When you are trying to lose weight, the goal is to create a calorie deficit by either exercising more or eating less, or by doing both simultaneously. Obviously, doing both simultaneously is optimal, however, there is only so much time in a day and if you are already exercising, you may not be able to fit in any more time in the gym.
Decreasing calorie intake can often leave you feeling hungry which in turn adds to the chances of you increasing portions, snacking or binge eating; none of which are conducive to successful weight loss. To help you reduce calories while keeping the hunger monster at bay, we have come up with 6 simple-to-use tips.
1. Consume Protein With Every Meal
According to numerous studies, consuming a portion of protein with your meal has been shown to increase feelings of fullness more than both protein and fat. In fact, a 2012 study found that individuals who ate protein with every meal of the day consumed significantly fewer calories per day than those who only consumed protein once or twice per day. The study also showed that the subject’s feeling of satiety extended for hours after eating.
Because the aim is to keep calories low, good protein sources include fish, skinless chicken breasts, ostrich and turkey.
2. Half Your Plate Should Be Vegetables
Vegetables are a great way to fill up. Not only are they low in calories, meaning you can really eat a mound of them, but they are also high in fibre. Fibre not only aids digestion but it also keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
This may seem rather obvious, but according to studies, the amount of food you consume is a factor in feeling full. In one study, subjects were given the same amount of pasta but with differing amounts of vegetables. What the researchers found was that participants ate the same amount of food regardless of how many vegetables they received; meaning those who ate the highest proportion of veg actually ate the least calories.
To apply this to your diet, try decreasing the amount of other foods you consume and instead fill up your plate with non-starchy vegetables.
3. Drink Water 10 Minutes Before Your Meal
By consuming a glass or two of water roughly 10 minutes before you eat, you will reduce the amount of food, and therefore calories, you consume. Having water before your meal helps to fill you up. According to research, people who drank approximately 500ml of water before they ate breakfast reduced their food intake by roughly 13% versus individuals who did not drink anything before eating.
4. Add Chillies To Your Food
According to studies, adding chillies to your food may help you to eat less. The reason for this is that hot peppers contain an active ingredient called capsaicin which not only works to increase thermogenesis but also helps to reduce appetite and cravings.
In one study, test subjects were given spicy red peppers as part of an appetizer. What the researchers found was that these subjects ate 190 fewer calories during the subsequent meal than the subjects who did not receive the spicy peppers.
A great alternative to chilli is ginger. A study performed on 10 overweight men found that subjects felt less hungry after consuming ginger tea with breakfast than when they did not consume the tea. So if you don’t enjoy spicy food, then ginger is for you.
5. Eat More Fibre
As mentioned, fibre is well known for enhancing the feeling of fullness. The best option here is soluble fibre which can be found in foods like oatmeal, beans and fibrous fruits like pears.
The reason that soluble fibre helps you to feel full is that it holds onto water, thereby giving it bulk. When fibre is mixed with water in the digestive tract it forms a thick gel which helps to slow digestion.
There you have it, 5 simple ways to help you reduce calorie intake without going hungry.