It’s been only half an hour since your last big meal and your stomach is already gurgling and growling and you’re constantly thinking about what you’ll eat next. What’s even worse – this happens every day.
Although you’re certain that you eat enough, it feels like your stomach is a bottomless pit and regardless of what you put in your body, you always seem plagued by extremely annoying cravings. In fact, you appear to be hungry during most of your waking moments! Since not even the strongest individual can suppress ALL of his cravings, you begin to worry about putting on weight, and rightly so.
What gives? What could be causing your excessive hunger and is there a way to tone it down?
According to experts, you should wait a bit before jumping to the conclusion that you have a superhero metabolism. If you’re constantly hungry even though you strive to eat a well-balanced healthy diet, it’s more likely that you’re making a few common nutrition mistakes and you should take a better look at what you’re eating on a daily basis.
Hunger is a pretty complicated function, influenced by both physiological and psychological factors, and there are a few scientifically-backed reasons why your stomach is constantly complaining. For example, certain foods are well-known for their ability to make you hungrier, while others can help you fill up your stomach and slow down the digestive process, and knowing the difference between them can make or break your fat loss efforts.
It’s time to learn how to prevent your cravings from getting the best of you. Try these 3 nutrition tips to regain control over your hunger and keep your belly happy and healthy!
#1. Drink More Water
Even though the issue of hydration often comes up in health magazines, most people tend to underestimate the benefits of increased water consumption. Our bodies need a lot of fluids every day to optimize both physical and mental performance and well-being and this amount goes up if you’re training regularly. Water is essential to almost every organ in the body, where it helps flush out toxins and carries nutrients to cells; it also aids in digestion, lowers fluid retention and helps eliminate excess sodium from the body, all of which contribute to weight control.
According to a study from Penn State School of Nutrition, a diet containing water-rich foods can significantly reduce caloric intake and keep satiety after a meal higher for longer, while another study in which participants drank a glass of water before each meal produced similar results. Water helps create a feeling of fullness, sending your brain a signal that there’s no need to keep shoving food in there.
More often than not, our brains will confuse thirst for hunger, mostly because hunger is a stronger mechanism and we don’t feel thirst until we’re already slightly dehydrated. Keeping your body well hydrated will eliminate this false feeling of hunger. Also, whenever you feel hungry, simply drink a glass of water. Wait for a while, and if you feel satisfied you’ll know it was actually thirst. And if it turns out you were hungry after all, at least you drank an extra glass of water!
Recommendations for water consumption may vary but the average guidelines suggest that women should drink a minimum of 9 cups of water per day, while men need at least 12 cups per day. This can be a hard feat to accomplish given our busy modern lifestyles, but you should definitely give it a try. The easiest way to make yourself drink more water is by carrying a water bottle everywhere you go. Also, know that for every 15 minutes you work out, you should drink another 5-8 ounces of water.
Of course, you don’t have to drink only water – you can alternate between water and other types of low-calorie or calorie-free fluids during the day and you’ll get the same benefits. Just avoid sugar-loaded fruit juices and sodas!
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