How to Overcome Hunger and Boost Your Results



 

Hunger is a natural part of going on a diet and can be a serious inhibitor of results. Luckily, there are several ways to overcome this. But first, what is hunger? There is homeostatic hunger, which is driven by a calorie deficit, and hedonic hunger, which is the drive to obtain pleasure from eating.  

How to Combat Both

Increase Fibre

Fibre, which is exceptionally high in chia seeds and quinoa, can be broken down into insoluble (responsible for food passing smoothly) and soluble (responsible for increasing satiety time). Soluble fibre ensures that food is passed into your bloodstream at a slower, controlled rate which steadies and prevents crashes of blood sugar that often lead to hunger. Not only that, a study conducted by Imperial College London found that when fibre digests, it releases acetate which signals to the brain to stop eating.  

Increase Protein

Lean protein suppress appetite better than any macronutrient according to the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This is because it activates peptides which naturally block off hunger receptors. Validated by the University of Wollongong, it was found that eating 50g of protein (200g chicken breast), led to a 32% increase in fat metabolism, 25% increase in energy, but best of all, kept hunger at bay for 4 hours on average.

HIIT

HIIT has been proven to suppress hunger while low-moderate intensity exercise will actually increase hunger. This is because HIIT releases a brain molecule called Nesfatin-I which is responsible for suppressing hunger. A study conducted in Iran found that overweight men doing HIIT versus moderate exercise had significantly higher Nesfatin-I levels and best of all, did not return to pre-training levels until a week later. Also, a complimentary benefit is that HIIT has been proven to burn fat more effectively than other forms of exercise making it highly effective for weight loss.

Sleep Longer

Many studies have found that a lack of sleep increases hunger. A study conducted by the University of Chicago found that test subjects with only 4.5 hours of sleep had increased levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, decreased leptin (both affects homeostatic hunger) and increased endocannabinoids (affects hedonic hunger) compared with people who slept 8.5 hours. According to the National Institute of Health, these factors create strong feelings of hunger. Therefore, ensure you sleep 7-10 hours per night to beat hunger.

Apple Cider Vinegar/Lemon Water

ACV and lemon water have been proven to suppress appetite. More details can be found here.

How to Combat Hedonic Hunger

Keep Busy

Cravings are serious inhibitors to a successful diet and according to the Journal of Memory, occurs due to a process called ‘intrusive thought’. This means that when your brain is not preoccupied, hunger becomes more apparent. A study found in the Journal of Appetite found that women who engaged in a rapidly changing visual stimulus whenever they felt a craving reported that cravings become less intense and consumed fewer calories over a 2-week period. Therefore, by keeping busy or even by playing Tetris is highly effective in reducing cravings.