Whether you’re following a weight loss plan, or simply want to maintain your current weight, your appetite often has other ideas. It’s not realistic to depend solely upon willpower, for months or years at a time, because no one could be expected to simply say “no” to their hunger forever. Instead, finding methods of appetite control that work for you will be key to your long-term success. These ideas might surprise you, but have been proven to work for many people.
Eat when you’re not hungry. Now, this certainly sounds counter-intuitive to those who follow a weight loss plan! Keep in mind that we’re not suggesting you drive to the nearest buffet at 3 in the afternoon to dig in. Just grab something light and simple in between meals, before you really start to feel hungry. A piece of fruit is a common (and great) choice. The point is to prevent yourself from becoming so ravenous that you cheat on your meal plan, or eat too-large servings at the next meal.
Try a bland snack in between meals. This sounds weird, but it often works. Eating something bland between meals, such as a handful of unsalted almonds, will regulate the hunger hormone called ghrelin. This practice weakens the association between hunger and flavor, so that when you do actually become hungry later, you’re less likely to crave foods that are unhelpful to your weight loss plan. Just remember to consume only water before and after this snack, to keep it bland and low in calories.
Avoid insulin spikes. Foods high in sugar – even small portions of them – cause rapid insulin spikes followed by a crash. Once you crash, you’re hungry again. Keep in mind that your digestive system treats any simple carb as a “sugar”, so we’re not just talking about sweets here. A sandwich on white bread could cause a similar effect, because white flour is digested too quickly. So when you snack, look for protein and complex carbs.
Fill up before you leave home. You know the old saying about never grocery shopping on an empty stomach! The same rule applies to running any errand. If you’ll be out of the house for a while, you might become hungry and tempted to cheat on your weight loss plan. Eat a healthy snack before leaving the house, or at least stash a piece of fruit (or some other acceptable item) in your car.
Try these strategies and let us know if they worked for you! And remember, we’re always here to help you with any aspect of your weight loss plan. If you’re experiencing issues with appetite control or have any other questions, please call our office and schedule an appointment.