I have heard the following complaint time and time again, "If I cut down calories I feel hungry all the time and I don't like it."
Are you ready for this dose of honesty? Here it goes:
In weight loss, it is necessary to feel hungry. This is the reason why losing weight it is such a challenge.
Let me explain: Most people who struggle with weight consistently consume more calories then their bodies need. If you fuel your body with every hunger pain, your body will not be able to feed off of it's own storage. Weight loss comes down to one thing: calories in, calories out. You have to consistently burn more calories than you consume in order to lose weight (fat).
Let's say that you are used to eating 2000 calories each day but your body only needs 1500 calories. This means that you have been eating an extra 500 calories each day (which leads to weight gain). Of course you are going to feel hungry when you cut down 500 calories of your intake!
Please remember: There is a difference between feeling hungry and feeling lightheaded because of low blood sugar. It is important to know the difference. It is unlikely that you will feel like your are going to faint if you are eating at least 1200 calories each day. And when I say 1200 calories, I mean a nutrient-packed diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, milk, necessary fats, and staying hydrated with water. Basically a well-balanced and nutritious diet without lots of sugar, high calories, processed foods, saturated fat, etc. You could easily feel lightheaded if your 1200 calories consist of less nutritious food. Do you know how much spinach you can eat for 100 calories? A lot! And it fills you up!
At the same time, it is counterproductive to eat less than 1200 calories a day. Your body may go into starvation mode and hold on to it's fat sources. Going below 1200 calories is also considered sub-nutritious, meaning you are not getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Any diet that claims you can eat less than 1200 calories is not endorsed by me (or the American Dietetic Association, the Gold standard for nutrition)!
Please do not worry! Over time, your body will adjust to fewer calories as you are trying to lose weight and you won't feel as hungry. It is common to feel more hungry at the beginning of the weight loss process. It is also helpful to indulge occasionally because deprivation can backfire quickly.
Remember, we are talking about weight loss mode here not maintenance mode.
So the next time you feel hungry in your weight loss journey, just think to yourself, "Oh good, my body is eating itself!" ha ha!