4 Ways to Never Feel Hunger on a Fat Loss Diet Again
Developing a leaner physique with a flat stomach or even a visible six-pack has got to be one of the top 3 most popular fitness goals among people.
As you probably know, in order to lose weight and shed the fat that’s covering your abs, you need to go on a caloric deficit (i.e. eating less calories than you’re burning on average).
But if you’re dieting in order to shed the fat, you probably know that hunger can be a huge issue. In fact, hunger might be the single biggest reason why people fall off their nutrition plans and fail to develop a leaner, healthier body.
As determined as you might be in the beginning, that determination quickly wanes after the first two weeks on your fat loss plan, and when hunger hits you – if you’re not prepared – you are falling off the wagon.
Luckily, there are a few tricks that most good fitness coaches use to help their clients mitigate hunger and stick to their fat loss nutrition plans successfully over the long run in order to shed the fat. If you want to learn how to minimize hunger when dieting so you can make your fat loss endeavor successful, keep reading.
1. Manage your hunger and satiety hormones.
As part of your endocrine system, you have two main hunger and satiety hormones – ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is your main hunger hormone and it directly signals your brain that you are hungry and you need to seek out food. Leptin, on the other hand, is your main satiety hormone. It is produced mainly in adipocytes (i.e. fat cells), and it signals your brain that you are full and should stop eating.
Generally, ghrelin levels are highest and leptin levels are lowest just before a meal, and vice versa – ghrelin levels are lowest and leptin levels are highest right after a meal. The interesting thing about your hunger and satiety hormones is that they generally take around 20 minutes to fully kick in and do their job properly.
So if you have the habit of eating like it’s a race, this might lead to you consuming the equivalent of a small farm before your hunger and satiety hormones have had the chance to kick in and tell you to get off the table. This might be causing you to eat more than you normally would, ultimately sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
In order to ensure that your hunger and satiety hormones are able to do their job properly so that you stop eating when you’re full instead of completely stuffed, what you want to do is take around 25 minutes to finish each meal. This way your ghrelin levels will have had the time to decrease and your leptin levels will have had the time to rise.
To incorporate this habit change into your daily life, you could either time your meals or – if you’re eating out with other people – you could just take on the pace of the slowest eater on the table. Small children are good pace-setters too.
2. Watch your macros.
Macronutrients are nutrients that we need in large amounts. These are your proteins, fats and carbohydrates and they provide you with the energy to function properly. What you might not know is that each macronutrient provokes a different satiety response.
Protein is the most satiating macronutrient out of the three. This is one of the reasons why you want to make sure that you’re consuming a sufficient amount of protein when you’re on a fat loss diet – it will help you feel full longer and mitigate the chances of you falling off the wagon with your diet due to uncontrollable hunger. You want to consume around 0.8 g of protein per pound of body weight a day (i.e. 1.8 g per kg).
Dietary fat is the second most satiating macronutrient while carbohydrates come in last. This might be one reason why some people are better able to sustain a caloric deficit on a LCHF (low-carb, high fat) diet – it’s just harder to overeat on almonds as opposed to overeating on chocolate and donuts.
There IS a caveat to this though: while 1 g of carbohydrate contains 4 kcal, 1 g of dietary fat contains 9 kcal (i.e. more than double the calories contained in carbs), so you still need to keep an eye on your total caloric intake to make sure that it doesn’t go out of whack.
3. Pick foods lower in calories per gram.
Another way to mitigate hunger on a fat loss diet is to pick foods that are relatively lower in calories per gram. The reason why this works is because one of the ways your body manages hunger and satiety is through stretch receptors in your stomach. If your stomach is full, satiety hormones are secreted to tell you to stop eating.
Since you need to eat less calories but at the same time you want to minimize hunger, your best bet is to pick foods that are relatively lower in calories per gram. For example, 100 g of boiled white rice contain 130 kcal while 100 g of boiled broccoli contain just 35 kcal.
Substituting calorie-dense foods with foods relatively lower in calories will help you reduce your caloric intake while fighting off hunger fairly well.
4. Double down on solid food.
An often given advice to people who are struggling to consume enough calories to gain weight is to add liquid calories. This is not a coincidence because solid food leaves the stomach slower than liquids and it is more satiating.
This is also why if you’re on a fat loss diet, you want to substitute the orange juice and milk for water, and you might also want to substitute your liquid meals for solid food as well, for the time being. This will help you further minimize hunger when you’re in a deficit.
Whenever you’re on a fat loss diet – and especially after the first few weeks – you ARE going to experience hunger. Thus, how you manage that hunger will ultimately dictate the success or failure of your fat loss efforts.
If you follow the 4 tips outlined above, you’ll be able to mitigate it to a point where it’s manageable and it doesn’t throw you off your diet.
Of course, if at any point you feel like you need a helping hand to guide you through the maze of body transformation, do click the button below!