On Monday, I didn’t get out the usual issue of Lean Living Chronicles email to everyone, so instead of leaving you all hanging without your start-to-the-week motivation and tips, I sent out a quick email on Tuesday entitled “Eat more, weigh less!”
Almost immediately got emailed back a great question from one of my readers:
I seem to be hungry all day…what do I eat to stop this? I have recently learned I cannot eat dairy and I wonder if this is the problem!
I wanted to answer this here where everyone would benefit, because it’s actually very common! Despite the quantity of food we eat as a nation, a lot of people do find themselves hungry a lot.
By the way, if you don’t get your issue of Lean Living Chronicles in your inbox every few days, you can get your copy just by letting me know where to send it in the box at the top right there. I’ll also send you out a bunch of other free stuff too.
So back to the hunger thing. Truth is, avoiding hunger has nothing to do with the quantity or volume of food we eat. It’s actually got more to do with the frequency and type. So here’s my top tips to punch hunger right in the man-berries:
1. Start the day with a fibrous breakfast – Want to know the breakfast of champions? Oats. It’s the greatest thing you can put in your mouth in the morning (Oi! I know what you’re thinking… Stop it!)
Mix up some oats in water or a small amount of milk, and add a handful of raisins or other fruit, such as berries. The oats are slow digesting carbs, and the combination of oats and fruit give you loads of fibre to start your day.
If you want no-hunger bonus points, add half to a scoop of whey protein in there too. Plus, if you use chocolate whey, you can have chocolate oats, and who doesn’t like chocolate in the morning?
2. Eat small portions, don’t stuff yourself – “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse”… Screw that, when you’re hungry, you could eat a scabby donkey, right?
So we do. Figuratively speaking.
We stuff ourselves with as much food as we can until we’re uncomfortably full. This is a really bad idea!
Yes , it’ll get rid of your hunger at that moment, but apart from replacing it with another uncomfortable feeling, by doing this you train your stomach to be able to take in – and to expect – more food. When it doesn’t get it, it cries out for it. End result, you’re hungry more often.
Eat small portions regularly so you never feel stuffed, and your body always knows there’s another meal in the wings.
3. Eat more fibre throughout the day – Listen to your mum, eat your veggies!
4. Keep sugary foods to a minimum – Sugary foods, like snack foods (cakes, chocolate, sweeties) spike your blood sugar levels. In large quantities, as well as the excess calories that accompany them, this can also send the ‘fat storing’ signals to your body making it difficult to ditch the wobbly stuff.
But in terms of hunger, what they do is give you short bursts of energy which last probably about an hour, maybe a bit more, and then sends your blood sugar to the floor faster than a chav’s pants on a Friday night causing you to feel hungry again… Fast!
So although the snack provided a quick fix, it’s now actually caused you to be hungry, and the cycle can start again.
Instead, keep a small portion of nuts and oat clusters in your desk draw or somewhere nearby. Snacking on these in between meals will keep the beast at bay.
5. Drink more water – What we think is hunger is often thirst. So make sure you’re drinking regularly to get in your two litre bare minimum, and if hunger strikes, before you reach for food, reach for a bottle of water. You might find you weren’t hungry after all.
6. Go for a walk – If after all that, the lion in your belly still manages to catch you up, get up and go for a walk. The hungry feeling is caused by the levels of serotonin (a hormone) in your brain dropping below a certain level. Walking raises serotonin levels so helps fight it off.
7. Have a hot drink – Hot drinks, such as green tea (something non-caloric, or thereabouts!) have the same effect on serotonin as going for a walk. If you want a killer hunger busting combo, have a hot drink then go for a walk!
Do you have any hunger busting tips? Post in the comments below.