There’s a very interesting phenomena that occurs as I make nutrition suggestions to folks starting out with their transformations. Take for instance my most popular diet – the 1900 calorie fat shredder (designed to maximize body fat loss).
Some will say as they start that nutrition plan, “I feel like I’m starving all day long!”.
Others will say, “I’m stuffed. There’s no way I can eat that much!”
Huh? How can similar people, starting the same nutrition plan, feel so opposite? And how am I supposed to respond? I think a lot of it has to do with what our body is used to and what we are trying to do to “re-train” it.
Today I want to focus on the folks who feel like they are “starving” with their new nutrition plan. Tomorrow I’ll focus on the people who think it’s impossible to eat 1900 calories of healthy food per day.
First, you have to consider that you probably WILL feel hungry for at least a week or two as you get started. You are most likely used to eating huge meals that have stretched out your stomach, and smaller meals may not trigger that “fat and full” sensation you are used to. This is OKAY! You don’t have to be stuffed on 1,000 calories in 1 meal to be full. If that’s what you are used to, you need to stick with the new plan for a few weeks until your body realizes it can run at 100% on much less than you have been giving it. In fact, the fact that you’ve gotten in the habit of feeding your body way more than it needs is evident by the excess body fat you are now trying to lose. So while you may feel hungry, you’ll need to stick to the plan until your body adjusts. Trust me, it will!
I was in the “hungry” camp myself as I started P90X and worked to dial in the nutrition. I was working to determine the minimum amount of calories I needed to fully fuel my body without bonking on the workouts. I felt hungry a lot the first 2-3 weeks, but then like magic, my body adjusted to a steady, predictable stream of fuel and the hunger went away. Before P90X, I would typically eat big fatty lunches of over 1,000 calories (add up a trip to the Mexican restaurant with chips, queso, an entree, and pop and you’ll probably be in shock!). No wonder I felt hungry eating chicken, carrots, an apple, and water! Now, that’s what I eat for lunch every day and I always feel satisfied. It was a matter of teaching my body to be satisfied with what it needs instead of giving it anything it wants.
And what are some tips that can really help if you are in the “Hungry” camp? Here’s the top 3:
#1 – Shakeology = Shakeology is the perfect supplement for helping you feel satisfied and full with a minimal amount of calories. This is because it’s got everything your body needs (proteins, healthy carbs, antioxidants, probiotics, vitamins, minerals, superfoods from around the world) in just 150 calories. It’s glycemic index is so low (25) that it keeps you full for a long time so you won’t feel hungry again a few minutes later. This is why it’s been so successful at helping people lose weight and feel great. I’ve used it daily for over 2 years now and I feel better than I ever have. I also have at least 10 people in my immediate family who are hooked on Shakeology and have lost weight, gained control of their nutrition, and are feeling great.
#2 – Eat often = As you can see in my sample diets, I eat every 2.5-3 hours. So even if I only eat 300 calories for a meal, and start to feel a bit hungry after an hour or hour and a half, I know I’m about to get to eat again, so that’s a big mental help. I don’t ever have to think about going 4 or 5 hours without food because I never do! I get to eat often, so the next meal is always right around the corner.
#3 – Eat low G.I. foods = Foods with high glycemic indexes will hit your system fast, give you a spike of energy, and then leave you crashed and craving more food. So do some research and make wise substitutions in your carb choices to give you the sustained release of energy you are looking for (green beans instead of corn, salad instead of baked potato, etc.). I have written a whole article on the Glycemic Index that you can refer to for more.
So is there hope for you if you are feeling hungry all the time? Absolutely! Re-train your body by giving it what it needs, when it needs it, but not more. It will fuss and kick back at you like a spoiled child for a few weeks, but once it realizes you are serious about taking care of your body in a responsible way, it will realize how much better it feels, and you’ll really start to love your new nutrition plan — not only because you’ll feel better, but because you’ll see huge results to keep you going as well!
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