While eating healthy food and getting regular exercise is the ideal way to lose weight, reducing your daily calorie intake can also be an important factor in jumpstarting the scale.
However, eating less than we are used to – especially after an indulgent celebration, the holidays or just an extra fun weekend – can be a real struggle. When reducing calories, some people find it hard to concentrate on work or other activities that are normally enjoyable due to those constant hunger pangs. In short, calorie restriction can be rough! But we are going to share our top 5 tips to make it so much easier to suppress your hunger while feeling full and happy.
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Did you know that people who drink two glasses of water right before a meal eat around 22% less than those who skip water? Drinking water before a meal can help you feel fuller with less food. It can be your key to decreasing hunger and reducing your overall daily calorie intake. Interestingly, broth-based soups work in the same way. So, if you don’t want to fill up on water, try having a chicken or veggie-based soup for starters.
2. Focus on a Protein-Based Diet
A protein-based diet will not only help you feel full for longer, it will also help you eat less the next time you sit down for a meal. Foods rich in protein are a natural hunger suppressant and they reduce blood sugar spikes which help you feel full longer and reduce cravings – both will help you lose weight without having long periods of feeling hungry.
A study compared the effects of two different breakfasts, one consisting of eggs other consisting of bagels. Both kinds if breakfast offered the same number of calories. However, it was noted in the eight-week study that people who had protein-rich breakfast (eggs) lost 65% more weight than those who had bagels.
3. Opt for Fiber-Rich Foods
Foods rich in fiber can be the key to suppressing hunger and consuming fewer calories. Fiber is digested at a fairly slow rate which is great to help you feel full much longer. It takes your body anywhere from 24 to 72 hours to digest fiber completely. Be sure to select a viscous type of fiber as these work better at suppressing hunger over other types. Some food sources that are rich in viscous fiber include beans, asparagus, flax seeds, oats, etc.
4. Exercise before a Meal
Have you ever noticed how you never seem to crave food right after exercising? Well, this is because exercising – especially vigorous workouts – suppress your appetite hormones. So, if your goal is to bring down your daily calorie count, it is a fantastic idea to exercise before a meal. Doing so will not only make you feel satiated longer but will also make help you consume less food when you eat.
5. Treat Yourself to Dark Chocolate
While this may seem counterintuitive, it is actually a good idea to have some dark chocolate to curb your hunger. The stearic acid present in dark chocolate slows down digestion to make you feel full for a long time. Furthermore, it will also satisfy your sweet cravings. The best part is that smelling dark chocolate has the same effect. So, if you are on a strict diet and would rather avoid dark chocolate, you can still make use of dark chocolate to suppress your hunger.
Now that you know our top tips on how to feel full and happy longer, we encourage you to come on in to our awesome new gym in the Kirkland Urban center for a fantastic HIIT workout to get you shredding those holiday pounds quickly!