If you want to lose weight without being hungry all the time, this article will show you how to control hunger while dieting.
Hunger is a big obstacle for most people trying to lose weight. Your weight loss journey will be tough if you don’t learn how to control hunger.
Naturally, when you maintain a calorie deficit, the body doesn’t get enough energy from food. This affects your hormones and makes you hungry all the time. But it doesn’t always have to be like this. You can control hunger if you follow the tips in this article.
There are other factors which cause hunger other than the foods you eat. Things like lack of sleep and stress can increase your appetite. But this article is focused on dietary choices, not the external factors. Read this article info about these other factors.
To control hunger – you have to maintain the right calorie deficit and eat the right foods. A huge calorie deficit will keep you hungry all the time, no matter which tricks you use to control hunger. So the most important thing is to set the right calorie deficit.
How to set the right calorie deficit
Most folks maintain a daily deficit of 500 calories to lose 1 pound a week (3500 calories = 1 pound). But this approach doesn’t work for everyone.
The best method for setting a healthy calorie deficit is to use percentages. That means your deficit will be relative to your caloric needs, rather than maintaining a fixed deficit. An overweight person will maintain a bigger deficit than a lighter one.
Maintain a deficit of 30% of your maintenance, if your body fat percentage is over 25%. Maintain a deficit of 20-25% if your body fat percentage is below 25%. The leaner you are, the smaller your deficit should be.
Head over to free dieting to calculate your daily caloric needs. Once you know the number of calories you should consume to maintain current weight, calculate your deficit. For instance, if your maintenance is 1800 calories and your body fat percentage is below 25%, maintain a deficit of 450 calories (25% of 1800).
Now, you don’t have to track calories religiously but you need to have a rough estimate of your total daily intake.
Once you’ve set the right calorie deficit, the next thing is to eat foods that will keep you full for longer. These are foods which are nutrient dense, unprocessed, rich in fiber, and so on.
Tips on how to control hunger when dieting
Eat fiber-rich foods to increase satiety
Various studies show that eating fiber-rich foods increases satiety. Fiber usually stretches the stomach and this sends signals to the brain that you’re full.
Foods rich in fiber are also low in calories. That means you can eat more food and not worry about excess calories. In fact, a report published by Nutrition Review showed that consuming more than 14 grams of fiber for 2 days can reduce your calorie intake by 10 percent.
Vegetables are rich in fiber and low in calories, try to get most of your calories from them. Eat veggies in every meal. Other great sources of fiber include whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits and so on.
It is recommended you consume 25-30 grams of fiber a day.
Always stay hydrated since most people mistaken hunger for thirst
In my article about water, I mentioned that drinking a glass of water before and after meals can help you eat less. And it can also help control hunger. Research shows that people often confuse hunger for thirst. So to be sure, drink a glass of water whenever you’re hungry.
Aim to drink at least 2 liters of water a day, or more if you’re very active.
Eat more proteins – they’re the most filling macros
Out of all the three macronutrients, proteins are the most filling. They are also low in calories compared to most carbs and fats. And I can’t forget to mention that proteins help maintain muscle mass.
Make sure that at least 30% of your total daily calories are proteins. I may also note that protein shakes are not as filling as proteins from real foods.
Some of the best protein sources include grass-fed beef, eggs, wild caught fish, chicken, and so on.
Reduce the intake of sugary foods
High fructose intake has been known to cause leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone which controls hunger. When we are full, the fat cells release leptin and this signals the brain that you’ve had enough food. Now when your body becomes resistant to leptin, the brain will think you’re starving and you’ll be hungry all the time.
Reducing sugar intake will help increase leptin sensitivity and reduce the hunger pangs.
You should also avoid carbs with high glycemic index (70+).
Consider changing meal frequency
Even though meal frequency cannot help you lose weight. It can help control hunger in some cases.
If you currently eat many small meals and you’re always hungry, try eating few bigger meals. And if intermittent fasting isn’t working for you, try six meals a day.
Take diet breaks and refeed
In the refocus formula, I discuss diet breaks in depth. Basically, a diet break is when you take a break from dieting and increase your calorie intake for a few days. Studies show that this approach has numerous weight loss benefits and will also help you keep your sanity when dieting.
Note that this is different from cheat meals. You probably know that overindulging in cheat meals can lead to weight gain. Diet breaks, on the other hand, are easier to control.
Did you know that chewing gum makes you hungry?
You’ve probably experienced this. When you chew gum (even sugar-free) the feeling of hunger increases. That’s because when you chew and swallow saliva, this sends signals to the brain that food is going to the stomach. So when the stomach doesn’t receive food, you become hungry and start craving foods.
Hunger is a major obstacle for most people trying to lose weight. But if you use the above tips you can curb the hunger pangs.
Keep in mind that weight loss isn’t meant to be easy. You have to endure the hunger. Don’t be quick to take a bite every time you feel hungry. A little willpower will go a long way.
What are some of the strategies you’ve used to control hunger?