Thanks for sending in all of your awesome macro questions. I have another one that I’m going to answer today: What do you do if you’re hungry while tracking macros?
I’ve received this question quite a bit over the years, and my number one answer is: If you’re hungry, eat more food!
No seriously. I think what happens is that people think that they should set their macros and calories really low and just try their hardest to eat within that range to lose weight. The problem is that sometimes it ends up equating to too little food, and the reason you’re hungry is that you need to eat more. It might be time for a hard look at your macro goals and activity level - maybe even a full macro re-calculation.
Of course, if it’s just a few days here and there that you’re feeling especially hungry, take a look at what’s happening in your life. Did you get enough sleep the night before? Did you finish a really tough workout? If you’re a woman, are you about to get your period or ovulate? All of these factors can contribute to why you are hungry. Our energy needs change every single day, so set-in-stone macro goals might not work if you're hungry.
All of the above can contribute to your hunger levels and cravings, and if that’s what is going on, then you need to eat! Macros are a great tool, but at the end of the day, we need to eat intuitively to make sure our bodies are fed.
Below are my top two tips for feeling full and satiated after eating:
Add more fiber
I add a ton of veggies (especially greens), fruits, and other fiber-rich foods to my meals. Fiber helps with satiation and is also great for weight loss, gut health, digestion, and even hormones. I always tell my clients to get anywhere from 25 to 35 grams of fiber for the day. If you’re tracking macros and not getting near that range, fiber is definitely something to prioritize to help you feel full and help you get to your goals. Plus, if you're hitting your daily fiber goal, it often insures that you're eating high-quality food sources (i.e. veggies, fruit, oats, quinoa, flax, chia seeds, etc.)
Prioritize protein and fat
Many of us have trouble hitting our protein goal for the day. To combat that, make sure that ALL of your meals not only have some form of protein, but even an extra ounce or two. Something as simple as adding an extra egg or egg white (+ veggies) can make all the difference!
One tip I have for clients is to take their protein goal for the day and divide it equally among their meals and snacks. It’s a good way to ensure that you’re getting it all in. The same tip goes for fat. Make sure that ALL of your meals and snacks have fat in them. The combination of protein, fat, and fiber will keep you fuller for so much longer. Again, make sure ALL meals and snacks have a combination of these three elements! Additionally, check out this blog post to make the most of your food choices: Maximizing High Volume Foods.
Of course, you can always consult with me if you’re having trouble with hunger and would like to purchase a macro calculation or work with me one-on-one. I’d be more than happy to help, and I definitely don’t advocate for my clients to feel hungry because that’s not the point of macros. They are simply a framework to help you make well-rounded, nutritious (and delicious!) meal choices that will keep you satisfied. Food is not just fuel; it is also meant to be enjoyed, and I want you to look forward to what you’re eating!
That’s all I have for today! Of course, keep those questions coming, and I’ll talk to you guys soon!