We want to share 12 effective tips that you can employ to minimize the amount of hunger that you experience during a fat loss diet and in turn maximize your chances of long term success.
Regardless of what type of dieting method that you employ or how your training plan is specifically structured. Fat loss ultimately comes down to one central thing and that is maintaining a net calorie deficit over time by consistently burning more calories than you consume.
The fact is simple, when your daily caloric expenditure consistently exceeds your caloric intake, your body is going to naturally kick into survival mode and produce feelings of hunger in order to motivate you to eat. Food cravings are the number one reason why most people ultimately fall off track with their fat loss diet and end up failing in the long run.
Although these 12 tips are not going to completely eliminate your hunger altogether, they will make a very significant positive difference when it comes to reducing them down to a more manageable level.
Tip #1 Maintain a Small Calorie Deficit and Focus On Losing Fat at a Gradual Pace
This is the most basic and most obvious tip for you to follow but it’s also the most important. Create too large of a calorie deficit and not only will you lose an excessive amount of lean muscle mass throughout your cutting phase, but you’re going to feel excessively hungry as well.
Think of fat loss as being a marathon rather than a sprint, and focus on creating a small calorie deficit that gradually strips the fat away, while allowing you to maintain your lean muscle mass and while keeping your hunger levels relatively controlled.
A good guideline to follow for this is to employ a calorie deficit of around 15-20% below your maintenance level, and aiming to lose about 1-2 pounds of total body fat per week.
Tip #2 Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Protein
Protein is the most filling of the 3 macronutrients and it also plays an important role in helping you spare lean muscle tissue as you diet down. A good guideline here is around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily from lean high quality sources.
Tip #3 Don’t Let Your Dietary Fat Intake Drop Too Low
The idea that “dietary fat makes you fat” is one of the biggest myths when it comes to proper fat loss nutrition. Maintaining adequate fat intake is a very important aspect of your overall plan. Not only does a sufficient amount of dietary fat help to keep your testosterone levels from dipping too low throughout your cut, it will also leave you feeling fuller and more satisfied in between meals by slowing down the rate of gastric emptying. For those reasons, we would recommend that you aim to get at least 20% of your total daily calories from healthy source of fat.
Tip #4 Ensure that You’re Eating Plenty of Fiber
Fiber absorbs water as it moves through your digestive tract and essentially gels expands in your stomach to increase feelings of fullness and satiety. Like fat, fiber also slows down the rate of gastric emptying. A good guideline is to consume about 15 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you consume.
Tip #5 Eat More Vegetables
This somewhat overlaps with the previous point, but vegetables are one of the very best food sources for your fat loss diet because they’re very high in overall volume but extremely low in calories.
Consuming vegetables with several of your meals throughout the day is a great way to help fill yourself up while keeping the total calorie content of your meals down. Not only are vegetables a great tool for reducing hunger, but they’re also incredibly macronutrient dense as well.
Tip #6 Optimize Your Daily Meal Frequency and Layout
The research on meal frequency and its effects on basal metabolic rate are fairly clear. As long as you’re consuming the same overall calorie and macronutrient totals for the day as a whole, the specific way in which you layout those meals doesn’t really have any significant effect on your bottom line fat loss. You want to experiment with different meal plan structures in order to find the one that works best for you in terms of controlling appetite.
So for some people that might mean eating 6 small meals a day, for others it might mean 4 medium sized meals, and for others it might mean 3 larger meals. In addition to that, some people do best by consuming a larger percentage of their calories earlier on in the day with fewer calories later on, while others do better using the exact opposite approach.
Finally, you can also consider trying out the popular “intermittent fasting” protocol by consuming all of your daily calories within an 8 hour “feeding window”, and then fasting for the remaining 16 hours of the day. So just play around with these different variables and see which one works best for you.