One of the biggest challenges when losing weight is beating hunger pangs. And, when cravings strike, it’s likely you’ll ditch your diet intentions.
The problem, says nutritionist Dr Carina Norris, is that we’re designed to satisfy our hunger. ‘We’re wired to shovel in as much as possible as a reserve against lean times,’ she adds.
‘The trick is to find ways to keep it under control by choosing foods that make you feel fuller for longer.’ The plan below will help you control your hunger and could see you lose 5lb in a fortnight!
1. Eat more fibre
All fruit and veg are high fibre foods, but juicing strips it out. Smoothies keep it in, so they’re a great way to up your quota.
2. Add protein
It helps keep blood sugar steady, so you avoid spikes and falls that leave you hungry. Start the day with a poached egg or lean bacon and add beans and lentils to stews, pasta sauces and shepherd’s pie.
3. Go slow
It can take your stomach half an hour to register you’re full once you’ve eaten. If you make time to eat a meal at a table with someone else, you’ll be eating more slowly and are likely to eat less. And give it half an hour before dessert- you might not really need it.
4. Bulk up meals
High-volume foods will fill you up quickly. Popcorn is great for this 10g popped is just 55 cals.
5. Switch your sugar
Naturally occurring sugar called oligofructose could help zap the effects of hunger hormones, because it can’t be processed by digestive enzymes. In research, people given a 8g daily dose of oligofructose ate 10 per cent fewer cals.
6. Smart snacks
- A hard-boiled egg served with two oatcakes, lightly spread with low-fat cream cheese.
- A handful of soya nuts (roasted soya beans) and six cherry tomatoes.
- A lean chicken and salad sandwich, made with a single slice of wholemeal bread.
- An apple served with a handful of almonds.
- Plain yogurt with sliced strawberries and a sprinkle of linseeds.
- A smoothie made with yogurt, frozen berries and almond milk.
- A bowl of veggie sticks served with a tablespoon of low-fat yogurt dip.
Your easy-eating meal plan
Breakfast: A pot of fat-free Greek yogurt, with a handful of berries – strawberries or blueberries are always a good option – and one tablespoon ofnuts and seeds.
Lunch: Tuscan bean lentil soup, served with an unbuttered crusty wholemeal roll.
Dinner: Low-fat chicken and mushroom risotto with steamed broccoli, large leafy salad.
Breakfast: A slice of wholemeal toast with three tablespoons of baked beans and sauteed mushrooms.
Lunch: Wholemeal pasta salad, with tuna or salmon, cherry tomatoes and black olives.
Dinner: Lentil and vegetable curry with three tablespoons of brown rice (cooked) and a tomato and cucumber salad.
Breakfast: Porridge made with skimmed milk, with one teaspoon of nut butter stirred in.
Lunch: A wholemeal pitta bread stuffed with roasted red peppers, feta cheese and basil leaves, served with a large mixed salad.
Dinner: A bowl of vegetable chilli with spicy skin-on potato wedges, or brown rice and a large mixed salad.
Breakfast: Banana smoothie with almond milk and a handful of berries.
Lunch: Kale salad with chicken breast and half an avocado.
Dinner: Baked chicken breast with steamed green veg.
Breakfast: Toast with eggs and spinach.
Lunch: Smoked mackerel with salad leaves and two oatcakes.
Dinner: Salmon fillet with stir-fried mixed veg and brown rice.
Breakfast: Rye toast with almond butter and banana.
Lunch: Baked sweet potato with cottage cheese and baked beans.
Dinner: Steak (fat trimmed) with steamed veg and sweet potato mash.
Breakfast: Two scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and half an avocado.
Lunch: Chunky vegetable soup with one slice of rye toast unbuttered.
Dinner: Baked trout with new potatoes and salad.