Those first few weeks of a diet are so crucial. There are those moments when no one is looking, you feel so tempted to grab a snack before mealtime or think to yourself, “Just one cup of ice cream won’t hurt.” Everyone can start a diet, and most people can hang on for several days, but as you go longer into your diet, that’s where the real results are.
When you go on a diet, you’re essentially telling your body that things are going to be different. Your body is a machine that becomes accustomed to whatever you feed it. Change up the fuel suddenly, and it’s not going to like it. Everyone’s body needs time to adjust to new diets, and sometimes that can be a bit turbulent. Hunger pangs come on strongly, and changing habits is difficult. What do you do with your time when you no longer turn to food to fill a void or fight off boredom?
There are things you can do to fight off hunger while you’re dieting. These small life hacks can help you cross that bridge from a fad diet into the new normal you’re looking for where the weight starts to come off and you feel and look better than ever. Here are some things you can do to prevent and fight hunger while on a diet.
Go to Bed Early
We know that late-night snacking can be a major diet killer. When you eat late at night, your body doesn’t have time to burn the calories off. Instead, it gets processed into fats and will make you feel more lethargic when you wake up in the morning.
If you’re used to laying on the couch with a bag of chips before bed, move up your bedtime and get more sleep. Not only is more sleep a great way to shorten the window where you get to eat, but you’ll also feel better! With more sleep, you’ll be in a better mood, and it will be easier to fight off things like stress-eating.
Do your best to get a solid eight hours of sleep every night. Find a way, however, you can, to stop snacking late into the evening.
Try drinking a lot more water. People don’t realize how often they eat just because they’re feeling bored. When work is slow or we’re waiting for the next thing we have to do, it’s easy to fill the time with a granola bar or a piece of bread.
What you need to know is that your diet is made or broken in those moments. A few snacks can quickly add up to an entire extra meal that you’re eating over the course of the day.
Starting to make drinking water more of a habit. Instead of grabbing something to eat, reach for a water bottle instead. Do your best to drink around a gallon of water every day to fill your stomach and prevent you from snacking. What’s more, if you drink a lot during meal times, you’ll feel fuller faster and won’t be as inclined to overeat.
Peptides and Hunger
Melanotan 2, also called MT-2, is a research peptide that was originally developed at the University of Arizona in the 1980s. It was made as a sunless tanning option, but researchers quickly discovered that it had other benefits as well.
Researchers found that MT-2 fights against the melanocortin-4 receptor. This receptor plays an important role in food preferences. Mice given MT-2 showed significant reductions in how much food they ate and which foods they preferred.
MT-2 also has effects similar to leptin, often referred to as the satiety hormone. It can reduce cravings and lead to lower food intake.
Sugars and things like bread and other starchy carbs will make you feel hungry because they cause your glucose levels to spike which leads to cravings. When you eat a lot of sugar, you’re training your body to crave that high-energy, short-term benefit food. When the effects of sugar wear down quickly, your body will start telling you that it wants more! You’re going to see sweet food and other unhealthy snacks as a way to get that sugar high back.
This is a horrible cycle to put yourself in, so avoid eating foods high in sugar at all costs. Many nutritionists even recommend limiting the amount of fruit you eat if you’re trying to lose weight because it triggers that response from your body and can push you to overeat.
Success in dieting is all about putting the right conditions in place and protecting yourself from failure. You’ve got to build new habits and attitudes around food. Treats have to become the exception, not some everyday thing that you deserve at the end of a hard day. Stick to it. Once you start seeing some results, it will make it all worth it.