Managing Your Hunger

Yes, I'd love to be devouring that cupcake right about now also!

As a fellow bride-to-be, I know how stressful wedding planning can be.  Between vendor appointments & fielding various family members' outspoken opinions, there are so many days when I get home & just want to lay down, watch some t.v. and enjoy some yummy food to put me in my happy place.  Unfortunately, I'm usually not hungry when I want to do this, i'm just stressed out and end up overeating while trying to keep my emotions in check.  This is why it's so important to have a strong hold on and understanding of managing your hunger.

About 60-75% of your daily calories are expended just keeping up your bodily functions.  They’re used to maintain your body’s temperature, for regulating nerves, for breathing, and to keep your heart beating, as well as to nourish and repair your muscles.  A simple rule you can keep in mind is to: Eat when you are hungry & stop when you’re not!

Don’t skip meals.  Avoid slowing down your metabolism.  You should be fueling your body 5-6 times a day.  EAT BREAKFAST!!  It’s the most important meal of the day.  Why?

Breakfast = Break the fast!  You should also wake up to a sizeable breakfast because it is the first taste of food after a full night of rest and repair.  Eating a healthy breakfast gets your whole system going.  Both your brain and body will function better.  Having a full tummy first thing gets rid of all those sugar & junk food cravings.  Why?  Because you start your day off satisfied and full of nutritious food, your body doesn’t need to crave anything else because you fed it well.

Eat oatmeal.  It’s the champion of all breakfast foods because it regulates your blood sugar and keeps you fuller longer.  One cup of oatmeal contains 8g of fiber, which is 1/3 of your recommended intake.
Tip: Remember to match a lean protein and a complex carb.  Oatmeal is a wonderful complex carb, so partner it up!  Try ½ cup of oatmeal topped with 2tbsp. ground flaxseed and a handful of berries with 2 egg whites on the side.
Now, back to skipping meals.  Skipping meals doesn’t help you cut calories.  Only smaller portion sizes and the kinds of foods that you eat will.  Choose meal items that contain lead protein and complex carbs for an even calories burn without the sugar crashes.

Water Burns!  Drink 2-3 liters of water per day.  Get a re-usable water bottle and add lemon, lime, cucumbers or any other fruit you can think of.  Now your job is to carry it with you everywhere!  Sometimes we mistake hunger for thirst.  If you are hungry and it’s between meals, then drink a glass of water and if you’re still hungry 20 minutes later.  Without enough water in your system, your metabolism slows down and you end up burning fewer calories.  You should be taking a ton of bathroom breaks! I feel like I’m going every half hour, but your body needs this!
Catch more zzz’s.  Getting too little sleep triggers hormonal changes that lead to an increased appetite.  Also sleep deprivation will cause your body to crave foods high in sugar and fat.  If you’re tired, then you usually won’t have the energy to workout.  So be sure to get enough sleep!

Don’t let our hunger manage you! When you are hungry, it’s easy to let your stomach do the talking.  Make sure that you take control of your hunger before it gets out of control.  Some tips:

1.    Drink water 30 minutes before every meal.  Like I said before, sometimes hunger is disguised as thirst.  Water will not only ease the hunger temporarily, but it will also help you reduce the amount you eat at each meal.  Always drink water instead of sodas, fruit juices and other sugary drinks during meals and you won’t be adding empty calories.
2.    You don’t need to eat everything on your plate.  Avoid overeating just because it’s there.  I always ask for a doggie bag before I begin my meal.  I box up half of my meal and take it home for my family or to eat for lunch the next day.  You can always split your meal between two people.  Restaurants always offer over sized portions that no one should EVER eat in one sitting.  You don’t need that much food!
3.    Hold the dessert? YES!  Wait 20 minutes after you’ve finished eating the main course.  If you’re still hungry, treat yourself to some fresh fruit, frozen yogurt or sorbet (or one of the delicious dessert recipes on this site).  You definitely wouldn’t want to undo all of your hard work with one dessert!
4.    Veggies on the side, please!  If your meal doesn’t come with vegetables, then get a side of them or ask for a garden salad.  You’ll eat more nutrients that’ll burn off easily.  Also, make sure you ask for your veggies to be prepared with no additional oils or butter.  The veggies are good, but when you smother them in butter and oil, you are adding a ton of calories!  Also, always ask for the dressing on the side and leave out the croutons and cheese!
5.    Eat slowly.  Chew 20 times before you swallow.  Allow your taste buds to savor your food and it will allow your body to digest your food properly.  You are less likely to overeat when you eat slowly!

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