Guest Author - Patricia Mitchell
Do you find that when you decide to go on a diet, you become preoccupied with food? Many people automatically associate losing weight with deprivation. Sometimes just contemplating a new diet plan can make us obsess over what we are going to eat and when we are going to have our next meal.
In order to lose weight you need to pay attention to your daily caloric intake. However, restricting calories can increase your appetite and make it difficult to stick to a new diet. These four tips can curb your cravings by stabilizing your blood sugar and help you to feel more satisfied between meals.
1. Drink water- Many people think they are hungry when they are actually dehydrated. Try drinking 16 ounces of water in the morning before breakfast and drink another 8 ounces with a mid day snack. Drinking water early in the day is a great way to help you stick to your weight loss goals. If you have difficulty drinking water due to lack of flavor, try adding lemon slices or frozen fruit. Drink another 16 ounces of water with lunch and dinner. You may have green tea with snacks if you would like but avoid sugar or artificial sweeteners. Staying hydrated will help you feel full and make it less likely for you to overeat during the day.
2. Eat every three to four hours- Eating smaller and more frequent meals will curb your hunger and will help to stabilize your blood sugar. Eat a healthy breakfast early morning and plan to have a small snack three hours later. Try to have lunch by mid day and your afternoon snack three hours later to avoid overeating later in the day. Have a light evening meal and a small snack before bed if you are hungry. Eating on a regular schedule will make it easier to avoid reaching for unhealthy foods when you are famished, and help to keep you on track with your weight loss goals.
3. Eat protein- Protein is filling and helps to balance blood sugar levels. Try to include protein with all your meals and snacks. A good way to estimate your lean meat, poultry, or fish servings is to eat a serving amount that is approximately the size of your palm. Some good snack choices are greek yogurt, boiled eggs, cottage cheese, nuts and protein smoothies.
4. Eliminate sweets- Sugar causes a roller coaster effect with your blood sugar. This will increase your appetite and can lead to overeating. Try to eliminate sweets and replace with fresh fruit. Get in the habit of healthy swaps such as substituting sweets for greek yogurt topped with berries. If you decide to splurge on something sweet, try to pair it with some protein so that it will help regulate your blood sugar. Have a small piece of dark chocolate and pair it with some nuts for your protein source. Try to select organic dark or semi sweet chocolate as one of the healthier choices for an occasional chocolate treat.
Try incorporating these four tips into your current eating habits to help control your appetite. This can help you to reduce unnecessary snacking and cut calories to help you lose weight. Simple changes like adding protein to snacks and meals, reducing sweets, staying hydrated, and eating more frequent meals can have you on your way to a healthier lifestyle.