Curb Dieting Hunger with This Trick

Summer whole barley salad with colorful vegetables in a green bowl

Medically reviewed in September 2021

Nothing derails a new diet more quickly than constant, nagging feed-me pangs. But a new study presents a neat trick for turning the volume way down on hunger.

Here's the key: Stop counting calories. Instead, pack your diet with nutrient-dense foods. Research shows that jamming your diet full of nutritious edibles may be one of the most important steps to weight loss.

Food Withdrawal
In a study, when people switched to a diet full of healthy foods, they experienced hunger far less often and found their hunger much easier to tolerate. Just imagine what a leg up that would be to dieting if you never experienced hunger pangs! Researchers think that when people don't eat enough nutritious foods, it causes a sort of "food withdrawal" phenomenon in the body, characterized by inflammation and the release of toxic metabolic waste products. The result of all this? A more painful kind of hunger that can only be relieved by eating again.

Do you eat when you feel bored, lonely or sad? Get insights into emotional eating and stopping it.

Quality, Not Quantity
Take-home message: Don't obsess about how much you should be eating. Instead, spend your energy thinking about what you should be eating. If nutrient-rich fruit, vegetables and whole grains aren't making frequent appearances in your diet, your body is going to miss them and loudly ask for more fuel. Same goes for lean proteins and healthful fats. Once you feed yourself better, and your body gets past the initial junk-food withdrawal, your taste buds will start to crave the healthy stuff instead. Here are a few more tips for getting back into your skinny jeans:

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