Does dieting have to suck? Is there an easier diet that you can stick to?
“It’s three O’clock in the morning and I’m so hungry I can’t sleep. I am rummaging through the refrigerator looking for something to eat. Anything. There’s some carrots right by the milk. Carrots are on my list of approved diet foods foods… Ah, forget it. I’m starving and I need REAL food.
OH!!! Look at that. There is some chocolate cake. Beautiful, beautiful chocolate cake. Yum, with chocolate frosting, too. Now that’s a snack I can get behind. Some of that and a glass a milk and my hunger will be gone. And I’ll sleep like a baby.”
We can all identify with that scenario. Everyone who has ever been on a diet know what it’s like hungry and restless. We feel so deprived we can’t resist the pull of the nearest drive through, or the donut that’s been sitting there in company kitchen all morning. The hunger persists and the temptations abound. Finally, we get so ravenous, we give in and eat everything in sight.
And, what happens when we break our diet? We feel bad and we blame it on our own lack of self control. We call ourselves weak and beat our selves up for not having the discipline to stick to our diet.
Your Diet Strategy Is Causing You To Fail
The fact is that the way we diet is often the reason for our failure. It’s not that we aren’t getting enough food. Unless we are completely jumping off a cliff with our diet, there’s a good chance that we are getting more than enough food.
The problem is that we follow bad diet advice and we do things that leads us to feel starved. But, hunger can be easily thwarted with a few simple tricks.
Here are the strategies that will it easier to stick to your diet:
- Eat every 3 hours– Some people think that eating frequently throughout the day actually helps increase your metabolism. There really isn’t any evidence to support this, but it does provide us a real advantage when dieting. Eating approximately every 3 hours smooths out the ups and downs of hunger by allowing you to be in a almost constantly fed state.
Eating larger, less frequent meals causes a greater up and down pattern. Between meals, you get very hungry during this down period. However, when you eat more frequently, your body develops a new rhythm and gets used to your new eating habits. It realizes that more food is coming soon, because it has adjusted to the predictability of being in a regularly fed state.
- Get Some Fats To Feel Happy– One challenge with high-carb, low-fat diets is the intense feelings of hunger you get in between meals. That’s because most high-carb foods are relatively low on the satiety index, which is a measure of how satisfied a person feels after they eat a particular food. Yet, when fats are introduced into a meal, people tend to report feeling more satisfied.
The key with eating fats, though, is to monitor how many calories come from fats in your diet. Fats tend to be high in calories, and over doing it can cause problems. Moderate amounts of fats like olive oil, coconut oil, and avacods are wonderful additions to meals. One easy way to add these to your diet is use salad dressings that have these as a main ingredient.
- Eat some potatoes to feel satisfied – I know I said high-carb meals can make you feel less full, and now I am telling you to eat potatoes??? I know it’s a contradiction, but, I have a really good reason for putting potatoes on our list of good foods. Potatoes score very high on the satiety index. In fact, they measure over 300%, which makes them even more satisfying than a steak.
Again, calories are important, so keep away from french fries or other fried potatoes. I encourage you to eat them baked, broiled, or boiled and without sour cream and butter. However, feel free to add a bit of low fat sour cream to add some additional flavor.
- Protein is your filling friend– Numerous studies show that people feel more full after eating protein. This fullness effect is one of the reasons that many people are able to stick to a high-protein diet for a long time.
To make your diet easier, it is best to get some protein with every meal, including snacks. This will not only help you feel well fed, it will also help manage carb induced insulin spikes by slowing the absorption rate. Ultimately, this can be very helpful in encouraging the body to burn more fat.
One thing I would say, look for lean cuts of meat or fish. Chicken, pork tenderloin, turkey, and lean ground beef are all excellent choices.
- Think density, if your destiny is to be thin– Feeling full is often a matter of choosing the right foods. For example, let’s take 1 cracker and compare that to a half a cup of broccoli. They have roughly the same number of calories (27 for the broccoli and 26 for a single saltine cracker).
However, look at the portion sizes. Which is bigger, that saltine cracker or a full half a cup of broccoli?. Which do you think is more filling? It should be pretty obvious that you can eat a larger volume of broccoli than you can crackers, while getting an equal number of calories.
This the trick to feeling full. Reach for foods that have volume, but not calories. Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and many other vegetables fit the bill.
On the flip side, stay away from foods that are calorie dense, but have relatively little volume. Crackers, cookies, and breads fit this category.
- Water on the brain– Often we misread dehydration as hunger, and reach for food when our body really wants water. This effect is even more exacerbated on a lower calorie diet, so it is best to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Lack of water can also negatively impact our diet because it impacts our metabolism. Even moderate amounts of dehydration can slow your metabolism, exactly what we want to avoid. To stay well hydrated drink a minimum of 8 eight ounce glasses of water every day.
- Avoid Sugar Spikes– Eating high and moderate sugar foods can cause and endless cycle of hunger. That’s because you these foods cause a quick boost in blood sugar, but then your body responds by quickly shuttling the sugars out of your blood stream and into either your muscles – or into your fat cells.
Once this happens you go from a state of having high blood sugar to having low blood sugar. This causes cravings, because you want to restore you blood sugar levels. This is what makes you reach for a sugary snack and repeat the cycle all over again.
To avoid this problem, keep away from the usual culprits like candy, cakes, and other sweets. Foods like fruit juices, crackers, white breads and even pretzels can also have this effect, especially among those people who are very carb sensitive. I know these foods are often thought of as healthy, but they are high glycemic index foods and can cause the type of sugar spike that will make you reach for a snickers bar 90 minutes after eating.
- L-Glutamine– You just might have an addiction to sugar and not even know it. For many people, not eating sugar is like giving up crack cocaine, they go through withdrawals when they don’t get their sugar fix. That’s why some people can’t help but tear apart their kitchen looking for the Oreo cookies their kids hid from them
But, there is a way to reduce this problem. It’s called L-Gutamine. L-Glutamine is an amino acid and a building block of protein, and a common supplement used by body builders to improve their ability to recover after a workout. However, that’s not the reason why we want to take it.
The reason this little supplement makes our list is because it is proven to significantly reduce sugar cravings. And, no matter how big your issue with sugar, almost everyone can use some help managing our cravings.
You can get L-Glutamine in the form of a pill or powder. Either will work. Just follow the directions outlined on the bottle and you should be free from sugar cravings in no time.
So, there you have it, 8 tips for making it easy to stick to your diet. Follow them and you will notice a completely different attitude towards your diet. You won’t feel deprived or hungry anymore. Instead, you’ll be full and happy, and on the way to a much thinner you.