You know when you’re on a diet, things are going so well, then BOOM, your hunger levels kick into high gear, and you just want eat “all the things!!!”
Well before you go off eating stuff you don’t want to, or falling off plan, let’s take a look at some tips to keep in mind about hunger and fat loss, plus how to control it.
Keep in mind that hunger IS a part of the dieting process.
What happens is certain hormones that impact metabolism are in flux. Leptin for instance falls, that’s the satiety hormone, while grehlin goes up – the hunger signal hormone.
A host of other hormones are down/upregulated as well. It’s the perfect storm for hunger to go through the roof.
You can’t escape it completely in the dieting process. However, knowing and understanding what’s happening will help you to better control it when you condition yourself to realize it’s a sign that things are moving in the right direction.
Increase your water intake.
Sometimes signals for thirst and dehydration come across as hunger. So get your water in each day. I always tell clients to aim for 1 gallon.
Now, for some of you, drinking that much water might be almost next to impossible! Don’t worry – it doesn’t have to JUST be water. Any liquids you consume can be a part of that total. So even your protein shake can add to that total.
One thing that helps me to drink a ton of water is keeping flavored tea bags in my water mixed in with something like Crystal Light. It makes water taste yummy and refreshing, and is OH SO EASY to slam down! Try it! But again, if you feel hunger is an issue, making sure you’re properly hydrated can help.
Up that protein!
Increased protein in the diet can help to really blunt hunger. In the face of fat loss, it can also help you keep muscle as you continue to get leaner. Aim for in general around 1.2 to 1.5 x BW in pounds to put this to use during your dieting phase.
Keep in mind this protein can come from many different sources. So play around with lean cuts (chicken breast, turkey breast, egg whites, white fish of any kind, lean pork, 96% extra lean beef, bison, etc) and fattier cuts as well (chicken thighs, whole eggs, salmon and other high fat fish, top sirloin beef, 93% lean turkey breast etc).
Increase fats but keep an eye on total calories.
Change your diet around where you bring carbs down a bit and make up for the lost calories by replacing those same carbs with healthy fats. Fats are calorically dense, so they can help slow digestion a bit helping you to feel less of an urge to munch.
Here you can include things like nuts/nut butters of all kinds, avocados, cheese (YES cheese lol), all kinds of oils (olive, coconut, red palm, grapeseed, avocado, etc).
If hunger is TOO much, then you should consider raising calories a little bit.
You’ll still be in a caloric deficit so fat loss will still continue. Cutting calories too low can thwart your progress and cause you to hit a plateau.
I always remind clients that it’s impossible to diet for fat loss without some semblance of hunger creeping in during the process. And it can be a real challenge when it does because it requires discipline for you to hold on and not start a binge. If you follow the guidelines I’ve given above, you will find yourself on the winning side of the game.
What are some ways that YOU deal with hunger while on a diet? Post your comments below.
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