One easy answer to controlling hunger for me is to eat! I know that sounds counterintuitive, however eating lots of small meals during the day keeps me from being hungry! The key really is what you are eating. Small meals of the foods that fuel your body make the difference. I eat protein rich foods and snacks often – at pretty regular times of the day and that maximizes my energy level and keeps me from overeating at meal times. Having foods and snacks that are healthy and can sustain you from mealtime to mealtime makes it easier to control hunger.
For example, if you are not able to say no to cookies, don’t buy them. If they are offered to you at a function or at the office, eat something else that will fill the eating void and keep you from feeling deprived. I’ve found that eating grapes keeps me from eating desserts. Fruit is a great alternative to dessert. If that doesn’t work for you, try having a high protein lean meat and vegetable combination to sustain between meals like a slice of turkey and a celery stalk; for vegetarians, try peanut butter instead of the slice of turkey.
Exercise also helps to control hunger. If you perform a lower intensity exercise like walking, you can help keep hunger under control. Moderate to intense exercise will increase your hunger, so make sure to keep it low impact for the most helpful effect. You can complete more intense exercise closer to the beginning of the day so you’ll have time to eat and burn off those calories!
It’s important to make sure you fuel your body. Foods and beverages like water, lean protein, and beans give the body energy and keep you feeling fuller longer. For instance, having a boiled egg or two, a slice of wheat toast with real fruit preserves and a black cup of coffee or real fruit juice can give you the fuel you need for a great start to your day. If you have sugar issues or allergies, adjustments can be made to this suggestion so you can still fuel the body like eliminating the preserves and fruit juice and increasing the protein source(s).
I like to have a snack that is high in water content like celery to help keep me full. I also drink lots of water all day to keep me full as well. I limit my beverage consumption to water and hot tea on most days. Water helps keep the body hydrated. Often times we are thirsty instead of hungry, so I drink water before I decide to eat again. If I’m still hungry after a 10 minute or so period after drinking the water, I have a snack or meal depending on the time of day.
High fiber foods are also helpful in keeping your hunger at bay. Foods like bananas, most beans, nuts, brown rice and some breads are great to add to a meal to keep you fuller. It’s a good idea to add some of these items to your in-between meal snacks to optimize them. Best of luck to you! And remember, I’m pulling for you!