The hunger games of dieting and how to combat them
Weight loss is the number one goal on most people’s to-do list. I don’t think I’ve ever liked the word “diet” and hated being in the position of gaining weight that I know I would eventually want to lose. You know those moments in your life when the overindulgences take over – and you find yourself gaining weight without a second thought. It’s tough calling yourself out, knowing you’ve been dishonest about the quality and quantity of food you’ve been eating to cause this. No one is perfect, and it does happen to every one of us at some stage in our lives. Going on a so-called “diet” is always a negative term for me. I have turned that around now and call it a “lifestyle plan” instead. As I change my language and meaning about this word – things have become somewhat easier for me. You may be asking why would changing a word have any effect on my approach? The thing is that now I think of it as a daily strategy, rather than something I do during a particular period in my life (say, when I have put on weight). Now, I make the conscious choice to always watch what I eat and become very aware of anything that may throw me off course. For me, stress is a big part of my lack of or overeating. Everyone has their Achilles heel. When I recognised this pattern, I became aware of it, accepted it and made a pact with myself to stop this pattern. This has been very successful for me. I encourage you to find those triggers in your life that increase your food consumption – or leave you making negative choices on what to eat. It makes more of a difference than you think.
What about when I’m starving?
Starving is a signal that you should alter what you’re eating. One thing I always tell clients is to make sure they are eating enough protein. Protein is the critical component of our diet that keeps us full for longer stretches -and pushes out that feeling of starvation. If you are eating the right amount of food, you shouldn’t be starving. Since we are talking about hunger, there may be times when you are hungry – or ravingly hungry. Sometimes our bodies can get experience this Maybe we did some extra activity, or perhaps we’re igniting our metabolism. The decision you have to make is to choose healthy nutritional options to eat, that will help you achieve your goal. I stand by the theory (backed by science) that our weight and our body reshaping goals result from the nutritional choices we make every day. All your meals count as your overall tally on how much fat you will accumulate on your body or how many calories and body fat you will burn. This doesn’t mean you have to starve, but you do need to make some empowering choices, not only for the sake of your weight loss goals but also for your health. As we progress with our goals – balance is essential. You can and should treat yourself. There is no doubt about that one. A cheat meal is going to keep you sane and also allow you to enjoy life a little. It’s not about restricting those things you love, but more so about enjoying the moment and relishing your one indulgence for the week.Here are some tips that will help you during your hunger period.
Five easy tips to take the edge of those hunger games
- If water doesn’t help – drink tea, coffee or green tea. Have regular cups of these beverages to take the edge off that hunger. Some people like to put some MCT oil in their coffee; I like to have my drinks plain as I enjoy the flavour of the tea or coffee. Make sure you supplement these caffeine beverages with lots of water in between.
- Protein is your friend. Keep eggs, protein powder and chicken breast with you to snack on. Add these protein sources to your lunches and even breakfast. Who said you couldn’t have chicken for breakfast?
- Use fibre as a filler. Think green veggies, flaxseeds, chia seeds etc. Green veggies are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and contains some protein. Fibre helps to fill you up without loading you with extra calories.
- Exercise. Exercise can put a taper on that hunger but is more likely to increase after your workout. What I find that works well is to drink lots of water before, during and after training. Stay well hydrated at all times. That always takes the edge off the hunger and allows you to have a productive workout.
- Make sure you’re eating enough. It can be tempting to diminish your food portions – but this can backfire if you’re not eating enough. Remember that our bodies don’t work as we think they do. Lack of calories will slow your metabolism and also put you back into the fat gain mode. What do you do about this then? Make positive food choices every day, have a cheat meal once per week, and exercise. Through repetition and patience, you will get there.
Remember that health is a lifelong journey. When you start looking after your body, nourishing it well – it will look after you. I hope this helps you along your weight loss journey. I would love you to upvote it if you did. Please also join me on my various social platforms and do go ahead and download your 40 Fat Loss Tips & Portions guide. I’m also on Instagram.