Hunger is typically suppressed once the body is in a fat-burning state (this typically takes about 3-5 days of adherence to the 5 & 1 Plan and means you should be keeping your total carbohydrate intake below 100 grams each day, preferably lower than 95 grams per day). Going off the plan will prevent the body from going into the fat burning state.
If, after reviewing your intake and determining it falls in the range mentioned above you’re still feeling hungry, you may then need to ask yourself whether the hunger you are experiencing “mental hunger” or “physical hunger?”
If what you are feeling is truly physical hunger, here are some suggestions you can try:
- Split the L&G meal into two smaller meals so that you are eating 7 meals in the day instead of 6 (although still getting in just the full lean and green portions)
- Add 1-2 oz. of additional protein to your meal plan. An example would be to add 1-2 oz. of cooked chicken breast meat to a MF cream of chicken soup!
- Drink lots of water, throughout the day.
- Move your L&G meal to earlier in the day if you typically consume in the evening.
- Sip on broth, bouillon, hot tea or hot water in between your MF meals
- Try the Medifast Appetite Suppression Shakes to control hunger
“Mental hunger” is typically related to behaviors that we have surrounding food.
Many of us will turn to food as a means of coping with boredom, stress, emotions, lethargy or even, habit. For example, someone may experience “mental hunger” every time they sit in their favorite chair in front of the TV. The “mental hunger” will appear as a result of a habit of eating in front of the TV that has already been established. Your mind is very powerful and it can connect the TV, the chair and food – so when one of these “things” is missing your “brain” can start “talking” to/at you. This is what is referred to as a behavior chain.
However, we can retrain our brains and we can break our behavior chains with small changes. For example, find a new spot to watch TV or change the living room arrangement so the TV or favorite chair is in a new spot. Once this new arrangement has been established, do not start eating in your chair. In fact, eating should be done at a kitchen and/or dining room table only and without multitasking to be “mindful.” As you progress through your weight loss journey, it will be important to watch and listen for “mental hunger.”
“Feelings” Realize that happiness is just a feeling and you can choose to have any feeling that you want right now, without changing your life. I know it is hard to focus on happy feelings when you have a tragedy in your path or may be feeling frustration for a variety of reasons but be aware of your choice of feelings right now.
Gratitude isn’t just a feeling, it’s a practice. When you’re feeling grateful, it’s because you’re noticing what you have in your life that you love, and that makes you feel loved. There is a lot to also be grateful for right now. Most of us think that gratitude, happiness, peace and all the other wonderful things we want to feel just happen to us, but that’s not the case. Our feelings are always a result of our thoughts. You can get into the practice of creating gratitude by asking yourself questions that focus your awareness on what you love in your life. So ask yourself, “What do I love about my life? What am I looking forward to tomorrow? What went well for me today? What makes me feel very loved?” When you contemplate these questions and answer them honestly, you’ll experience authentic gratitude.
Finally, remember that happiness isn’t having what you want, it’s about wanting what you have.