This can be the case for a lot of people, including myself. This is what set me back all the time! I’m a real culprit of the “phantom snacker”, and even though I consciously know I should not be doing this; I still do it! The good news is that you have picked up on this bad habit. Sometimes we think the feeling we get is hunger, but it’s not always the case.
I do hope you don’t mean to say you want to lose muscle mass as well as fat. Muscle mass is something you should consciously try to increase as much as you possibly can. This will help you to decrease your fat stores and change your body shape.
Here are a few strategies I’ve used, and still do, to keep my energy balanced, my appetite in control, and lose body fat.
Five effortless hunger curbing & fat loss tips
- Intermittent fasting is my primary strategy for weight and fat loss. The structure you’re eating window within a certain amount of time, and for their time outside of this window, you are not to consume anything apart from black coffee, water, tea and herbal teas. This will get you into the habit of controlling your appetite and stopping you cold turkey. This works so well for a lot of people – I find it’s easier to go cold turkey on bad habits, and then you won’t be tempted to go back again regularly. Start off with a small window of fasting. My first fast was for 13 hours, and that was challenging. Now I can go beyond 20 hours without too much effort. Give yourself a couple of weeks to get used to this, as you do become tired and experience that “keto flu” because you are using fat stores for energy and depleting glycogen. Your body isn’t used to using fat stores as energy, so it does become a bit sluggish. Allow this to happen and be conscious of it – go with the flow until your energy comes back again with full force.
- Drink water when you think you may be hungry. Sometimes we mistake hunger for thirst. It’s a good habit to get into when you drink water before you at a meal. It allows you to curb that constant hunger for a bit, and stop you from overeating. It’s also a thermogenic, a waste eliminator and keeps you hydrated. Being hydrated is essential for your body to function optimally. Aim for 2–3 litres per day, even more, if you are incredibly active.
- Eat protein regularly, even if it’s an egg when you are hungry – have it. I recently went cold turkey on eating nuts as a snack. It was getting out of control, and it wasn’t the amount I was eating, but the effect it was having on my digestion. Be aware of what certain foods do to your body, and if it’s negative – get rid of it. Stick to the basics and go for protein above all else. Have some scrambled eggs, some chicken breast or turkey? Eat protein as your snack, as it will keep you full for longer, and stop any cravings. So, next time you want a snack, go for the protein. Eat protein with every single meal – breakfast – lunch and dinner (snacks included) and pick high-grade sources like salmon, fish, chicken, pork etc.
- Eat green veggies with your meals – they are filled with fibre and keep you full. I love my green veggies, such as broccoli, spinach and lettuce. All these veggie sources keep me full and satisfied – even with smaller amounts. I always make a habit of eating them with every meal, drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice. We don’t seem to be eating enough veggies, and it’s essential to allow a variety into our diets every day. Pick and choose what’s in season, and always go for the green stuff.
- Go easy on the carbs, as they can increase your hunger. Carbs have a habit of raising our appetite because the body converts them to sugar. You will have a lot more luck with complex carbohydrates – such as sweet potato, oats and any fibrous veggies. If you eat carbs, you should focus on these sources, with moderate amounts of basmati rice. I would prefer you to focus mainly on protein in the initial stages. Those who are highly athletic and lift weights need to add more carbohydrates into their diet, to store and use when exercising vigorously.
When it comes to curbing hunger, using your diet as the main factor is extremely important, as exercise can make you a lot hungrier. Focus on eating the right foods and staying as active as you can. I do hope this may help you and anyone else along their fitness journey.
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