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11 tips to combat hunger and food cravings

1 July 2021|Nutrition

You're either trying to lose weight or gain weight in a healthy way. Or maybe you just want to maintain your current weight. Hunger and cravings can make life difficult at times! The temptation can be great and when you give in, you often think afterwards, 'why did I eat this?' 😭

Fortunately, healthy food can help curb hunger and prevent cravings. We'll give you 11 tips so you can get started right away.

1. Eat more fiber

Eating fiber-rich foods keeps your blood sugar levels stable and has a favorable effect on satiety hormones. Fiber-rich foods are part of the basis of healthy nutrition. They contain many nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that not only help prevent hunger, but also promote your health.

Examples of these are vegetables, fruit, oats, whole-grain products, whole grains, beans, lentils, and legumes.

2. Drink more water and green tea

Many people confuse thirst with hunger and go in search of something to eat when they're actually just thirsty. So, if you're hungry or have a craving, drink a few large glasses of water first. This is usually enough!

It also helps to drink more water or green tea around your meals. Drinking water before your meal can help prevent you from overeating. And green tea after your meals increases satiety and gives you a fuller feeling.

3. Eat complete meals

Eating (too) small meals and snacks can actually increase your appetite. Instead, eat more complete meals that not only consist of protein but also (fiber-rich) carbohydrates and healthy fats.

This is more satisfying, controls your hunger, and reduces fluctuations in your energy. Therefore, make sure you eat enough vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts, and seeds regularly :)

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4. Avoid trigger foods

Processed products and other factory-made foods appeal to our natural need for sweetness, saltiness, and fat. This makes it difficult to avoid or eat them in moderation.

Can you stop at one cookie or a handful of chips? Then this is not a problem. However, if you eat two bars or a pack of cookies after that first bite, it's best to avoid these products altogether by not bringing them into your home.

5. Recognize real hunger

Do you feel like eating? Do you have a strong urge for chocolate or do you crave something savory? Take a moment for yourself and ask yourself if you're really hungry or if you just want something tasty.

Many people struggle to distinguish between a feeling of hunger and a mental desire to eat, which can arise from a sense of restlessness, boredom, frustration, sadness, anxiety, or depression.

Mental cravings often arise suddenly. By pausing and not immediately diving into the fridge, you can make the distinction and postpone eating until you're really hungry.

6. Eat at regular intervals

Your body loves regularity. If you eat at fixed times, your body will start asking for food at those times. However, this also applies to moments when you snack or sit in front of the TV with a bag of chips. Do you know these moments about yourself? Try to replace those snack moments with something healthy to eat or by doing something else, so that the urge for a snack fades away.

7. Eat enough protein

Proteins are important for your muscles and do not contain as many calories. This makes them great as a snack. Think of protein-rich products such as a protein shake and yogurt.

8. Drink (decaf) coffee

Coffee can not only help your body burn fat and improve your athletic performance, but it can also suppress your hunger. It can significantly reduce your appetite and curb a feeling of hunger.

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