Hunger management plays a crucial role in successful weight loss. It’s common for people to think they need to starve themselves to lose weight, which leads to over-restricting their diet. Although this may work temporarily, it will likely lead to increased cravings, hunger, & possibly binge episodes that will derail your progress . In other words, this type of approach isn’t sustainable. During a fat loss phase, it’s common to experience some mild hunger (sometimes more, others less). It shouldn’t be a cause for concern, and it is to be expected, especially as you lose weight and your metabolism adapts. This is why it’s helpful to have hunger management strategies you can use to help you increase satiety, reduce cravings and help you stay on track with your fat loss goals without having to starve yourself. (Also read: Top reasons you are not losing weight )
Clinical Dietitian, Astrid Naranjo, suggested some amazing fat loss hacks to lose weight and manage hunger in her Instagram post.
It is considered the highest satiety macronutrient. Increased protein intake may lead to improved feelings of satiety and fewer cravings. But, if you already eat a high-protein diet (1.6g/kg+), you probably won’t improve satiety further. And overeating protein may lead to eating less high-satiety carbohydrates, which contribute to overall health and may reduce total calorie intake.
A high-fiber diet has many health benefits, including satiety, and cravings and helps you stay on track with your diet. Low-energy-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables are great sources of fiber, which makes them filling, with total calories, compared to energy-dense foods (eaten in the same volume).
Fiber may also improve satiety by:
• Slowing gastric emptying
• Increasing food viscosity
• Causing fermentation in the gut
• Bulking up the volume of food
This one is a bit tricky because the type, and amount of carbohydrate matter greatly, as well as individual context.
Eating a bowl of oatmeal compared to eating a bowl of cake will impact satiety differently.
However, including whole, unrefined carbohydrates in your diet is a great way to satiety and carbs can also aid in muscle recovery and training performance.
4. Dietary Fats
Fats are essential for optimal health, but they may not be the best option for hunger management, especially if you have a tight calorie budget. Fat provides more than double the energy of carbs and protein (high-energy density). It’s easier to eat more calories with a smaller serving of high-fat food, compared to high-carb food. However, the problem usually lies in ultra-processed foods that are rich in both fats and carbs, making them highly palatable and not very satiating.
5. Food composition = Solid vs Liquid
Solid meals are likely better for suppressing appetite compared to shakes or blended meals. A 2011 study compared hunger ratings after eating chicken breast vs eating blended chicken breast with water. (Calories & protein were matched on both meals). The group that ate a solid meal reported less hunger and desire to eat.
6. Food viscosity
High viscosity foods (thicker foods) like chicken breast vs egg whites require more chewing which slows the rate of ingestion. Chewing more, and eating slower, contributes to satiety. Food form may also influence energy intake, food choice, and possibly body weight. So, eating foods that require chewing may lead to higher satiety.
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