5 Ways to Stop Feeling Ravenously Hungry All the Time

If you’re trying to lose weight, you might have had to scale back on your portions. And portion control, especially at first, can be a nightmare. It’s time to focus on what and when you’re eating so you never have to feel hungry again. Follow these five tips to conquer hunger pangs so you can stay on track and achieve your weight-loss goals.

1. Eat breakfast

a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and strawberries

Breakfast will help keep you full until lunch. | iStock.com

A satisfying breakfast is probably the easiest way to curb hunger. Unlike your other meals, breakfast comes after you’ve been sleeping for six to eight hours. Skipping it leaves your body depleted and hungry, and your body’s first reaction to running on empty is typically to find sugar.

Breakfast provides energy for the activities during the morning and helps prevent that mid-morning slump. It’s also proven to aid with weight loss. “Research suggests that breakfast eaters are leaner than those who skip the morning meal, with one study reporting that missing breakfast was associated with a fourfold increase in the risk of obesity,” states Harvard Health Publications.

Although you’ve got to choose what works for your body, generally speaking, your healthiest breakfast contains fiber, protein, and not a lot of added sugar. Whole grains, fruit, and protein from nuts or eggs are all good breakfast choices.

2. Divide and portion

Cashews, almonds, pecans

Make sure you know what a portion size looks like. | iStock.com

Chances are you were raised to finish your whole meal, no matter the size, and that mentality has most likely stuck with you. Be aware of how much you’re actually eating, though. The best way to lose weight without constantly feeling hungry is to portion your snacks throughout the day.

One study found that participants who were given 24 individually wrapped cookies ate them in an average of 24 days, while those who received a box of 24 — minus the partitions — polished them off in just six days, according to the Journal of Marketing Research.

Those 100-calorie packs can be great, unless you’re constantly eating more than one. A better approach: Prepare your portioned snacks at home. Try switching up different types and colors of containers, and take only a day’s worth of snacks to work with you.

3. Season and spice

spices

Spices should be your best friend when you’re cooking. | Thinkstock

When you’re first changing up your diet, there’s a good chance your taste buds will be longing for the sugar and salt found in processed foods. Now that you’re using more whole foods and cooking your own meals, make an effort to prepare the tastiest dishes possible by using some new spices.

A little zest may be all it takes to lose weight without constant cravings. People who added flavorings to their food shed an average of 30.5 pounds, or nearly 15% of their body weight, after just six months, according to a study from the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago.

Whether you’re just not used to a more bland diet or you’re making a significant cut in the amount of food you eat, more flavor guarantees a happier you.

4. Think slim

Fruit and Vegetables, carrots, peas

Think of what the “healthier” you would eat. | iStock.com

To curb afternoon hunger pangs, try thinking back to what your last meal was. One study found that when participants were asked to recall their last meal before doing a taste test, they ate about one-third fewer cookies than those who were asked about their morning commute. It may have been a small sample size, but it also makes some sense.

You’ll also have to adjust your mindset when you’re out shopping. Just because food is all-natural doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Even if a cookie is made with organic cane juice, it’s still a cookie — a treat to be eaten in moderation. Approach your food shopping with the mindset of “slim you,” and buy what you think a healthier you should be eating.

Those all-natural treats still have sugar, which will leave you hungry and craving more. Make sure to stock up on foods that will fill you up.

5. Change what’s available

Healthy Foods

Keep healthy options readily available. | iStock.com

Clean out your cupboard and fridge, and then restock them with healthier foods like almonds, fruits and vegetables, and fish. Do the same at work. Having good-for-you foods within reach means you won’t be binging on sugar and bad fats during the day. You’ll be filling up on healthier options and eliminating junk food cravings at the same time.