People who follow a calorie-restricted diet may feel hunger all or much of the time and have difficulties with controlling hunger while dieting. This is completely normal and common situation that becomes inevitable if you are lowering your subcutaneous fat quite low or you have been on a diet for a long time. Consuming fewer calories than the body burns can cause the body to produce a hormone called ghrelin. Some refer to ghrelin as the “hunger hormone” because the stomach releases it when the body needs more food.

Hunger control becomes unbearable for many in these situations. In other words, the desire for food becomes too great which eventually forces people to give up dieting and abandon their goals. Let’s face it, if being fit was easy, everyone would be ripped and lean.

Today’s hectic lifestyle, fast food on every corner, and of course the ease of choosing the food you want with a few clicks on our smartphone further complicate the situation. But this should not sway you.

If you feel hungry, it is important to recognize its type. That is, not every hunger is the same. There are three main types of hunger: mechanical, nervous and metabolic hunger. Let’s start by distinguishing the different types of hunger.

Mechanical hunger is one that occurs when your stomach is empty (when you’re on a diet) and when you usually say that it is “rumbling in your stomach”. Nervous hunger is one that occurs when you’re not in a good mood, when you’re anxious, nervous and caustic. In all of these situations you’re essentially feeding your emotions. Third, metabolic hunger is one that results from a dominant intake of carbohydrates (insulin spikes in blood sugar). In this article, we will deal with the control of mechanical hunger.

Controlling hunger while dieting is not an easy task. Therefore, here are the seven evidence-based methods to suppress appetite and avoid overeating while dieting. We hope you find these tips helpful.


get rid of hunger

#1 A cup of black coffee

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, and as such, in addition to the state of wakefulness, it also acts as an appetite suppressant. A cup of black coffee is a great mini booster of your mood, but it’s also an energy booster that will help you train when you feel exhausted and hungry. You won’t break records in the gym by drinking black coffee with calorie restrictions, but it will help.

#2 Increase protein intake

Protein is a macronutrient that will leave us feeling full for the longest time. Eating a high-protein diet (eggs, meat and cheese for example) can boost the release of a hunger-suppressing hormone and is, therefore, a good way to lose weight and keep it off. By prioritizing your protein intake, your satiety will be higher compared to a diet with a higher intake of carbohydrates and even fat. Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates do, which explains why it can suppress appetite. Therefore, include low-fat protein in every meal and snack.

#3 Vegetables & Fiber

High-fiber foods (like vegetables) not only provide volume (take up more space in the stomach) but also take longer to digest, making you feel full longer on fewer calories (except those rich in starch such as potatoes, corn and peas). A person who increases their daily fibre intake without trying to eat less will wind up eating less anyway, due to reduced appetite. Thus, 100 calories in a high-fibre food will be more satiating than 100 calories in a low fibre food. Water-rich fruits like melons and pineapples, and fiber-rich fruits like berries, can also saturate you with a relatively low calorie content.

#4 Include apples

There is a famous American saying that says: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. With reason. Apples are an excellent source of fiber, thus helping us to temporarily combat mechanical hunger. Given the caloric value of one average apple, we do not have to be afraid that it will disrupt our diet. In fact, apples are very often in calorie restricted menus because with a low caloric value they contain even more than 10% of the daily required amount of dietary fiber.

#5 Larger meals instead of smaller ones

It is a common belief that to lose weight we need to eat more small meals a day to “speed up” the metabolism. These claims are not exactly true, and the main reason for your weight loss will always come down to the calorie deficit at the end of the day. If you have been eating 5-6 smaller meals a day so far (with a constant feeling of hunger after each meal), try to reduce them to 3 large meals with one snack a day.

#6 Drink enough water

This does not necessarily mean that you have to drink a few liters of water a day. However, it should also not happen that you do not drink at least a few glasses of water a day. Sometimes you feel a slight hunger, and in fact you are just thirsty. Before you want to eat something, drink water and check if anything changes.

#7 Eat slowly and pay attention to hormones

Your endocrine system, or hormones, control the feeling of hunger and satiety. In order to maintain and reduce hunger and stay true to your goal, you need to understand what hunger really is and how it works.

The two main hormones of hunger are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is the main hunger hormone that directly signals to the brain that your body needs food, while leptin is a hormone that is produced in fat cells and signals to the brain that you are full and that you should stop eating. Usually, ghrelin levels are high and leptin is low before each meal, and the situation is reversed after a meal.

The most important fact is that these hormones take about 15-20 minutes to start working. If you have a habit of eating fast, it can lead to overeating before leptin even starts to work, and this can result in the accumulation of extra pounds. To prevent this, it is recommended that you consume each main meal for about 25 minutes. This way you will leave enough time to reduce the level of ghrelin and allow the leptin to act faster.

#8 Peppermint scent

Use peppermint scent as an effective adjunct to decrease appetite, decrease hunger cravings, and consume fewer calories, which may lead to weight reduction and greater overall health. We suggest lighting a peppermint candle, chewing on peppermint gum, or sipping on peppermint tea to get the appetite-suppressing benefits.

Closing thoughts: Controlling hunger while dieting

As you know, if you want to lose weight or melt fat, you should create a calorie deficit, or eat fewer calories than you consume. In the process, frequent starvation is a major problem for many exercisers. Specifically, hunger may be the main reason why people give up diets and fitness goals. Although many are fully committed to their goal in the beginning, the same consistency can weaken significantly after 2-3 weeks. When you are caught in a great hunger that you are not prepared for, there is a possibility that you will give up everything. However, there are several ways you can satisfy your hunger and get full, but at the same time preserve your calorie deficit and continue to pursue the desired results.

By applying these tips you will reduce the feeling of hunger while dieting, which will allow you to implement your plan longer and more successfully. But be sure to keep in mind that the closer you get to your goal, the more hunger you will feel. This is a perfectly normal part of the process. The moment these tips don’t help you that much anymore, grit your teeth and stick to the plan. Your goal is very close.

If you have some effective and proven advice for controlling hunger while dieting you can leave it in the comments below the article.

About Author

Hey! My name is Kruno, and I'm the owner and author of Bodybuilding Wizard. I started this website back in late 2014, and it has been my pet project ever since. My goal is to help you learn proper weight training and nutrition principles so that you can get strong and build the physique of your dreams!

Leave A Reply

Share via

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Send this to a friend