The key to successful weight control is learning to listen to your body’s cues. You want to eat when you feel hungry, but not famished. Feeling overly hungry can trigger overeating. The following tips can help you get in touch with the signs of hunger and satiety to prevent overeating:
- Stick to a schedule – Plan to eat every five to six hours, stopping after dinner.
- Include protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and legumes. Use eggs, cheese, full fat yogurt, as protein compliments that will help you feel full longer because they require more time to digest, absorb nutrients, and affect hormones for body repair. Divide your protein intake among three meals. Protein should average about 1.5 grams per kilogram of lean body mass. (your lean mass is total weight without fat).
- Fiber and Fat for breakfast – Research suggests that eating fiber and healthy fat in the morning keeps you satisfied longer than if eaten at other times of the day.
- Choose low-glycemic foods – Low-glycemic foods digest slower and help keep hunger at bay. They include leafy greens, beans, lentils, nuts, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, steel-cut oats, unsweetened nut milk, apples, kiwi, peaches, pears and berries. Refined (white) and sugary foods, (cereals, bread, sugar,) cause blood glucose and insulin levels to spike and in turn the blood glucose levels drop more quickly triggering hunger and overeating. Low-glycemic foods coupled with fat at breakfast are the primary change to make to help curb overeating throughout the day.
- Add grapefruit – People who eat grapefruit have significantly lower levels of insulin after eating which was thought to control hunger.
- Spice up meals – Capsaicin, the component that gives red chili peppers their heat, can reduce hunger and increase calorie burning. Adding cayenne pepper to meals is another effective way of reducing appetite for fatty, salty and sweet foods, especially if you crave or eat these foods regularly.
- ADD saturated fat – butter, tallow, coconut or palm oil helps to curb sugar and carbohydrate cravings, balancing your blood sugar and helping you to eat less overall as your body starts using fat for energy instead of sugar.
- Slow down – It takes roughly 20 minutes for appetite-related hormones to kick in and tell your brain you’ve had enough food. After every bite, put down your knife and fork, chew thoroughly. Do not pick up your utensils until your mouth is empty.
- Savour your food and ban distractions – Eating in front of the television, while reading, or while driving leads to mindless eating. Reserve the kitchen or dining-room table for meals and pay attention to the delicious flavours and aromas in your meal.
- Rate your hunger – Determine how hungry –or satisfied –you feel before you eat, halfway through a meal, and after you finish. Stop eating when you feel about 80% full. Be mindful.
Summarized – Eat fat and fiber more freely, be mindful not automatic with your eating habits, spice up your portions and add in a daily grapefruit. Try it for a week and see how you feel.