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13 tips to beat hunger in a healthy way

You’ve decided that you want to lose a few pounds or simply have healthier lifestyle habits. He started to practice physical activity and is trying to follow a balanced diet. But every now and then, that hunger appears throughout the day, making you want to “escape the diet” and eat the first thing you see?!

Calm! With good guidelines, you can beat hunger in a healthy way and stay focused on the pursuit of your goals (whether it’s losing weight, defining your body or simply taking care of your health). Check the list below:

1. Eat the salad first: the nutritionist and personal dieter Sabrina Lopes explains that eating the salad before the main course is essential. “The vegetables present in the salad are rich in vitamins and minerals, but they also have a good amount of fiber that increases the feeling of satiety and reduces gastric emptying. Thus, the person consumes few calories in the beginning and is left with a feeling of satiety, reducing the amount consumed in the main course”, she highlights.

2. Bet on vitamins: according to Sabrina, homemade vitamins are a good option to stave off hunger. “That’s because they have milk that, as a source of protein, slows down the digestion process. The ideal is to associate fruits, skimmed milk and a cereal. It’s always good to hit the vitamin and consume it right away. And avoid the consumption of whole milks,” she explains.

3. Bet on foods rich in soluble fiber: Sabrina explains that there are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. “Soluble fibers form a kind of gel when they retain water. Thus, they promote a feeling of satiety and decrease gastric emptying, therefore, they help to cheat hunger. This type of fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and pulses,” she highlights.

4. Consume good fats: Sabrina explains that the presence of essential fatty acids (good fats) in the diet helps, as well as fiber, in delaying gastric emptying. “That is, it helps to delay digestion. The main sources of good fats are nuts, salmon, avocados and extra virgin olive oil,” she says.

5. Eat a complete breakfast: the nutritionist explains that consuming a balanced meal when waking up is essential. This is because there is a long period of fasting that precedes this meal. During this period, the body uses up energy stores to maintain basic functions, such as circulation and breathing. “At the first meal of the day, we have to replenish stocks and thus ensure availability in daily activities and food control during the day. When we don’t consume adequate food when we wake up, the stores are damaged and our body feels the need for caloric foods to replace, which makes us lose control over our hunger ”, she highlights.

6. Sleep well: Sabrina points out that several studies show that people who sleep poorly have changes in their hormone levels – which increases hunger and decreases satiety. “These people tend to look for high-calorie foods and find it difficult to feel satiated, generating a food compulsion, which makes the weight loss process difficult”, she explains.

7. Control Anxiety: Sabrina explains that controlling anxiety is critical. “Because in anxiety crises we look for caloric foods and we have binge eating attacks – which impairs our food reeducation process. And often these attacks become constant causing the person to give up,” she highlights.

8. Eat every 3 hours: This is extremely important, according to Sabrina, for several reasons. “In addition to keeping energy levels high, increasing metabolism, decreasing fat storage, it also helps control hunger during the day. Because when we go many hours without eating and we feel hungry, it is a sign that our body needs energy, so the only thing that matters is eating, we are not going to worry about the quality of the food we are consuming. With this, we end up consuming an amount of extra energy without realizing it. The ideal is not to feel hungry,” she highlights.

9. Eat slowly: it is important to eat slowly, according to the nutritionist, because the digestion process starts in the mouth. “Through chewing we break food into smaller particles and saliva starts the process of digestion of some nutrients. When we eat slowly, our body stimulates the production of hormones that give satiety and reduces the production of hunger hormones. In addition, eating slowly prevents gastrointestinal problems such as heartburn, burning, gas, abdominal pain, etc.”, she points out.

10. Swap sweets for healthy options: Sabrina points out that when the urge to eat sweets hits, the ideal is to look for sweeter fruits or semi-sweet chocolates in small amounts. “However, a person with a balanced diet hardly arouses the desire to eat sweets. Even because eating sweets is a vicious cycle: the more sweets you consume, the more you want to consume them,” she explains.

11. Drink water: if you eat every 3 hours but still get hungry, drink water! That’s because the signal of thirst is the same as hunger – which could be confusing you.

12. Eat in smaller plates: it seems strange, but the guideline is to eat in a smaller, red plate. That’s because the color is associated with warning signs and the direction of stopping at a traffic light. As a result, people tend to eat less.

13. Do exercises and other things you like: don’t have food as the only source of pleasure in your routine. Exercise daily, in addition to other activities you enjoy. For example, how about going out and talking on a walk with your friends?!

What about coffee, can it help with hunger?

Many people comment that they drink a cup of coffee to stave off hunger, whether in the morning or in the afternoon. But is this custom justified? Is coffee really a healthy way to beat hunger? The matter generates controversy.

Sabrina points out that some studies say that drinking coffee releases some endorphins in the body, increasing the feeling of satiety and, therefore, ends up cheating hunger. “However, because coffee is rich in caffeine, it can alter the motility of the gastrointestinal transit, causing future problems such as gastritis. So, from my point of view, it is good to avoid drinking coffee for this situation,” she explains.

For this and other reasons, the ideal is always to have the guidance of a nutritionist. The professional will provide you with a complete menu tailored to your needs and preferences, as well as important tips to overcome moments of hunger throughout the day (if they arise).

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. They do not replace the advice and follow-up of doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, physical education professionals and other specialists.

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