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Feeling Hungry?

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“I’m on a diet, trying to lose weight and I’m starving”.  If you’ve ever tried to lose weight and have made a similar statement, I’m here to tell you, you’re doing it WRONG!!.  Losing weight is not about going on crash diet, it’s not about eating gross food and it’s certainly not about starving yourself.  This is the time of year when most Americans start to falter with their New Years resolutions to lose weight and most of the time it has to do with the statement about, hunger.  So how can you lose weight and not starve yourself to death?  Simply, how can you eat more and lose more?

The Secret 

You don’t have to follow a strict diet plan to lose weight and keep them off.  The good news is your best option is to fill up on nutrient-dense foods throughout the day. Don’t focus on how much your eating but pay more attention to what you’re eating.  If you eat a diet filled with high-fiber, nutrient packed foods, it’s almost impossible to overeat or fill hungry.

How to Get Started
Drastically changing the way you eat can seem overwhelming, so what I suggest is to make a list of healthy proteins, fats, carbs and veggies that you know you will eat.  Here is a sample of the list I made:

Leafy greens: arugula, kale, lettuce and spinach

Vegetables: chile peppers, cucumbers, green beans, peppers (all varieties), potatoes, and sweet potatoes

Legumes: black beans, black-eyed peas, hummus, navy beans, pinto beans and lima beans

Fruits: apples, bananas, blackberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, grapes, kiwifruit, mangoes, pineapple, raisins and raspberries

Whole grains: brown rice, pasta and oats

Lean protein: salmon, chicken breasts and egg whites

Dairy and substitutes: low fat yogurt, almond milk and coconut milk

Nuts and seeds: flaxseed, almonds and walnuts

Healthy fat: avocado, olive oil and canola oil

For more on what I eat checkout these two articles: My Shopping List (includes YouTube video) and Milk Alternatives.

5 Best Ways to Get Results:

1. Don’t Skip Breakfast!!!

It’s the most important meal of the day and yet most Americans skip it.  Eating breakfast provides your body with energy to fuel physical activity throughout the morning.  Plus, eating a healthy meal in the morning may help you avoid the temptation to reach for a quick-fix at before lunch.  Another reason to eat breakfast is that the latest research indicates that eating at least 30 grams of protein first thing in the morning can kick-start your metabolism and help you burn more fat throughout the day.  It’s a WIN, WIN.

2. Snack Healthy

You should be eating at least 5 times a day, that includes 3 meals at approx. 500 to 600 calories and snacks in between at approx. 200 to 300 calories.  The best snacks to keep you feeling energized are a combination of protein and carbs.  Just like eating breakfast, snacking on nutrient-packed foods throughout the day can help you avoid becoming so hungry that you’ll reach for JUNK.  I always keep a protein bar, almonds, healthy trail mix, apple or plain yogurt around to help me fight the munches between meals.  Remember your body would rather you eat an apple than a bag of chips from the convenience store.  

3. Eat Complex (Good) Carbohydrates

Yes, you can eat carbs and lose weight, just make sure you eat the right carbs.  Avoid processed and refined carbs (white bread, white pasta, sugar, artificial ingredients) and choose complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, oats, and legumes.  Complex carbs provide dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which slow down digestion and make you feel fuller longer.  Refined carbs are highly processed and often full of added sugars.  These foods break down easily to supply quick energy in the form of glucose. This is a good thing if your body needs quick energy (if you’re running a race or playing a sport), but most people are better off choosing unprocessed or minimally processed whole foods that contain natural sugars, like fructose in fruit.  It’s always best to eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains (brown rice, quinoa and oats) into your everyday diet. 

4. Eat the Good Fats
Just like carbohydrates, not all fats are scary and should be avoided.  The “good” fats (omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA) are very beneficial to your health.  Research shows strong evidence that the omega-3s EPA and DHA can boost heart, brain, joint, eye, and skin health.  I eat fish like salmon and take a code liver oil supplement once a day which is the easiest way to get your source of omega-3 fatty acids.  I also like to eat almonds and walnuts for snacks, just don’t overdo it because they are high in (good) fat.

5. Drink Water 
Water is the a necessary component of good health and besides those hunger pains you’re having could be the result of dehydration.  Staying hydrated does everything from boosting energy levels to promoting healthy, glowing skin, keeping your joints healthy and helping you feel full.  Drinking water also helps to flush out toxins and waste products in the body.  I suggest at least 1/2 to 1 gal of water a day depending on your activity level.  Most of that should be consumed before lunch and taper of as you get closer to bed time . . . for obvious reasons.


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