Calorie counting can be miserable to put your self through if it reduces each piece of food to the number of calories contained, and panic and guilt ensue if the calorie limit is breached. One of the problems associated with diets is the constant hunger which a low calorie diet causes and the image of munching through raw carrots as the only available snack. Before we get started I want to remind you that strict diets are typically the ones the end badly with binges or gaining the weight back quickly. Remember everything in moderation.
A sensible diet plan is easier to keep to if hunger isn’t growling away in the stomach and high calorie foods don’t necessarily equal the foods which stop you feeling hungry. With a general knowledge of which foods are actually filling for more than a short time then sensible meals can be planned which include healthy filling foods. This can help any snacks urges so you don’t end up bingeing on unhealthy options. Meal prep is essential!
If hunger is one of the reasons the weight piled on in the first place you know you need to curb your hunger with better snacking and meals. Looking at high calorie but unsatisfying foods and cutting them out is a good start. The foods which actually fill you tend to be high in protein, contain plenty of fiber, and have a high water count. Water is calorie and chemical free and is a sure way to take the edge of your hunger before you eat, as it fills you first.
If breakfast has been donuts, high sugared cereals, or toasted white bread covered with butter and jam, then these aren’t actually going to keep the hunger at bay for as long as a bowl of oatmeal to start the day, or a hard boiled egg. Oatmeal or bran flakes both offer a filling start which will cut down on the extra calories of snacking, particularly on more donuts and potato chips. Black tea and coffee are both calorie free when you don’t add sugar. Yogurt with some fruit is another good option. Be careful not to add a ton of calorie filled granola to your yogurt though.
There are lots of healthy low calorie snacks which will help ward off the hunger. Obviously fruits and vegetables are the best options. Pre-pack snack bags with carrots, celery and bell pepper to grab in a hurry. It’s surprising to many that an orange is actually more filling than a banana, but both are good snack options. Fruits such as oranges, apples, berries, bananas and pomegranates are all low calorie filling options. A couple almonds or a teaspoon of peanut butter can make it more of a filling snack as well. Any vegetable is also good for snacking on and crunch appeal is to be considered here. Radishes, celery, carrots, cauliflower and sliced peppers are all low calorie crunchies and it won’t be adding too many more calories to add to them with a dip, but remember to keep it lower calorie, so look for yogurt based dips or a little hummus with your veggies.
Salads are of course the lowest calorie option for meals. Even if you eat one as an appetizer it will be filling and make you want to eat less of other foods afterwards. Try to fill your plate with as much vegetables as possible to avoid filling up on higher calorie options. Enjoy high fat foods and starchy carbs in moderation. It’s worth the extra calories to add a really healthy dressing of extra virgin olive oil to your salad because it is a healthier fat than other options. Try also using balsamic, red white vinegar or lemon for flavor. Lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, and fish can be added to a salad for a delicious and filling meal. Don’t be afraid of tofu! It is a great option for low calorie meals and can be very filling. It tends to take on whatever flavor you pair it with.
If you look at foods which are actually filling, rather than just low calorie, it makes more sense. The less hungry you are the less likely you’ll be to grab something high calorie just to fill a craving caused by hunger. Your body will reap the benefits too with the extra nutrients and goodness, helping you to lose weight in a healthy way.
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