4 Tips to Keep Your Hunger Under Control

keeping hunger under control

What's your largest hurdle when trying to lose weight? Hunger. Here are some tips on how to be the master of your hunger.

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If you want to be as healthy as you can be there are a few things that you can do to get there. For example, regular exercise, eat healthier, lose a few pounds and most importantly, pray. Scientific studies have proven that regular prayer and meditation are important factors in staying healthy and living longer.

Prayer has become one of the most popular alternatives in therapy in the United States. An estimated 85 percent of people that are facing a major illness pray, which is a higher percentage of people that take herbs when facing a major illness.

Regardless whether you pray for yourself or others or for an illness -- or even just sit in silence -- the results are the same. Prayers also helps to maintain a more positive outlook and can help you lose weight.

There is a relationship between prayers and health and has been the basis of many studies. When in prayer the body gives a relaxation response, which decreases the metabolism, slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and your breathing slows down and becomes calmer and more regular.

Stress and Being Overweight

Being overweight can cause a lot of stress, however, stress is the number one factor to gaining weight. Here are a few things that having stress can create in the body:

Stress has an overall impact on the body. When you're stressed you eat more because there is comfort in food.

Stress raises the level of a hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol raises blood sugar, which causes fat cells to become larger. If these levels stay high, it increases the amount of belly fat. High levels of cortisol also interferes with your body responding to leptin and insulin, which help your body lose weight. Leptin is the hormone that helps your body stay lean because it speeds up your metabolism and decreases your appetite.

In order to lose weight, you need to listen to your body's signal to eat. Hunger is the signal your body gives you when you need energy. When you are in tune with your body's hunger signal, you will instinctively eat the proper amount of food. However, if you aren't in tune, that same signal can become the number one enemy when you're on a diet because you may tend to eat more or not enough.

Become familiar with what hunger feels like. In order to control your hunger you first need to know what it feels like. Before you eat, use this hunger scale to know when you truly need to eat:

Hungry: You're thinking about your next meal. If you don't eat within the hour you will enter the "starving" zone.

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Starving: This is that uncomfortable empty feeling that you get in your stomach that is sometimes accompanied by the jitters or light-headedness. Both are caused by a low blood sugar level which is due to the lack of food.

Moderately hungry: This is when your stomach is growling and you're thinking about how to put an end to that feeling. This is the best time to eat.

Satisfied: You're not hungry anymore but you're not full either. You are comfortable and relaxed and can easily wait to have a complete meal.

Full: If you are in the middle of a meal yet still eating you’re caught up in the momentum more than still being hungry. Your stomach is a bit bloated and suddenly the food you’re eating doesn’t taste as good as when you first started eating.

Stuffed: You are very uncomfortable and maybe have a bit of heartburn because the stomach acids are coming up into your esophagus.

1. Eat Every 4 Hours

Are you still not sure what hunger really feels like? Try setting your watch. The time when moderate hunger or being really hungry usually occurs every 4 to 5 hours after your last meal. When you wait too long to eat it sends you on the hunt for energy. This is when you can lose the willpower to make healthy choices.

2. Slim Down

If you always feel hungry between meals, try adding a 150-calorie snack to your diet. There are great snacks that will keep you from getting the in-between meal munchies that make you gain weight. You can also try snacking on whole foods such as unsalted nuts or fruit. These are geat to give you the fiber and water you need without adding calories. These two are also chock full of nutrients that fight disease. You can help avoid temptation by always packing healthy, portable snacks, such as dried fruit, in your purse, the glove compartment of your car, desk drawer, or backpack.

3. Always Eat Breakfast

When you eat breakfast in the morning you are stocking your body full of fat, protein, and carbohydrates, which is the best way to stay satisfied until lunchtime. According to a study that was published in the British Journal of Nutrition, it's also been proven that people who eat breakfast also eat less during the rest of the day than those who skip breakfast. Unfortunately for the United States, many of us skip the first meal of the day.

4. The Best Way to Slim Down

If you find you're getting really hungry way before noon, trying eating a larger breakfast. Try eating around 250 calories and then follow this routine:

Prepare your breakfast the night before. Cut up fruit if you’re having fruit as part of your breakfast. Portion out any foods you’re having such as milk (for cereal) yogurt, etc.

Keep single-serving boxes of whole grain cereal or packets of instant oatmeal along with either fat-free shelf stable milk or even soy milk.

Try eating a late breakfast if you’re stomach isn’t ready to eat in the early morning. This is also a great way to keep you stomach under control throughout the day.

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