Beating Hunger Pangs Before They Beat You!

Well, here in the US Thanksgiving has come and gone and I’ll bet there are more than a few people who are still regretting how much they ate last Thursday.  One of the things that I am thankful for is that I am not one of them!

I was asked in an email (please don’t do that…post a comment instead so that everyone can have the benefit of the answer!) how to beat hunger.  I think that’s a great question.  I have several different methods that I use and I’ll tell you about them.  As always, YMMV (Your mileage may vary).

Probably the most important one for me was the mantra "Don’t let yourself get too hungry".  Here’s what happens when I try to lose weight by starving myself and trying to ignore the hunger pangs for too long:  I give in and then I pig out.  I end up eating eating far more than I would have eaten if I had just eaten sensibly when I was hungry. 

Part of my success was learning to be aware of the signals being sent from my stomach to my brain.  I learned that if I ate slowly and paused several times while eating a meal that my stomach’s message to the brain that it was full actually got through to the brain!  This resulted in me eating less than I normally would have eaten.  My old habit was to eat everything on my plate without thinking about whether I was getting full or not.  Sometimes I would finish a plate so quickly that I thought that I was still hungry and would then have seconds…only to end up with that bloated feeling later. (And a slow, inexorabl weight gain)

The same concept applies to hunger between meals.  It’s real.  I tend to get hungry a few hours after I finish a meal.  Here there is danger though.  The danger is that I would eat a snack like a bagel, or a donut or a candy bar.  None of which is good for me and none of which are low in calories and high in fiber.

What’s up with mentioning high fiber?  As it turns out, foods high in fiber often are low in calories so you can eat a lot of them, feel full and not blow the daily calorie limit.  Here is my list of go to foods that I used (and still do use) for in between meal snacks:

Raw Sugar Snap Peas
Raw Carrots
Pearl Tomatoes
Roasted Unsalted Almonds

I can just hear the groaning going on in the background!  It’s all vegetables and nuts!  Yep,  It is.  Part of losing weight is learning to eat differently.  Learning to eat differently means being willing to try new things.  Prior to starting this journey I can assure you that I did not eat any of the foods on this list.  Today, they are all treats and I look forward to eating them.

One additional item that is not a food but has been a huge part of my ability to stay on plan is water.  I drink two quarts of water a day along with 2-4 cups of black coffee.  Water fills me up when I don’t feel like eating a vegetable and want to beat the hunger pangs.  I bought a Brita water filtration pitcher and a plastic water bottle that I fill several times a day.  Two good things come from that.  I’ve got pure filtered water to drink and I am not contributing to the local landfill with my empty bottles!

Next time I want to talk about lunches…unless you have a question about something else.

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One Response to “Beating Hunger Pangs Before They Beat You!”

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