Ever quoted yourself as “Devil’s on the loose”, while sharing mouth-watering food on social media?
I bet you do or might have felt that way without even a verbal explanation.
Well, that’s how you become when your stomach is empty and food thoughts invade your mind as addictive porn does, also termed as food-porn by million foodies out there.
So, how to control hunger pangs in such an obvious case?
An empty stomach loves painting food images, signaling you with a grumbling pain in the stomach, called hunger pangs. Just then, tummy satisfaction is all that you look for, whether eating buckets of ice cream or munching chips for the sake of pleasure that does not last any longer.
Long-term happiness comes from nourishment — that extra care you take for your body, not letting unhealthy and unhygienic substances pollute the body internally, making choices consciously with no hurry, and understanding the impact of your choices.
I always recommend looking at nourishment as planting a tree. Your Body, Mind, and Soul are the land for cultivation. Your thoughts, the food you intake and your emotions are the seeds you sow. And, view your habits as nurturing the seeds in the form of watering them and taking care of it, as it grows into a beautiful tree. Yet then, your job is not to see the tree grow, but to watch it thrive.
Having visualized that, how crucial is a healthy eating habit, must be now evident to you.
It is to stop overeating, prevent your mind from painting food images when hungry and create a healthy lifestyle.
Here’s How to control hunger for weight loss — The Do’s and Dont’s to keep hunger pangs away
The following key to note points will prove effective in reducing unhealthy snacking and, subsequently, your net calorie intake.
1. Adapt to a short-term meal routine:
While it can be tedious to follow this routine at home initially or even later sometimes, making it even more challenging to follow at a workplace or outside; this routine will never make you hungry at intervals by rapidly cutting down your snacking habit. It’s one of the most powerful ways to deal with hunger.
So, have the mindset of doing it anyway, to achieve your goals!
A conscious diet followers routine includes: carrying low-calorie snacks such as fruits, germinated legumes, yogurt, and seed-nuts combo, when outside the home.
If not, eat the same at home in between main meals.
2. Prioritize Protein in your diet over Simple Carbs:
Protein is among the top natural foods to suppress hunger. It takes a longer time to break down as compared to carbohydrates, which justifies why it suppresses appetite.
Add lean protein to your diet according to your health issues, allergies, market availability, and ethical choices.
3. Fibrous food is what you should be looking for:
Carbohydrates or Carbs comprise Starch, Fibre, and Sugar. Unlike other carbs, fiber takes a longer time to digest in the body.
Fiber does not have any miraculous weight loss properties by itself, just that a low-fat content and a longer digestion time which curbs overeating or unhealthy snacking habits.
It’s present in fruits and vegetables with skin, whole grains, pulses, nuts, and seeds.
Pick whole grains in your basket. Whole grains contain more fiber and protein than refined or polished grains. They include Barley, Brown rice, Buckwheat, Bulgur (cracked wheat), Millet, Oatmeal, Quinoa, Corn, Rye.
4. Consume more Solid food:
Food in the form of solid or liquid influences our overall body energy and body weight.
Liquids evoke a stronger sense of hunger (i.e. weaker appetite) than solid food.
It’s essential to understand this, as many diet-conscious people believe that liquid meal replacement products available commercially can cut down their calorie intake and therefore can reduce body weight.
Apparently, that’s not how shallow or rather straightforward things are.
People fail to understand the complex mechanism of the body and run after easy hacks to achieve healthy goals.
Research conducted on liquid vs solid food shows that postprandial hunger, food cravings, dominant thoughts of food, and a lower sense of fullness are identified after consuming liquid meal replacement products; which means subsequent food intake is higher after consuming a liquid meal.
Refer to the article for more details: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2556245/
Besides, do not drink up all your calories.
Refrain from sugary beverages such as frequent cappuccinos and traditional tea at meetings, soda, juice, and energy drinks such as Red Bull, Gatorade, etc during workouts.
A mug of Indian chai (tea) contains 200 calories, which is more than a can of soda.
Simply intaking calories, provide no nutritional value.
Instead drink water or naturally flavored water by muddling natural herbs such as mint, basil, lemongrass, etc in the water jar.
5. Remember when to drink water:
People, in general, are so busy in their day-to-day life, that they forget to even drink water. If only you mindfully drink water every day, you will live a much healthier life.
Often, one mistakes feeling thirsty with feeling hungry and look for food instead of fetching some water. Eating like this will develop a pattern of binge snacking, which doesn’t solve your problem.
Perceiving the brain signals is quite confusing. In order to understand that, the best approach would be grabbing 1-2 glasses of water when the stomach makes that grumbling sound or when your throat is drying, or when a slight headache crawls in, which could be caused due to dehydration.
And, if you are still hungry after drinking some water, then you were probably actually hungry.
Research has shown that drinking water sometimes before a meal (although it’s good to avoid shorter than 30 minutes intervals), makes us feel full faster, thereby tricking our stomach to sense a level of fullness.
By the time we begin our meal, it would have reduced our hunger, leading us to a lower calorie intake.
6. Practice eating Mindfully:
We have heard a lot about mindfulness, but ever thought of mindful eating?
Many of us, pay heavily for our hectic lives, in the form of poor physical and mental health. We shovel up food in our mouths and rush away, eating mindlessly.
But, Mindful eating curbs these unhealthy practices.
You will gradually observe, how paying attention to the experience of eating food itself, is a great way to improve your diet, manage food cravings and lose weight.
Mindful eating is creating awareness about what you eat and drink, the way you consume it, and observing the signals send by your body — the taste, satisfaction, and sense of fullness.
This incredible approach helps you —
- Build a strong relationship with food by helping you notice under what circumstances you choose food for reasons other than hunger.
- Make healthier choices by noticing each food you eat and how your body feels after eating.
- Reduces stress and anxiety, by slowing you down by not focusing on anything other than the food itself.
This whole process is very therapeutic in nature.