By Elliot Fisher MS, ATC, CSCS, PES
Trying to diet and lose weight can be a challenge. To be successful you have to be disciplined. It’s important to work hard to reach your goals, but it’s also important to work smart. In this blog I’ll cover some tips on how to eat in order to make dieting easier.
Eat Foods That Fill You Up Without A Ton Of Calories:
The first tip to make dieting easier is to eat foods that are conducive to a caloric deficit. This includes eating low calorie foods, eating foods that are high volume, and eating higher satiety foods.
Low Calorie Dense Foods Some foods are high in calories, and some are low in calories. If you are trying to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit so choosing foods that are lower in calories rather than higher in calories is very important.
High Volume Foods
Food takes up space in your stomach. There are stretch receptors in your stomach to tell you that you are full. Foods that are more calorically dense (high calorie dense) don’t take up much space in your stomach, so it doesn’t get stretched as much. Foods that are less calorically dense are higher volume and take up more space in your stomach. This will help you feel full faster.
High Satiety Foods
Certain foods and nutrients are more satiating than others. Nutrients that are more satiating include: protein, fiber, electrolytes, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. Higher protein diets are shown to have better satiety, this is especially true for dairy and whey/casein protein powders. Fiber is lower calories than regular carbohydrates because it can’t be fully digested. Fiber also absorbs water and adds bulk into your digestive system, as well as slows digestion, which can make you feel full for a longer period of time. Electrolytes are important for our health. Electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. If you are deficient in any of those electrolytes you will likely become hungrier or get cravings for certain foods to get those nutrients in. Dairy is shown to be very good at making you feel full. Dairy is high in calcium and potassium which assists in its high satiety. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and water, are low calorically dense, and have a lot of nutrients in them.
Small Frequent Meals Eating throughout the day can keep your appetite down as it helps suppress the production of ghrelin, a hunger hormone. Eating protein spread throughout the day relatively evenly is also important if you want to maximize the amount of muscle you have (good for athletes or anyone who wants to have a good physique).
Fasting and Less Frequent Meals
Some people find if they fast and eat one or two big meals per day they are less hungry and don’t need as much food to feel full. This is not the best for building muscle, but if your main goal is fat loss and this helps it’s worth it. This eating schedule may work better for some people who are very busy throughout the day as well.
Fat Loss Supplements:
Fat loss supplements are popular for people trying to lose weight. They are often marketed as thermogenics which increase your body temperature slightly and increase your metabolic rate. This increase in metabolism is probably pretty small in reality but the real magic comes from these supplements suppressing your appetite. Fat burners are often a combination of stimulants which suppress appetite quite a bit which will help you keep to your diet easier. Caution should be taken with fat burning supplements because if you are sensitive to stimulants it can cause anxiety, loss of sleep, or other negative side effects.
Try some of these tips out and see how these help with your appetite!