Step 1: Prepare a breakfast of champions
Breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day, and for a reason. When you take the time in the morning to prepare a healthy breakfast, you are laying the foundation for the rest of the day.
Skip breakfast, and by mid-morning, you're liable to start craving high-fat foods like bagels, muffins, and donuts. Instead, take the time to prepare a bowl of oatmeal with lots of natural fiber to fill you up, and a glass of juice to give you some energy. Or make a filling, nutritious, and delicious strawberry banana smoothie with a small side of granola.
Filling up nutritiously in the morning will keep you satisfied and energized until lunch time.
Step 2: Eat more, weigh less
Munching on healthy snacks throughout the day can actually help block your hunger and increase your metabolism, thereby controlling your weight.
Always eat a hearty, (but healthy) breakfast in the morning, but allow for some low-fat snacks throughout the day.
In between breakfast and lunch, or lunch and dinner, it's perfectly acceptable to nibble on some celery sticks or other raw vegetable, a cup of low-fat yogurt, or a handful of raisins or almonds. While almonds are not considered low-fat, they do provide minerals and proteins such as zinc and magnesium and are thought to curb the appetite. They also help maintain your energy, particularly after lunch when many people begin to feel fatigued.
Step 3: Choose foods high in water and fiber content
The key to feeling fuller on fewer calories is the volume of water and fiber in your food. Fruits and vegetables contain fewer calories than most baked goods, and are comprised largely of water and fiber. This keeps the body feeling both hydrated and full, thereby keeping comfort and junk food cravings to a minimum. Substitute cheese and starch-based meals with a big green salad made of yummy veggies like broccoli, green peppers, cucumbers or carrots. Similarly, opt for fresh fruit instead of cake or pie for dessert.
Step 4: Pick protein
Protein has been shown to curb hunger by increasing a hunger-fighting hormone naturally produced by the body called Peptide YY or PYY. Protein can be incorporated into the diet in the form of fish, lean meat, poultry, and legumes. Substituting protein for carbohydrates in your diet can increase muscle mass and contribute to feeling full. Eating eggs for breakfast is a satisfying, filling way to get your protein needs, although you should restrict your intake to about two a week due to their higher cholesterol.
Step 5: Be Mindful
There are a variety of factors that can lead one to overeat including depression, stress and boredom, but it is possible to maintain control over your eating habits if you are mindful about what you are eating, how often, and why. It may be helpful to keep a food journal, or to plan your meals for the week instead of buying baked goods or junk food to bring to the office. You can block hunger naturally with these five steps, and additional help, if necessary, from your doctor.