Too many people believe that a diet is successful as long as you never feel full, as though the body somehow burns calories when it’s hungry. It does not, but that is a wonderful way to mess up your metabolism, and getting it back on track afterward takes a while. Ideally, you should not only feel full after a meal, but you should also remain satisfied for several hours afterward. Here’s why:
Satiety is essential to keep you from snacking all the time. Grazing, or eating five to six small meals throughout the day, is a healthy eating plan that allows you to fuel your body in steady bursts. Snacking because you’re starving between meals makes you more likely to turn to junk foods full of empty calories. A handful of Cheetos might taste delicious after lunch, and a sugary chocolate bar might give you the boost needed to get through the last two hours of work, but the crash is never worth it.
Feeling hunger after a full meal suggests a problem. Cravings for simple carbohydrates that are largely devoid of nutrition is even more troublesome. People who consume a nutritious diet shouldn’t experience hunger until several hours after a meal.
Hunger Leads to Cheating
A person who feels deprived during a diet isn’t going to remain on that diet for long. If you’re full, you’re far less like to feel cravings for the bad foods you aren’t supposed to eat, such as ice cream, potato chips, or whatever your favorite vice food is. Once the urge to eat forbidden foods hits you, however, you’re almost guaranteed to give in and indulge. That’s why lifestyle changes are more successful than diets.
Empty Calories Never Satisfy
Not all diets are equal. There are plenty of fad trends that revolve around the idea of deprivation. They focus on all the foods you can’t have, which typically only makes you want them more. Even diet plans that come with prepackaged foods and prepared meals aren’t necessarily healthy or nutritious.
You know you’re on a bad diet when you’re never truly full. That lack of satiety affects every facet of your life, from your energy to your ability to concentrate.
Hunger Saps Energy
A diet of empty calories can’t sustain you throughout the day, either. Failing to consume enough calories to fuel your body will also leave you fatigued and fuzzy-headed. You can keep count of your calorie consumption to ensure you’re eating quality foods that your body can burn for energy. Monitoring what you eat prevents you from subsisting on junk foods that are full of fat and simple carbs. You can also make sure that you aren’t eating too much. Just as you don’t want to feel hungry after eating a meal, you also don’t want to overeat.
A diet isn’t supposed to starve you. Hunger pangs don’t mean you’re losing weight, but they can throw your metabolism out of whack. How do you find a healthy, happy balance?