Lowering your caloric intake is often part of losing weight, but it can leave you hungry and unsatisfied. The key to staying on track with your diet and weight loss is to eat foods that leave you feeling full without going over your daily calorie target. In some cases, controlling hunger comes down to learning when you are actually hungry versus when you're bored or eating out of habit. Controlling your hunger makes it easier to continue your weight-loss long term.
Track your food consumption to identify the times when you tend to get hungry the most. Look for triggers that cause you to overeat or consume a lot of calories, such as long gaps between eating. Focus on correcting those problems to keep your hunger under control.
Eat a nutritious breakfast with protein, dairy or whole grains to satisfy your hunger as soon as you wake up. Breakfast helps you avoid snacking to fend off hunger later in the morning, when you might make less-healthy snacking choices.
Fill half of your lunch and dinner plates with vegetables to help you get full while limiting your calories. Cut back on your meat portions, MayoClinic.com suggests.
Plan nutritious snacks between your meals that will fill you up without packing lots of calories. Ideas include fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans or low-fat dairy foods. Eating snacks between meals keeps your hunger from overwhelming you and causing you to binge.
Portion out your snacks and meals head of time instead of eating directly out of the package. This decreases the chances of overeating.
Eat all meals and snacks slowly while focusing on your hunger. Stop eating when you begin feeling satisfied even if you aren't finished with your food.
Eat more fiber and protein during the day because of their hunger-satisfying qualities. These foods keep you feeling full for longer so you are less likely to snack shortly after eating.
Drink water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated and feeling full. Avoid beverages with lots of calories that will take away from your daily calorie limit.
Before you eat, stop to decide if you are actually hungry. Try drinking a glass of water and waiting a few minutes before eating to make sure you truly need the food.
Consult your doctor before beginning any new weight-loss regimen.