Maybe you’ve been training harder or feeling a little stressed and your hunger levels are feeling higher than usual. It’s time to take advantage of some solid strategies to curb those cravings early on and make sure you’re feeling full after every meal. This will help you avoid the temptation to sneak a salty or sweet snack.
We say this one a LOT to our members...so if you haven’t tried it yet now is the time! Eating slowly gives your hunger senses time to kick in and you’ll be feeling less snack-prone in no time. Put your fork down between every bite and enjoy. If you usually finish everything on your plate (makes sense if you count macros!) notice how much easier it would it is not to eat the last bite now that you’re more full. Utilize this method next time you eat out with friends.
Dehydration tricks us into thinking we’re hungry, so keep up with your fluids. Water helps manage hunger and fullness cues and can help fill you up! HERE is an article about how water works for you and a few tips to get more throughout your day.
Eat High-Volume Meals
If your meals aren’t satisfying you, then you’re probably not eating enough volume. Eat MORE food – NOT more calories! This means filling your plate up with leafy greens, low carb vegetables and fruits (e.g leaves, broccoli, berries) and always having a glass of water with your meal. This is an excellent way to eat to fullness while consuming the same amount of calories as you’d find in a candy bar...but with triple the nutrients. HERE are a few more ideas.
Take more time to think about the macronutrient profile of your meal. Is your meal all carbs? All protein? Mostly fat? Try getting a nice spread of each macro into each of your meals. This diagram shows you how to build your plate for a moderate training day. Adjust slightly for lighter or harder training days. A meal with this kind of balance will help to make sure you’re feeling full, fueled and satisfied.
Play With Meal Timing
Everyone is different, so it’s important to find what works for YOU when it comes to meal timing. If you find yourself hungrier during certain times of the day then go with that. Make changes to your current eating habits:
- Move a meal forward or backward a couple of hours.
- Adjust the portions of meals - perhaps make your breakfast smaller and dinner larger.
- Make your meals smaller, and add an extra one in during that ‘hunger time.’
Find what works for you.
Know the Difference
There is a difference between hunger and appetite. Hunger is your body's need for food and should be honored. Appetite can be triggered by seeing, smelling or thinking about food. If you find that you’re frequently thinking about food (on a rest day from the gym, the weekend or a quiet day), this may increase appetite not necessarily hunger.
Just knowing the difference can help you identify which is which and decide if that snack is necessary or just you looking for something to do or reacting to appetite.
Here are some ways to stay busy and move past a spike in appetite:
- Eat your meal so you’re fed to fullness.
- Running errands, clean, do laundry
- Get after your side-hustle
- Go for a walk
- Read a book
- Start tasks that seriously engage you.
Putting space between the appetite cue and action of reaching for a snack will allow you to notice if this is true hunger or just a bit of boredom.