Top 5 tips to control your hunger

Its 10am, you had breakfast less than an hour ago and you’re already thinking about lunch. You wait patiently for the clock to turn to 12pm on the dot so you don’t feel guilty about eating too early and, as soon as it does, you can’t help feeling like a little girl on Christmas morning as you speed race down to the lunch room. If this sounds all too familiar and you would really like to control your hunger, here are some tips to help curb that voracious appetite.

1) Focus on balance.
 Each meal should contain a hearty balance of high-fiber carbs, lean protein and healthy fats. This winning combo will guarantee the most staying power and keep your blood sugars stable in between meals. Example: Instead of just eating oatmeal with fruit for breakfast, add in a source of protein such as greek yogurt, or an egg, along with some healthy fats, like nuts or seeds. Next time you order a salad, top it off with protein-packed chicken or salmon and add fiber-rich beans or get a high-fiber whole grain roll on the side.

2) Stay hydrated. People often confuse thirst for hunger as the symptoms are very similar: weakness, irritability, feeling light-headed, etc. Keep a water bottle on your desk in between meals and remember to drink at least 8-16 ounces between every meal.

3) Eat regular meals. True biological hunger is every 4-5 hours so don’t wait too long before your next meal time. Skipping or skimping on breakfast will leave you ravenous by night time. Set a timer on your watch to remind you when to eat and pack some healthy snacks, such as raw nuts, dry cereal or fresh fruit, to keep on you for busier work days when you don’t have time to go out.

4) Eat slowly. It takes the body 20 minutes to secrete hunger-satisfying hormones which is when you will feel full. If you race through your meals at lightening speed you are way more likely to over-eat and feel hungry well after your plate is emptied. Chew your food at least 20 times before you swallow and put your fork down in between bites. Lastly, STOP MULTITASKING AT MEAL TIMES!

5) Manage stress. Stress can do many different things to the body, but one of the most common, and unwanted, side effects is increasing hunger. If you are constantly thinking about chocolate or potato chips all day long it could be a sign your stress levels have gotten the best of you. Take 10-15 walking breaks throughout the day, call a friend or family member when feeling overwhelmed and get at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night to prevent stress eating.

Nick VanMeter