Question: What can I do when I find myself hungry between meals?
Answer: A large part of long-term lifestyle changes is knowing and recognizing head hunger. When you feel or think of the need to eat, just for the pleasure of eating, remind yourself that you eat for nutritional purposes. Both starvation and overeating lead to unhealthy cycles and are one of the major causes of extra eating between meals. When head hunger does hit you, or if you just find yourself hungry between meals, here are some ways you can handle the hunger.
1.) Do not skip important meals; breakfast being the most important. It turns your metabolism on. When you skip breakfast you are asking your body to function without an energy supply.
2.) Have a protein-based snack. Eat adequate amounts of protein-rich foods. Protein helps eliminate hunger sensations because it leaves you with a feeling of fullness longer. It prevents wide fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Remember, snacking is different than grazing! Schedule your snacks and make them a matter of habit. If you miss your scheduled snack time, wait until your next meal to eat.
3.) Drink a small glass of vegetable, tomato, or carrot juice. These juices are high in vitamins and minerals your body needs.
4.) Plan an alternative activity to combat snacking. Exercise is a great way to curb the hunger, move around and increase your health. Go swimming, roller-skating, bike riding. Play some baseball or softball, basketball or tennis. Your television can be a valuable resource for those who prefer private exercising. There are some great low-impact video exercise programs available.
5.) Get out of the kitchen and go for a walk. If you find yourself migrating towards your kitchen, instead of looking for the food, throw on some comfortable shoes and go for a walk or bike ride instead. When it comes to being nervous, upset, or bored, remember that food is not the answer.
6.) Increase your daily water consumption. Some patients are surprised to find that their head hunger and cravings are solved by simply upping their water intake.
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