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How To Feel Less Hungry

How To Feel Less Hungry

Excess is weight is caused by your body storing fat. This fat comes from the foods you eat and the liquids you drink. By cutting down on your intake of food and drink, you can start to get control of your weight. The big problem for many people is that they nearly always feel hungry when they cut down on the amount of nourishment they take in. That is one of the principal reasons why people struggle to stay on diets.


Feeling hungry is a natural condition that is essential to our survival. It makes us want to take in food or drink, but it does not mean we urgently need sustenance. If it has to, the body will burn stored fat to create the energy it needs, but the sensation of hunger will remain. That is a survival mechanism, encouraging us to eat plenty so we will have plenty of stored fat should the supply of food run short.


In the modern era, most of us do not expend the same levels of energy that our early ancestors did. Furthermore, we have evolved systems for food management that mean most people in the developed world have a constant supply of food. Their early ancestors had cycles of plenty followed by severe shortages, so eating plenty when it was available was a good thing.


We share the same compulsion to eat that our ancestors had, but the fact that we do not experience food shortages, and we do not burn up as much stored fat, means many of us end up having excess weight. Essentially, our hunger is causing us health problems. It follows that you can benefit by controlling your hunger if you are trying to lose weight . To do this, you need to understand what causes you to feel hungry, and what you can do to suppress hunger.

Behavioral patterns

When you do the same things repeatedly, these actions become habitual. When it comes to food, you probably tend to eat similarly-sized breakfasts each day, and the same applies to lunch and dinner. If you suddenly reduce the size of one of these meals, you will feel hungry. This is really a kind of false hunger, triggered just because you have taken in less than you normally would. Your body really does not need any more food, but your hunger tries to tell you otherwise. 


You can counter this by developing new behaviors, although this can take quite some time. Start by reducing the amount you eat for a given meal on two days of the week. When your body gets used to this, do the same on a third day, and gradually develop a pattern of eating less for that meal every day. Use the same technique to cut down portion size on other meals.


Develop a regular pattern of healthy eating at the same times each day. It could be beneficial to switch to eating a small meal at regular intervals, e.g. every four hours. 

Triggers

The sight or smell of food will often trigger hunger pangs. You cannot completely avoid these triggers, but you can reduce them. Keep all food in your home out of sight. Try taking a walk to avoid food smells when a neighbor or housemate is cooking. Vent your home while you are cooking, or try to stop smells spreading from your kitchen by keeping doors closed. Use scented products to eliminate food odors.


When you go shopping for food, bring a list of what you need, and do not buy anything else. If you find it hard to stick to your list, maybe you can get somebody else to do your food shopping. It is a good idea to go food shopping only when you are full. 

Dietary factors

In terms of suppressing hunger pangs, not all foods are equal. Ironically, eating high calorie, sugary foods can actually make you feel more hungry. Foods that are high in protein and those that are high in fiber will make you feel fuller for longer. 


Try to avoid processed foods. Processing causes changes that mean these foods are more quickly digested than unprocessed foods, so you will feel hungry sooner.

The hunger time lag

When you eat, you will not satisfy your hunger immediately. It takes about 20 minutes after eating for your body to feel satisfied. You can eat less by eating more slowly, giving your body a chance to suppress hunger pangs. 


Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing. As you so do, concentrate on the flavors and texture, so that you are truly appreciating what you are eating. Try using a smaller fork. You'll be surprised how effective this simple trick can be.

Hunger between meals

Try not to succumb to hunger pangs between meals. Drinking lots of water can suppress them. Try to distract your mind by concentrating on something else, such as a puzzle. If you feel you must eat, avoid convenience snack foods. Instead, eat a very small portion of high fiber food, such as nuts, bran or carrots.


Taking control of your hunger takes persistence, but the results are worth it. You will end up eating less and losing weight. Best of all, your new eating habits will ensure you do not regain the weight.


by William Kenny

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