Hunger is an inevitable, necessary “evil” when it comes to weight management. When you are actively cutting you are pushing yourself into a calorie deficit. When you are maintaining you have to make decisions on when and what to eat. The simple truth is that you CANNOT eat until you are full every time your tummy grumbles and expect to reach your goals. Luckily, there are a few simple tricks that can help you overcome hunger during your day.
Anytime you think you are hungry water should be the first thing you consume. More often than not, you are actually dehydrated. A large glass of cold H2O should quench any cravings. I like to add lemon juice or zero-calorie flavors, like Crystal Light or Mio, to my water for a little extra satisfaction. If you are still hungry…. keep reading.
Find a distraction.
Doing something to keep your mind off of being hungry can really help reduce cravings. When I’m not doing anything I’m much more likely to reach for a snack than when I’m busy. School work or video games are what I find myself tending towards when I need something to do.
Chewing gum helps me manage my hunger. It feels like I am eating something so I can last a little longer until my next meal. Plus, there are a bunch of different flavors of gum you can try. I love the dessert flavored gums like Juicy Fruit: Fruit Punch and Extra: Green Apple. Beware that you are selecting the sugar-free varieties to protect your teeth from cavities.
Cardio can take my mind off of hunger and burn a few calories at the same time. Fast cardio can also increase fat burning, so you can kill two birds with one stone. If you can’t make it all the way to the gym, take a lap around your office or house. Spend the time getting the blood flow back to your muscles and brain to help you refocus on your goals.
If you have to, eat something.
If you are still hungry after all trying all of these things, then eat. But make a mini-meal rather than grabbing for a snack. Snacks are usually high calorie foods (I am looking at you granola bar) that aren’t very filling, opposed to a meal that is supposed to provide you with fuel to get through your day. If you don’t feel like taking the time and effort to make a little meal, then you aren’t really hungry.
Mini-Meal Ideas to Blast Hunger.
- Saute or grill zucchini, mushrooms, and onions into a stir-fry
- Cook 4oz of lean chicken and serve with mixed vegetables
- Scramble an egg with onion and peppers
- Slice an apple and top with cinnamon and 1 tbs of reduced fat peanut butter (… I usually sneak more than a tablespoon, peanut butter is my vice.. but know it packs 80 calories a spoonful)
When the hunger starts really getting to you, just remember how far you have come and how far you want to go. Keep your goals in sight and overcome the craving. Additionally, remember that NOT being full isn’t the same as being hungry.
Xoxo and Stay Consistent Out There,
Hayley and Preston