Day 7 of my weight loss journal, 1500 calories. How I deal with hunger when I’m on a diet. (See the other days in this weight loss journal here)
Day 7: 115.6
NICE! Will you look at that. I’m down by almost 2 lbs in a week! 3 weeks to go!
Yesterday, I went over 1500 slightly, because I was trying a new Built Bar, so my total calories for the day and macros were: 1523 calories, 161g protein, 130 g carbs, and 45 g fat.
For my meals, I ate
- protein pancakes,
- a kale salad for lunch with tuna on rice cakes,
- the Built bar, (They sent me a sample and it was white chocolate peppermint! SO IN LOVE!!)
- Greek yogurt with zero calorie caramel dip mixed in (See photo! soooo good),
- plus some fish, veggies and rice for dinner.
I’m finding it weird to report on yesterday’s workout, because I write these journal entries in the afternoon, so I’ve already had ANOTHER workout! So, I’m jumping ahead and will just report on my workout for today, and not the day before.
Cardio- 5 miles
Strength – Friday is Shoulder day
Today was shoulders, with one exercise of biceps and triceps. I didn’t give it much effort today, which I sort of regret. I find shoulders hard to train, and it never feels like I’m getting stronger. Moving from 10lbs to 12lbs on a lateral raise has been impossible!
But, I still spent time lifting. I really think, even if my muscles never get bigger in size, as long as I keep lifting, even at a low intensity, I won’t lose the strength and size I already have gained.
What to do when hunger strikes!
Ahh, this question I get asked a lot! How to deal with hunger when you are eating low calories.
For me personally, I rarely get hungry. True hunger isn’t usually why I eat. There are so many other cues that make me eat, but mostly my environment (being around food all the time!). Also, I find that in our modern world, hunger is mostly mental. We probably will never know what it really is like to be hungry. And, I’m so easily influenced by my thoughts. If I think I’ve eaten under 1200 calories for a day, I’ll be hungry. Only to find out later I forgot about something I ate, and I was really at 1500 calories. This has shown me on so many occasions, that hunger is a mind game and is influenced by so many other things that physiological responses to undereating.
But, regardless, here’s some of the “hacks” I’ve found helpful to avoid eating whether I am or am not hungry.
- I drink A LOT! It used to be Diet coke. I found Diet coke more than anything curbed my appetite to eat. But, like all terrible habits, I knew I had to give it up eventually, so I gave it up last Spring. (read about what happened to my waistline when I gave it up here). But, I still drink a lot of bubbly drinks. I bought a soda stream and flavor it with all sorts of things. I also drink sugar free apple cider (warm.). Lemon juice + stevia, like I shared on Day 2 of this journal. BCAA’s, Rockstars, Monsters, sugar free gatorade, and 1 gallon of water a day. Really, I am ALWAYS drinking. Soon, I’ll do a post about ALL the drinks I keep in my cupboards.
- I keep myself distracted. When I find myself thinking about food, I distract myself with indulgent activities like watching my favorite TV shows, watching Youtube, doing a puzzle, or just going to bed earlier. When people say, “go for a walk” or other things that feel like effort to me, it doesn’t work. If I think about watching an episode of Modern Family, even when I should be working, I’m all in!
- Eating low to no calorie foods-This is probably the one I use the most. I never enjoyed vegetables as much as I have the past 2 1/2 years. Dieting for a bikini show when calories are low anyway, made veggies taste SO MUCH BETTER! I learned to not just love veggies, but actually CRAVE them! (Here’s a list of other low- and no calorie foods I eat often)
- Start my first meal later. Sometimes I know when it would be difficult to limit my eating. It’s usually if I have a lot of free time, or a big social event. On those days, I found if I just push my breakfast to 10am, it’s a lot easier to stick to my diet. Shrinking my eating window feels so much more manageable.
- Volume eating! This is a little different than eating low calorie or no calorie foods. But, I consider volume eating also things like, Instead of a Built Bar, have an apple and hard boiled egg. There is so much more bulk and satiety in whole foods that take up more space than processed foods that leave you hungry. (more about volume eating here)
- Stop making everything TASTE so dang good! The hyperpalatability of food just makes me want to eat more and more, tricking me into thinking I’m still hungry.
- Stick to fewer meals. The more often I eat, the HUNGRIER I get!
- Exercise- Despite what you might think, exercise does more to regulate appetite than anything else. In fact, people who exercise regularly eat less than people who are sedentary. Being sedentary actually increases appetite! Check out this study published in Frontiers in Public Health:
Appetite control occurs through a complex interaction between physiology and behavior. Low physical activity levels have been suggested to interact with body fat to dysregulate appetite and be a source of overconsumptionStudy source
- Momentum and consistency: Honestly, the longer I stay within my calorie limits, the easier it gets. The first few days are usually the hardest and I’m the “hungriest”. Maybe it’s blood sugar doing it’s thing, making me feel like it’s always time to eat. But once I get into the routine of a diet again, it really does get easier.
- Think about my why! My “why” to wanting to be at my goal weight actually changes – A LOT! And that’s ok. Different seasons in life have different goals. Right now, my “why” is simply because I made it public that I was doing this thing! LOL. Apparently, that reason is strong enough for me right now. (read, Discover your Why)
- Get sufficient sleep! Often times, I’ll get hungry because I’m tired. I even tell myself, having a little snack will give me more energy for the rest of the day. I also make REALLY bad food decisions when sleep is lacking. Getting enough sleep, not only shortens my eating window, but also helps me to have a lot more control over my food choices.
- Asking questions- Are you really hungry? If the answer is truly yes, eat some veggies. If you’re truly hungry, even vegetables will be appealing. If the only thing you’re hungry for is cereal, than it’s probably not hunger! hahaha
I’d love to hear from you? Do you use any of these hunger hacks? Do you have others I haven’t used yet? HMU in the comments!
That’s it for today. Be back tomorrow!