e have said it before and we will say it again: You are what you eat.
Our fitness trainers try to force us on a diet; our doctors warn us to control our food intake thanks to our high cholesterol levels; our wives and girlfriends have warned us they will walk out on us because of that excess baggage pouring over our belts!
It is not as if we haven't tried. But it is just so darned hard to control our hunger!
Sound familiar? Stay tuned. Rediff offers you tips to control that darn hunger so that you can go ahead and finally be successful in your attempts to stop overeating.
1. Eat small frequent meals.
Want to lose weight? Eat more -- frequently, that is.
Your body needs food to provide energy, repair damaged muscle tissue, and to carry out various other functions.
But there are only so many nutrients it can draw from each meal. Large meals mean more nutrients than your body can handle, thus causing an 'overflow effect'.
Thus, go for smaller, more frequent meals. They provide just the right amount of nutrients every few hours, without causing that overflow effect. They also maintain blood sugar levels, thus keeping your appetite and energy levels in control.
2. Don't skip meals!
Skipping meals and going too long without food can turn hunger pangs into irresistible cravings.
To start with, don't skip breakfast!
It is amazing how so many people skip this meal. If you are one of those, change that nasty food habit. NOW!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your first meal of the day helps replenish all those nutrients lost during that all-night fast. It raises those early morning low blood sugar levels.
Missing out on this meal means setting you up for low blood sugar levels and, thus, low energy levels and irresistible hunger pangs and cravings at lunchtime.
3. Eat your veggies!
Vegetables are healthy. They are chockfull with nutrients that can boost your health.
They are also rich in fibre, the dieters' secret weapon to control hunger.
While all vegetables are beneficial as far as good health and hunger control go, certain veggies, like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and mushrooms, are super-high in fibre and have a negligible amount of calories.
They can fill your stomach and control your hunger while filling you with a small amount of calories.
4. Eat more whole grains and less refined carbohydrates.
Whole grains, besides being healthier than their 'nutrient-stripped' refined counterparts, are also higher in fibre.
Thus they are more filling and satisfying.
While refined carbs -- like idlis, dosas, white bread, white rice -- may be low in fat, they are higher in fibre. You may run the risk of over-consuming calories.
5. Eat slowly!
Give it a shot. It actually works.
The brain actually takes ten minutes longer than the stomach to receive the message that it is full. Thus, eating too fast might cause you to eat beyond the point of fullness without even realising.
6. Sleep and shed those pounds!
Studies have found that people who sleep only five hours every night were 50 per cent more likely to be obese than those who sleep seven to nine hours.
Researchers believe lack of sleep affects hormones related to appetite, causing you to gain pounds.
7. Drink more water!
Water is the healthiest, cheapest and most easily available appetite suppressant around.
Thirst is often mistaken as hunger. Also, foods with high water content can fill you up easily. They naturally pack fewer calories for their volume.
Toss together a salad of lettuce, cucumbers, celery and tomatoes, or a fruit cup with watermelon, strawberries and orange slices for a watery hunger-satisfying snack.
More Rustom Warden:
- Essential foods you must have!
- Five steps to a healthier you!
- Want a lean, sexy body?
- Three easy steps to a great body!
- Why you should NOT diet!
- What could go wrong at the gym?
Rustom Warden, a personal trainer, has been running his own personal training gymnasium in Mumbai since 2002.