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Many people view their weight loss plan as a battle between temptation and will power. Between hunger cues and tempting foods available everywhere you go, it’s easy to see why weight loss can feel like a constant struggle against your appetite. But if you view your weight loss plan as a war, with appetite as your enemy and will power as your only weapon, it’s no wonder you might feel discouraged and tempted to give up.
The truth is, it is possible to lose weight without having to battle hunger all of the time. You just need to learn other ways to control your appetite, without solely relying upon will power to do the job.
Lower the glycemic index. When foods are digested quickly, the calories are dumped into your bloodstream all at once. This leads to a short-term boost in energy, followed by a crash – and cravings for more food. The simplest, and healthiest, solution to this problem is to eat low glycemic foods (those full of protein and fiber), and to avoid high glycemic ones (sugar and starches).
However, another trick is to add vinegar to your meals, in salad dressings and sauces, because vinegar lowers the glycemic index a bit more. Just don’t think you can chase a donut with a shot of vinegar; it doesn’t work like that!
Eat before you’re starving. It might seem counter-intuitive to control your appetite by eating more frequently. But when you wait four, six, or more hours between meals, you can become so hungry that you end up overeating. Try low-calorie, high-fiber snacks between meals (like a piece of fruit) to prevent that feeling of desperate starvation.
Slow down. When you consume food too quickly, you don’t give your brain enough time to process feelings of satiety. So you continue to eat after you’re technically full, leading to that stuffed, bloated, “oh-no-I-overdid-it-again” feeling. Set your fork down between bites, and enjoy conversation with your family or a dinner companion.
Snack before you leave the house. You’ve probably already heard the old rule about never going grocery shopping while hungry. Expand that to any situation in which you might feel tempted to grab a bag of chips or a candy bar. Fill up on fruits and veggies, or a high-protein snack, before leaving the house. You’ll be less likely to feel hungry and tempted to indulge in junk food on outings.
Watch out for miscues. Sometimes we confuse thirst with hunger. Keep a refillable water bottle with you at all times, and stay hydrated throughout the day. Water helps you feel full, and prevents those thirst miscues.
As always, call us for an appointment to discuss your nutrition or weight loss plan. We can help you establish an eating regimen that meets your nutritional needs while also helping you shed unwanted pounds.