I don’t know about you, but I am not a happy clam when I’m hungry. In fact, most people aren’t. That’s why the term “hangry” exists. But, you know what? You don’t have to starve when you eat healthier or primarily stick to a plant-based diet. Trust me, I’ve spent years figuring out the best ways to avoid tummy grumbles when lunch is still hours away.
Below are my top 4 tips for staying fueled and satiated when you adopt a plant-based diet:
- Eat Whole, Real Foods That Contain Fiber Most people constantly crave food because they are actually nutrient-deficient. That’s right! You can gorge on fast food (empty calories), gain weight, and still be malnourished. It is for this reason that it is SO important you eat whole, real, and unprocessed foods. Not only do fruits and vegetables contain fiber, which helps fill you up, but they are also incredibly nutrient-dense. As a result, they are going to help your body rebuild and thrive long-term, not merely get by.
- Nosh on Nourishing, High-Calorie Staples Sweet potatoes, roasted vegetables with coconut oil or ghee, quinoa, sprouted buckwheat, hemp seeds, leafy greens (especially spinach), nuts, seeds, and legumes are all excellent sources of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and healthy, slow-burning carbohydrates. As a result, your energy won’t be up and down, but stable throughout the day when you eat these foods. Note: Make sure to properly prepare these foods. You may be doing your body more harm than good if you don’t soak your legumes, nuts, grains, nuts and seeds to activate them before cooking or sprouting them. When these foods are activated, your stomach will be able to break them down and, as a result, the nutrients are more bio-available. Your digestive system will also get a slight break, which will benefit your overall well-being.
- Recognize the True Signs of Hunger Most people don’t actually know what it’s like to be hungry. But, after a 3-day fast, I promise you will. Of course, you don’t have to be that extreme to tune into your body’s cues.For me, developing my intuition so I know when I’m hungry and when I’m just bored has been a lifelong process. I got the ball rolling, though, when I started eating more real, whole foods. As my taste buds changed, my body cleared out toxins and compacted waste, and I focused on hydration, it became easier and easier to hear signals from my body.I now feel as if I have an ideal relationship with my body. I eat natural, organic, whole foods and I stay very active. As a result, I don’t need to count calories. And, I can still indulge in my favorite sweet treats now and again. This can be the reality for you, too.
- Intermittent Fasting and Windows of Eating On the topic of recognizing hunger… I want to talk about intermittent fasting. It’s taken me years to adhere to a strict routine of hydrating with celery juice, then fueling up with a matcha latte blended with coconut oil (and just a dash of honey) and not eating food until 11-12 pm. But, I really feel my best when I eat within an 8-10 hour window. Mark’s Daily Apple has a great article on the pros and cons of intermittent fasting here.If intermittent fasting does not sound appealing to you, that’s perfectly fine. The advice you can benefit from is to keep a regular schedule of when you eat. The body loves routine. Furthermore, hydrating upon waking and not eating 3 hours before bed will improve digestion and help you regulate your hunger (when you’re not feeding the gut, your body can clean — and this only happens in a fasted state).
In summary, no one wants to be hungry. That’s why so many people “fail” dieting. But, what I’m proposing isn’t a diet. Rather, it’s a lifestyle. When we eat and live in accordance with nature’s laws, we benefit as the tuned in mammals that we can be. Humans are capable of so much more, but until we figure out our gut health, heal from dis-ease, and stop devastating the planet, it will be a while until this level of self-realization is attained.
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