How to stay full when losing weight?

healthy chocolate squares with textures hazelnut, coconut, coffee and white

Losing weight consists of being in a caloric deficit, that’s simply the science behind weight loss. Now, how you approach this caloric deficit can vary from person to person. Sustainable weight loss takes time, there is no fast solution for it if you want to do it the healthy way.

The journey to lose weight looks different for everyone. However, one goal in common in everyone’s journey should be enjoyable and holistic. You should feel full and nourished while still losing weight since you want to always keep in mind to maintain a healthy relationship with food. And that’s what we’re going to talk about in this article.

Why do we eat in the first place?

Our ancestors used to eat with purpose; purely for energy. However nowadays we eat to fill our heart most of the time. Therefore, one of the first steps in understanding your fullness and hunger cues is understanding how each food helps your body in different ways. How much food does your body need? When do you need to eat?

As a quick reminder, here are the main purposes of our food macros:

    • Proteins - they stimulate the release of hormones that signal fullness to your brain and keep you satiated for longer
    • Fats - slow down the digestion process allowing for a more gradual release of energy and sustained fullness
    • Non-starchy carbohydrates - high in fibre, they bulk up in the stomach, slowing down digestive process, stabilising blood sugar levels and preventing hunger pangs

You might be wondering, what do I do if I’m craving a sweet treat at the end of the day? Most of the time, this craving is not linked to hunger, but rather it's linked to an emotion. Maybe that day has been very stressful, you had a fight with your partner, your job’s making you anxious, you feel bored, etc. In these moments it’s important to stop and think for a second how you are feeling and how the food feeds this feeling. 

This is an easy way to identify if you’re eating because you are hungry or if you are emotional eating. After you find your answer, you should ask yourself “Can I find a non food behaviour to feed that feeling?” Here are a few of our favourite examples: 

    • Going out on a walk
    • Doing a 10 minute yoga/meditation session
    • Calling a friend
    • Taking a warm relaxing bath
    • Reading 

Lots of people use food as a cover for something else, and instead of using something else like sport, therapy, self-care, etc. they turn to food. Of course it is not easy to change that pattern straight away, however, it’s important to start building in that awareness, day after day, week after week, until it becomes the new normal and change the pattern. Instead of turning to food, turning to something else to heal that void they’re trying to cover.

How do hormones impact weight loss?

Being in a calorie deficit is the way to lose weight, but there are healthy and not so healthy ways to do that. Other factors that play a role in weight loss are sleep, physical activity, stress; in fewer words hormonal balance

Hormones play a crucial role in regulating weight and metabolism. Understanding how different hormones influence weight loss can help you make more informed decisions about your diet, exercise, and overall lifestyle. Understanding the role of hormones and how to balance them through lifestyle choices can significantly enhance your ability to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. In summary, hormones that impact weight loss are:

    • Insulin - regulates blood sugar levels. High levels can promote fat storage while lower levels can encourage the body to use stored fat for energy.
    • Leptin - produced by fat cells. They signal the brain to reduce appetite and increase energy usage when fat stores are full
    • Ghrelin - the "hunger hormone," stimulates appetite and promotes fat storage; levels typically rise before meals and fall after eating
    • Cortisol - the “stress hormone,” can lead to increased appetite and fat storage, especially when levels are elevated due to chronic stress.
    • GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide-1) - enhances insulin secretion, inhibits glucagon release, and slows gastric emptying, which collectively help reduce appetite and promote satiety

To have healthy and balanced hormones it is important to follow a balanced diet having the focus on whole, unprocessed foods. It is also important to have an active lifestyle and to incorporate both aerobic exercises and strength training regularly. 

Having a good quality sleep every night is crucial, since poor sleep can disrupt hormone balance and increase appetite. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.

Last, but not least, stress management is very important to have balanced hormones. Chronic stress can elevate cortisol levels and hinder weight loss efforts. Practice stress-reducing techniques like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises.

Why Stabilise Blood Sugar to Lose Weight?

The connection between insulin and weight gain/loss is a crucial aspect of understanding how our bodies manage energy and store fat.  

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar (glucose) levels. When you eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose, which enters the bloodstream. However, not all carbohydrates are equal. 

Simple carbohydrates such as glucose and fructose, are composed of 1 or 2 sugar molecules which make them easier for the body to break down and are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a quick spike in blood sugar.

Complex carbohydrates such as starches and fibre, are made up of longer chains of sugar molecules and therefore take longer to break down resulting in a more gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream providing a more sustained energy source without the spike.

In response to rising blood glucose levels, the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin helps cells throughout the body absorb glucose from the bloodstream to use for energy or to store for future use. The higher the glucose levels rise, the more insulin is released. Excessive insulin secretion, however, can promote fat storage, leading to weight gain. 

Stabilising blood sugar levels is incredibly important due to its impact on metabolic processes and hunger regulation. Additionally, blood sugar crashes trigger hunger and cravings, often resulting in overeating and poor food choices. 

By maintaining stable blood sugar levels through prioritising nutrient-dense foods such as protein, healthy fats, and non-starchy carbohydrates, you can prevent insulin spikes and crashes, promoting a steady supply of energy while curbing cravings. This supports sustainable weight loss by enhancing fat burning and preventing the body from storing excess calories as fat. 

Furthermore, stable blood sugar levels promote satiety and reduce the likelihood of binge eating, which in turn helps you sustain healthy eating habits long-term.

Best Tips to Lose Weight Without Feeling Hungry

Staying full while losing weight can be challenging sometimes, except when implementing these tips. We have some strategies for you recommended by several nutritionists that will help you feel satiated and maintain your energy levels.

Eat high protein foods

As mentioned before, protein is highly satiating and can help control your appetite. This is why it is important to include lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy, and other proteins in your diet. Protein will help you stay full for longer and will also help you build and maintain muscle mass while losing weight.

Incorporate healthy fats

Healthy fats take longer to digest and will help you feel full for longer. Also they have plenty of health benefits, so don’t forget to include sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish.

The main benefits of healthy fats are providing energy for your body, protecting your organs, supporting cell growth, helping stabilise cholesterol and blood pressure, and helping absorbing vital nutrients. Funky Fat Chocs are also a great way to incorporate healthy fats into your snacks and desserts without compromising your weight loss journey.

Funky Fat Darks - 40 bars -

Opt for Low-Calorie, high volume foods

When choosing what to eat, be smart about it and choose foods that are low in calories but high in volume and nutrients. This will help you feel full without consuming too many calories. Foods high in fibre help slow down the digestion process and fill your stomach with volume. Allowing you to feel full with few calories.

Our favourite way to go about this is adding about 2 cups of non-starchy, leafy green vegetables to every meal. Also fruits, soups, and salads help accompanying main dishes.

Stay Hydrated

You might think drinking enough water throughout the day has nothing to do with losing weight, but actually it has a lot to do with it. Drinking water can help you feel full and reduce the likelihood of overeating. When your body is thirsty, your brain can register it as hunger, when it’s actually not. That might lead to unnecessary snacking. So drinking a glass of water before eating can help you realise how hungry you are.

Eat mindfully

When you’re going to eat, try to sit down and enjoy your meals without distractions. Eating mindfully can help your body better recognise your body’s hunger and fullness cues as well as allowing the body time to register the food that’s going into your body.

Plan balanced meals in advance

If you can, try to plan your meals in advance. Pick one day of the week to fully plan what you are going to be eating. Each meal should ideally include a balance of protein, healthy fats, and fibre. This combination will help you stay full and satisfied. 

Planning a grocery list can also help stay on track and avoid unhealthy foods and snacks that might seem tempting but will not be helping you reach your sustainable weight loss goals.

Reading next

When is the best time to eat a sweet snack?
10 Best Healthy Father's Day Presents 2024

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.