If your goal is to lose body fat or maintain your current weight, it can be challenging! Trust me, it's way easier to accomplish that if you don't feel hungry all day and you aren't having to fight off cravings!
Here are 5 ways for you to stay fuller longer and curb your cravings.
1. Increase your protein intake
Studies show that eating a diet rich in protein will help you stay fuller longer with less food/calories. This is partly because it reduces the level of your hunger hormone Ghrelin. This effect on appetite can be powerful! In one study a group of women increased protein intake from 15% to 30% of overall calorie intake and this resulted in a reduced calorie intake of more than 400 calories per day, without intentionally restricting in any way!
Protein digests at a slower pace than carbs alone and makes you feel fuller longer. It keeps your blood sugar stable which reduces cravings between meals and snacks.
Prioritizing foods that are protein rich like lean poultry, seafood, lean beef, lean pork, eggs and egg whites, low fat greek yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu and protein powder will help you reach your daily protein goal. It is recommended that if your goal is to lose body fat and build muscle, you need to eat 0.7 to 1.0 gram of protein for every pound of your goal body weight per day. I recommend that you shoot for at least 30-40 grams of protein for each meal and at least 20g at each snack.
Protein not only makes you feel fuller longer and keeps cravings at bay, but it also supports your strength training workouts and helps repair and build that precious and hard earned muscle.
Now, I am not saying that you should cut out carbohydrates or fat! I mean that you can swap some of the carbs and fat you eat with more protein to get the fullness benefits. Protein can be your secret weapon for changing your body composition.
2. INCREASE MEAL/snack FREQUENCY
Eating smaller meals more often helps stave off hunger. If you eat every few hours you are less likely to snack. Perhaps eat 5-6 small meals a day, just make sure they are smaller portions and protein rich.
3. Eat slowly and mindfully
Giving time for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full is key. Slowing down, enjoying your food and being mindful about it will help you stay fuller longer and make it less likely you will go back for second servings. Eat with intention and enjoy every bite and think about the taste and texture as you eat. This will help you tune into your fullness cues enabling your body tell you when it's full.
4. eat more leafy greens and vegetables
Leafy greens and vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus and zucchini, are high in fiber and low in calories so you can increase your portion sizes of these types of foods to help you feel fuller. Focus on foods such as these that you can eat in high volume, are nutrient dense and low in calories.
5. GEt adequate sleep
If you are tired and sleep deprived, you are more likely to have cravings and eat more overall. Lack of sleep actually increases your hunger hormones! Studies show that there is a well documented relationship between lack of sleep and obesity.
A good nights sleep will help you feel less hungry during the day and give you a clear mind to make better choices. So hit the pillow earlier and reap the benefits!
Losing body fat takes time in a consistent calorie deficit. Using these tools to help make that an easier and more sustainable journey is important for overall success. You got this!
Amy has spent her career helping others reach their health and fitness goals. "I hope sharing my knowledge and experience with others can help someone to live a healthier and more joyous life."