“I remember my first beer…”
-Douchebag Frat Guy (2009)
It was my freshman year of college and I was at my very first college party. During High School I had never been a big partier, at least not in terms of alcohol and stuff (read stuff as anything illegal), but I was super excited to experience this side of college.
Your first few weeks in college are always really weird. You’re trying to make it out like you know what you’re doing, that you’re a cool mature adult, but in reality, you don’t know what the f*ck is going on. Or maybe that’s just how I felt.
And that point was never more clear to me than when my roommates older brother hit me with the question:
“So, what are you drinking tonight?”
We were just outside campus, sitting at a liquor store, waiting on the single 21 year old we knew to buy us drinks for the upcoming party. And me, being the inexperienced drinker I was, said what inexperienced drinkers say:
“Oh. You know, man. Just get me whatever you’re getting.”
20 minutes later, out came our ID-bearing hero and, along with him, my drink of the night:
Flash forward to later that night.
After drinking 18 cans of what was labeled “Natty Light”, but filled with what I am almost positive was cat piss, I laid there, puking my guts out, in the front yard of the frat house I had been so excited to attend.
I felt awful.
Partially because of the obvious abundance of alcohol I had drank.
But mostly because no one wants to be that guy.
But Nick, what guy?
Well, you know, voice of public opinion.
The guy who couldn’t handle himself and now has to spend the night in the front yard vomiting himself to sleep.
That guy sucks.
And I was that guy.
Which was absolutely confirmed when a pair of Sperry’s appeared next to my head, I looked up, and was graced with the oh-so-sarcastic comment you read at the beginning:
“I remember when I had my first beer”
But, now that we’ve told that story.
Onto the real question:
What the hell does this have to do with hunger and those click bait tricks you promised?!
Well, I’ll tell you.
The story above, the one of me trying to drink and fail, is actually a lot like what most people go through on a diet.
In the story above there were so many little tricks, things that experienced drinkers do, that could have made that night so much more enjoyable or (at least) bearable.
- Drinking anything other than piss flavored Natty Light
- Pacing myself and taking more time to finish each drink.
- Not going all out as a newbie drinker.
- Finding anywhere to puke other than the fucking front yard.
Likewise, dieting possesses many little tricks, things that experienced dieters do, that can make your entire dieting process so much more enjoyable or (at least) bearable.
And, my friend, those are the exact tricks I am going to share with you today.
Some will be shorter. Some will be longer.
But all will be important.
I may not be able to handle my Natty Light, but I sure as hell can get you through that diet.
Follow me, young pleb.
1. Eat More Meat
When most people begin dieting they immediately start looking at all of the things they should cut out. But that rule sucks and so do most people when it comes to dieting. So, instead, we are going to focus on adding a couple things first.
The first thing on this impromptu list of diet additions:
While fats and carbs frequently get all the press in regards to fat loss pros & cons, it is their lesser talked about brother (Protein) that silently remains king.
We all understand the importance of protein while trying to build muscle, but it can be all too easy to overlook it’s importance on a diet as well, especially in terms of satiety.
“But Nick, what is satiety?”
Oh. Great question, voice of public opinion. Satiety (or satiation) simply refers to a food’s ability to fill you up to a point of satisfaction.
“But, why is that important?”
Well, while dieting we are doing one consistent thing:
Eating less food than we “need”.
(“Need” meaning to sustain our current weight)
Because of less food being consumed, certain mechanisms in our brain are going to start firing. These mechanisms are triggered most notably via two different pathways:
- A Decrease in Expected Calorie Consumption
- Less Food in our Stomach
The first one, the decrease in calories, is just part of the game.
If you want to lose weight you have to eat less. Period. Which means you will be hungry at times and that is not a fun experience.
But the second one, the feeling of fullness in your stomach, that is something we can actually manipulate. And the best way to manipulate that factor is to eat foods that are generally more satiating. Which brings us full circle to our hero, protein.
Protein, mostly lean meats, are some of the most satiating foods on the entire planet. Seriously, ever tried eating a pound of chicken? It ain’t no party. Add in the fact that they digest at an alarmingly slow rate and not only will that chicken breast keep you feeling full — but it’ll do so for a long while.
Comparatively speaking, anyways.
2. Drink More Water
Oh, look we’re adding more stuff in.
Isn’t that exciting?
We all know how important drinking water is for basic health and physiological functions, but did you know that drinking more water (or not enough) can have a major impact on how hungry you feel?
We’re stupid humans. And while you and I (might) be smarter than the other stupid humans, we’re still pretty dumb in the grand scheme of things.
What do I mean?
Sometimes, when being faced with a chronic situation of mild dehydration (read: you never drink enough water), our bodies begin searching for water in any source it can. Ideally this would be water, but more often then not it has us reaching for food.
Dehydration has a funny way of masquerading itself as hunger, resulting in us eating bite after bite to no avail. Effectively leaving us craving an indescribable food source when a nice glass of ice water may have gotten the job done.
Help offset this possibility by staying thoroughly hydrated and drinking plenty of water through out the day.
As an added bonus — this will help fill up that stomach of yours as well. Pretty much mimicking a similar (albeit shorter lasting) satiation effect like we spoke of above. This is especially clutch deep in a diet when the meals get smaller.
A stomach full of water isn’t ideal.
But it sure beats the hell out of an empty stomach.
3. Get Plenty of Green Stuff
When it comes to hunger, there are a few major aspects that cause true physiological hunger, two of which are: negative energy balance (lack of calories) and gastric emptying (an empty stomach).
We’ve talked about how there isn’t much we can do about the first. And we’ve talked about how certain things (protein, water) can trick you into feeling fuller. We’ve also just discussed how water can help fill your stomach when the calories are low and the meals are small.
Luckily, we can augment that benefit even further.
Fiber and water tend to go hand in hand. When fiber enters the stomach, it absorbs the water around it, expanding and further filling your stomach.
The hunger benefits don’t end there though, fibrous foods also tend to have insane volume-to-calories ratios. Meaning you can eat much more for a lesser piece of your caloric budget. And beyond that, fiber also (like protein) takes much longer than typical to digest; leaving your stomach fuller for longer.
“But Nick, what foods are high in fiber?”
Well, voice of public opinion, pretty much anything green and leafy(ish).
It turns out veggies aren’t just something your mom forced you to eat out of spite. These little poop-flavored nuggets are pretty much gold while on a diet and feeling hungry. And, believe it or not, after eating them for long enough, they start to not taste too bad.
Kinda like beer.
Told you the alcoholic-to-dieting similarities we’re real.
4. Make Sure You’re Exercising
This is the last one.
Which is probably only surprising if you forgot the title of the article or never learned to count.
But, despite it being the last one, don’t get caught sleeping on it.
It’s easy to think of diet and exercise as two separate things but, in all reality, they go hand-in-hand. Kinda the yin to the other’s yang. And, as such, exercise can offer a handful of hunger-reducing benefits.
Exercise has a ton of physiological benefits that we all know (bigger muscles, increase calorie burn, a stronger body, etc.) But it’s most important benefit might be one of a psychological nature. By being active in a regular and productive manner, you will find yourself in a naturally better “head space”.
This is called “the Law of Momentum”.
By gaining small success after small success each subsequent obstacle becomes a little easier to hurdle. Or in simpler terms: Every time you make the tough decision to go to the gym, instead of sitting at home, the next time you are confronted with that decision you will feel less compelled to make the poor choice.
Which may be something I made up entirely.
Read more about momentum here.
Luckily the Law of Momentum doesn’t just apply to the gym or sitting on the couch. That same benefit tends to bleed over into every phase of our life; especially where we are striving to better ourselves.
Meaning not only is that trip to the gym going to directly benefit your body — it’s also going to make that next bowl of chicken and broccoli a little bit easier to swallow.
The one caveat to exercise and hunger is that it can be done incorrectly. The key is to not fall prey to common fitness mistakes like: overdoing it and (subsequently) using it as an excuse to overeat.
One Last Takeaway
While there are a multitude of ways to curb hunger on a diet, the ones above are the easiest and result in the biggest bang for your buck. If followed, each one of these tips can have a drastic effect on your long-term dieting success.
With that said, there is one last takeaway that I want to leave you with:
It won’t be easy.
And eventually, you will get hungry.
Those are two things you will need to come to grips with.
Dieting should never be tortuous, but it will almost always contain some degree of difficulty. So, sure, you should definitely do all you can to make the process as easy as possible. But don’t get fooled into thinking that means it’ll be easy forever.
The real key to making this shit work?
Expect the hunger to come.
And then — embrace it.
Be smart. Stay tough. Eat right.
And you’ll get to where you want to be.
Trust me, I partied at a Frat once.
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Bits and pieces of this article we’re originally written and published by the author via BroBible.com and MyProtein.com