Wanting to lose weight is a double-edged situation. You have to lower your calorie intake in order to see results, but by doing so, you will get hungrier as you might be eating less. This makes it difficult for some people to be disciplined about weight loss, as prolonged hunger can be a very physically uncomfortable situation.
It is time to break the stereotype that losing weight means you go hungry. There are, in fact, a number of healthy eating choices that can help keep your appetite in check by making you feel fuller for longer.
Here are some top tips to aid your weight loss journey.
EAT MORE PROTEIN
Protein is literally the foundation for any effective diet for a number of reasons. Firstly, your body burns calories in order to digest proteins, as opposed to carbs and fat. Also, a diet of more protein is able to burn body fat, helping you lean out. Protein is also able to keep you full for longer, while maintaining your blood sugar levels, as opposed to fast carbs, which causes your blood sugar to spike quickly, and dip fast. Try to incorporate more protein into your meals, and have snacks like Quest protein bars, or a protein shake to keep hunger at bay between meals. Also, casein — a slow-releasing protein — can keep you full overnight if you have a shake before bed. Protein also helps you grow lean muscle mass more effectively, so don't skimp on it.
EAT MORE FIBRE
Eating more fibre slows your stomach's emptying rate, and releases hormones in your body that make you feel full over a longer period of time. Fibre rich foods include legumes, fruits, whole grains and vegetables, which make for great carb substitutes. Try making meals with more vegetables and legumes as the base of the meal instead of carbs, and have fruits as snacks. This not only keeps you satisfied, but also improves your overall health, as fibre-rich foods come packed with important vitamins and minerals. It also promotes bowel health, keeping your body free of toxins.
DON'T RELY ON LIQUID MEAL SUBSTITUTES
Many people tend to shirk solid foods when they want to lose weight, opting for juice cleanses or a predominantly liquid diet. Liquids digest faster as they need less processing by the body, and while they might work temporarily, you'll feel hungrier much faster. Try to lessen the amount of liquid snacks you're ingesting, and opt for small portions of solid foods instead. Solid foods require chewing, which stimulates the brain into signalling that your body is full. Even semi-solid foods, like oatmeal, do the trick.
Spice is a known hunger suppressant, and it can also burn fat. This is due to the presence of capsaicin, the compound in spices like chilis that makes them hot and spicy. Eating capsaicin makes your body go into thermogenesis, which is the process whereby your body heats up to burn stored fat for energy, leading to weight and fat loss. Use spices in your cooking, and eat plenty of foods with spicy dips for effectiveness.
SLEEP IS KEY
It is scientifically proven that not enough sleep leads to an increase in stress, hunger and weight gain. Not sleeping enough can dramatically increase your appetite and reduce the amount of hormones that keep you full. Not sleeping enough also leads to an increase in the rate of obesity. This is why sleep is so important, and is one of the key things you should tackle if you have bad sleeping habits but are trying to lose weight. Aim for six hours a night at minimum, and watch as this dramatically improves your lifestyle and eating habits overall.
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