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How To Stop Hunger When Trying to Lose Weight

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

I’m going to be straight up, I hate the word “diet”. Eating healthy and eating the right amount of food isn’t a one-time thing. It’s not a 30-day challenge, it’s not just a thing you do before summer to look good on the beach, and it’s definitely not a eat 800 calories for two weeks and lose 10lbs super-fast type of thing.


Diet to me is defined by what you eat on a daily basis, no more no less. It’s not a thing you do once and a while, your diet is what you eat now, what have eaten all your life, and will eat. It is just a part of life, what you eat is your diet. Looking at “diet” this way creates a stable, simple foundation for eating in a way that will keep you at a healthy weight that you can maintain forever.


Nonetheless, if you are overweight, or just want to lose weight then something has to change for you to get back to that baseline. Chances are you’ve gained the weight because you are eating too much for the amount of activity you actually do. So in order to lose weight to get back to baseline, you are going to have to eat less and go into a “caloric deficit”.


If you want to see how many calories you should be eating for your goals check out this awesome calculator


If you have tried to lose weight before then you probably know that when you go into a caloric deficit, start to eat less, and pay attention to what you are eating, 10 times out of 10 you are going to encounter hunger.


Hunger sucks… like a lot

It can make you agitated

It can make you feel like a maniac


But that’s why I’m writing this article. To help you make it suck less.


First, let’s talk about foods that can help you feel less hungry, and that you can fill up on that are tasty but also not a shitload of calories.


 

Protein


If you want to lose fat or get lean then protein is absolutely essential. A calorie deficit (eating fewer calories than you burn in a day) is necessary for weight loss, but when you begin to lose weight you don’t just lose fat. You are going to shed that weight from everywhere.


This means you may not just lose fat, but you will also lose muscle.

This isn’t optimal and here’s why...


Having and keeping muscle is the secret ingredient to keeping weight off! Not just because you look great and toned with it, but because muscle uses more energy than fat.


So when you have a lot of muscle you actually burn more calories just by being alive! If you eat a lot of protein then you can lose weight while keeping more of that muscle that you really want.


Another awesome thing about protein is that it keeps you satiated! So you will feel full longer, which is really great when you are learning to not eat as much, or want to go for longer periods feeling the need to snack.

 

Plan Your Meals and Snacks


Meal planning is a foolproof way to make sure you don't go hungry and stay on track. Now it’s definitely not for everyone because it takes a little extra time to get set up in the beginning. However, once you do it for a little while it will actually save you time.


Being hungry and then realizing you don't have anything to eat is stressful.


Instead of standing in front of your office vending machine, fridge, or pantry deciding what you want to eat, you can have your healthy meal or snack already ready to go.


Having prepared meals and snacks ready will save you the stress of potentially eating something that will set you back, and it helps you save time and money.


 

Pro-tip- Make your meals simple. If you try to meal plan crazy extravagant meals every week you are going to get burnt out. It doesn’t have to be completely boring, but the easier and more enjoyable you make the process the longer you will be able to sustain it.


 

Don’t cut out Your Favorite Foods


This may sound counterintuitive, but have some faith that I wouldn’t lead you astray. I think by now you understand that the foods you eat can be broken into “macros”, If you are still confused by this I’ll be explaining them in a post soon. Put simply, you have three main macro groups, protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Depending on how much of each of these groups you eat will determine your body’s composition over time.


I’d still like to emphasize that protein is super super important and you should aim to get enough each day (1g per kg of body weight). However, unless you are a bodybuilder or bikini competitor trying to get to 4% body fat and be “stage lean” really the only thing that is going to make or break your weight loss is how many total calories you eat.


That being said I am a huge believer that you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight, as long as you are in a calorie deficit (aka. eating less food than you are burning during the day). Now, you probably won’t feel good if all you eat is twinkies all day, however, it is completely possible (and people have done challenges to prove this) that you can eat Twinkies and as long as you are in a deficit you can lose weight.


So about not cutting out your favorite foods. Think about when you tell a kid “no”, it usually makes them want that thing a billion times more right? Well, when you are on a diet and you “can’t eat certain things” it puts those foods up on a pedestal. These forbidden foods become a target of resentment, and when and if you do cave and eat them you’ll probably feel bad and beat yourself up. Does that sound about right?


So instead of having a list of forbidden foods, let’s keep them included in your diet. It will save you from getting squirrelly when those hunger pangs call. Of course, do so in moderation, but there's no reason you can’t enjoy a frappuccino, or a s’more around a campsite once and a while.



Pro Tip- Don’t buy big boxes of your favorite Tastycakes or candy bars and keep them at home. Allow yourself to have these treats once and a while but don't keep them at home. Make it so that you have to leave your house/work to go get them. This barrier might be enough that you don’t give in to the temptation but also allows you to have the option to have these foods guilt-free if you want.


 

Load up on Veggies


Loading up with non-starchy veggies (non-starchy as in stuff other than potatoes) is not only great for your overall health, they also keep you full and contain very few calories.


I definitely recommend trying to add 1 cup or a heaping handful of veggies to each meal, as well as two big snacks loaded with veggies. Not only will they keep you feeling full but they are also full of amazing micronutrients that will help you feel good and stay youthful.

 

Ditch the High-Calorie Drinks for Zero Calorie Alternatives


Easier said than done but if you’re trying to lose weight your sodas or fancy alcoholic beverages are just going to hold you back. Opting for calories from solid foods instead of liquids is always a better choice.


Look at the labels, that green drink you picked up at the corner store is probably mostly sugar, and chances are it has no protein or fiber. After you drink it I can promise you it won’t be long before you want something else. Honestly, a bottle of chocolate milk is probably better for you than one of those green drinks, just sayin'.


You don't have to give up on all soda though, just switching to the diet or 0 calorie options of your favorite drinks will help you lose weight and won’t mess up your progress.


 

Get Quality Sleep


Sleep is so super important for many reasons. I’m going to get a bit sciencey here but will try to keep it simple. When you sleep you produce two different types of hormones, leptin, and ghrelin. Leptin suppresses appetite, and ghrelin promotes appetite.



When you sleep leptin increases and ghrelin is suppressed. So simply if you are not sleeping you will have more ghrelin which will make you more hungry. So make sure that you get enough sleep every night.


 

Don’t Panic When You Feel Hungry


If your goal is weight loss then hunger pangs are going to happen, it’s really inevitable, and if you are actually feeling hungry it’s a good sign that you are doing the right thing. Don’t panic when you feel that hunger come on.


I know that's easier said than done, but really if you are feeling hungry, like actual stomach growling hungry, then that means that your metabolism is working, your stomach is emptying, and you are on the right track for weight loss.


Take some time to sit in this feeling, you are going to be ok. You aren’t going to lose all your muscle just because you feel hungry, and you won’t pass out from lack of nutrition. Don’t panic.


Pro Tip- When you feel hungry, sometimes you are just thirsty, drink a glass o 8-16oz of water and see how that makes you feel. Sometimes that does the job, sometimes you’re still hungry.


 

Eat Mindfully


Do you know that when we eat a lot of us are probably actually “full” before we think we are “full”? Do you know that feeling when you are “stuffed”, can’t eat another bite? Yeah, well you were probably “full” way before you got to that “stuffed” point.


Mindful eating is how you find that fullness before you hit that stuffed point.


The best way to do this is to eat slower. This especially can be hard if you are really really hungry, but trust me it will pay dividends if you learn how to do this.


Also know that you don't have to clear your whole plate. I don't know how you grew up but we always got the “there are starving kids” schpiel. Anyway, I just want you to know that no one is going to come after you if you don't clear your plate. If this is still hard for you, try using a smaller plate and taking less food.


Pro tip- When out at a restaurant, ask them to box up half of your meal before they bring it to the table. That way you eat less, and have another meal for later!


 

Conclusion


Remember that some hunger is inevitable while dieting. However, if you apply and take action to the tips I shared above, you can be more consistent with your diet and notice faster progress. I use these methods every day and they have helped me. I wouldn’t share anything with you I haven’t tried myself, so you can trust what I share with you works.


If you need accountability, support, and education in your weight loss journey, I would be more than happy to help you. I help all different types of people lose fat through a sustainable and flexible lifestyle approach. Not only will you get results, but I’ll teach you how to maintain a lean and healthy body forever. If that sounds good to you then sign up for a consultation with me! For reading to the end of this article I’m going to share with you a gift, use code HUNGER to make your consultation free when booking.


Stay Strong

Lots of love,

Coach Rachael

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