Why you’re starving and 3 ways to curve hunger.
Fighting hunger cravings can be tough! Dieting to lose 20lbs, 10lbs, or heck…even 5lbs can be crazy difficult if you’re having constant food cravings and hunger pains. In this write up I’m going to share my experiences for why this happens and what you can to do alleviate the problem.
Why do we get so hungry?
Honestly, this question is pretty hard to answer because the source of the problem could vary widely depending on your specific circumstances and lifestyle. However, below are a few of the reasons I have found to cause hunger for both myself as well as personal training clients:
- You aren’t eating enough satiating nutrient dense foods.
- You aren’t drinking enough liquids
- Too much stress
- Are you actually hungry or is it mindless eating?
Whatever the reason, we’re here to try and fix it right? So let’s jump right into the three things I have found to help curve hunger the most.
- Protein, Protein, Protein
Lean sources of protein such as chicken, fish, turkey, etc. are great at helping you satisfy your hunger and cravings. Protein is an important macronutrient that you should try to include in every meal and snack that you eat throughout the day. Out of all the macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats), protein digests the slowest and requires the most energy to do so. Therefore, you will feel fuller longer.
So for example, if you had a choice between the two snacks below which one do you think would provide the most satisfaction in terms of fullness?
- A serving of ritz crackers with cheese (maybe a few grams of protein depending on the cheese)
- Single serving protein shake with a protein bar (25–50 grams of protein total)
The 2nd option by far is going to the better choice if fighting off hunger is your goal. The first option of cheese and crackers may taste better (actually I know it does haha), but it will likely leave you hungry in an hour or so depending on how big your portion was.
2. Water filled foods or larger food items
You can trick your body into thinking that it is full by consuming foods with a high water content or just larger volume (bulky foods). Think of your stomach as a container, if you eat foods with a high water content that take up more space in your stomach you will feel more full.
Therefore, you should aim to eat more leafy vegetables and fruits such as melons, pineapples, and strawberries/blueberries. They are not calorically dense, but they have so much water and take up so much space in your stomach that they are perfect for snacking.
3. Just drink more water!
Last and probably the most simple thing you can try is to just drink more water/liquids overall. You should be drinking water already for its great health benefits, but it can also aid you in your weight loss journey.
A lot of articles and videos on the internet claim that if you feel hungry you may actually just be thirsty or dehydrated and mistaking the feeling. I don’t know how true this is personally, but what I can say is that if you drink more liquids you will not only be hydrating yourself throughout the day, but you will again fill your stomach with liquid and that space being taken up will make you feel fuller.
Try drinking a glass of water before each meal to fill some of the space in your stomach beforehand. It will likely cause you to eat less in that one sitting, but you will not feel deprived of food afterwards!
Thanks a ton for reading and good luck with fighting those hunger pains :)