4 Key Strategies for Killing Food Cravings
Guest Author Chad Tackett, CPT
Founder of Fast Track to Fat Loss
When you're constantly hungry, it makes choosing the right foods at the right times really challenging.
Staying full and energized while eating fewer calories—that’s the secret to long-term fat loss success.
Here are 4 key strategies for feeling satisfied after a healthy meal and staying full longer. You'll not only have a lot more energy, you'll crave (and eat) less later. . .
1. Eat your water. Yes, eat. Drinking water is great, and you should throughout the day, but it doesn't provide the same level of feeling satisfied as when you eat foods high in water.
There is a separate mechanism in the brain that controls hunger and thirst. If the food you eat contains water, it will stay in the stomach longer while it's being digested.
PLUS, foods high in water are naturally very low in calories – making them ideal for fat loss.
Many fruits and vegetables contain 90 – 98 percent water! The following are some of the most hydrating foods. . .
– Watermelon contains 92% water and electrolytes, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium – all of which (positively) influence your metabolism!
– Grapefruit contains only 30 calories and is comprised of 90% water!
– Cucumbers are 96% water and contain just 14 calories in an entire cup!
– Cantaloupe is 89% water and contains only 27 calories per 1/2 cup!
– Strawberries contain just 23 calories per 1/2 cup and are made up of approximately 92% water. Plus, strawberries rank as the 4th strongest antioxidant-rich fruit!
– Broccoli contains 90% water and anti-cancer nutrients that help to detoxify the vast number of potential toxins that we encounter each day. Plus, it's a great source of fiber!
You may have noticed that these water-dense foods are all carbs. Because they’re natural (and not processed), I’d suggest the portion being about the size of your fist. So, a small grapefruit or a cup of sliced strawberries, for example, would work well.
2. Fill up on fiber. Fiber is critical to fat loss in several ways: first, fiber contains only 1.5 to 2.5 calories per gram, while other carbs contain 4 calories per gram (fat contains 9 calories per gram). Essentially, you can pile your plate with plenty of high-fiber foods without worrying about caloric-overload.
In addition to being low-calorie, high-fiber foods are more filling. Fiber is absorbed by our bodies more slowly than other foods, which means we feel full longer.
Foods high in fiber are fruits and vegetables, beans, lentils, legumes, and natural whole grains. Aim for at least 25-35 grams each day to help reduce your caloric intake and keep you feeling full and energized longer.
3. Include protein at every meal. A meal with carbs alone causes blood sugar spikes and crashes, which leave you feeling tired, hungry, and weak. Protein helps slow this from happening, so that the carbs you eat aren’t converted to body fat, and allows for energy to be released slowly.
Great protein sources are grass-fed meats, fish, dairy, legumes, and fermented soy products.
Your choice of protein should be approximately the size of your palm. For example, a medium-sized chicken breast.
4. Don't leave out healthy fat. Since fat is so calorie-dense, it's important that you eat it in moderation . . . BUT in small amounts, it provides flavor and has a positive impact on slowing insulin response, like protein.
My favorite healthy fat source are nuts and seeds because they are also a great source of protein and fiber. Other excellent fat sources are avocados, olives, and fatty fish (e.g., salmon).
The fat source you choose should be about the size of your thumb. This is about 5 almonds for the average-sized woman or 7 almonds for the average man.
Putting this into Action
Now that you know which foods keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout the day, here are some great ideas that combine them all together for one super fat-burning snack or meal:
1. Stir in a little almond butter (healthy fat) and protein powder (protein) into oatmeal (fiber), topped with strawberries (water).
2. Dip cucumbers (water) in hummus (fiber and healthy fat) and cottage cheese (protein).
3. Marinate broccoli (water and fiber) and boneless, skinless chicken breast (protein) in a little olive oil (healthy fat) and balsamic vinegar and wrap it in aluminum foil on the BBQ.
4. A bowl of Greek yogurt (protein) with pieces of watermelon (water), topped with flaxseeds (fiber and healthy fat).
These meals will make you FEEL completely different.
Your mood and energy will stabilize. You won't have that gnawing, dissatisfied feeling anymore.
You'll feel a lot more self-control when it comes to what you eat and when you eat it.
It teaches you 5 foods that have a particularly craving-killing effect, and how you should OVEREAT these foods to get a new level of freedom from cravings.