Welcome to day 8!
Now that we have covered the main Sleekgeek Nutrition Guidelines, I would like to give you some specific strategies to help you be more successful.
One of the most common challenges that people come across while trying to lose weight is feeling hungry all the time.
This is pretty understandable, as weight loss is generally caused by eating less energy or calories from food than we expend. In fact, even healthy weight maintenance can involve eating less food than we would ideally LIKE to eat, as we still need to apply moderation and make healthy choices in order to maintain a healthy weight.
Yeah, I’m sorry to break the news to you that you don’t just get to your goal weight and then go “COOL I’M DONE!” and then eat whatever you want.
But… with a few key strategies such as loading up on protein and veg with each meal, you will be able to eat a lot more food and feel more satisfied than if you skipped out on the protein and veg completely.
Personally, I find it pretty hard to get through the day and eat a moderate amount of food if I don’t load up on vegetables and eat a decent amount of protein with each meal.
I like to think of myself as a pretty good intuitive eater. As in, I have a good feel for how much of what foods I should be eating to achieve my goals. Sticking to foods like those on the Sleekgeek Food List and using the Healthy Meal Template plus Portion Control Guidelines to help guide my choices make this a lot easier to do.
However, I guarantee you that if I took almost all the veggies or protein out of my diet for 2-3 weeks and continued to eat intuitively, I would likely gain a significant amount of fat as my body compensates by making me eat more calories or burn less calories.
So why is it important to load up on protein and veg?
Well, the foods that you eat generally determine how full you feel. Some foods are more satiating than others, helping us to feel more satisfied while eating and also helping us to feel fuller for longer once we have finished eating. By eating more filling foods we need to eat less to feel full, and we can delay how soon we feel the need to eat again.
So, foods that tend to be the most filling can usually be identified to have one or more of the following characteristics:
1. They are high in protein. Studies have shown that protein is the most filling macronutrient compared to carbohydrates and fats. It also has a very beneficial impact on our hunger and satiety hormones, ghrelin and leptin. I won’t dive into the science of it all, but just know that including protein with each of your meals will go a long way to helping you with your health and fitness goals.
2. They are high in fiber. This is because fiber adds bulk to the food, helping us feel fuller and stay fuller for longer. Fiber also means we have to do a lot more chewing (which is a good thing for satiety) and it can also slow down digestion so that it takes longer for our stomach to empty and feel hungry again. Most vegetables are high in fiber and in fact many of the smart carbohydrates listed on the Sleekgeek Food List have a decent amount of fiber in them too.
3. They are high in volume. While fiber can add volume to food, volume can also come in the form of water or air. Watermelon and lettuce are good examples of food that can make your meals more filling without adding many extra calories.
4. They are low in energy density. This means that the food has a low amount of calories for its weight, allowing you to eat a significant amount of food to help fill you up without eating a significant amount of calories.
For these reasons, making an effort to include some protein and vegetables with each of your meals can go a long way to helping you deal with hunger while still sticking to your weight loss or weight maintenance goals.
Now, I don’t generally recommend snacking in between meals as it can become quite a mindless habit rather than waiting until you are truly hungry to eat. However, if you do find yourself hungry in between meals, you can use this knowledge to make make better choices.
For example, snacking on some carrots or a packet of biltong – you know, veggies or protein – will likely be more satiating than things like nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate.
So for today, all I want you to do today is focus on loading up on protein and veg with each meal so that you feel fuller and stay more satisfied for longer.
See you tomorrow! Cheers