To binge or not to binge? Here are some simple ways to avoid hunger cravings.
You’re scanning your surrounds like the terminator for anything remotely edible, your stomach is burning, head is throbbing, energy is weak and your sense of smell as sharp as a hungry wolf… it’s those nasty hunger pains. It’s at the peak of our complete desperation and dramatised starvation that we are easily persuaded to eat copious amounts of unhealthy food.
Below you will find simple strategies that you can implement to beat the binge, keep calm and stay satisfied.
Fuel up for the day
If you are an early dinner person, the chances are that upon waking you have just fasted for ten hours or more. The purpose of breakfast is to* ‘break the fast’* and refuel your body with adequate nutrients to create energy and kick start your metabolism. By consuming a balanced wholesome breakfast, which includes good sources of protein, carbohydrates and fats, you can significantly reduce the chances of feeling hungry later in the day.
A basic balanced breakfast could be as simple as:
- Two slices of whole meal bread, two poached eggs with spinach and avocado.
- Oats with a scoop of whey protein, topped with banana and almonds.
Eat Frequent And Never Skip Meals
Have a healthy meal mid-morning between breakfast and lunch, as well as mid-afternoon before dinner. By increasing your meal frequency you will reduce the fasting time in-between meals thus stabilising your blood sugar levels. Studies suggest that low blood sugar levels can increase appetite, therefore supporting the likelihood of craving and eating excess foods high in sugar after fasting for a prolonged period You can create quick and healthy snacks such as:
- Greek yogurt mixed with fruit and nuts.
- Rice cakes with topped with cottage cheese & almond spread.
This method is a sure fire way to sustain satiety throughout the day and insure your body against hunger cravings!
This is a big one that I know many people need to do! DRINK, MORE, WATER! The recommended intake for the average Joe is minimum two litres per day or eight cups per day, but this does not factor in highly active individuals who perform cardiovascular training or gym workouts regularly. Increased water consumption has countless benefits to list, but specifically in relation to this topic water is greatly effective in suppressing hunger cravings, especially before and after eating. Follow these steps to suppress hunger and stay optimally hydrated all day:
- Keep a 500ml or larger water bottle nearby at all times.
- Fill it up your bottle before bed and upon waking, have a few mouthfuls. This will break the overnight water fast and will assist with increasing your total water intake over the course of the day. Please note, the idea is to maintain hydration, not scull a litre of water every eight hours.
- You can add flavour to your water by adding some freshly squeezed lemon and lime, frozen berries, cinnamon or flavored BCAA’s.
- Make it a habit. If checking your phone for social media updates is automatic, then try putting your bottle next to or on top of your phone to prompt you to have a few sips every time.