Counting calories is tedious, stressful, and restrictive. It also misses the point, 300 calories from a small bag of M&M’s is very different 300 calories of fruits and vegetables. It’s not the calories that matter, it’s the nutrients in the food. M&M’s have zero nutritional value, so even if you eat 1,000 calories, your body will still be missing important vitamins and minerals, which leads to cravings and overeating. Basically, your brain is saying “Keep eating! We’re still deficient!”
There are better ways to lose weight, let’s take a look at what they are.
Get enough sleep
You may have noticed when you’re sleep deprived, the urge to snack increases. That’s because sleep deprivation increases your appetite. Personally, I’ve drowsed my way through an entire bag of potato chips, when what I should have done was just taken a nap. Eating more is your body’s way of coping with a lack of sleep.
Reduce processed sugars
A piece of fruit contains sugars, but it also contains minerals and vitamins. That’s why it is very different from eating candy and processed snacks. These types of “faux-foods” have no nutrients and leave you feeling hungrier. So, you eat more.
Eat more protein to stay full
Proteins are harder for your body to digest and thus, stay in your stomach and small intestine for a longer amount of time, which creates the sensation of being full for a longer amount of time. Also, make sure the proteins you’re consuming come from real things like eggs and meat, not a protein bar.
Exercise portion control with smaller bowls
Beware of the big plate. If you’re in the habit of eating everything on your plate, trick your brain by using smaller bowls and plates. You’ll still be finishing all your food, you’ll just be eating less of it!
Fiber, though unsatisfying, will fill you up. This type of complex carbohydrate is not digestible by the human body. Still, it plays an important role in stimulating absorption and binding together waste in your colon.
Add Fat to your fiber
Since fiber is so unsatisfying by itself, eat it with some fat, like some sliced avocado or cheese. The fat signals your brain to stop sending hunger signals and you’ll feel satiated. Make sure that you don’t use fat-free products because they substitute sugar for fat.
Drink water and stay hydrated
Sometimes, you’re just dehydrated, but you think you feel hungry. I don’t know why, but brains are weird like that. If you’re starting to feel a case of the munchies comin’ on, drink a glass of water, wait 20 minutes and reevaluate.