Oh that four-letter-word…DIET.
I never say I’m on a ‘diet,’ and in my book I seem to harp on don’t diet to lose weight.
Aside from that, the question asked of me was, “How can I not feel hungry when on a diet?”
Depending on which ‘diet’ you’re on determines the answer, but usually I give some simple recommendations that even I can follow. I hate being hungry…it’s not just you.
- Fill up on lower calorie high-volume foods. Add as many vegetables as you can, and supplement with fruit. 1 cup of spinach is under 10 calories. 1 cup of lettuce is 15 calories. 10 medium baby carrots are 35 calories. An entire cup of sliced strawberries is around 50 calories. Yes, an entire cup of delicious, ripe, tasty strawberries. That’s a good ‘calorie deal.’ A medium apple gives you just 95 calories and 0 grams of fat, but a single serving size of generic potato chips has 150 calories and 11 grams of fat(!). Who, really, can stop at just a single serving size? And which will make you feel fuller? The apple or the chips? Hmmm.
- Eat vegetables or simple low calories soups before your meals, in between your meals, and before going out. In the winter, I make a big pot of soup (broth, lots of veggies, sometimes beans and if you want a meat – chicken breast or low fat ground turkey – cooked first – can be added). The more vegetables, the better, and no creamy sauce. Spring and summer are perfect for huge salads (hold the high fat dressings, and too many high calorie toppings).
- Eat more protein and good fats. A hardboiled egg is a great snack when you’re starving, and so is reduced fat string cheese. Or grab some lean lunch meat and roll together with a slice of cheese (vegans can use vegan faux meats and vegan cheeses). I also bake egg “muffins” in a muffin tin with egg whites and a lot of veggies. You can also try these super easy microwave egg or “mug egg” breakfast recipes.
- Drink lots of water. Lots. Try to drink an entire glass about 45 minutes before your meal (not too close to eating so you don’t dilute your digestive juices).
- Pyramid down. To borrow a phrase from weight training, “pyramid down” and eat less at meals over a period of a week or two. Slowly get your stomach used to having less in it. After awhile you will eat half of what you would normally eat and not feel hungry. If you have a full-on binge where you feel like your stomach is bursting…you’ll need to start over with the pyramid down.
- Have a protein snack before bedtime. A string cheese, plain yogurt or hardboiled egg before bedtime will help you not wake up at 3 a.m., rummaging through the pantry (no, I’ve never done that. Of course not. Would I eat chips and crackers and 3 a.m.?? Ha, yes I would.)
Do you have any favorite ways of curbing hunger that you can share?