Help! My hunger is out of control
Q: I lost 33 pounds this winter on a new diet, and while I’m thrilled with the results, I’m constantly hungry and I don’t want to backslide. What do you recommend?
A: Our secret weapon for keeping hunger in check: chia pudding made with nut butter. This sweet treat contains a combination of soluble fiber, monounsaturated fats and protein that works synergistically to stimulate the release of satiety hormones in the brain, plus creates bulk in the stomach to keep you feeling full for hours. What’s more, the magnesium in the chia seeds and nuts helps prevent hunger-revving blood-sugar fluctuations.
To make a batch of the treat: In a large bowl, mix 11⁄2 cups of almond milk, 1⁄2 cup of peanut or almond butter, 1⁄4 cup of chia seeds and stevia to taste, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy a few spoonfuls whenever your stomach starts to rumble or at least 30 minutes before cravings usually set in. The pudding will keep for up to a week in the fridge. A delicious way to fire up metabolism both during and after your stroll: Enjoy 1 tsp. of cinnamon daily. Researchers reporting in the journal Metabolism discovered that a compound in the spice (cinnamaldehyde) prods cells to burn up to 25 times more calories through a heat-producing process called thermogenesis. In a separate study, this effect helped subjects given a daily dose of cinnamon lose 37 percent more belly fat over 12 weeks than those who didn’t consume the spice.
Another smart strategy: Make a point to head out for your stroll before eating breakfast. Research shows that people who exercise on an empty stomach burn 20 percent more fat than those who eat before working out. That’s because fasting overnight depletes cells’ stores of carbohydrates, forcing the body to burn stored fat for fuel instead.
I’ve started walking every morning, but I’m not losing as quickly as I’d like. What can help?