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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown
Nutritionist

Janet Aylott
Nutritionist

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant

Q.

Why am I so hungry at the start of my diet?

Every time I start a diet I feel hungry all the time. So far today I have had a bowl of cereal for breakfast and I have just had chicken and veg for lunch and I am still hungry! Any tips?

A.

Our expert says...

Hi.

It is quite normal to feel hungry at the start of any diet, as your appetite adapts to eating smaller portion sizes and different types of food. Having said that, I do wonder if you are hungry simply because you are not eating enough! This is a bit difficult for me to know without knowing your portion sizes and exactly what you are eating.

So, starting with breakfast, I am wondering what type of cereal you are having? The best type would be a sugar-free wholegrain cereal, muesli or porridge with skimmed milk and maybe some chopped fruit on top. Alternatively, you could save the fruit for a mid-morning snack.

For lunch, you need to include all the important food groups ? protein, carbohydrates and vegetables. It looks like you are missing the slow-releasing, complex carbohydrates and this can leave you feeling hungry, lethargic and tired in the afternoon. I recommend that you add a small portion of brown rice, wholewheat pasta or baby new potatoes in their skins to your chicken and vegetables. This additional fibre should certainly fill you up for longer, as well as provide many valuable vitamins and minerals.

A lot of dieters are wary of carbohydrates, but they are essential for your health and, as long as you eat the right type and quantity, are an important part of your overall diet. Also, try to spread your calories fairly evenly over the day, rather than saving most for the evening. This will also help reduce your hunger and should stop you overeating later on.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

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