“I’m on a diet!” How often have you said these words to your friends or family and declined many invitations for lunch or dinner? How many times have you gone hungry and cranky from the idea of eating so little?
If you can relate to that, here’s good news: there’s no need to deprive yourself of the food you like and not each for hours on end. Just keep in mind that a healthy diet is about healthy choices that you make, as well as moderation in portions.
So the next time you plan to diet, try these following tips:
- Drink plenty of water: This can help quench your thirst and sometimes your hunger, since a lot of times we mistake hunger cues with thirst.
- Munch on vegetables: Eat them as snacks and as part of your meals. Keep a supply of freshly-cut vegetables (carrots, cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce) in your refrigerator. A good idea would be to dip them into low fat labneh, or tomato salsa. You could also try grilling sliced eggplant or zucchini and have it with a cup of low-fat plain yogurt.
- Have soups and salads: Start your meal with a vegetable soup or salad with a light dressing. This will make you feel full faster and you’ll tend to eat less of your main dish.
- Eat slowly: This way you’ll enjoy your meal and feel more satisfied with a lot less!
- Take a walk: When you feel the urge to eat, try going on a 10-minute walk to be sure that you’re not confusing hunger with boredom.
- Eat every 3 hours: Don’t go more than 3 hours without food, and plan to eat your healthy snack before hunger strikes. A good idea would be to eat 2 or 3 servings of fruits between meals when you’re most likely feeling hungry.
- Include protein in every meal: It plays a key role in regulating your food intake by helping to increase your feelings of fullness. Lean protein sources include lean meats, chicken and fish, low fat milk, labneh, laban and cheese, red and white beans, lentils, hommus and other legumes.
Remember that eating 5 small, varied and healthy meals a day will satisfy your hunger as well as help boost your metabolism so you tend to burn more calories every day. Dieting doesn’t have to be difficult. With a few simple changes to your eating plan you can have a satisfying hunger-free diet!