If you’re trying to lose weight, hunger can be the bane of your existence. How are you supposed to live a healthy lifestyle if it seems you’re always craving a snack? Here are some things you should be doing to achieve a greater sense of fullness throughout the day.
Drink plenty of water
Are you drinking your daily recommended dose of water? If not, there’s a good chance that you’re dehydrated, even if you don’t realize its subtle effects. Mild dehydration causes fatigue, weakness, and hunger. So, when you feel hungry throughout the day, it might just be your body signaling that it needs water. Make it a regular habit to sip on water throughout the day, even when you’re not hungry.
Eat low-calorie snacks
Sometimes, you just need a bit of a snack to rein in those hunger pangs. If you’re going to snack, you might as well make it a good one. Eat an apple, much on some celery, or pop some grapes. While you might not get that immediate satisfaction (and proceeding regret) that you do from mowing down on a bag of potato chips, the good carbs in these whole foods will give you a longer-lasting sense of fullness.
Change your diet
If snacks aren’t cutting it and you’re still feeling peckish, you might need to take a step back and look at your overall diet. Are you eating foods that keep you full, or are you eating quicker and easier when you shouldn’t necessarily be? As with your snacks, stick to meals that consist of real, whole foods rather than rely on easier meals that might not be as satisfying in the long run.
It’s not just the food you eat that keeps you full or hungry. Healthiness is a full-body equation, and you need to also consider how active a lifestyle you lead. While a more active lifestyle might lead to a higher metabolism (meaning a greater appetite), you’ll also be burning calories, meaning that you can afford to eat more every day. Plus, the more time you spend active, the less time you can spend debating whether or not you should get up and go get a snack.
Be smart about your target. If your goal is weight loss, you want to build up to walking at least 30 minutes and preferably 60 minutes per day, at least five or six days per week. But don't expect to get there within a week or two. Plan to increase the time you spend walking by about 10% per week, and you'll continue to progress without risking overuse injury and fatigue. (That means it will take you about 3 months to build up from 15 minutes per day to 30 minutes per day.)