Can you guess what’s the biggest and most common deterrent when someone is trying to lose weight – hunger pangs! And they can hit you anytime during the day – 4 pm, 6 pm, even in the middle of the night – throwing all your plans to get lean and fit out of the window. Ghrelin, the hormone that is also called the “hunger hormone” and has an important role in regulating appetite, sends hunger signals to the brain that it’s time to eat and triggers release of acids from the stomach, which in turn are responsible for churning out the rumbling and growling sounds in the stomach. These hunger pangs are more noticeable when we are dieting to lose weight, cutting down calories – that’s the way of ghrelin to remind us that it’s time to refuel since we are denying our body the amount of food it was used to prior to the weight loss journey. While dieting, hunger pangs seem to hit hard and all the will power in the world would seem insufficient to control such pangs. That’s why, we have put together 9 effective ways to deal with hunger pangs while dieting.
1. Pick a Nutrient-Dense Weight Loss Diet: The concept of food deprivation in order to cut down extra flab is now outdated. Weight loss diets such as Rati Beauty diet will not only help you lose weight, it will do so without depriving the body of nutrition or energy, and one does not need to starve or eat soups and salads on such a diet. In fact, fight the fat with nutrient-rich food, not by starving or crash dieting.
2. Don’t Eat Desserts For Breakfast: Bread and jam for breakfast is a staple in many households and when we are starting the day with desserts and sweet treats for breakfast, the sharp rise in blood sugar and the subsequent slump that insulin causes, can trigger ghrelin to rise and cause hunger pangs. Start the day with healthy breakfast options like poha, idli, dosa, etc. instead.
3. Stick to Meal Timings: The reason you are feeling hungry at bizarre timings such as 1 am in the night is because you eat at random timings during the day. Eat at scheduled timings during the day and stick to them to keep blood sugar levels stable, so that you don’t wake up hungry at odd hours in the night. Also read – “10 Little Things you can Do Daily to Lose Weight.”
4. Try Sipping on a Glass of Water: Most of the time that you think you are hungry, you might be just thirsty! People often confuse thirst signals with hunger pangs, and turn to food to satisfy their hunger when they are actually thirsty! Also, most often they turn to unhealthy food with high fat and calories. Sipping on water at regular intervals through the day can help suppress unnecessary food cravings and thoughts, and stop you from getting hangry. Also, try “Water Preloading” – read all about it here.
5. Eat More Protein and Fiber: Protein and fiber keep you fuller for longer and keep appetite in check. Including a good source of protein or healthy fat with every meal and snack will keep your blood sugar levels stabilized and prevent the onset of sudden, intense hunger. Fiber helps you feel fuller longer and delay the return of hunger, so incorporating them into meals is a smart way to avoid blood sugar swings and to steady your mood. When you increase protein intake, food cravings and food-related thoughts will decrease by a great degree. Find protein and fiber rich weight loss diets on the Rati Beauty app.
6. Avoid Refined Carbs: Not all carbs are bad for weight loss, but refined carbs definitely are! Food with refined carbs cause sharp rise in blood sugar and the subsequent crash will cause the body craving for energy and more food. Swap refined carbs with complex carbs and note the difference in the frequency of hunger pangs.
7. Get Plenty of Sleep: If you are resting well and sleeping for 8 hours through the night, your body will optimize all hormones, including the ones that regulate appetite and hunger – aka ghrelin and leptin. Without proper sleep, essential fat-burning hormones also go out of whack. Sleeping for 5 hours or less increases the level of stress hormone “cortisol” and hunger hormone “ghrelin,” so sleep well to keep hunger pangs triggered by these hormones in check.
8. Find Ways To De-Stress: Stress is directly linked to increase in appetite, and it can also trigger weight gain. Chronic stress is bad for both mental and physical health. So, unwind yourself for 20 minutes in a day. Pursue a hobby or find ways to take off the stress from your mind.
9. Say “no” to Sugar: Nothing hurts your weight loss goals more than “sugar.” It raises inflammation, causes insulin resistance, increases belly fat, and is the reason why hunger pangs are hitting hard. When you eat sugar, the blood sugar rise and drop, will cause hunger pangs. When you quit refined sugar, it’s easy for the body to lose weight. We assure you that you will start loving the difference it makes to your belly fat and overall body.
So, these were some ways you can cut down the frequency of hunger pangs, try them now.