As we come in to Spring, you may have noticed the pants have tightened over the tough Winter months.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
The Winter months often bring with it a few extra kilos to the scales, namely due to nights snuggled up in front of the telly watching Netflix & chowing down on some of Domino’s finest traditional range pizza.
Did I also mention the amount of exercise you’ve decided to pass up lately as you smashed that snooze button in order to get your 8-hours of sleep?
“Winter is coming”…… but in your case, it is now gone….
That means it’s time to start the mad rush before Summer to get that ‘Russell Crowe Gladiator’ figure back…… or at least the top end Dad-bod range.
For you ladies, maybe Helle Berry in Swordfish can be your motivation.
So…. where do you start?
Well, given your consumption of energy (this means food) has been well above what it should be, mimicking that of a bear prior to a 3-year hibernation, there’s a good chance cutting back on the calories isn’t going to work that well; unless you have Jedi mind tricks and can fight off intense bouts of hunger (or you're on the latest appetite suppresent conveniently purchased at 2am Sunday morning watching late night infomercials).
The best place to start is to try and get those hunger signals under control…..without devouring 6 Krispy Creams at every gas fill up.... did anyone say sugar cravings?
The trick is to find ways of dealing with the hunger without consuming ridiculous amounts of calories, as overeating is probably what got you into this state in the first place.
Here’s a number of simple strategies you can implement in order to blunt hunger and give yourself the best shot at throwing a proverbial lasso around those cravings.
1. Black Coffee
Black Coffee is great at suppressing the appetite with little to no calories consumed.
Coffee also has the added effect of increased energy…. just what you need as you get back into some form of exercise.
Pro Tip: If black coffee isn’t your thing, ask the barista for a long black with a dash of milk
2. Raw Vegetables
Snacking on raw vegetables (such as carrots or celery) in between your main meals is a great way at keeping the cravings at bay.
Raw vegetables are full of fibre which is an indigestible type of starch (meaning it will have your digestive system working in overtime) without all the additional calories.
If you’re feeling inspired like Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel, cut up your favourite types of raw vegetables and layer them in a jar to keep fresh (don’t forget to that instagram worthy photo before you devour).
It’s no secret that high protein diets tend to work best for weight loss. Reason being, protein is extremely satiating which means it keeps you full a lot longer than its carbohydrate & fat counterpart.
Protein is metabolically taxing on the body. This means our digestive system needs to utilise a lot of energy do digest this type of food, often as much as 25% of total consumption.
In layman’s terms, this means for every 100-calories of protein we consume, 25 calories will be burnt by the body just to process that food through the digestive tract.
What foods contain high levels of protein?
Think eggs, meats, seafood and protein shakes.
Pro Tip: Throw on the 1970s classic starring Arnold Schwarzenegger ‘Pumping Iron’ to give your protein cravings a boost.
Simple, yet often overlooked. Including a regular intake of water in your day can more often than not dramatically reduce your feeling of hunger.
Quite often we mistake dehydration for hunger so keeping a bottle ready can often be a smart move. Aim for a minimum of 2-3L of water per day, but again listen top your body.
5. Get Busy
Take a look back at your day & think of the times you tend to get hungry the most.
Often, it will be around those times when you’re not overly busy. For most people this is the afternoon at work when we’ve taken the foot off the accelerator a little & started thinking about wrapping things up for the day.
Try and fill these spaces with productivity to keep the mind from drifting into food fantasy. I know what you’re thinking, downtime is my time to relax and switch off. That’s a fair point so here’s an alternative strategy for those not willing to fill downtime with productive activities.
Clear out the crap in the pantry (I don’t mean eat it either). Get rid of anything processed.
This is your biscuits, crackers, chocolate etc. Replace with whole foods like fruit, vegetables, meats, eggs, nuts & seeds & anything else that doesn’t come with more than 3-ingredients on the food label.
Life is much simpler when you don't have temptations.
So what are you waiting for?
Summer won’t wait for you so let's make a start at getting back into shape so we can dust off those slim fit suits and wear them with pride.
How are you going to control your hunger? I want to know....