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How can eating before I'm hungry help me lose weight?

Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics
As strange as it sounds eating before you get really hungry is a good strategy for weight loss. When you allow yourself to get ravenous, you lose control and over eat. By the time you recognize you are really hungry, your sugar has dropped and it can take 20 minutes of eating until you lift your head from the plate.Regular meals and snacks prevent over eating. Small healthy snacks like raw nuts, turkey slices, raw veggies and hummus can help keep your blood sugar stable and lead to fewer total daily calories.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

By waiting to eat until you’re very hungry, your hunger simply builds and builds until it’s all consuming, causing your appetite to get out of control. In fact, new research reveals that by skipping breakfast, you’ll end up eating more calories in total and making less healthy food choices throughout the day than you would have otherwise. Research also shows that forgoing breakfast activates your body’s insulin response, triggering fat storage and weight gain.

Bottom line: Never skip breakfast! In general, don’t wait until you’re ravenous to eat, which can tempt you to reach for junk foods loaded with refined carbs, sugar, and trans fats.

Be sure to eat every few hours throughout the day, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and incorporate a few healthy snacks in between to keep your appetite in check. Lastly, consider monitoring your hunger by measuring your appetite on a scale of 1 (starving) to 10 (full). If you wait to eat until your hunger is at level 1, you’re more likely to binge.

In this video, Dr. Oz and Science Bob explain why waiting until you're famished to eat is a terrible idea for your waistline.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.