Losing weight is never a quick fix but with determination and discipline, it can be achieved.
One of the best ways to lose weight without resorting to a faddy diet is simply to reduce your daily calorie intake.
That’s because to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume.
As a guide, a normal adult female not dieting should consume around 2000 calories a day and aim to reduce it by 500 calories to lose a pound of weight a week.
A normal adult male should consume approximately 2500 calories a day when not on a diet and reduce it to 2000 calories a day to lose a pound of weight a week.
Remember, this is an average guide and does not take into account height, lifestyle or exercise.
However, if you do choose to reduce your calorie intake, it is likely that you will experience hunger pangs.
When you get hungry it’s hard to keep that diet discipline going and you might succumb to a sugary snack to appease your grumbling tummy!
Of course, the moment you do that, you ruin your diet and it gets harder to carry on with calorie counting plus the temptation to eat something naughty is always there.
If you want to stop yourself from feeling hungry, try the following easy ways to stay in a calorie deficit without feeling hungry, and watch those pounds roll off!
1. Turn your Food Plan into a Way of Life
It’s easy to fall off the diet wagon when you restrict your calories so strictly speaking, don’t go on a diet, instead, change the way you eat.
A healthy lifestyle = a healthy diet and shouldn’t be packed with high sugar foods, fatty cakes, bread and processed food.
Simple switches can help you drop pounds naturally without experiencing hunger. Switch your meat to lean meat, fresh fish and poultry (without the skin), swap out your whole milk for skimmed or semi-skimmed.
Change your pasta to wholemeal or gluten-free versions.
Stop eating potatoes and choose green vegetables and legumes instead.
Watch the oil that you cook with and go for low-fat spray oils instead.
Don’t deep fry in lots of oil if you do want to fry food, never use breadcrumbs, instead, shallow fry using a griddle or try a wok because it doesn’t need oil.
Instead of sweet treats, grab a handful of nuts and eat fruit instead.
These are all easy wins. By cutting out the fat, sugar and certain carbohydrates you can shift some extra pounds.
You will also reduce your calorie intake without even noticing it!
2. Don’t Starve your Body
Lots of people think that by skipping breakfast or lunch, they will reduce their calorie intake but actually, this makes you hungrier than if you eat a decent meal.
Your body goes into overdrive and craves more food so it holds onto the food it gets.
Your body is also deprived of food so it is far more likely to over-eat when presented with it, destroying your calorie-controlled diet.
Eat three meals a day and make sure breakfast is a good meal with slow-release carbs to stop you reaching for a sugary snack mid-morning.
Porridge is a great choice (unsweetened or with a teaspoon of natural honey), alternatively, chop up a banana, sprinkle with a teaspoon of raisins and top with a little natural yoghurt.
These are good foods to keep you fuller for longer, so preventing you from feeling hungry and blowing the diet!
3. Drink Water
Sometimes the body confuses hunger with thirst so if you do feel those hunger pangs, have a tall glass of water and fill it with slices of fresh fruit to naturally sweeten it.
Water for many is decidedly boring to drink, it doesn’t taste of anything but adding something like strawberries or lime instantly makes it far more pleasurable and it helps to keep hunger pangs at bay for a little longer.
4. Keep Busy
Ever have those days when you suddenly look at your watch and think you haven’t had time to grab a sandwich?
That’s because you’ve been really busy and during that busy period, you likely haven’t even thought about hunger!
So, this is an easy one, keep busy, stay away from your kitchen (that reduces the temptation) and focus your mind on work, leisure, friends, volunteering – anything that stops you thinking about food.
The moment you say to yourself you’re going to restrict your food intake is the moment your brain switches its radar onto food and doesn’t stop thinking about it.
It’s about keeping your brain occupied with other things.
5. Make sure You Eat Enough Protein
Protein really helps to keep you feeling full and choosing a lean piece of chicken, meat or fish is an excellent way to stave off hunger pangs.
According to a study at the University of Wollongong in Australia, just two to three ounces of protein helps to increase energy by 25% and boost metabolism by 32%, this lasts up to 4 hours!
6. Eat your Food Slowly
This is an easy tip.
Simply by slowing down your mealtimes and chewing food thoroughly will result in you feeling fuller for longer.
That’s because we all tend to eat really quickly, actually forgetting to savour the flavours and texture of food.
Due to this, many people overeat because the brain hasn’t yet registered that it’s full.
So eat slowly and listen to your body because it will tell you when it’s full and hopefully this will stop you overeating so stave off hunger pangs for longer.
7. Eat More Fiber
Fiber is a great way to hold off hunger pangs and that’s because it expands so makes you feel fuller.
Fruit and vegetables are good sources of fiber, beans especially are a great way to up your fiber intake, plus your body doesn’t hold onto fiber, it passes through and helps to keep your bowels regular, so a great, healthy choice for dieters.
8. Keep “Good” Snacks Handy
Unfortunately, if you feel hungry and can’t control that hunger you’re more likely to reach for a sugary snack or run into a shop and pick something up that will quickly blow your daily calorie intake.
It’s best to pre-pack your snacks so you know that when a hunger pang hits, you’ve got something that will instantly fill you up.
Try filling little Tupperware boxes with slices of carrot, celery or create a mixed berry pot, perhaps eat some almonds or a handful of seeds.
If you need that protein fix mentioned earlier, a good idea is to have a cold boiled egg, perfect for getting rid of tummy grumbles.
Being on a diet means being prepared for lots of situations – a home-made snack pot is a sure fire way of preventing you from giving into a big bar of calorific chocolate!