We all know what it’s like to experience at least some level of hunger. Hunger starts as a mild inclination to eat; “hmmm… I could really go for some food”. It then moves into active desire for food; “Right. Let’s get something to eat”. After that hunger moves into a stage with more primal demand where we may experience headaches, food fixation and crabby moods; “Move out of my way! I need food NOW!”
After that stage, hunger starts to get really ugly. If we are going to be serious about losing weight and keeping it off, we need to learn to manage our hunger.
Anything beyond a mild inclination to eat has the potential to cause us to overeat, and to eat the wrong types of food.
By the time we reach the third stage of hunger we’ll eat almost anything available. And if we’re not prepared, the first thing available is almost always a bad choice. By that stage of hunger we’ll be shoveling it in and eating too quickly almost guarantees we will overeat.
We need to head off our hunger before we find ourselves finishing off our third, sauce-covered sausage roll!
1. Eat more frequently.
Relying on 2 or 3 meals per day to provide sustenance leaves long periods of time between food intakes. These excessively long periods are likely to be punctuated by periods of hunger which leads to temptation.
Don’t let your hunger build. Plan to eat more regularly so your hunger never gets beyond stage one - a mild inclination to eat. In Shape Mummy Meal Plans are based on 3 meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with a morning and afternoon snack in between. With our meal plans, you shouldn’t ever be feeling any more than stage one hunger.
2. Eat nutrient dense foods.
When our bodies are not getting the nutrients we require, our brains send out “EAT MORE NOW” messages which cause hunger. Even if we are consuming more calories than we need, our bodies may be sending these hunger messages if we’re not getting the nutrients we need.
To avoid hunger, we need to shun foods that are “empty calories” (i.e. foods that are significant in calories but have few nutrients) and we need to eat nutrient dense foods. The In Shape Mummy Health Shake provides the nutrients of a balanced healthy and slimming meal. Enjoy the shake along side our Meal Plans to ensure you are eating well throughout the whole day. Our In Shape Mummy meal plans are all designed to provide you with the complete set of nutrients you need to stave off hunger.
3. Slow down your eating.
It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach and brain to register the feeling of fullness. We may be aiming to eat to the point where we are comfortably satisfied but if we eat quickly we might not feel full until we’re well past comfortably satisfied.
Slow down your eating by chewing thoroughly and deliberately. Put down your utensils and engage in an interesting conversation (or more likely, take a bite, put on the laundry, take another bite, load the dishwasher, take another bite, tidy the bench top, etc.). Whatever works in your situation, try to slow down your eating to avoid overeating.
4. Eat more protein.
Consuming protein can reduce the levels of ghrelin in your body, otherwise known as the hungry hormone and help you reduce your food intake naturally to a healthier level. Protein can help you feel full and more satisfied. Foods that are high in protein: nuts, eggs, yogurt, lean meat, the In Shape Mummy Health Shake.
5. Replace white for brown/wholemeal
Replace white breads, white pasta, white rice for the brown/wholemeal versions. Wholemeal is higher in fibre and lower in sugar. Your blood sugar will be more stable and your body can access the fuel stored in your fat cells. More stable blood sugar = more fat burning.
In Shape Mummy’s meal plans steer clear of processed carbohydrates and include a balanced amount of healthy fat to avoid hunger and help you burn fat.
6. Drink more water.
Our bodies have trouble differentiating between thirst and hunger. Some of the hunger pains you may be feeling are actually triggered by not drinking enough water. Studies have shown that 80% of Australians suffer from symptoms typical of dehydration and those are only the number dehydrated enough to show symptoms.
Eliminate any feelings of hunger that may be caused by dehydration by drinking more of that zero-calorie delight known as water!
7. Eat enough.
Achieving healthy and lasting weight loss is best accomplished by consuming only slightly less calories than you need to maintain your current body weight.
Diets that make dramatic reductions in calorie intake cause hunger pangs in their “victims” and actually slow down their metabolic rate. Slower metabolic rate means less energy, more fatigue and reduced fat burning. Who wants that!?!
Our In Shape Mummy meal plans are customised to provide your body with the right amount of calories to lose weight without hunger or fatigue. Do yourself a favour by eating enough calories to avoid hunger, maintain your energy and burn fat.
If you follow these 7 tips, you will manage your hunger, maintain your energy and lose weight at the same time.