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Top Tips to Control Your Appetite

Posted November 23, 2010 by

Dieting is often considered the bane of our existence. Without a doubt, the hardest part of it all is dealing with the abrupt hunger spikes that can plague you at the most inopportune times, like when you’re rifling through all the junk food in your pantry for some healthy snacks. Before you know it, you’re neck-deep in a bag of Doritos instead of eating the handful of almonds that you had originally planned on!

In order to guarantee your dieting success, you need to keep three things in the front of your mind and ensure that you don’t slack on fulfilling each of their requirements each day. In order importance, these include your overall caloric intake, your macronutrient breakdown and the food choices you make. Thus, you need to limit the amount you eat and simultaneously ensure that what you ARE eating is appropriately proportioned between protein, carbohydrates and fat, and comes from natural, healthy sources. This is easier said than done when you get a craving for anything and everything you can put in your mouth!

Unfortunately, the bottom line is that when you diet, you WILL experience periods of hunger, simply due to the fact that you’re on a caloric deficit (you ARE on a caloric deficit, right?!). That being said, there is no reason to suffer through full-blown, binge-inducing periods of severe hunger pangs that lead you to make very bad food choices that can sometimes negate weeks’ worth of hard effort. The following tricks can help reduce your symptoms and keep you on track.

Some foods provide a higher level of satiety than others—that is, pound for pound, they keep you feeling “full” for a longer period of time than other types of food. Ironically enough, these tend to be the same foods that health professionals recommend that you eat each day—lean protein, healthy fats and fibrous carbohydrates, particularly vegetables. Because these foods fill you up quickly and keep you full for longer, you will eat less of them and won’t need to revisit the fridge for a longer period of time than if you ate something more processed.

Caffeine is a great appetite suppressant as well. Simply drinking a cup or two of coffee with your breakfast or mid-morning snack can keep you from mindlessly snacking throughout the early part of the day. In fact, most dieting pills that market themselves as appetite suppressants rely on caffeine as their main effect-producing agent.

Of course, caffeine isn’t a great option later at night. Not to worry, a full glass of water will provide a period of relief from hunger as well. Since most people don’t drink enough water on a daily basis as it is, this provides an excellent opportunity to get in an extra liter or so before bedtime, while keeping the appetite at bay at night (when it’s been shown that the body tends to crave more unhealthy forms of food than at other times of the day).

By controlling your hunger and continuing to make the proper food choices on a daily basis, you will help to assure the longevity of your nutrition plan and will enjoy the great results that only come from a long-term lifestyle change.

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