Saturday, October 16, 2010

Controlling Hunger to Lose Weight

Maybe you are struggling to lose weight but find it hard to do because you are always hungry. And it's hard to control how much you eat when you're hungry. But what if there was a way that you could curb your appetite and eat less at lunch or dinner. This might actually help you to lose the weight. Here are a few ideas that have worked for others and could work for you. It's worth a try.

Drink More Fluids
Water. Drinking a glass or two of water about 30 minutes before you eat will help you feel full, reduce your hunger and cause you to eat less. This could make a big difference in how many calories you consume and make it easier for you to lose weight.

Coffee or tea. In addition to water, you can drink plain coffee or tea. These beverages can be quite soothing, help you to relax, and ease any tension or stress you might be feeling. So, you would be less tempted to fill up on high-calorie comfort food.

Broth. Having a cup or two of broth or chicken before your meal is yet another way to fill up on no-calorie or low-calorie foods, which in turn can help to eat less and control the amount of calories that you consume for the day.

Other soups. Heavier soups, like lentil, bean, vegetable, chicken or fish soup may contain more calories than the water, tea, coffee or broth mentioned earlier. But that is no reason to rule them out. Actually, it makes good sense to include these soups as part of your weight-loss strategy because they are more filling and can therefore help you to eat less of other high-calorie, less nutritious options. These soups are also high in fiber, which means they can keep you feeling full longer. So whether you use them as an appetizer, or as part of the main course, they can prove to be valuable in helping you to fight hunger and keep the calories down.

There will be times when you are feeling hungry an hour or two before your next meal and want something to eat other than the food and drink mentioned above. Instead of reaching for high-calorie, sugary and/or high fat snacks, reach for something that will not trigger a rapid rise and fall in your blood sugar.

Unbuttered popcorn, nuts and seeds.  Foods like popcorn, nuts and seeds make great snacks when you are trying to stave off hunger. They are high in fiber and will contribute a few grams of healthy fat. Don't be alarmed by the fat in nuts. The amount you get from one or two ounces will be more than compensated for by the amount of food you are able to cut back at your next meal. Besides, it's nothing you cannot burn off with a few minutes of brisk walking or stair climbing.

What about fruits and whole grains? There is a place in a healthy diet for fruits and grains, just as there is for dairy and meat, fish and eggs. But keep in mind that sugars and starches can cause an increase in blood sugar, followed by a rapid fall. When your blood sugar falls, you could cause you to overeat. This is just what you are trying to avoid if you find yourself frequently hungry at mealtime. On the other hand, if these foods keep you satisfied and are not hunger triggers, you could include them as part of your effort to curb hunger pangs.

Give yourself the winning edge by drinking water or consuming other filling foods that provide lots of fluid and fiber, without the unwanted calories. Then when you sit down to a meal, you can enjoy the food without stuffing yourself with unwanted calories and increase your chance of losing weight.