Losing weight is not easy, and for some, it is downright impossible. Generally, an effective weight-loss strategy that is safe and effective requires a multi-faceted approach. This is necessary because no two people are exactly alike, and each individual’s body reacts differently to various weight loss initiatives. Additionally, some people have underlying conditions that will interfere with their weight-loss attempts.
One of the most crucial aspects of successful weight loss is controlling hunger. Many individuals who are trying to lose weight have reported that feeling hungry all the time is one of the hardest parts of their weight-loss journey. Often, the urge to snack between meals or overeat can undermine even the best-laid weight-loss plans.
Today we are going to explore some strategies that can help control hunger for weight loss. We will discuss the significance of portion control, strategies for curbing hunger, and some of the benefits of combining these with prescription medication as a potential solution.
How To Lose Weight With Portion Control
Portion control plays a major role in weight loss and involves eating the right amount of food rather than restricting certain foods entirely. Many individuals decide to get their weight under control, and they do a good job of avoiding foods they should not eat and instead begin making healthier food choices, but they become discouraged because they are not seeing any results. The problem is that although they are eating healthy foods, they are still eating too much, and they are not practicing portion control.
Over time, consuming larger portions can lead to a higher calorie intake, thwarting weight loss efforts. By managing portions, you can enjoy a variety of foods without exceeding your caloric needs.
Helpful Tips on How to Portion Control for Weight Loss
- Take Your Time And Eat Slowly
- Pay attention to hunger cues and stop eating when you’re satisfied, not stuffed. Eating slowly allows your body time to signal when it’s full. Believe it or not, your brain and stomach have a convoluted relationship. Your brain sends signals to your stomach; however, these signals are not always accurate or delivered in a timely manner. For instance, your brain is responsible for telling you that your stomach is full, but this can take about 20 minutes, which is usually too late, and you’ve already overeaten and are miserable.
- Use A Smaller Plate To Trick Your Brain
- Your brain also makes judgments based on what your eyes see, which can affect how much you eat. It sounds crazy, but it is true and has to do with the way our brains process and relay information regarding how satisfied we feel after eating different portion sizes of food.
When you place a smaller portion of food on a large plate, it can look sparse and unsatisfying, creating the illusion that you’re not getting enough to eat. However, placing the same amount of food on a smaller plate can make the portion appear larger and more substantial, which tricks the brain.
- Concentrate On Eating At Meal Time
- Mindful eating is a practice that encourages individuals to be fully present and aware of their eating experience. This means eating without distractions such as watching TV, working, or scrolling through your phone. Often, we fill out plates and then look down, and they are empty. We do not remember eating or have any idea how much we have eaten.
Mindful eating encourages individuals to recognize emotional triggers for eating so they can put strategies in place to address them. Are you eating out of hunger, or are you using food to cope with stress, boredom, or other emotions? Focusing on eating only when you are hungry and watching how much you are eating will help you get control of your calorie intake.
- Create Easy To Access Pre-Portioned Snacks
- Often, individuals will feel snacky and grab a bag of chips and proceed to eat them out of the bag. This makes it very difficult to know how much you have eaten. Preparing some healthy snacks in advance and dividing them into smaller portions will prevent you from mindlessly overeating from larger bags or containers.
- Concentrate On Eating Nutrient-Dense Foods
- Foods that are full of nutrients and fiber help keep you feeling full for a longer period of time. They are often lower in calories and promote satiety, with smaller portions making it easier to manage your weight.
Eating a balanced and varied selection of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats ensures you are giving your body what it needs while working toward your weight loss goals. It also helps you preserve lean muscle while you are losing weight, which helps your metabolism run more efficiently and helps boost your energy levels.
- Drink Enough Water
- Staying adequately hydrated can help reduce feelings of hunger. Sometimes, the body might interpret thirst as hunger, leading to unnecessary snacking. Drinking water before meals can help you feel fuller and can lead to reduced calorie intake during the meal.
Water is also essential for the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. It helps break down food and aids in the transport of nutrients across the gastrointestinal tract. Efficient digestion is crucial for maintaining a healthy metabolism, which is critical when attempting to maximize your weight-loss potential.
According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, males should consume approximately 15.5 cups of fluid each day. Women should drink about 11.5 cups of fluid each day. About 20% of the daily recommended amount of fluids comes from the foods we eat, but the majority of the rest should come from water.
Strategies To Control Hunger For Weight Loss
In addition to portion control, effective weight loss involves creating a calorie deficit, which is done by consuming fewer calories than your body burns. Feeling hungry all the time can make it difficult to maintain your weight loss plan in the long term and leave you feeling deprived and frustrated. If you are to maintain a sustainable approach to weight loss, it is important to find the balance between reducing your intake of calories and satisfying your hunger.
Many of the weight loss strategies that help curb your hunger are the same or closely tied to those that are beneficial for portion control. These strategies include:
- Staying Hydrated: Often, thirst is mistaken for hunger, so drinking water can help reduce your appetite. In fact, many believe that drinking warm water thirty minutes before eating is very effective in curbing hunger and helping reduce caloric intake.
- Eat Enough Protein: Foods like lean meats, eggs, beans, and Greek yogurt are good sources of protein, which is a key element in helping you feel full. It also helps build lean muscle mass, which helps burn calories at a higher rate.
- Get Enough Fiber: Foods high in natural fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, help control hunger because they take longer to digest, so they stay in your system longer, helping you to feel full and assisting in stabilizing your blood sugar levels.
- Schedule Regular Meals: Skipping meals can lead to overeating later in the day. Stick to regular meal times to maintain a consistent energy level, so you won’t be tempted to eat between meals. Also, not eating can lead to a decrease in your metabolic rate, making weight loss more difficult over time. Your body may start to conserve energy and burn fewer calories, slowing down your progress.
- Practice Distraction: Engage in activities that distract you from food cravings, and try to avoid or alter activities that are triggers for eating. When you begin to practice mindful eating, you may be surprised to find that you are triggered in certain situations. For instance, you might sit down to watch TV at night and start to feel like you need a snack, even though you just ate dinner.Watching TV may be a trigger for you, so you need to break that habit. It would be unrealistic to just stop watching TV to avoid that trigger, so instead you can implement a strategy that can help. You could do something else while you are watching TV, like crochet or knit, fold laundry, give yourself a manicure, pull out a messy drawer and organize it, etc. After a while, the association between watching TV and eating will no longer be a trigger.
Prescription GLP-1 Medication for Weight Loss
Recently, prescription weight loss injections have been the topic of many news stories and social media posts because of the successful weight loss results they deliver.
For individuals who are struggling with being hungry all the time or who are not losing weight despite all their efforts, intense, prescription weight loss injections could be beneficial as part of their comprehensive weight loss plan.
These weight-loss medications mimic natural hormones in the body known as GLP-1. These hormones are responsible for many functions throughout the body and are triggered when food is ingested. Some key functions of the GLP-1 hormones include:
- Blood sugar control;
- Slowing down digestion;
- Appetite Regulation;
- Reduction of Food Intake.
GLP-1 hormones reduce food intake by influencing the part of the brain that relates to hunger and satiety. They regulate the speed at which the stomach empties, which helps you feel full for a longer time and helps regulate blood sugar and glucagon levels.
These medications are known as GLP-1 receptor agonists because they mimic the actions of GLP-1 hormones and promote the same functions. They were developed to treat individuals with type 2 diabetes but were found to be effective for the treatment of obesity.
There are currently three types of prescription medication that can be used under a doctor’s supervision as part of a total weight loss plan: semaglutide, liraglutide, and tirzepatide. These medications are marketed under the names Wegovy, Saxenda, and Mounjaro.
In many cases, diet and exercise alone are not enough to help you lose a substantial amount of weight. Using prescription medication together with a healthy diet and lifestyle changes has shown significant weight loss results. After clinical trials that had a duration of 68 weeks, approximately 50% of the participants who utilized semaglutide experienced a reduction in body weight by 15%, while close to 33% achieved a weight loss of 20%. The weight loss observed in participants who implemented lifestyle changes alone was approximately 2.4%.
How Can I Learn Portion Control For Weight Loss?
Adopting healthy habits that encourage portion control, implementing strategies to curb hunger, and considering prescription weight loss injections while under the care of a doctor can work together to help you achieve your weight loss goals.
If you are ready to learn how to lose weight with portion control and embrace strategies that will help you suppress your appetite, we can help you! At Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center, we understand the complexities of obesity and have the expertise and experience to help you navigate through them to become healthier. We will create a comprehensive weight loss program to fit your needs and circumstances and will provide you with the tools and strategies necessary to be successful. You can take advantage of our lifestyle coaching and get help from a registered dietician who will help you choose healthy foods you enjoy.
Sustainable weight loss is a gradual process that requires dedication, patience, and a diverse approach to both eating and altering your lifestyle habits. The team at Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center in NYC will help you every step of the way to overcome challenges and come out victorious. Set up your appointment today to get started!