Battling the Hunger Demon: Tip #1

Here is one of six challenges you’ll face and strategies to deal with it. Look for the rest over this next week.

#1 Accept that you will be hungry. When you embark on your lifestyle change, you will be hungry. You’re eating less than your stomach is used to getting, so of course it’s going to demand more food. Recognize you will feel hungry more frequently, but try to see it as a positive indication that you’re making progress.

Eating responsibly is much more difficult if you’re starving hungry. It’s much harder to patiently portion out a snack or figure out what to have for dinner if you’re ravenous. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared with planned snacks and meals before the hunger demon leads to uncontrollable eating. Do you really want to be scrounging for cookie crumbs in a package that was supposed to last a week?

It’s particularly important to plan ahead if you know you’re going to have a busy day. Pack your snacks and meals when possible. Make them portable when necessary. I detest replacement bars, but they’re better than skipping a meal. Even if you’re going out to eat, check the restaurant menu (practically everything’s online these days) and plan what you’re going to have before you arrive.

To this day, I keep snacks in my desk and car in case I get stuck somewhere or unexpectedly reach the precipice of starvation. That way, I can take the edge off and buy myself some time. Otherwise, before you know it, you might be raiding a vending machine or going through a drive-thru for a large order of McDonald’s French fries (at 510 calories!).

The added bonus to planning ahead: You’ll know what’s coming next and can look forward to it.

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