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“I was doing so good… and then I got hungry…”
Who amongst us hasn’t been there before? You’re on track – you’re eating right and exercising regularly; you’re really starting to see results and make the improvements you desire. And then… you get hungry. “Just one bite of cake won’t hurt” becomes “oh I can just finish that piece” which becomes “oh nobody will miss that half”!! If sometimes you feel like your appetite has a mind of its own, trust me – you’re not the only one! So how can we control this hunger and curb our appetite to keep eating under control? Today I’m sharing 10 of my favorite tips to naturally suppress your appetite and keep your diet on track. Check them out:
1. Just get moving! Probably my favorite tip just because it’s two-for-the-price-of-one! It’s easy to get bored and hungry while sitting around idly. One of the very best things you can do is actually get up and get moving. Take a stroll around the block. Clean up your kitchen. Walk around while talking on the phone or dictating a blog post (literally happening right now!). When you’re up and moving you’re focused on something other than your hunger and it usually goes away. Just make sure your wanderings don’t take you into the kitchen!
2. Power up with protein. When you do eat, make sure you do it correctly! Don’t eat just to put food in your face – make sure the food you eat is providing you with the nutrients and energy you need to carry you through to the next meal. As a general rule you should try to have some protein with every single meal. This will keep you energized throughout your day and fight off hunger pangs between meals.
3. Eat breakfast. The simplest and easiest way to ward off the munchies throughout the day is to start the day off right! Eating a healthy and nutritious breakfast gets your metabolism going and can actually help to decrease your daily caloric intake by warding off hunger later. (Not too sure what to eat for breakfast? Try one of these 10 delicious and healthy breakfast recipes!)
4. Eat more regularly. I know it sounds counter-productive to health and fitness, but eating more regularly is actually a great way to lose weight! Instead of eating 1-2 big meals and then starving yourself for hours in between, try eating 4-5 smaller, nutritious meals throughout the day. Make sure theses meals are loaded with fruits and veggies, have protein, and are light on fats and sugars. This is a great way to decrease (usually unhealthy) between-meal snacking.
5. Get honest with yourself. Ask yourself – “When do I snack and why?” Maybe it’s late at night while watching your favorite show. Maybe it’s the mandatory dessert after every meal. Maybe it’s while you sit at your computer writing blog posts in the wee hours of the morning as you’re trying to stay awake (guilty again!). Whatever your vice and whenever the time – identifying the “why” and “when” of your snacking is a great first step in helping to avoid it.
6. Drink more water. Many people actually confuse hunger with dehydration. Filling your belly with delicious and refreshing water instead of fats and sugars is a great way to make sure you avoid unnecessary snacking. Instead of heading to the pantry, head to the fridge for your water bottle!
7. Chew gum. A) it gives your mouth something to do. B) minty fresh breath usually doesn’t gel that well with anything sweet and bad for you. Think about it – would you put that bite of chocolate cake into a spearmint or winterfresh mouth? It will at least cause you to think twice!
8. Eat more food at meal time. Remember – most fruits and all vegetables (especially vegetables) are a free pass!! You can load your plate with absolutely as many as you can possibly handle! Eating more delicious fruits and vegetables actually fills your stomach up more efficiently and stimulates satiety receptors better than any other food. Let’s just take it takes a lot of fats and oils to equal the same volume as a nice big salad.
9. Out of sight – out of mind… and mouth. This one is my demise! When something is out on the counter staring at me every time I walk into the kitchen I guarantee that’s a battle that I lose every time. Take whatever food you have lying around and put it in the pantry, or in a cupboard, or cover it up somehow – ANYTHING you can do to get it out of sight and therefore off your mind.
10. If you do snack… Let’s be honest – none of us is perfect all of the time. You’re going to slip up and you’re going to snack between meals. Under that premise and with that understanding a little preparation goes a long way in making sure that you snack the right way. Keep fresh fruits and vegetables in “snack bags” (pre-portioned sealable sandwich bags) in the fridge and reach for those the nest time you’re hungry. If you portion them out in advance and contain yourself to just one bag per snack, you can effectively eliminate fats and sugars while decreasing calories and increasing nutrients.
So there they are! Try out one or two or all of these tips the next time you’re hungry and see how effective they are. Find the right combination that works for you and watch your daily calories plummet!
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