Many people assume that dieting means cutting back on eating. This may be the case if you’re used to eating very large portions. But mostly, dieting is about eating the right foods. You can still have large, filling meals if you’re on a diet. The key is adapting to a new routine and thinking carefully about the foods you eat. Every food has a calorific value. If you use more calories than you take in, you’ll lose weight. If you’re consuming more calories than you’re burning, you’ll gain weight. If you’re trying to eat healthily, but you’re struggling with hunger pains or cravings, don’t panic. This guide is here to help!
Start the day right
You often hear people saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It may not be your favorite meal, but the rumors surrounding the importance of breakfast are right. This is the meal that sets you up for the rest of the day and gets your digestive system working. If you have a healthy, hearty breakfast, there’s no reason why you should need a mid-morning snack. Foods to avoid include sugar-coated cereals, sweet muffins and toasted white bread. Try and opt for a breakfast high in protein. Go for poached or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and wholemeal toast. Add some fresh fruit to a bowl of natural yogurt, or make some porridge. If you’re on the go, take a whole grain cereal bar with you, and drink plenty of water.
Have a substantial lunch
Do you find that your energy levels drop during the afternoon? If so, this could be because you’re eating the wrong foods at lunchtime. You need to have a meal that will fuel you until dinner time. Try and avoid anything that contains simple carbohydrates, and heavy meals like takeouts. Jacket potatoes, pasta salads, and sandwiches made with rye or granary bread are excellent options. In the winter, when it’s cold outside, a bowl of fresh soup will fill you up and keep you warm. Quinoa, orzo pasta, and wholemeal wraps are other nutritious alternatives. Complex carbohydrates release energy slowly, so you won’t get that mid-afternoon slump.
Get out of the habit of snacking and stay hydrated
Your body becomes accustomed to habits. If you’re used to grazing throughout the day, you may think that you’re hungry, when you actually don’t need to eat. It’ll get to a certain time, and you’ll crave that snack because you’re used to it. If you can get out of the habit of snacking, you’ll find that your main meals will be sufficient to keep hunger at bay. If you do get hungry, opt for healthy snacks. Raw vegetables with dip, wholemeal crackers, and fruit are good choices.
When you’re dehydrated, your body can mistake hunger for thirst. If you think you might be hungry, have a drink of water first. You may find that this does the trick. Drinking plenty of water will also help to prevent headaches and lethargy.
Healthy eating doesn’t mean starving yourself. If you choose the right foods, you should be able to enjoy meals that taste great and fill you up. Good luck!