The longer you’re on a diet, the more likely you are to see success in the form of fat loss. At the same time, it’s also harder to remain faithful to that diet the longer you’re on it.
Has anyone else experienced this paradox?
I think there are a couple factors working against you when you’re on a long-term diet:
- You start out fired up and motivated until program fatigue sets in around the 4-6 week mark, when sloppiness becomes the norm as your motivation dwindles.
- A lot of people experience a fat loss plateau about 6 weeks in that causes them to freak out and question everything, or even throw in the towel prematurely.
Before you let program fatigue or a temporary plateau derail your progress, you need to understand why you’re struggling at this point in your fat loss program.
As your weight drops and you recalculate your macros, your caloric intake will drop, making those rest days where you have fewer calories difficult to manage.
Not to mention, you’re still giving max effort at the gym on a lower calorie budget.
Getting over this initial speed bump in your fat loss program is tough because you’re just…
So. Damn. Hungry.
Keeping your hunger in check is a key to success with cuts like Hack Your Fitness.
To help you endure until the end and manage those cravings past the finish line, here are the top 5 hunger hacks for a fat loss program.
Hack #1: Protein Priority
The beautiful thing about protein is that you feel satiated after eating it.
A high protein diet reduces your overall appetite because protein makes you feel fuller for longer, especially compared to carbs, which provide a quick fix and then burn off.
Another rule tied into this hack is: Always chew your calories.
A protein shake isn’t going to quell your hunger the same way two chicken breasts will.
Hack #2: Drink Lots of Water
This one seems obvious, but I’m talking about way more water than you’re probably drinking.
I drink water first thing when I wake up and last thing before I go to sleep. All told, I probably drink about a gallon of water a day because it really makes a difference.
If your stomach is growling, pound a couple glasses of water. I promise, it will help.
Hack #3: Black Coffee, Sparkling Water, or Sugar-Free Gum
There are ways to deal with hunger while keeping your body in a fasted state.
If you’re struggling during the morning to finish off your 16-hour fast, Martin Berkhan argues that you can have 10-15 calories and not move out of the fasted state.
Black coffee, sparkling water, and sugar-free gum are a few zero calorie options that can blunt your appetite and help you survive until lunch.
I drink black coffee like an addict to wake myself up and curb my hunger.
Hack #4: Eat Slowly
When you’re hungry, it can be easy to eat like an inmate getting out of prison.
My wife and I are guilty of this, as we hold the record for fastest “date night” on record – 27 minutes from the time we sat down to when we signed the check.
(In our defense, the food was amazing.)
The problem is that eating quickly can easily lead to overeating. Your brain lags behind in alerting you to how full you are, so before you know it, you’ve stuffed yourself.
Chew your foods slowly and you’ll be satisfied long before you finish your meal.
Hack #5: Brush Your Teeth After Each Meal
Ever have the “munchies” after a huge meal and wonder why the hell you’re still hungry?
It all comes back to mindless eating and the invisible scripts we follow in our diet.
For example, I have a sweet tooth, so the invisible script I used to follow was that every meal felt incomplete unless I had something sweet to finish it off.
The solution I found was to brush my teeth right after I finished eating.
The sweet taste of fluoride on my tongue discouraged me from doubling back to the snack drawer, plus I eliminated the pain in the ass of having to brush my teeth before bed.