Keeping Hunger At Bay

When you’re trying to increase lean body mass and lose fat, you may find yourself preoccupied with food nearly all of your waking hours. There are many reasons people eat that have nothing to do with hunger, but hunger is surely one of the more difficult feelings to control because it’s physiological. Here are some tips to help keep you feeling full until it’s time to eat your next scheduled meal or snack:

1) Be sure to eat all the food that’s allowed in your healthy diet plan. If you’re skipping a meal or even skimping on servings, you are likely to be hungry before it’s time to eat again.  However, portion control is still important!  Eating the appropriate amount, rather than too little, is key.  Although serving sizes are “standardized,” individual portion sizes will vary, because people have different caloric requirements. Portion size also depends on a person’s specific weight management goals and health needs.
What’s a portion size? According to the American Dietetic Association, you can use the following “models” to approximate portion sizes:

  • One deck of playing cards equals one serving (three ounces) of meat, poultry, or fish (can also use the palm of a woman’s hand or a computer mouse).
  • Half a baseball equals one serving (half cup) of fruit, vegetables, pasta, or rice (can also use a small fist).
  • Your thumb equals one serving (one ounce) of cheese.
  • A small hand holding a tennis ball equals one serving (one cup) of yogurt or chopped fresh greens.

2) Breakfast, Breakfast, Breakfast! Looks like your mother was right! It seems counter productive when you start eating breakfast and find yourself even more hungry later in the morning than usual. But eating more in the morning actually helps reduce your hunger later in the day, and evening time is when people are much more likely to over eat.
Even if you add a morning snack when that hunger hits, it’s likely to prevent you from eating two or three times that many calories in the afternoon-through-bedtime period.
Even a low calorie breakfast should supply you with protein, healthy carbohydrates, fiber and good nutrition. No matter what you’re eating first thing in the morning, you want foods that have a lot of nutritional impact. Also, be sure to measure your serving sizes. You can make healthier substitutes, such as soy milk, almond milk or skim milk. Almond and cashew butters are delicious alternatives to peanut butter. If you like something sweet, add fresh berries to your cereal, or sugar free fruit-only spreads to your whole grain toast.

3) Fill up on low calorie foods. The more vegetables you can eat the more full you will feel. Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of fiber and water, so they will keep your stomach full for some time (although fruit can add significant calories when eaten in large amounts–especially dried fruits). Eating foods like pretzels, cookies, candy or soda will give you only immediate satisfaction and you will be wanting more in just about two hours.  It’s that spike of insulin created from all those carbohydrates that will bring back that hunger boomerang!

4) Have a few nuts. Really, just a few. About 3-10 nuts of just about any kind will stimulate a hormone in your body to decrease hunger over the next 20 minutes. This is a great tip to use about a half hour before going to lunch, dinner, or a party. You won’t feel starving and be tempted to overeat as soon as you see food!

5) Keep a balance of health in other aspects of your life. Things that can increase your desire to eat include feeling stressed out, not getting enough sleep, or not getting enough exercise. Strive for a balance of these things and do not focus specifically on weight loss to the extent that you forget what it means to have a healthy balance in your life!  Your day shouldn’t be about food: it should be about a balance of healthy activity and nutritious fuel to keep your body going at an optimum performance level.

6) Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water during the day. When you start to become dehydrated your brain will send a signal to stimulate you to drink which is sometimes interpreted as “time to eat”. Try having a glass of water the next time you start thinking about eating. It may just do the trick!  Not only that, water is important to the mechanics of the human body. The body can’t work without it, just as a car can’t run without gas and oil. In fact, all the cell and organ functions made up in our entire anatomy and physiology depend on water for their functioning.

  • Water serves as a lubricant
  • Water forms the base for saliva
  • Water forms the fluids that surround the joints. (important for your fitness!)
  • Water regulates the body temperature, as the cooling and heating is distributed through perspiration.
  • Water helps to alleviate constipation by moving food through the intestinal tract and thereby eliminating waste- the best detox agent.
  • Regulates metabolism

Long story short: just remember as you go about your day to choose healthy and filling foods that will keep your hunger under control to maintain a healthy body weight. Do your best to avoid foods that have “empty calories” such as those high in sugar content, as these only provide a temporary fix, and result in elevated blood sugar levels and more cravings.  Drink lots of water.  And above all else, eat regularly! This means having your 3 meals a day, plus a few nutritious snacks when needed. Happy eating!

Today’s Workout:

Buy In – Strength

Front Squats 4×3 reps,

  • build up to around a 3Rm, focus on keeping the chest up and pushing the knees wide

Shoulder Press – 4×3 reps

  • build up to around a 3rm, use about 10-15lb less than your 1RM as a guide

WOD – “Annie”

50-40-30-20-10 reps of:

  • Double unders
  • Situps (only use unanchored situps)

Zone 2: 3x the number of double unders as single skips

Zone 1: 30-20-10 of both, single skips

Cash Out – hang with your buds

Running WOD

Rest or very easy recovery run (5K to 8K)

Please post in the comments when and where you are doing your run if you would like people to join you!

100 Day Burpee Challenge:

Burpees today: 63

Buy-in: 2016


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