It’s 3 p.m., and you can’t concentrate on your work—you’re too hungry. You’ve been good all day sticking to your diet, but the chips in the vending machine look tempting. You don’t want to give in, but the hunger is real.
At our weight loss clinic, we know diet success depends on feeling full on fewer calories. Nobody wants to feel hungry all day, every day for weeks or months on end. That’s why it’s important to know what you can do to combat hunger when dieting.
The Three Musketeers: Fat, Fiber & Protein
Just like The Three Musketeers, these three food types work best together to conquer hunger. The first is fiber. Fiber is the part of a plant that our stomachs have to work to digest. Oatmeal, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are excellent sources.
Fiber not only fills up your stomach, but it keeps it fuller longer by slowing down digestion. Fiber is also healthy for your whole body. Win/win!
Fiber is best paired with protein to blunt hunger. Studies show that high-protein foods are the most satiating. A chicken breast will work better to fix your hunger than carbohydrates or fats. When you feel satisfied, you feel like eating less.
The last Musketeer in the trio is fat. Fat gets a bad name for clogging arteries and being high-calorie. However, fat empties from the stomach last and therefore squelches hunger. Unsaturated fats are best for long-term health.
A marvelous appetite busting meal would be a chicken breast (protein) topped with avocado (healthy fat & fiber) with a large side salad (fiber). Have some berries (fiber) for dessert.
Hunger signals can be confused with being dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps.
For a little appetite suppressant, drink a cup of coffee or tea. The caffeine and other ingredients in coffee and tea naturally suppress appetite. Just be careful not to overdo it; they can cause dehydration and dependence if abused.
Can You Handle Hunger?
Dieting means you may be hungry at times. The key is to make those times as few as possible, so don’t eat when you aren’t hungry. Save those calories for when you are starving, and not just to munch. You’ll regret it later.
Many people do well eating a good breakfast, a substantial lunch, and a smaller dinner. This wards off the dreaded afternoon hunger when temptation seems overwhelming.
There are going to be times when hunger gets the best of you. Don’t let it ambush you. Be ready with appetite crushing snacks, such as almonds.
Almonds are natural appetite suppressants with their handy mix of protein, fiber, and fat. Be VERY CAREFUL to take only a small serving as they will wallop you with calories.
Add a few celery sticks for more fiber, and you’ll stroll past the vending machine with nary a look.
Still Feeling Hungry?
You need not feel tired, hungry, and deprived while reaching your weight loss goals. With advanced planning and an understanding of how your body works, you can combat the 3 o’clock munchies.
If you’re still feeling hungry and deprived, stop by one of our weight loss clinics and talk to one of our healthy steps support team members. We want to help you make your diet as easy and enjoyable as possible!