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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Ustrzycki

Tips for Dealing with Hunger

When we want to lose weight (remember that we usually want to this loss to be from our fat mass) we need to induce a calorie deficit with our diet, which means we are restricting energy (calories) that our body needs to function properly. This isn't always ideal or optimal for your body to function (we want to do this in the healthiest way possible!) but sometimes it's necessary to burn fat.

There are several issues that arise from this energy restriction... Leptin (the hormone that controls our satiety so we know when we are satisfied from food) decreases and Ghrelin (the hormone that controls out hunger) increases, meaning you will feel hungrier and less satiated. These are two factors that make the dieting process extremely difficult to endure for prolonged periods of time.

Here are a few tips that can help deal with your hanger, that I always recommend to clients:

Be smart with your food intake. Look for foods that provide less calories per gram to add bulk to your meals. HELLO VOLUME FOOD! Veggies are the best option. 1,000 calories of broccoli is a lot of food, while 1,000 calories of pizza is just about 3 slices. So be smart with your food choices. (read: don't be a food jerk!)

Drink plenty of water... and even more! You should drink between 3 and 4 liters of water per day. And while the main function of water is keeping you hydrated, it also helps fight off hunger.

My personal go-to is a big glass of cold water with some added flavour (like Crystal Light or Mid squirt water enhancers.)

Make fibrous carbs your priority. Fibre expands in your stomach when it absorbs liquid, and this expansion can stimulate receptors that tell your brain to stop eating because you're full. But remember we don't want to go too crazy on the fibre and not drink enough water; so the above point and this one definitely go hand-in-hand!

Eat slowly. Your brain is slow to get the message that you're full, so give it time and you will be less likely to overeat. (read again: don't be a food jerk!)

Consider that it takes about 20 minutes for you to 'recognize' that you're actually full. Need a hack? Set a timer on your phone and eat your meal throughout the entirety of that time (10 minutes is great, but if you can even get 15-20 that could be better!)

Add in more daily movement. Instead of reducing calories every time you hit a plateau, add in some more daily movement to support the caloric expenditure of your body. You don't have to all of a sudden throw in 15k daily steps, or running 10k weekly, just a bit more.

My best tip for this is to add a 10 minute walk after one of your big meals (like breakfast or dinner) to also support good digestion.

Hopefully you aren't doing your deficit alone and you have smart guidance and honest support from a trusted coach. It's really important to always stay true, hones and open with clear communication to your coach to ensure you're successful throughout this short-term deficit so that the results can last.

Original inspiration from "MacroFitness"

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