Q: What are practical, realistic ways to fight hunger pangs to beat the urge to eat?

A: First of all. Congratulate yourself. Why? Because hunger pangs are the first sign that you are decreasing your caloric intake and improving your diet! Your stomach is trying to make the adjustment to your decreased food intake. Don’t look at hunger pangs as a complaint from your body, but a cheer! Finally, your body is getting the proper amount of fuel and nutrients it needs to function at its best.

But I do understand that sometimes those “cheers” can be annoying and uncomfortable and present themselves as hunger pangs. Learn a few techniques to help quiet those hunger pangs.

Fight Hunger Pangs

1) Drink an 8 ounce glass of water to fight hunger pangs. When you feel hungry, drink water, tea or a zero calorie sports drink to ease your stomach. After 10 minutes or so, you should feel better.

2) Eat a higher protein diet. Research has shown the protein can help increase a hunger-fighting protein, which will help suppress your appetite and reduce hunger pangs. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends that you each a lean meat about the size of a deck of cards with each meal. Legumes, such as beans and peas are also high in protein, and a favorable choice for suppressing your appetite.

3) Eat more fruits and vegetables. This cannot be preached enough for overall health in general, but also to help fight hunger pangs. Not only are fruits and vegetables low in calories, they contain many vitamins and nutrients necessary for optimal health. Further, fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which helps you feel full.  Eat one-half a plate of fruits and vegetables with each meal, and choose items from this food group to snack on throughout the day.

Tip: Make dietary changes slowly over time to prevent the sudden onset of hunger pangs.

What do you do to fight hunger pangs? Share your thoughts below!