I want to talk about hunger and WHY you should be prepared to experience some if you are dieting and trying to lose weight.
I’ll be honest, this is something I would not have spoken about in the past because obviously as we promote ‘whole’, ‘clean’ foods your body should be nourished and you should feel satisfied a LOT of the time…
BUT, what Im about to tell you next is KEY.
If we accept that a daily calorie deficit is needed to lose fat – therefore that means you are going to be giving your body LESS than it needs to maintain weight (makes sense right?) and therefore it will be normal to at times be a little hungry.
Look, I’ve actually gained weight in the past – (even when eating so called ‘clean’) because I have a huge appetite and enjoy my BIG meals. A BIG breakfast, lunch and evening meal can actually put your in a calorie surplus if you are not careful.
This is why I’ve become a massive fan of intermittent fasting and often skipping breakfast to maintain a daily calorie deficit.
You see, preparing for a little hunger and choosing when it suits you is KEY to maintaining your daily deficit.
I used to love fasting from 4pm onwards however of late, now my kids are older I love coming home from work and sitting at the table with them (doesn’t always last long!) and my missus (she often prepares for me too so its a double bonus) eating and catching up on the day.
I’m usually still pretty active in the evenings chasing after the kids and doing the usual bath and bed time – I found if I tried to do that hungry I would get snappy; I also like going to bed with a full(ish) stomach.
Now, I am often up and out the door to coach pretty early in the morning, I have found that skipping breakfast and dealing with any hunger before midday / 1pm is actually very easy for me.
It also suits me socially because if I was to eat breakfast I would be eating it alone and away from the family. Also there is minimal stress for me coaching in the mornings as all my clients are a joy to work with and do pretty much what I tell them without squabbling or fighting (like kids!).
I find my energy levels are great from skipping breakfast and coffee alone will usually get me through to midday when I will break my fast. The mild hunger I experience during these hours is NOT uncomfortable (in fact I’m so used to it I wouldn’t even call it hunger) and I truly feel I operate better without food.
In fact the only day I will ALWAYS eat breakfast is on a Saturday when I sit down with the lads after bootcamp and have loads of banter – this suits me socially and I really look forward to it.
So skipping breakfast to maintain a daily deficit works for me – it may not work for you however, some simply can’t function without breakfast in the mornings and if that’s you then I’m not advising you start to skip it.
You will however need to give some thought to times when you are prepared to be a little hungrier throughout the day (if fat loss is your goal). Do you snack in between meals (you shouldn’t need to by the way)? If so then why not cut your snacks out? Happy to eat a big brekkie, skip lunch and then sit down to an evening meal with the family? Again it comes down to personal preference.
Remember that hunger does come in waves and as long as you’re not on a 24 hour plus fast you should never be truly ravenous (unless you’ve been training super hard). Keeping hydrated will also keep the hunger that occurs from time to time at bay.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article and see how you manage daily hunger (if any?) when trying to lose weight?
I’m the same Mark. I’m so used to not eating breakfast, it’s routine for me. I stop eating by 8pm and won’t eat anything until my break at work, which is usually between 9:30-11 am. I’m a bus driver, starting early (4am-7am). It’s a sedentary job, so I’d rather not over eat. Good article btw and makes perfect sense. It works for me, but of course, it may not be suitable to all.