Are you just super bored or is it actually time to chow down?
When 3 o’clock rolls around are you guilty of shoving everything in your mouth you can find? Going there doesn’t serve you any favors, especially since hunger pangs lead to weight gain. Here are 5 tricks to stop hunger pangs dead in their tracks.
What Causes Hunger Pangs?
Hunger pangs are caused when your stomach muscles contract as a result of being empty. During this time, you may feel an overwhelming sensation to eat. This is due to the hormone ghrelin being released, which tells your brain that it’s time to eat. Despite the name, these pangs don’t necessarily indicate a true need to eat.
How Can I Stop Hunger Pangs Dead in Their Tracks?
It’s important to recognize the difference between actually being hungry and snacking due to boredom. Here are 5 tricks to stop hunger pangs dead in their tracks.
#1: Eat Before You’re Extremely Hungry
Learn to identify whether you’re slightly, mildly or extremely hungry and size your meals according to your appetite. The bottom line: don’t wait until you’re extremely hungry because that’s when you’ll make poor decisions, potentially devouring everything in your path on your way to curb your hunger pangs.
According to experts, regular exercise helps suppress your appetite. So, if you want to control your hunger pangs, add regular sweat seshes to your weekly routine.
#3: Eat Mindfully
Your brain is primed to know whether you’re hungry or not. However, eating too quickly or consuming food when you’re distracted makes it extremely difficult for your brain to recognize the appropriate signals.
To solve this problem, eliminate distractions—TV, typing, talking on the phone, etc.—and focus on the food in front of you. This is a key component of mindful eating.
#4: Drink Coffee
Drinking coffee may reduce hunger for up to 3 hours, so fill up! Research shows that drinking coffee increases the release of peptide YY (PYY), which promotes the feeling of fullness.
#5: If You’re Going to Indulge, Indulge in Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate helps diminish cravings leading to appetite suppression. Why? The stearic acid found in dark chocolate helps slow digestion which promotes the feeling of fullness. Funny enough, research suggests that the simple act of smelling dark chocolate helps produce the same effect. Eat or smell—the choice is yours!
Hunger should not be ignored. The 5 tips mentioned in this article are simple ways to reduce hunger pangs between meals. If you’ve tried some of these tips and still find that you’re famished, you may consider speaking with a healthcare professional.
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