When one starts a new eating program, your body needs time to adapt to the new eating habits.
When your goal is to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. This means that you consume fewer calories than what your body is used to, in order to encourage the body to burn excess fat for energy.
Consequently, it is normal to feel hungry between meals during the first few days.
Here are 10 ways to overcome hunger while your body becomes accustomed to this new 28 Day lifestyle.
1. Are you really hungry?
When you feel hungry, first drink a glass of water and wait 10 to 20 minutes before deciding whether you are actually hungry.
Sometimes you think you’re hungry while you’re actually just thirsty, because our bodies often interpret thirst as hunger.
2. Make sure your bowl is properly measured and full
The size of a female portion is 450ml and for a man its 600 – 750ml. Make sure your bowl is properly measured – in ml and not gram – and ensure that your bowl is filled to the brim for each meal.
3. Increase fibre
Fibre is your best friend when it comes to controlling hunger. It keeps you fuller for longer and is great for combating constipation that may occur during the detox phase.
- As far as possible, do not remove the skin of fruit / vegetables – this is where most fibre is found.
- Eat wholewheat bread instead of normal white/brown bread.
- Choose cereal with a high fibre content such as Weetbix, Jungle Oats and All Bran Flakes instead of, for example, Rice Krispies.
4. Make smart food choices
It is sometimes easy just to grab the first available vegetable when the plan calls for vegetables. Make smarter food choices to prevent hunger from sneaking up on you later on.
- Cauliflower, broccoli or beetroot make much better options for one vegetable meals than for example mushrooms or cucumbers.
- Choose Greek yoghurt over plain low fat yoghurt. It contains twice as much protein and we need protein to keep us satiated.
- Use the permissible vegetables and enjoy a delicious home-made vegetable soup where the plan requires mixed vegetables. Soup contains plenty of liquid and is an excellent way to fill your stomach – and to make you feel warm during the winter months.
Stir one teaspoon of gelatine powder into your allotted 2 cups of tea or coffee when you are hungry between meals. Gelatine helps to increase a sense of fullness and controls hunger hormones.
As a bonus, it also helps keep loose skin supple as you gradually lose weight.
6. Eat slowly
Sometimes when you’re hungry and look forward to a meal, your instincts tend to take over and consume your meal at the speed of light.
Try to eat slower to prevent you from feeling hungry later. According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, one gets a greater sense of fullness – and consequently reduced intensity of hunger pains – when you eat slower.
7. Drink up
Remember your daily allowance of liquids and drink it when you feel hungry. The Apple Cinnamon Water as well as the Cucumber Water are good options that have many health benefits.
Green tea, permissible but not compulsory, is also a great way to combat dehydration and hunger.
This fragrant spice is not only beneficial for regulating blood sugar and insulin levels, it is also a natural appetite suppressant as it slows down the transportation of food to the stomach.
Drink cinnamon tea or add cinnamon to your smoothies, vegetables and even your porridge.
9. Stay busy
According to the experts, food cravings only last for 3 to 5 minutes. Stay busy, avert your attention with an alternative activity or walk in the fresh air for 5 to 10 minutes.
Sometimes stress and boredom are the actual scapegoats that are mistakenly interpreted as hunger.
Make sure you have a good support system in your immediate area. Tell your colleagues, housemates, family and friends about the goals you want to achieve on the 28 Day Diet; and teach them how they can help you to stay on track.