I often hear, “I have trouble losing weight even though I exercise and choose healthy foods” and “I’m always hungry”. The good news is that there are some ways to fix this problem! Here are my tips:
- Rate your hunger – before a meal ask yourself how hungry you are and rate it on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most hungry you’ve ever felt), and fill your plate accordingly. After you’ve finished, let your food settle at least 10 minutes and rate your hunger again. If you’re still hungry then grab a little more and repeat the process. The key here is to listen to your body and make the connection with your brain, versus letting your emotions determine your hunger.
- Skip the scheduled meals – what I mean is that it’s okay to skip a meal if you simply aren’t hungry. Occasionally we’ll eat heavy one day and the next day the body doesn’t need as much food for fuel and you may not feel hungry until well into the afternoon. Sometime in our life we’ve been conditioned to eat at scheduled meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – whether we’re hungry or not. I’ve learned from my toddler that eating at scheduled meals doesn’t work and always ends up in a battle, instead I wait until she tells me she’s hungry. Kids know their body way more than we give them credit for and we can learn a lot about food from the habits of our children!
- Eat more fat – fatty foods take longer to digest and therefore make us feel full faster and for a longer period of time. Whereas carbs are used for quick energy and make us hungry again in a short time. Healthy fats include avocado, nuts, seeds, cheese, dark chocolate, fish, eggs, full-fat yogurt, coconut and coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil (think salad dressing). Plus they make our skin glow!
- Reduce acidic, spicy, and greasy foods – according to Chinese food therapy, we say foods that are acidic, spicy, and greasy cause an excess of fire in the stomach. When we have a fire-y stomach it burns through food so fast that it causes a constant hunger to keep fueling the fire. If you are feeling this way then try to cool the stomach down by eating watermelon, cucumber, and celery (feel free to add some real peanut butter to your celery; Buddy’s Nut Butter is my personal favorite!).
- Choose fresh, whole foods – often times after a meal we feel unsatisfied and find ourselves going back to the kitchen for more. This is your body’s way of telling you that it’s missing some key nutrients and it won’t be satisfied until you give it what it needs. Skip the processed foods and always choose fresh ingredients.