The new dieter often does well at meal time, proudly eating smaller portions, but a few hours later the hunger cravings hit like a screaming itch. The gnawing hunger in the pit of your being demands that delicious feeling of fullness. Habit kicks in and suddenly you are battling the urge to binge.
Recently we discovered some fine tactics to use when you need to fight off those powerful pangs of hunger. Some of them require a little planning, but we think the following binge-fighting suggestions might help you fight off the urge to binge on the wrong snack
Strategy 1: Protein Packs A Punch! At your meal be sure you eat enough lean protein. That is your first priority, and you second priority is to get a healthy amount of fiber. These food groups will help you “feel” fuller longer. According to Everyday Health, “Protein is the number one thing to help you feel full,” says Emily Banes, RD, clinical dietitian at Houston Northwest Medical Center. “The second thing is fiber.”
Strategy 2: You have heard it before, but we will tell you again: “Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.”
Researchers studied a group of 71 obese women between 20 and 60 years of age. All of them went on low fat diets, but only half were told to increase their fruit and vegetable intake. At the end of one year, both groups of women had lost weight, but the women who ate the most fruits and veggies were the least likely to say they were hungry. By the way, remember, when we say “taste the rainbow,” we mean for you to taste healthy fruits and vegetables, not the Skittle candy that uses that slogan.
Strategy 3: Slowly Sip Some Starter Soup!
Experts have stated that you can stave of hunger pains by adding two low-calorie soups to your diet per day. The water and the flavor will help you feel full and satisfied.
We do not mean cream-based soups, but broth-based soups that are low in sodium. Here is a nifty trick: Have your soup before your meal! In Europe they call this a “starter” course. Make it part of your meal ritual. Because it makes you feel full, this ritual “will also reduce the amount you eat at that meal by about 20 percent, according to a study of 53 overweight adults.”
Strategy 4: Whole Grain Goodness
You know we are going to warn you against refined breads of any kind. Just say “no” to refined flour!
Strategy 5: Try A Diet Plate Technique!
It is sometimes difficult to maintain calorie counting or even portion control. So, try the handy “Plate Method.” As you look at your plate, you should relegate 50% of the plate to veggies, 25% to starch, hopefully whole grain, and 25% to lean protein. Now, just think how easy it will be to resist eating incorrectly at your next business meeting buffet! Soon this won’t seem like a “diet” at all; it’s just the way you like to eat! Likewise, we eat with our eyes first, so whenever you can, use a smaller plate for your meal. Your eyes will “see” a bigger meal, and you will feel fuller with smaller portions.
As always, the doctors and staff at the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine thank you for reading our blog. We hope these little hints help you if you are involved in re-shaping your eating habits for better health and wellness. Remember, if you need help shaping a healthy eating plan, our nutrition team is only a phone call away!