you raise your level of serotonin and dopamine.
7. Improve the flavor of your food
One reason why you might feel hungry is because you’re craving something tasty. If, for example, you’re on a diet without much salt, you might crave things like potato chips. You can flavor your food with healthy alternatives to spice things up a bit.
8. Drink green tea
Often times we confuse thirst for hunger. Before you reach for a snack, try drinking something. Bored with water? Try green tea. Not only does it taste good, it is rich in antioxidants and contains a small amount of caffeine.
9. Use a motivation technique
Pull out a picture of someone who has the ideal body you want when you have an urge to cheat on your diet selection. This will give you an immediate sense of perspective.
10. Drink water
Your body’s cry for water may not always show up as thirst. It might just show up as a craving to consume a water-rich food. In other words, you might be dehydrated instead of hungry. Drink up!
11. Forgive yourself if you cave in
Despite all these ways of knowing what to do when you feel hungry, you might cave in to your cravings. If this happens, don’t use it as an excuse to quit the diet. Instead just forgive yourself and get right back to your healthy eating plan.
Work Your Diet
Try a few of these suggestions. Find some that work for you, then develop a strategy you can follow as soon as you feel hungry. You might surprise yourself at how quickly you lose weight once you find a way to handle your appetite.
If you’d like even more help to manage your weight, you can try LifeVantage’s PhysIQ. This comprehensive approach helps kick start the body’s ability to lose weight, supports optimal digestion and immune function, and can lead to inches melting from your waist. Combined with a balanced diet and exercise program, PhysIQ is the smart way to meet your weight management goals.