Hunger is certainly one of the most common roadblocks on the HCG Diet. It’s one of the common reasons why a lot of dieters CHEAT or if not ABANDON the HCG diet for good. Surprisingly, hunger and craving are not an issue at all for most successful dieters.
Hunger versus Cravings
To know more about the causes of hunger on the HCG Diet let’s learn how to differentiate it first from cravings.
When you are truly hungry:
- It can’t be satisfied with just any snack
- You experience stomach rumbling and headache
- You feel weak, nauseated and irritable
- You feel hungry when you haven’t eaten for a few hours or more
- You are hungry for not just a specific food
- It intensifies over time
When you only crave:
- It comes on suddenly
- It passes with time
- Often caused by negative feelings
- It occurs even after you have recently eaten
- You crave for foods that are either sweet, fatty or salty
- Your cravings can be stronger especially when you are on a diet
- Leads to eating that makes you feel good at first but then you feel guilty after eating
The science behind hunger
Hunger is a normal reaction to the absence of foods. It is our body’s way of signaling us that we need to eat. Once your stomach is empty, you start to feel hungry. Your stomach growls and sometimes you may get a headache. You feel irritable and unable to concentrate. That’s true hunger.
The growling sound is due to the hunger hormone ghrelin that’s sending desperate messages to your brain telling you that you need food. Ghrelin makes you want to eat. The level of ghrelin increases when you deprive your body of food. It overrides your will power and creates chemical reactions that give you little choice but to grab on foods in the pantry. When your stomach fills, the level of hunger hormone goes down and your appetite is reduced.
What causes hunger on the HCG Diet?
You should not feel strong hunger on the HCG Diet when you do it properly. Remember this- if your dose is right then you wouldn’t feel hungry at all but if you are on the wrong dose then you get hungry.
How should you feel when on the right dose? You are not hungry most of the day. You are hungry only before mealtime and if you have waited too long to eat one of your meals. After that, you feel satisfied and you’re no longer hungry for several hours. But this can vary from person to person. Some dieters experience no hunger at all while some do experience being hungry particularly during the first few days on the weight loss phase. Now, this is perfectly normal. Having no hunger pains on the HCG Diet only shows that your body is using the stored fuel as an alternative source of energy to keep you going. However, if your hunger is significant, it’s because of the side effect that happens when you need to adjust your dose.
Other reasons you are feeling hungry on the HCG Diet
- Dehydration: Dehydration can trigger hunger signals so make sure that you drink enough water. Without enough water, your body receives mixed signals on hunger. It causes you to believe that you are hungry when what you actually need is water.
- Not enough protein: The protein portion should exactly be 100 grams for each meal except breakfast. Protein has hunger-reducing properties that increase the production of hormones that signal fullness. Without enough protein, you get hungry frequently.
- Not enough sleep: Sleep is a factor for appetite control as it helps regulate the ghrelin hormone. Not having enough sleep leads to a higher ghrelin level which makes you feel hungrier.
- You lack fiber: You may feel frequently hungry when you lack fiber on the HCG Diet. Consuming plenty of fiber will help keep your hunger under control. Fiber-rich HCG diet fruits include apples, strawberries, and oranges. Fiber-rich HCG Diet vegetable includes spinach, broccoli, carrots, cucumber, artichokes, beet greens, and many more. Not only fiber rich-foods help reduce hunger but it has lots of other health benefits too like reduced risk of diabetes, heart diseases, and obesity.
- Too much exercise: One of the main benefits of the HCG Diet is that you don’t need to exercise just to lose weight. Exercise on the HCG diet should be limited to walking, jogging, yoga, and other light exercises only. Doing intense exercise such as lifting weight, working out in the gym, running will cause strong appetite stimulation.
What to do when you feel hungry during the HCG Diet?
- Drink water to help control your hunger. When you are dehydrated, the more you are likely to cheat. You can also use tea as a substitute for water.
- Drink green tea or black tea. Teas are perfect drinks for the HCG Diet and a good appetite suppressant. Green tea in particular releases an enzyme that immediately reduces appetite. It doesn’t have negative effects on the cardiovascular system.
- Drink coffee to help suppress your appetite. Just make sure to drink black coffee sweetened with Stevia only.
- Split your meals throughout the day. This can help you control your hunger easily. You can break your lunch and dinner into two meals each and have four small meals throughout the day. You can also eat carbs and fruits during your snack.
- Go for a heavy salad. Green leafy ones like spinach, lettuce, and chard are great for salad. Eat to meet your body’s desire.
- Eat a lot of right snacks. Eating snacks tells your brain that you’re not starving and in return lets your body burn more calories.
- Eat foods rich in protein. Protein can help stabilize your blood sugar and produce the feeling of fullness.
- Focus on fiber-rich fruits and veggies. The more fiber the better. Eat at least 25 grams of fiber each day or 10 grams or more per portion.