Saturday, August 4, 2012

Six Tips to Keep from Going Hungry on Your Diet

I am a 32 year old woman, trying very hard to get back in shape and lose weight. I am following a 1400 calorie diet and hope to lose 45 pounds by the new year. The problem is I am constantly hungry. Sometimes I give in to the hunger and ruin my calorie limit for the day. Even if I don't, it's always on my mind and very hard to live like this. Is there some way to combat the hunger so I can stick with this weight-loss plan for the next 6 months? Will my body eventually get used to this calorie level so my life can go back to normal?  Thanks, Winnie K.

Hi Winnie,
I have a few tips that may help you: Try them all out and see what works best for you. 

1. Be sure to eat all the food that's allowed on  your diet plan. Sometimes people get super-motivated and skimp on the calories they're allowed. This will obviously keep you more hungry, so eat all you are allowed.

2. Eat Breakfast! Even when you aren't hungry in the morning, your body will definitely appreciate the energy you feed yourself. It appears to prevent hunger later in the day and reduce the amount of food people crave all the way until bed time. Try to include some whole grains for fiber, and lean protein to stave off hunger pangs well into the morning.

3. Fill up on Low Calorie Foods: Keep carrot and celery sticks cut up in a dish of water in the fridge (this keeps them nice and crisp), zucchini sticks, apple sections, whatever your favorite fruit and veggie snacks are. Filling up on high-fiber foods that also contain a lot of water keep your body from nagging you to eat more.

4. Stay Hydrated. Sometimes your brain signals you to drink and you interpret it to "eat". Your first line of defense when a hunger craving hits is to have a glass of water. It will give you the satisfaction of putting something into your digestive system, even though there are no calories.

5. Keep a healthy balance in the other aspects of your life. Many things signal us to eat, most of which are not the need for nutrition. Sometimes we need sleep, water, a walk or a distraction. Stress, sleepiness, anxiety and boredom can all trigger the craving to solve the problem with a snack. Instead, think about what you really need each time hunger hits. Aim to put off eating for 15 minutes while you go for a walk, call a friend, check your email or just stretch and zone out for a minute. After 15 minutes, give yourself permission to have something--you will often find by that time you've forgotten about it and the craving has passed.

6: One of my favorites, from the author of The Beck Diet Solution: "Remember that hunger is not an emergency." It's an urge like many others that come and go during the day, many of which we must choose to ignore. After all, you don't give in to other impulses that are less-than-acceptable, such as napping at work, scratching certain itches, or hauling off and smacking an annoying, smart-mouthed colleague :)   If you ignore the hunger and continue with what you were doing, nothing bad will happen and the urge will soon pass.

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