How to Manage Hunger While Trying to Lose Weight?

Losing weight often leads to increased feelings of hunger due to changes in appetite-regulating hormones like ghrelin and leptin. However, there are effective strategies you can use to help control hunger during weight loss.

Eat a Large, Healthy Breakfast

Eating a nutritious, high-calorie breakfast is one of the most effective ways to reduce hunger and cravings throughout the day. Studies show that eating most of your calories early in the day with breakfast as your largest meal can significantly diminish appetite later on.

Aim to eat about 45% of your total daily calories at breakfast. If you eat 2,000 calories per day, have a breakfast containing around 900 calories. Centers your breakfast around protein, which is the most filling macronutrient. Good options include:

  • Eggs: An egg-based breakfast leads to decreased calorie consumption later in the day. Enjoy eggs any style along with veggies and whole grain toast.
  • Greek yogurt: High in hunger-reducing protein. Top it with fresh fruit, chia seeds, nuts, or nut butter.
  • Oatmeal: Choose steel-cut or rolled oats instead of quick oats. Cook it with milk and add walnuts and berries.
  • Avocado toast: The healthy fats and fiber in avocado keep you full. Have it on whole grain toast or pita.

Besides a protein source, make sure to incorporate complex carbs from fruit, whole grains, starchy veggies, or beans as well as healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, seeds, or avocado. Eating plenty of protein and fiber at your first meal makes it easier stick to your calorie goals the rest of the day.

Focus on Protein-Rich Foods

Foods high in protein like eggs, lean meat, beans, and tofu suppress ghrelin to leave you feeling fuller for longer. Try to include some protein in every meal and snack.

Snack on Nuts, Avocados, and High-Fiber Foods

Nuts, avocados, beans, and vegetables are packed with fiber that slows digestion, keeping you satisfied. Enjoy nuts, veggies, or an avocado-based snack when hunger strikes.

Practice Mindful Eating

Slow down, minimize distractions, and pay attention to the flavors and textures to recognize feelings of fullness sooner. Use smaller plates and utensils to help you eat less.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Adequate sleep prevents spikes in hunger hormones like ghrelin. Aim for at least 7 hours per night by limiting electronics use before bedtime.

Find Ways to Manage Stress

Stress causes elevated cortisol and cravings. Make time for stress-relief like getting outdoors, meditating, or trying yoga.

Allow Yourself Treats

Completely restricting favorite foods often backfires. Allow yourself small treats on occasion so you don’t feel deprived.

Staying on track with weight loss means controlling hunger instead of trying to ignore it. Incorporate these tips to make the process more sustainable.

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