When it comes to dieting reducing your calories through reducing portion sizes, or omitting a snack or meal (to create an energy deficit; the only way fat loss will occur!) is an easy way to achieve this.
Yet there will be something to consider during your dieting periods. Hunger!
Along with emotional eating and boredom, hunger is another test you will encounter on your health drive.
Not only is it one of the most powerful diet disruptors but it is also the most misunderstood.
The concept of stress eating and boredom eating are very straight forward. Stress levels are high, we eat something (usually fun food) and it temporarily makes us feel better. And boredom eating fills a void / gives us something to do during periods of downtime. Simple.
But hunger is a different animal. Our body brings about feelings of hunger (due to elevated levels of a hormone Ghrelin).
The common misconception is that as we go longer and longer without food our hunger levels increase.
So it makes sense to ‘flatten the curve’ by eating something. The hunger sensation is notable so we look to remedy this by eating something asap. This urgency sees us bypass mindfulness over what we choose to supress this pang! Making it hard to keep to our targets for our diet.
But, what actually happens (and this is prudent to recall during periods of hunger) is that our hunger levels come in waves.
You have condition these waves to peak and trough with your eating habits overs time. So you will feel hungry at the time you usually have a meal/snack.
So if you are cutting out a meal or snack to reduce your calories. Know that during the time where you would have had this meal/snack you will feel hungry. This is the peak/crest of the wave.
It’s your job to ride the wave, embrace the sensation, accept it and surf the hunger wave. The wave will die down/pass.
Dieting is much like surfing, you have to appreciate the waves if you want to be good at it.
If you would like to know how to reduce the intensity of these hunger wave check out my blog. How optimising ‘protein density’ can help you maintain muscle and stay full whilst dieting.