Some days, I get hungry on my way home. This isn’t a good thing, as it means that I didn’t eat enough at lunch. What makes it worse is that typically, Sherry gets home about an hour after I do, and since I like to eat dinner with her, I have to wait. Enter exercise.
On the days that I run, I find that no matter how hungry I am, as soon as I begin running, the hunger I’m feeling dissipates quickly. This effect lasts for about 30 minutes after my runs which is good, as I usually take a .75 mile cool-down walk, and post-run shower. By the time I’m done with this routine, an hour has passed, and either Sherry is already home or will be home soon, and I’m ready to eat.
I’ve also started to drink more water in the evenings when I feel any hunger pangs. While I don’t get them often, there is the occasional evening where I start feeling a bit peckish, and the last thing I want to do before laying down for sleep is to grab a bite or have coffee. The water does an exceptional job of taking the edge off my hunger and allowing me to carry on with my evening or go to sleep.
Reading is another activity I’ve found has been really good for taking my mind off hunger. My kindle seems to get a lot of use when I’m being very good with my eating and I find that I quite enjoy reading more often. Another option has been video games that I allow myself to get engrossed with. The time flies by very fast, however, and I have to be careful to not let myself get carried away.
As a very last resort, I may eat 5-7 almonds. I try to never snack, as all this does is reinforce a bad behavior. I need to get out of the habit of snacking, and while it’s not a habit of mine per se, it’s something that’s very easy to slip into. I used to eat a Paleo chocolate chip cookie after every dinner for months, and it was a hard habit to break. I don’t want to have to fight a snack habit.
There are many ways to combat hunger, but one of the best is to just eat slowly at mealtime. Just make sure to not over-eat, and ensure you have a good amount of fiber in your meal. Not only is it good for you, but it will both fill you up and help keep you regular (which is important, especially since many people tend to under-eat vegetables/fiber when trying to lose weight).