Home Lifestyle The secret to a healthy weight: Tips to control hunger pangs after...

The secret to a healthy weight: Tips to control hunger pangs after weight loss

255

In this article, we explore the importance of weight management and how it can help prevent the development of non-communicable diseases.

Protein-packed snacks are excellent for curbing hunger pangs. Options like Greek yoghurt and nuts can keep your stomach satisfied and reduce the urge to snack frequently. Picture: Siora Photography/ Unsplash

WEIGHT is a topic that often sparks debate, but one thing is clear: maintaining a healthy weight can save you from a host of non-communicable diseases.

While losing weight is a journey in itself, the real challenge lies in managing your weight once you’ve reached your goal.

In this article, we explore the importance of weight management and how it can help prevent the development of non-communicable diseases.

The struggle after weight loss

After shedding those extra pounds, many people find it difficult to resist unwanted hunger and end up gaining weight again. Surprisingly, this happens because both hunger and satiety hormone levels increase following weight loss, making us feel hungrier than before.

According to Harvard Health Publishing research, as you lose weight, your stomach releases more ghrelin hormone, a hunger-inducing hormone that everyone has.

This hormone is especially high in people who have recently lost weight. After losing weight, one begins to feel more hungry, especially during fasting times (the time between meals).

Due to this, even though you are full, your stomach may signal hunger. Instead of hunger, this sign could also mean a lack of energy in your body because, after weight loss, your body requires more energy.

According to Stats SA, the number of deaths in South Africa due to major non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lower respiratory diseases has increased by a staggering 58.7% over the past 20 years.

In 2018 alone, there were 164 205 deaths from these diseases, compared to 103 428 in 1997.

Noncommunicable diseases are a global issue, causing more than 15 million deaths each year among people aged 30 to 69. Shockingly, 85% of these “premature” deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Despite the significant impact of NCDs, only 2% of global health funding is directed towards addressing this growing burden, as reported by the World Health Organization.

Taking control of your health

Now that we understand the importance of weight management in preventing noncommunicable diseases, below are some practical tips to help you maintain a healthy weight:

Eat your meal on time: Missing meals can affect your mood, metabolism, and energy level, making you feel hungry. To avoid that, stick to your regular mealtime routine and snack in between meals.

Eat protein snacks: Protein-packed snacks are excellent for curbing hunger pangs. Options like Greek yoghurt and nuts can keep your stomach satisfied and reduce the urge to snack frequently.

Stay active: Engage in regular physical activity that you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, or swimming. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week.

Portion control: Be mindful of your portion sizes and avoid overeating. Listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.

Seek support: Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and family who encourage your healthy lifestyle choices. Consider joining a weight management group or seeking guidance from a healthcare professional.

Practise mindful eating: Slow down and savour each bite. Pay attention to the flavours, textures, and satisfaction you derive from your meals. This can help prevent mindless eating and promote healthier choices.

Stay hydrated: Dehydration can often be misunderstood as hunger. Make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day, even in colder weather. Staying hydrated can help reduce false hunger pangs.

Previous articleBreaking gender boundaries: ‘Chest-feeding’, the new era of gender-inclusive baby feeding
Next articleEskom launches Africa’s largest battery energy storage system in Western Cape