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Help with hunger pangs

Help with hunger pangs

At the beginning of a diet you're full of excitement and determination at what's to come, happily planning what you'll eat on a daily basis.

But the eager feeling quickly wears off when you find yourself going to bed starving or hear your tummy rumbling during a meeting at work. Is it normal to feel SO hungry while trying to lose weight?

The answer: you shouldn't feel constant hunger during a diet, but it is normal to feel mild to moderate hunger around three or four times a day when it comes to mealtimes. This is the expert opinion of Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD and author of S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches. It's healthy to feel peckish around three to five hours after your meal (this is how long your food should keep you fuelled for). If you get cravings for food in less time after say your breakfast or lunch, then clearly you're not tucking into the right stuff! Chickpeas, lentils, nuts and eggs are just some of the things which will help you achieve this.

It's also important that you don't skip meals during your diet or dip below a healthy calorie intake - make it about what you eat rather than how much (though do keep to healthy portion sizes).

Along with hunger, you may also feel rather tired during the initial stages of a diet. It will be even more prominent if you're working out a lot more; weight loss only occurs when you burn more calories than you consume so it's not unusual to feel less energetic. It's been recommended that people consume 13 calories per pound of fat if you are often inactive as any more of this will see you pile on weight rather than the opposite. The more active you are, the more calories you can have as you'll be burning them off.

Craving sugar is another common side effect as your body needs time to get used to not having its regular intake of the sweet stuff. The longings should pass fairly quickly but while they're present, just remind yourself that your body can function fine and maintain energy levels with ease without the help of high levels of sugar.

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