Did you know that a whopping 95% of women and 83% of men in the UK worry about their weight? Or that in 2013 some 29 million of us embarked upon a diet in an attempt to shed some of those excess pounds? Unfortunately, most of us believe that we can only lose weight if we feel hungry – diet and gnawing pangs of hunger are apparently inseparable. However, this popular misconception is largely responsible for why the vast majority of diets are ultimately doomed to failure!
In this article you’ll learn how staying fuller for longer not only provides you with boundless energy throughout the day, but also helps you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. You’ll also discover a range of wholesome superfood products and raw superfood snacks that will keep your hunger pangs firmly at bay and simultaneously encourage natural weight loss.
Healthy eating – without the associated hunger
Most people believe that hunger pangs and dieting go hand in hand – because when you’re hungry, your body will start to burn excess fat as fuel for energy. However, nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, hunger pangs are your body’s signal that something is out of balance – in other words, it’s not receiving the nutrients that it requires in order to stay healthy. Unfortunately, it’s at this point that most of us turn to processed snacks and treats, loaded with unhealthy trans fats and refined sugars, and of course calories. And it’s also the reason that most fad diets fail in the long term.
Indeed, the only way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight is by keeping your body fully satiated and taking plenty of regular exercise. Sticking to a sensible eating programme, which incorporates a range of powerful superfoods that provide your body with all of the nutrients and energy it requires throughout the day, ensures that you’ll NEVER feel hungry, and is absolutely central to losing weight.
Why do I suffer from hunger pangs throughout the day?
If you’re following a healthy, balanced diet you shouldn’t suffer from frequent hunger pangs. If you are constantly hungry, it could be due to one of the following three reasons:
1. You’re not drinking enough water
Are you drinking enough water? To calculate your minimum daily water intake in litres, simply multiply your body weight by 0.44 and then divide by 10. So, if you weigh 75 kilos for example, you should drink: (75 x 0.44) / 10 = 3.3 litres of water per day.
The table below provides a handy overview of how much water you should be aiming to drink as a minimum each day, per weight class:
|Weight (kg)||Water per day (litres)|
2. You have a deficiency of one or more nutrients
Your body requires a daily supply of nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, trace elements, healthy fats and amino acids, in order to obtain energy and function correctly. When one or more of these nutrients is lacking, it is extremely taxing on your body – the extra demand that this creates requires additional energy, which in turn triggers appetite. The result is that you end up ‘snacking’ on foods that don’t contain the nutrients that you are missing, resulting in a vicious circle. Frequent hunger is a key symptom of a vitamin or mineral deficiency, although there are many others. Cold hands, soft or brittle nails, muscle weakness and / or slow knee reflexes for example, often point to a deficiency in magnesium, whilst white spots or ridges in your nails, cellulite and slow healing of wounds can be due to a lack of zinc. If you suspect that you are suffering from a severe vitamin and / or mineral deficiency, it’s advisable to discuss your symptoms with your doctor so that a proper diagnosis can be made.
3. You have chosen an unhealthy breakfast or skipped it altogether
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – if you don’t eat enough, only plump for carbs or skip it altogether, then you’ll suffer the consequences in the form of energy dips and food cravings throughout the day. In fact, the effects of a poor breakfast can even last until evening, causing you to snack late at night – which is absolutely the worst thing you can do if you want to achieve or maintain a healthy weight! Indeed, snacking at night supplies your body with energy right at the moment that it is preparing itself for sleep, and those unused excess calories are inevitably stored as fat.
A healthy breakfast should contain plenty of protein and healthy fats, as these supply your body with energy that’s released slowly during the day. There are a number of wholesome superfoods that are rich in either protein, healthy fats or both, and are therefore ideal at breakfast time.
Superfoods that are rich in protein, include:
- Nuts and Seeds – such as organic almonds, organic cashew nuts, organic hemp seeds and organic chia seeds. Delicious sprinkled over breakfast granolas or added to trail mix.
- Supergreens – including organic spirulina powder and organic chlorella powder. Ideal for stirring into your favourite green smoothies and breakfast juices.
- Protein powders – such as organic hemp protein powder. Perfect in your choice of breakfast smoothies and shakes.
- Superfruits – including organic goji berries. Again, a delicious topping for breakfast granolas and great in homemade trail mix.
- Bee pollen – a yummy addition to breakfast granolas, smoothies and porridge.
Superfoods that are high in healthy fats, include:
- Nuts and seeds, such as organic walnuts, organic pumpkin seeds, organic hemp seeds, organic sunflower seeds and organic chia seeds. Delicious sprinkled over breakfast granolas and added to trail mix.
- Organic coconut oil – the medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil require significantly less bile and fewer enzymes to break them down. This means that they are far easier to digest and can be converted into energy much faster than other fats. It also boasts a high triglycerides content – triglycerides are blood lipids known for their ability to speed up metabolism and burn fat. Stir into your favourite breakfast smoothie prior to blending.
- Sea algae, such as organic kelp powder, organic chlorella powder and organic spirulina powder. Ideal in your choice of breakfast smoothies and shakes.
These days you can also buy complete superfood breakfasts granolas that are pleasingly free from refined sugars and bursting with many of the filling superfoods listed above. A supercharged superfood breakfast will kick-start you day and keep you going until lunchtime.
Superfoods that keep hunger pangs firmly at bay
You might find that you still suffer from the odd pang of hunger, even if you’ve enjoyed a sensible breakfast, especially in the afternoon, in that long period between lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, the more you try to ignore your body’s plea for sustenance, the more likely you are to succumb to the temptation of unhealthy snacks laden with empty calories. Which is why, if you want to achieve and sustain a healthy body weight, you need to have a selection of wholesome superfood snacks to hand. Superfood snacks are made from superfoods that are rich in protein and healthy fats, as well as an impressive range of other beneficial nutrients – they are not only incredibly satisfying, they also help to keep your blood sugar levels in balance and thus prevent the type of energy dips typically experienced after midday meals.
Sensible superfood snacks that are guaranteed to keep your hunger pangs at bay include:
- Green smoothies – superfood smoothies brimming with supergreens, such as organic chlorella powder and spirulina powder are surprisingly filling. Try stirring in a small amount of organic hemp protein powder for a welcome boost of energy, especially immediately before or directly after the gym.
- Homemade trail mix – a crunchy superfood snack made from your choice of nuts, seeds and superfruits that’s ideal for on the go. Give yours added oomph with a handful of organic raw cacao nibs. Raw cacao products contain Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors, which act as powerful appetite suppressors, chromium, a trace element that has been directly link to a decrease in body fat, and dietary fibre, which, according to the NHS, can help you to lose weight.
- Homemade raw chocolate – unlike ordinary chocolate bars, homemade raw chocolate bars are made from raw cacao, which is helpful for those trying to lose weight. It is also free from refined sugars and fattening dairy products, and sweetened using natural superfood sweeteners, such as organic lucuma powder or agave nectar. For even better weight loss results, add in a small amount of organic acai berry powder – organic acai berry powder contains extremely high quantities of natural fibre and essential fatty acids that enable you to process food more quickly, reduce your sugar cravings and accelerate your metabolism.
- Homemade raw energy bars – crammed with crunchy nuts and seeds, in addition to your favourite superfruits, raw energy bars deliver pure, raw energy that keeps you going until tea time.
Finally, if you suffer from hunger pangs late at night, then it’s preferable to satisfy your cravings with a herbal tea, rather than food or snacks. Organic matcha green tea is particularly suitable as it suppresses the appetite via the regulation of hormones, such as leptin. If you really must eat a snack prior to bedtime, then nibble on a handful of organic cashew nuts – these will not only fill you up almost immediately; they also contain a small amount of tryptophan, which is converted in the body into serotonin – a hormone that promotes relaxation and encourages sleep.