Have you experienced an increased ravenous appetite since you’ve upped your physical activity?
What exactly is the cause of this increased appetite?
People who are on a calorie-controlled eating plan often are the ones most sensitive to hunger signals. The only craving one should experience though should be for optimal health and fitness – not that large pizza with all the toppings?
The trick is to follow a healthy eating plan that is sustainable. Severe calorie restriction for rapid weight loss is neither sustainable, easy or even healthy in many instances.
You can avoid hunger pangs if there is a better balance between calorie intake (from eating) and calorie expenditure (from exercise and daily activity). A ravenous appetite may indicate that the deficit is too large, which makes sticking to a diet really difficult. If a person reduces it they will continue to lose weight (albeit at a slower rate), but won’t experience the same degree of hunger.
People should control their thoughts and impulses – that is the psychology of weight loss. That’s where it all begins and ends. Start by taking small steps.
A factor that influence hunger, include:
The “See-food” diet: Humans eat with their eyes 99% of the time. It’s not the body initiating the impulse to eat, it’s the pleasure centres of the brain. As such, seeing or even smelling delicious food creates the temptation to eat and can initiate feelings of hunger.
How to overcome hunger pangs and manage your appetite:
Timing of meals: Eat an apple after training, it will lift blood sugar levels and assist with immediate cravings.
Protein shakes: Solid protein meals are more effective at suppressing hunger than liquid ones. Rather use well-formulated supplements for the right occasion – immediately after a workout or before bed for instance.
Supplements: Take a natural appetite suppressant to get through challenging days. A supplement may also help to balance any deficiencies.
Drink more water: Thirst and hunger can often be confused – so reach for the water bottle before the food cupboard.
Increasing fibre consumption: Fibre can boost feelings of fullness and also increases levels of leptin, a hormone associated with feelings of satiety.
Curb the carbs: Reduce sugar and starch because spikes in blood sugar can a craving for more food.
Control lifestyle factors: Stress (mental, psychological or physical) can increase appetite and may lead to comfort or binge eating.
Choose foods that quell hunger: Foods with a lower energy density will give a person more volume without the excess calories. These include many fruits and vegetables, and high-fibre foods like whole grains.
Other suitable options include:
- Eat eggs or other forms of protein for breakfast to reduce hunger pangs.
- Oranges have a high fluid content and are a low-glycemic fruit.
- Air-popped popcorn – it fills you up because it’s so ‘bulky’ but has no calories.
- Beans have a good combination of fibre and protein.
- Almonds are energy-dense, but also make you feel full. Just control portion sizes.
- Salad before a meal helps to fill you up, but beware of oily salad dressings.
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Co-Publisher at Maverick Media and until recently, Fitness Magazine editor. Tanja now manages multiple digital platforms, consults and create exciting campaigns and opportunities in the fitness industry. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.