How to Reduce Hunger While Dieting

Client Question: I’m trying to watch my calories, but I am struggling with hunger. What can I do to feel more satisfied while eating lower-calorie foods?

Trainer Gina’s Answer:
A healthy, lower-calorie diet doesn’t have to mean you are starving all the time. Many people report being able to discipline themselves to choose something healthy and low-calorie such as a chicken salad and feel satisfied at the time, only to feel hungry again an hour or two later. This makes following a lower calorie food plan a challenge. Many people try to cut out too many calories at once and it sabotages them in the end.

Strategy 1: Be sure to consume enough fats

The first strategy is to make sure you have something that helps food ‘stick to your ribs’ in each meal. It takes at least 6 grams of fat to allow your digestive tract to register fullness and a sense of satisfaction. By using fat free dairy products and fat-free dressings or by cooking with no oil at all, it’s easy to fall below the magic 6 grams.

If you’ve been doing:
Fat free cheese, skim milk

1% or low fat varieties

If you’ve been doing:
Fat free salad dressing

Low fat or use regular but use less

Strategy 2: Fiber for the win

Another strategy is to be sure your meal contains plenty of fiber. Fiber creates bulk, adding to fullness and delaying digestion to keep you satisfied longer. Aim for 5-10 grams with each meal.

If you’ve been doing:
Iceberg lettuce or light bread

Spinach, broccoli, and beans or whole wheat bread

Strategy 3: Carbs are your friend!

Include a portion controlled amount of whole grain carbs when you eat. Some people never feel full or satisfied when they follow low-carb eating, and due to this they end up eating more calories in the long run than if they just allowed themselves 100-200 calories worth of carbs with each meal.

If you’ve been doing:
Stirfry with veggies and protein

Adding ½ cup brown rice to each portion
Or filling a whole grain pita with your stir fry

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