The Hunger

*The title of this post is from The Distillers song of the same name*

There’s a problem with dieting.


It’s uncomfortable. It’s frustrating. It lingers. And sometimes right when you think you have it cracked, it comes around again.

Now, there are things you can do to make dieting (and hunger) less uncomfortable.

You can eat more protein.

This typically has the effect of being a more satiating macronutrient plus having this really nifty thing called a high thermic effect. In other words, your body has to work harder to metabolize it. In numbers, if you consumed 800 calories per day from protein on your diet, you could burn 160-280 calories just trying to digest it. That’s pretty awesome. By comparison, you won’t burn anywhere near that much via carbohydrates or fat.

You can eat more fiber.

This will also help you feel more full. The downside is that you may have to experiment with different sources of fiber (grains, fruits, veggies) because they all may affect you (and your digestive system) in different ways.

You can drink more water.

It’s not glamorous or sexy. It won’t sell magazines off the rack if you talk about it’s allure in a diet. However, it can help with some oral fixations if you’re just used to consuming something and it can help fill you up. Add a bit of lemon or lime if you get bored of plain old water.

You can distract yourself.

I hate to break it to many of you but the pattern that many fall into of heading home and plopping on the couch to catch up on TV is not the best route for weight loss. Not only are you at the mercy of every food-themed commercial (which will likely cue you to get up and eat some more), you may find yourself in the unenviable trap of eating out of boredom, anxiety or frustration with your day.

Find an outlet. Anything that will break you of the patterns that lead you back to the fridge or pantry. It doesn’t have to be fancy. You can walk your dog, read a book, clean a room, etc. All you’re trying to do is break the cycle that leads to thoughts of food.

You can exercise but…

For all of its great attributes, certain people will get hungrier with exercise. Adhering to your calorie plan (which is hopefully set for weight loss) will keep your eyes set on the goal. You may also have to drop the intensity with which you’re training if you find that your hunger skyrockets and you can’t temper it.

Or, you can get comfortable being uncomfortable. 

The sad truth of dieting is that there will be hunger pangs despite your best dietary efforts. The sooner you can prepare yourself for that feeling the easier the process will be. This may be harder to deal with when you’re getting started until your body and mind acclimate to the change. Even after you’ve adjusted, there will still be certain days that affect you more than others. If you fall off the wagon, always remember to minimize dietary damage where you can, forgive yourself (you’re not broken/worthless or a failure), and get your eyes back on the prize.

And this would be Matt, Sarah and Marta from last week. Undoubtedly, a little worn out from their workout…and they were probably a little bit hungry afterwards. 🙂