What are the keys to hunger-free weight loss?

Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics
Never let yourself get hungry. Also learn to identify when you are actually hungry. Many people eat out if boredom, stress, and as a response to an unconscious cue. It is crucial to know the difference between real body hunger and emotional eating.Once you get in touch with your hunger issues and are able to distinguish the difference, here are some suggestions:Avoid processed, white flour, refined sugar snacks as these can lead to over eating and rebound low blood sugar which encourages eating more sweets.Eat protein and healthy fat snacks like raw nuts, nut butters on fruit; turkey breast slices with tomato and fresh sliced avocado; bean soup; salsa and 10 baked chips with melted low fat cheese. Do not skip meals. Recognize when you are thirsty and don't confuse this with hunger.
Ruth Frechman
Nutrition & Dietetics

If you want to lose weight and not feel hungry, eat small frequent meals. Don't starve yourself and only eat one meal a day. If you do, you may be so starving that you eat everything in sight. Keep your blood sugar levels stable, and you won't feel much, if any hunger. Include foods with protein, such as eggs, milk, cheese, beef, nuts, chicken, or fish with every meal to avoid spikes in blood sugar levels.

Heather R. Mangieri
Nutrition & Dietetics

A balanced diet is the most important.  Every meal and snack should include a source of healthy carbohydrates (including high fiber sources), a source of protein and a little fat.  This combination will not only help to stabilize blood sugars but it will also help to keep you satisfied longer.  If breakfast does not include enough protein or healthy fats, hunger will strike sooner than you want. 

Eat evenly throughout the day.  Start with breakfast and eat ever 3-4 hours.  Snacks and meals should not look that much different from one another, meaning they both include the same combination of foods.

Some healthy snack options include:

Hard-boiled egg, ¼ melon, whole grain crackers

Greek yogurt with almonds

½ turkey sandwich and a banana

Sliced apple with peanut butter, cup of milk

Any time you are trying to lose weight, you will likely run into the barrier of hunger. This is because losing weight requires you to be in a negative calorie balance whereby you are burning more calories than you are consuming. This will likely cause hunger or cravings, however there are things that you can do in order to manage these cravings and hunger pangs as much as possible. The following is a list of tips that will help you better manage these challenges when attempting to lose weight:

1. Eat foods that are high in fiber to promote feelings of fullness
2. Stay hydrated, hunger is a sign of not consuming enough water (96 ounces per day is recommended)
3. Increase your activity levels through exercise
4. Eat foods that are more filling per calorie, such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean meats
5. Eat approximately every three hours
6. Eat smaller portions throughout the day more frequently
7. Pay attention to habitual and mindless eating (snacking at your desk, eating in front of the television, eating bread at dinner, etc.)
8. Do not completely cut carbohydrates or fats, these help provide feelings of fullness, or satiety
9. Do not completely deprive yourself of foods you enjoy, just limit the frequency and portions

Following these tips will help you lose weight more successfully. They will prepare you for feelings of hunger and help you avoid massive cravings.

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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.