Losing weight is among the topmost priorities of people at the start of the year. We are so eager to get in shape that we begin skipping meals, eating less than we need, and counting macronutrients on a daily basis. But, what happens within a few days is that cravings take the front seat, and controlling hunger becomes difficult. This is because going from eating in a calorie surplus to suddenly eating too little shocks your body.
However, there is a distinction between feeling starved and just being a little hungry. If you're feeling starved, probably you are not getting the proper nutrients, but if you're feeling hungry, you're making the following mistakes. So, if you're new to dieting or are stuck at the same weight, here are some strategies for controlling your hunger pangs.
Don't Go Too Low
Weight loss is mostly simple math. All you need to do is to eat less than your maintenance calories. Let's say your body weight is 70kg; your maintenance calories would be around 2,100 calories (To calculate your maintenance calories, use this calorie calculator available online). So, if you consume more than 2,100 calories per day, you will gain weight; if you consume fewer calories, you will enter the deficit phase, which means weight loss. Where people go wrong is that they instantly drop their calories from 2,100 to 1,000, which increases hunger. The ideal way to begin is to cut 200 calories per week, giving your body time to adjust, and then increasing this deficit number each week to hit your target weight, gradually.
Remember that your maintenance calories will change as you lose weight, and your current maintenance calories will determine your new deficit.
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When it comes to exercise, most of us believe that we need to work out till the time we run out of fuel. When you work out for long periods of time, your body enters a catabolic state, which means it needs more food. Losing weight is all about consistency; you do not need to devote hours to training. Instead, choose one activity that you can do on a daily basis and complete that in no more than 40 minutes.
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Not Enough Protein
When we think of protein, we often think it is for bodybuilders, and it will make us bulky. Protein, in fact, is one of the most important macronutrients that our bodies require on a daily basis to perform certain functions and promote cell growth. The importance of protein increases during the weight loss phase because it aids in boosting metabolism and keeping one fuller for longer, thereby reducing hunger. The only thing to remember is that your protein consumption should be adequate: if you work out, try consuming twice your bodyweight, and for others, it should be 1.2 to 1.5 grams of their body weight. Do consult your trainer or a doctor to know what’s best for your body, though.