Food tips, myths and facts, Managing weight

How to lose weight without going hungry

Dieting can be pretty hard to do as it requires you to make a lot of changes to your habits. However, feeling hungry can make it even more difficult and mean that you're tempted to fall back into your old ways of eating, undermining all your hard work.

However, dieting and feeling hungry don't need to go hand in hand. In fact, constantly feeling hungry when you're dieting can be bad for your metabolism and mean it takes you longer to achieve your goals. 

When it comes to losing weight, it's all about what you're eating, so you don't need to cut down your portions to the point that you're starving all the time. Planning your meals and snacks correctly can ensure you feel full throughout the day, are sticking to your diet, have plenty of energy and are still consuming fewer calories. 

Not only is this better for your diet, it also means you're less likely to slip up and break your diet or feel too distracted by hunger while trying to get on with your day. To help you lose weight without feeling hungry, here are some great tips to try:

Eat full meals

It can be tempting to skip meals or just grab a snack in a bid to lose weight, but this will leave you more likely to binge later on and will mean you feel hungry a lot more throughout the day. You should ensure that you're eating full meals every day to help fight those hunger pangs and to regulate energy levels. 

Rather than a small breakfast and lunch followed by a big dinner, make your first two meals of the day larger and your dinner smaller to keep you going and ensure you feel full at the busiest points of your day.

Pack some snacks

Not all snacking is bad and sometimes we need a little something to get us to our next meal, especially if you're fairly active. Rather than reaching for unhealthy options, have things like nuts, fruit and vegetables at the ready. 

Foods that are high in protein and easy to grab are a good idea as they will keep you going and feeling satisfied. This means things like carrot sticks and houmous or a banana will help stop you feeling hungry while still being good for your weight loss goals.

Stay hydrated

We often mistake hunger for thirst so reach for food instead of water. Change this habit and try drinking something when you start to feel hungry as this could be what your body really needs. It's also important to drink water at regular intervals throughout the day and doing this might help you to feel full for longer. 

If you don't like the taste of water, try infusing it with fruit or adding a bit of lemon juice for extra flavour. Don't try substituting water for soda or fruit juice as these are high in sugar and won't help you reach your weight loss goals.

Add healthy fillers

While you may be cutting down when it comes to carbohydrates, fats and sugars, you can still add fillers to a meal to ensure you feel completely satisfied. Introduce more vegetables to each meal, whether this is a side salad or cooked veggies actually in your dish. 

This will fill up your plate and give you more nutrients while helping you feel fuller for longer. Vegetables also won't increase the calorie count of your meal massively so will allow you to stick to your diet. You can also use them instead of other ingredients, such as rice and pasta, to make meals even healthier.

Eat slower

Eating slower and savouring your food can help you feel fuller and stop you from overeating. If you eat quickly, it can take a while for your stomach to catch up and send the signal that you're full so you end up consuming more calories.

To help with portion control and ensure you skip the hunger pangs, make sure you put your knife and fork down between bites and that you allow yourself time to chew each mouthful properly. Sipping water will also help you make your meal last longer, which will keep you feeling full.

Use smaller plates

If you are cutting down your portions, avoid serving meals on the plates you used previously as your brain will tell you you're still hungry due to the empty space on the plate. Instead, serve up your smaller portions on plates that match. This will show your brain that you have a full portion.

This, combined with eating slower will help you to lose weight while still feeling satisfied. Similarly, you should ensure that you can see what snacks you're eating rather than eating them straight out of a box or bag. Serve snacks on saucers or in bowls to better control portions and ensure you see exactly how much you're eating.

Swap pudding for something sweet

If you usually have a dessert following your meal, swap this for something sweet but healthy. Many people train themselves to think that a sweet pudding is required after a meal so not having something after lunch or dinner can mean that you feel hungry as you don't think that the meal is complete.

Rather than having something sugary and unhealthy, swap your usual dessert for a piece of fruit, low-fat yoghurt or sweet tea, such as peppermint. This will leave you feeling like you've had a full meal and will indulge your sweet tooth.


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Food swaps to make your diet healthier

High-energy foods you should snack on