Burn Body Fat Without Being Hungry All The Time
Impulsive hunger and excessive eating are common goal crushers that many people can't seem to conquer when working to reach their weight loss goals. Today I'm going to help you shelf those "snack attacks" by sharing 9 lifestyle choices that are common causes of hunger.
Understand annoying, distracting, hard-to-resist hunger cravings, and adjust your eating habits to no longer suffer from daily hunger battles!
Hunger is an essential biological response, a survival signal. Certain patterns of being hungry are perfectly normal and important. However, unpredictable, sudden cravings that tempt you to circle back to the pantry for extra snacky snacks.
Unhealthy eating choices can become part of your daily routine if you are not informed, and not prepared. Below, let's discuss some ways you might not realize you're making the battle with cravings and hunger cues worse!
- Stress leads to increased cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone. Increased cortisol triggers other biological responses, such as hunger signals. The first tool against this is to avoid getting overly stressed, sometimes easier said than done. However, if you find yourself overly stressed, get into the habit of finding coping mechanisms that relieve stress and get your mind off of that craving. Even a 15-20 minute outdoor walk or an activity that you enjoy can have a very positive impact on lowering cortisol.
- Eating too Much Sugar or Simple Carbs. Not Eating Enough Protein, Fiber, and Healthy Fats
- When we're addicted to sugar/carbs we carve them more often. Most often sugar cravings stem from blood sugar imbalance. When your body ingests sugar your blood sugar levels spike and the body/pancreas releases insulin to lower it to a safer level. If the insulin brings your blood sugar level a bit too low, which happens often, then the body will crave fast sugars that will raise your blood sugar levels/energy levels again.
- Simple carbohydrates and sugars provide a quick surge of energy but also get used up rapidly by the body, leaving you with little to no sustained energy sources. Once those quick energy sources burn out, you're left feeling hungry, weak, low on energy, and you crave another quick source of energy. Easily we can see how this becomes a bad pattern. Instead, make sure to give your body sustained sources of longer-lasting energy throughout the day, with every meal.
- By prioritizing protein, fiber, and healthy fats you will feel full longer without sending your blood sugar on a rollercoaster ride.
- Lack of Sleep
- Straight from PubMed Medical Journal, "A single night of sleep deprivation increases ghrelin levels and feelings of hunger." Sleep loss disturbs endocrine regulation of energy homeostasis leading to weight gain and obesity. Supporting this view, a reduction of sleep duration to 4 h for two consecutive nights has recently been shown to decrease circulating leptin levels and to increase ghrelin levels, as well as self-reported hunger. Leptin and ghrelin are the hormones that tell us were hungry and also cue us to stop eating because we feel full. Lack of sleep affects these hormone levels, including cortisol levels, and also affects digestion.
- Not Eating Enough
- Big surprise here, right?! I don't think anyone needs me to explain that if you don't eat enough, you stay hungry. Here's where we make the mistake of misunderstanding of weight loss. For many women, instead of making informed, planned adjustments to their diet, their fix for not eating enough is what we talked about earlier....resorting to quick energy sources. Simple carbs, sugars, processed foods, bars, shakes, and smoothies are not the fix when needing to make smart changes to your food intake. Consider taking a look into a program like Wholly Fueled's Fit Foodie (Check it out here), which is designed around leaving women feeling fulfilled, energized, and organized with their food choices. Your meals are outlined for you, saving you time, and ensuring you are not left feeling hungry or struggling at any point during the day.
- You're Expending More Energy
- If you're burning more calories, you usually need to eat more calories to support the repair of muscle tissue or just the general change of energy output. If you've taken on a new fitness routine, or have increased outdoor activity, and you aren't properly fueling your body, those hunger attacks will hit you hard. As we said above, let's make sure we make smart decisions by reaching our daily calorie needs. Develop a plan to provide more, sustainable, whole-food energy sources to our body.
- You're Drinking Your Calories
- If a large percentage of your daily calorie intake comes from smoothies, shakes, juice, or other drinks, you will almost never feel fulfilled. Whole foods are what your body really needs when the hunger signal hits. When your body is busy digesting healthy fats (which can take up the 9 hours) or fibrous items which slowly enter our bloodstream and it keeps us fuller longer. You may want a quick energy source, or some drinkable calories, but the best answer for the hunger signal is a real meal, containing protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, and fiber.
- You're Dehydrated
- A large percentage of the population stays chronically dehydrated. Staying hydrated, and consistently drinking water throughout the day has been proven to combat hunger, and also is essential to proper digestion. We want our digestive system to be functioning efficiently, in order to make use of the foods we have eaten, providing energy sources, and combating hunger.
- Too Many Refined Carbs
- We've touched on this a few ways already, but refined carbs, simple carbs, or sugars provide a quick energy solution, but just as quickly leave us hungry, unfilled, and craving more. With this, we get spikes in insulin levels, and highs and lows with our blood sugar, resulting in more hunger responses. It becomes a very unhealthy and frustrating pattern for many when they experience this, especially when they continue to address their hunger with more refined carbs.
- Medications or Medical Issues
- Medications such as steroids, antidepressants, oral contraceptives, or anti-seizure medications can make you feel hungrier than usual. Always consult with a physician, dietician, or coach before any major adjustments to your diet, especially if you are on medication for a medical condition that is known to affect hunger. Even so, if you do have a medical condition or are taking a medication that causes hunger or eating irregularities, it is always beneficial to maintain a diet that consists of planned meals, containing real, whole foods, while avoiding processed foods, chemicals, and refined ingredients.
Hunger is an essential survival signal. But, extreme, unpredictable, sudden, and uncontrollable hunger cravings can stop your weight loss success dead in its tracks.
Learn how these can be avoided so you can reach your body goals.
If you're needing help with an easy meal prep solution and looking for an overall reset then check out our 7-Day Food & Fitness Fix here.
I've helped thousands of women get and stay on track through our Wholly Fueled Programs. Let a professional make it easy for you by balancing your macros so you no longer fight hunger battles, and fast track to getting the lean strong body you're after!