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Lose Weight Without Starving Yourself

February 20, 20244 min read

Lose Weight Without Starving Yourself

Sandwich, apples, person with tape measure around waist

Many people believe that weight loss is a challenging journey. They think that to shed those stubborn pounds, they must endure constant hunger. Many are hesitant to set weight loss goals because they dread the idea of feeling hungry and the frustrations that come with it. For a lot of individuals, the prospect of enduring hunger pangs seems less appealing than remaining overweight.

But who can blame them?

If the only route to losing weight or maintaining a slim figure was to experience hunger constantly, very few people would achieve their desired weight, and the majority of the population would likely be overweight! However, this is not the case.

Our bodies are remarkable instruments. They operate on natural rhythms and internal signals, informing us when we're hungry and when we need to refuel. Hunger is the body's way of signalling that it requires nourishment to sustain energy levels and support cellular repair and maintenance. Strong hunger pangs indicate a critical need for food to restore the body's balance, and these signals should not be disregarded.

Your body doesn't realise that food is abundantly available and relatively cheap in the 21st century. It functions much like our ancient ancestors' bodies did. The human body's fundamental design has remained largely unchanged since then. In ancient times, when our ancestors lived in caves, they relied on gathering and hunting for food to survive. During periods of scarcity they had little to eat and calories were hard to come by. Their bodies would send warning signals of imminent danger. When food was finally consumed, the body, still in survival mode, would store as much energy as possible in the form of fat. Our bodies continue to function in a similar manner today.

Starving oneself is not a viable weight loss strategy. It goes against nature to believe that starvation leads to weight loss. While extreme cases may result in weight loss, the detrimental effects of such diets are well-known.

So, if starvation diets are ineffective, and spending hours in the gym isn't feasible, how do we lose weight? The good news is that you don't have to starve yourself to shed those extra pounds, nor do you need excessive exercise. The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy, slim body lies in consuming regular, nutritious whole food plant based meals and allowing yourself to eat until satisfied. By preventing hunger, you'll avoid overeating, which often occurs when following starvation diets.

One effective method is to make breakfast your biggest meal of the day, followed by lunch, then dinner. It's advisable to avoid eating close to bedtime, ideally leaving at least two hours between your last meal and bedtime.

Don't ignore hunger signals. Eat as soon as hunger strikes to prevent overeating. Delaying meals for an extended period can trigger panic mode in your body, leading to overindulgence when you eventually eat.

Skipping meals in the hope of reducing calorie intake is counterproductive. It often leads to overeating later on and can even slow down your metabolism. When your body senses a food shortage, it stores extra fat and reduces the rate at which it burns calories and fat. This survival instinct can leave you feeling lethargic and tired. Starving yourself is simply not an effective weight loss strategy.

It's also beneficial to practice mindful eating. Take your time with each bite, chew slowly, and pause between mouthfuls. It takes about twenty minutes for your brain to register that your body is full and satisfied. Eating slowly allows you to recognise these signals earlier and prevent overeating.

Incorporating just an extra 15 minutes of physical activity into your daily routine can make a significant difference. You don't have to dedicate a large block of time. In fact it's the accumulation of small changes is what leads to big change. For example, leave for work five minutes earlier and walk a little further to the bus stop or park your car further away. Take a short stroll during your lunch break or opt for the stairs instead of the lift. These small changes can add up to significant amounts of exercise over time. And remember, don't deprive yourself of food; it's not an effective weight loss strategy! But be sure to choose the right food. Weight loss isn't about eating less food, it's about eating better food.

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Sophie Simon

Weight Loss and Health Eating Coach with a passion for guiding individuals toward their healthiest, happiest selves using an evidence-based approach.

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