I thought so.
Well, you’re not alone. Alot of people struggle with this because they don’t understand what it takes to eat healthy as much as they THINK they do.
Eating healthy doesn’t just mean eating fruits & vegetables, it’s also a balance of your daily consumption of carbohydrates, protein and good fats.
I often get asked what are some suggestions for healthy snacks, especially ‘after dinner’ snacks as most find they are continually reaching for the fridge!
If your eyes are bigger than your stomach, it’s important to understand your body operates on a rhythm that is driven by many of the hormones in your body. Part of this rhythm is the break down and build up of protein.
Not only is protein important for maintaining muscle mass, it’s also important for satiety ie making you feel full. This stops sugar cravings and stops you from making poor food choices when you allow yourself to go hungry.
C’mon you and I both know what it’s like when your starving or famished and you decide to go food shopping – it can be a total disaster!
To stop yourself feeling hungry ensure you are eating regularly AND consuming enough protein throughout the day.
How much protein should you consume per day?
For the average person, you need to consume 1gram of protein per 1 kg of body weight. Even more if you are weight training/exercising regularly and this should increase to 1.5grams of protein per 1 kg body weight.
Eg 60kg in weight x 1.5grams of protein = 90grams of protein
Also make sure you are eating six (6) meals per day. Now a meal doesn’t equate to a massive plate overloaded with food, a meal could also be a simple snack.
So if you divide 90grams of protein between 6 (meals) per day, you should be consuming approx 15grams of protein with MOST of your meals…capish?
Eg 90grams divide by 6 = 15grams
Here is what a typical suggested ‘Healthy Food Diary’ for a day would look like:
½ cup Oats
1tbs LSA (grounded Linseed, Sunflower and Almonds)
1 scoop organic vanilla protein powder (20g protein)
Low fat milk
Mid AM Snack
Hommus with Celery/Carrot sticks (10g protein)
Chicken & Salad Wrap (20g protein)
Mid PM Snack
Handful of Nuts (20g protein)
1 x mandarin
1 x Green Tea
1 x eye fillet steak (20g protein)
Steamed vegies (sweet potato, broccoli, zucchini & beans)
Baked pear (peel, sprinkle with cinnamon and bake in the oven on 180deg for 20mins)
Low fat plain yoghurt (10g protein)
Total Protein: 100grams
So you can see that spreading out your protein intake throughout the day, starting at breakfast, mid AM snack, Lunch etc you are ‘topping up’ your protein which is:
-balancing your hormones,
-maintaining and replenishing your muscle mass
-promoting muscle repair
-makes you feel full
Also by consuming 6 meals per day, your body is digesting food every 2-3 hours which is increasing your metabolic rate which is increasing the calories you are burning.
So if you want to stop those hunger pangs and sugar cravings, I highly recommend you follow the formula above and increase more protein into your diet. Why not try it for week to see for yourself, you won’t look back – trust me!
- Meal frequency – Eat every 2-3 hours with a source of protein.
- Quality of food is essential – choose organic & natural where possible.
- Ensure you have snacks on hand at all times eg nuts, fruit, wholegrain biscuits and never leave home with a ‘snack’ in your bag.
- Always have breakfast – no excuses!
- Eat healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, salmon, fish or coconut oil daily.
- Continually find a reason to move throughout the day, the more you move, the more calories you burn.
- After exercise especially, make sure you consume carbohydrates and protein within 30-60mins after training to replenish your body
What else are you doing to stop your hunger? Leave a comment below.