HUNGER pangs certainly have a way of derailing our best efforts to maintain a good figure. Oftentimes they are very hard to ignore, and the solution has generally been to fill up with snacks and treats that can quell the feeling for even a short while.
"We have to be educated on how to eat and that is one of the problems. Our society does not allow us to eat properly, because goods are foisted upon us that should not be eaten," said naturopathic physician Dr JD Wood.
But you don't necessarily have to give your wayward appetite so much control of your body. You can definitely stop that nagging feeling in your gut by tricking yourself into feeling full quicker, so you won't be tempted to eat those things you know you shouldn't. Here are some tips for doing so.
1. Drink water.
A lot of times people mistake thirst for hunger. As such, having a glass of water will help you to avoid this feeling and plus it will help you to flush toxins which could be causing you to miss the mark in reaching your weight loss goal. If you are not a big fan of water, you can squeeze a lime in it to add some flavour. "The amount of pounds for your weight, half of that amount is what you should consume in ounces of water. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water per day," said Dr Wood.
2. Increase fibre intake.
Fibre-rich foods such as oatmeal and vegetables will help to keep you fuller longer. Most fibre-rich foods have fewer calories than processed foods, so they also help you control your weight. "You should be eating at least 30 grams of fibre per day. The fibre is very important also for the function of the GI (gastrointestinal) tract," Dr Wood noted.
3. Eat six small meals daily.
You can trick your body into feeling full by having small meals throughout the day. This is better than having one large meal daily, as chances are, you are going to overeat to compensate for your irregular eating. Eating regularly also helps to keep your metabolism revved up.
4. Eat from small plates.
Trick your mind into believing you are having a filling meal by heaping your food on to a small plate to add volume. Make the food seem extra bulky by arranging your healthy whole grains and vegetables unto it first, before you add your protein or main course. Transfer take-out foods to a plate instead of having it in the box.
5. Chew gum.
This will help to keep your mouth busy, so you'll be less tempted to eat food. Sugarless gums are a great choice and will help to give you the added benefit of exercising your jaw.
6. Choose spicy foods.
Your stomach won't feel satisfied when your food is bland, and so you'll always want more in hopes that the next bite will make you feel better. Most spicy foods, on the other hand, contain capsaicin, which is a natural appetite suppressant. Spicy foods also force you to eat slower and help to reduce your cravings.
7. Brush your teeth regularly.
Brushing your teeth right before going to sleep is a great way to make you think twice about getting up in the night for a snack. Train yourself into not having anything to eat once you have done your final brush for the day.
8. Eat slowly.
Your brain takes a little while to register satiety, so it is always advisable that you do not rush your food. Try to spend some time to savour the texture and flavour of your meals the next time you sit down to have a meal and when you begin to feel full, put the fork down.
9. Have more protein.
Protein-rich foods, when consumed, send a satiety signal to the brain when you're full, which helps with the control of appetite. So don't be afraid of biting into your chicken leg first during dinner, before filling up on white carbs such as rice or flour dumplings. Protein dishes also keep you feeling full longer.