We are still in the early stages of the year, which means plenty of people will still be determinedly sticking to their New Years’ resolution diets (or trying to). With summer still looming, we are in prime season for health kicks and weight loss targets. The problem is, our bodies can still pull cruel tricks on us, and one of the biggest problems people tend to have when dieting or eating healthily is the nagging hunger that seems to come about endlessly.
Do not fear, though – there are a few simple things which can help to stop you giving up your healthy eating plan, by getting rid of your cravings and preventing you from thinking about food.
Drink plenty of water
It’s the age-old trick, but drinking a large glass of water when you’re feeling peckish is a tried and tested way of filling up your stomach and delaying the onset of cravings. It keeps you hydrated, gives your body the fuel it thinks it needs and makes you physically feel full. It has been shown that proper hydration can help in reducing hunger, and in the short term this practice works well. The added benefits of improved digestion and complexion that come from proper hydration will also only serve to help your overall health, keeping you in the right mindset to carry on your good work.
When you’re feeling hungry, sometimes the last thing that comes to mind is to get out and work out when it already feels low on fuel and energy. What it is important to remember is that there is often still plenty of fuel in your body when you’re getting food cravings. Exercise has been proven to reduce appetite and to re-energise people, and both benefits will leave you feeling much less hungry after exercise than before it. Plus, you’ll have done something good for yourself so if at any point you do crack and eat something terrible, at least you’ve done something about it!
Keep yourself occupied
One of the biggest problems I have with food is that hunger strikes worst when I am bored or unoccupied. I find myself thinking about food when there is nothing else to keep it off my mind – and my stomach. The simple lesson I have taken is that when I am feeling bored, I try to find something to concentrate on which will stop me dwelling on the contents of the fridge. It may be something as simple as doing a jigsaw puzzle, reading a book, or walking the dog – as long as you keep your mind off food, half the hunger battle is normally won.
Keep yourself away from food
Not enough people consider the fact that you only find yourself drawn towards food when you have easy access to it, such as when you’re at home and there’s a full kitchen just downstairs. If you try to make sure that your most frequented environments (such as work) are food-free, you give yourself less of a chance of your mind wandering to what’s in the cupboard. If getting hold of food isn’t an option, you quickly realise that there’s no point dwelling on it. Your cravings get pushed to one side and you can get by without spoiling your hard work.
Eat (slightly) larger meals
This may seem at odds with the goals and process of dieting, but eating slightly more at meals can help you in the long run. If you eat healthy meals, eating a little more of a nice salad or some high-protein chicken or fish is a good way to go. If you starve yourself at meal times, you leave yourself partially empty and more vulnerable to cracking and eating something more unhealthy thereafter. A lot of dieting is not necessarily about eating less but eating better, and having reasonable portion sizes of healthy and varied meals acts as a better way forward in the battle against hunger than small meals and succumbing to snack cravings.
With these bits of advice in mind, you should be able to go forward into the healthier future knowing you can beat your hunger and reach your goal quicker and more easily.