This may sound a little weird, but humans actually have an instinctual fear of hunger, our reaction to hunger has not evolved with our convenience-centered world. This is the reason we run to the nearest place to fuel up as soon as out body sends the signal to eat. Hunger is a physical cue that you need energy. The problem comes when we don’t listen to our body and we eat more than needed or get too hungry and stoke out-of-control cravings.
Learn how to spot hunger and eat less while staying satisfied which will lead to a calorie controlled diet that will help you shed pounds without greater effort.
1. Meet the hunger scale
Learn how to recognize when you are really hungry, the physical cues that signal a true need of nourishment, it has been proved that normally we feed our emotions instead of our body.
Starving: An uncomfortable, empty feeling that may be accompanied by light-headedness or the jitters caused by low blood sugar levels from lack of food. Eat regularly to avoid getting to this point, since the risk of binge eating is very high here.
Hungry: Your next meal is on your mind. Eat something to avoid entering the dangerous “starving” territory.
Moderately hungry: Your stomach may be growling, and food is on your mind, this is a optimal eating time.
Satisfied: You’re not full, but not hungry, either. This is a good relaxed and comfortable place to be.
Full: If you get to this point, it’s more out of momentum than actual hunger, making your belly feel slightly bloated.
Stuffed: You feel uncomfortable and might even have mild heartburn from your stomach acids creeping back up into your esophagus.
2. Be aware
Be more attentive to the whole eating experience, don’t eat when you are driving or at the computer. When we’re distracted or hurried the food we eat tends not to register well in our brains. Get centered before eating so you can more easily derive pleasure from your food, give the meal your full attention, and notice when you’ve had enough.
3. Refuel every four hours
As mentioned before, if you want to avoid starvation mode, where you see yourself on an emergency hunt for energy and the willpower to make healthy choices plummets, having 400 calorie meals every 4 hours or healthy low calorie snacks between meals can help you avoid this. Regular eating keeps blood sugar and energy stable.
4. Breakfast is a must
You can’t fail in this one, having a healthy yet filling breakfast will help you stay satisfied and eat less over the course of the day. Shoot for a minimum 250-300 calorie breakfast, but avoid sugary products such as pastry, try yogurt and fruits, whole grain cereal like oatmeal, or eggs.
5. Build high-volume meals
Solid foods with a high fluid content can help you suppress hunger, try bigger portions for fewer calories like fruits, which have high water content. You can start your meals with a big salad and choose fresh fruit over dried.
6. Munch fiber all day long
Fiber can become your best friend at this point, but as with all do not overdo it. Fiber can help you feel full for longer, since the body processes it more slowly. Aim to get at least 25g fiber a day.
7. Always include lean protein
Protein, like fiber, will make you feel more satisfied and less hungry, and it will also build lean body mass, which includes calorie-burning muscle.
8. Eat slowly
It takes 12 or more minutes for food satisfaction signals to reach the brain of a thin person, but 20 or more minutes for an obese person. Eating slowly ensures that these important messages have time to reach the brain.