Do you like feeling hungry? Thought not. Me neither. It’s not a very pleasant feeling, is it?
Next question: do you want to lose weight? Yep, me too. And by weight, I mean fat, since most of us also want to keep our muscles. (And yes, I realize there are some people who don’t want to lose weight, but they probably didn’t click on this article.)
So, fat loss. What we would all like the most. The problem is that losing fat requires us to be hungry. So I said. It’s an essential part of the weight loss process, and yet it’s not always talked about. Because?
Because none of us want to go hungry. It’s uncomfortable and we don’t like discomfort. We want things to be easy, including our weight loss.
Hunger is Part of It
I hate to tell you this, but there is no magic diet that will keep you full and satiated all the time and allow you to lose fat. Not even Keto (trust me, I tried). Now, I’m not saying you have to endure constant agonizing hunger pangs, but you should expect mild hunger from time to time on any diet that works.
Because? Because to lose fat, you need to eat less than you are using and your body will feel hungry. It is normal. We didn’t really hear about that part though. All the gurus and experts selling diet plans/potions fail to remind us that at some point we just have to go through a degree of starvation to tell our body, “Hey! Burn your fat!”
I was inspired to write this article precisely because I am going through it right now.
A friend in the fitness industry gave me a “shredding diet” to go on and I’ve been starving for quite some time. Note: I said “some” and not “all” all the time.
If you’ve ever fasted or been too busy to eat, you know that hunger comes and goes in waves. So I’m not hungry all day, every day.
There are times when I am not hungry and I am full of energy. But the hunger is definitely coming more than I’m used to.
The other night, I got up to pee, I was hungry, and I whispered to myself, “Hungry means the diet is working,” as I fought the urge to go downstairs for a midnight snack.
Those words are something I heard Hattie Boydle, Australian fitness model and queen of shredding (IMHO), say on a podcast.
Hattie Boydle. Image: Pinterest
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Surely it can’t be healthy to be hungry?” or “Well, I don’t want to lose weight that way!”
The truth is that being a little hungry from time to time is not going to kill us. It might even be good for us. Studies have repeatedly shown the benefits of calorie restriction and fasting.
Our bodies were designed to go through periods of little or no food (when we lived on the savannah, hunting, and gathering, we didn’t always have an abundance of food). so much junk/convenience food.
Obviously, we don’t want to go hungry, but let’s face it, most of us are the opposite of going hungry. We are overfed. A little hunger is what our body needs.
It’s a hard truth that not everyone wants to hear, but in order to lose body fat, we have to endure a little hunger. It’s not fun, but it’s not forever either. As your body adjusts to “expecting” less food, it will be forced to use stored body fat. And that’s what you want, right?
So if you really want to lose fat, embrace hunger. That means the diet is working. Imagine that you have reached your target weight or body fat percentage. Really imagine.
And when you’re having a hard time sticking to your diet plan, ask yourself what Arnold Schwarzenegger said in an interview “What are you most hungry for?”