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Managing hunger is one of the most difficult aspects of weight loss for many people pursuing weight loss programs. If you’re accustomed to eating a certain number of calories each day, you’ll definitely notice it when you try to cut a few hundred from your calorie budget. Heavy exercise can also work up an appetite, which compounds the problem of curbing hunger pangs. Hunger is your body’s natural response to a perceived lack of energy, so the feeling is natural and somewhat unavoidable, but thankfully there are several ways you can curb your appetite and resist the temptation to overeat at your next meal in response to that gnawing feeling in your stomach.

Curb Hunger Pangs with Protein and Fiber

While protein is a macronutrient and dietary fiber is a component of plant-based foods, these two compounds have commonly been lumped together as beneficial ingredients in all weight loss plans. While increased protein intake was once the domain of bodybuilders looking to bulk up, more and more physicians have begun to recommend increased use of protein as part of a weight loss plan. Proteins serve a variety of functions in the body, including helping to build muscle; they also promote a feeling of fullness that can help you last until your next meal without opening a pack of chips or cookies. Increasing your protein intake, especially through lean sources such as poultry and fish, can benefit your weight loss plan by reducing your chances of snacking between meals or overeating at your next meal.

Dietary fiber is classified into two types: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Both types are beneficial to weight loss plans because they’re filling and they’re digested slowly, which means that you feel full for longer. Beyond those effects, it’s good to include fiber in your diet simply because fiber-containing foods are typically healthy. Some of the most common sources of fiber include crunchy vegetables, oatmeal, whole grains, and beans.

Curb Hunger Pangs by Avoiding Simple Carbs

Simple carbohydrates—the kind found in sugary foods like sweets, sodas, and processed grains—can be disastrous for your appetite and thus for your weight loss plan. These foods might produce a feeling of fullness in the short term, but they also cause spikes in blood sugar. When you come down from that spike, you’ll feel hungry again, sometimes as soon as a couple of hours after your last meal. Simple carbs are also less ideal for a number of reasons: they promote weight gain and offer little nutritional value as well. Replace these simple carbs, such as those found in white bread and pasta, sweets, and sodas, with whole grains to ensure that your carbs aren’t sabotaging your appetite.

Curb Hunger Pangs by Drinking Plenty of Water

There’s a reason we need so much water every day: up to 60 percent of our bodies are composed of water, and we must restore the moisture that we lose through the various body processes such as sweating. Drinking water is not only a must for general health, but it encourages weight loss by helping to fill up your stomach, which reduces your appetite. Drink water with every meal and you’ll eat less at those meals since the water helps to fill you up. It’s the most natural weight loss remedy that the world has to offer.

It’s difficult to restrain yourself from giving in to your appetite and overeating due to hunger pangs. Try using these methods to curb your hunger pangs and take control of your appetite.

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