For many people embarking on a weight loss program leads to feelings of deprivation however, this doesn’t need to be the case. Let’s look at 8 ways in which you can lose weight without feeling hungry or deprived.
We often talk about the effect that sweetened drinks have on our ability to lose weight. Most sweetened drinks are packed with unwanted calories leading to weight gain. drinking calories in lieu of eating them is less satisfying without leading to a feeling of fullness after consuming.
Additionally, there have been several studies connecting diet drinks to weight gain. As an alternative, you could opt for drinking a vegetable juice, I often blend a combination of greens including celery, spinach, silver beet, cucumber and avocado with a little mint and filtered water. This not only ensures that I am increasing my vegetable intake, it’s also quite filling and prevents me from over-eating. Also, consider how consuming drinks like alcohol also carries with it excess calories that will prevent weight loss. Opting for a glass of sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon juice is a great alternative to reaching for a beverage that contains additional sugar.
Adding extra vegetables to your meals is another great tip when it comes to the how to’s of losing weight without feeling hungry. Always make sure that you have a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to choose from and try to target only 1-2 pieces of fruit a day preferably in the morning and filling your plate with a variety of vegetables during mealtimes. Your plate should be ¾ filled with vegetables along with a palm sized portion of protein. Having chopped vegetables as go to snacks is also a great option. The addition of this fibre expands the gut making you feel fuller for longer plus, some research suggests that approx. 25 grams of fibre a day has an impact on good gut bacteria that help to produce hormones in the gut that tell your brain you’ve had enough to eat.
Eat fat, the addition of good quality fats serves to help you feel fuller for longer, and can help prevent blood sugar crashes that will leave you feeling hangry. Adding healthy fats to your diet, like olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, and oily fish are great options for a program in which you are looking to lose weight without feeling hungry.
Have protein with each meal (rule of thumb is a palm sized portion) with extra protein for snacks. The protein aids in keeping you fuller for longer which means that you are less likely to overeat, it also aids in balancing blood sugar levels. Snacks in the form of nuts (almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts) eggs, even cooked chicken legs are great alternatives to the sweeter snacks that we tend to reach for particularly when we are feeling stretched.
Reducing portion size by 10-20% may be another hack to lose weight without feeling deprived try using smaller bowls and plates to make it look like you are in fact eating more, tricking your brain into feeling satiated.
Move more throughout the day, think of ways that you can become more active by making exercise a habit. I regularly get up early to exercise most morning and more recently have actively been trying to work more movement into my day. It is easy to get caught up behind the computer answering emails and sitting for most of the day when at work. This I feel adds to my muscular soreness particularly my shoulders and neck. Whereby, if I stop early afternoon to stretch, I feel so much better both physically and mentally. Giving me the focus needed to continue with my workday. For you it may mean eating lunch then heading off for a walk or stretching in front on the television at night.
Manage stress, when our bodies are stressed, hormones like cortisol may increase your appetite which can ultimately lead to weight gain. De-stressing, using techniques like mindfulness may assist in helping you to manage annoying cravings. Managing stress will also assist with sleep, when you are low on sleep it is often easy to reach for foods high in calories to give you a quick pick up of energy which then interferes with your ability to sleep. When you are not sleeping enough levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin increase and levels of leptin the fullness hormone decreases, this is why we often talk about the importance of getting enough sleep when you are trying to lose and maintain weight. Start by establishing a time to stop eating as this will prevent mindless eating or snacking while watching television. Substitute the need to eat something with a herbal tea or water if you are looking to replace a habit of snacking after dinner.
We live in an incredibly fast-moving world where everything is rushed, slow down when you eat it takes time for your brain to catch up with your mouth to send the signal that you are full, the same relates to times in which you are eating while distracted, when you are distracted and eating you tend to eat more. Try turning off all devices when eating and really try to try thinking about how the food is making you feel. Whether or not you use tools such as meditation, exercise or reading a good book these are all good ways to reduce stress and help to lose weight without feeling deprived.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate… Try to learn the difference between when you are actually feeling hungry and when you are feeling thirsty. When you start to feel the niggling of what may appear to be hunger pangs try drinking a big glass of water instead. Then see how you feel, carry a water bottle with you throughout the day to ensure that you are getting enough water and that the pangs that you have been experiencing are not indicating that you are dehydrated rather than hungry.
Now that you have some great tools in your toolkit to help you to lose weight without feeling hungry one of the most important things that you can do moving forward is to plan your menu and plan for success. Nutritious choices are easier when you decide what to have for dinner in advance. View you’re eating plan as a change in lifestyle not as a diet, look at this change as something to maintain and not just a short term goal to quickly lose weight. Ensure that you incorporate foods that you love into the plan ensure that you are still losing weight without feeling deprived this will also help you resist supermarket impulse purchases.
Adv Dip Health Science Naturopathy, Nutrition