Our coaching question of the week comes from a member of the Metabolic Renewal Facebook group, who we will call Hannah for the purposes of this post! Have you ever felt like Hannah before when starting a new program or trying to make changes to your eating habits? 

I am HANGRY!  Anyone else dealing with this? 

Day 1 I skipped lunch because I was busy. Day 2 I got baked chicken and green beans from a deli. Day 3 I had a shake for lunch because I was too busy to cook or prepare a meal.

An hour after having my shake today, I stopped at the store because I was so hangry, ready to kill someone for a loaf of bread. This found me eating roast beef from the package in the parking lot like a nut job.

Because I still wasn’t satisfied, I came home and had an apple with some almond butter and I immediately felt better.  I do not like feeling hungry, and  do not like being angry!

Any ideas for how to prevent this hangry feeling?” 

Yes, we do have ideas to help prevent this hangry feeling! Keep in mind there are many different ways one could answer this question! 

Hi Hannah! After assessing the structure of your meals, as your personal metabolic optimization coach, I’m wondering if you may benefit from first working on increasing your fiber intake! Why? Fiber can have a significant impact on your hunger, cravings, and energy (HEC)!

What I notice from the foods shared as part of your daily choices, is an absence or lack of fiber. When you skip a meal, there is of course going to be an absence of fiber. With the addition of green beans to your day 2 meal, unless it was more than 1 cup cooked, you probably ingested around 4 grams of fiber. Without knowing the ingredients of your protein shake, chances are this also contributed a minimal amount of fiber, if any at all. There are always ways to add fiber to your shake, but let’s just assume that your total fiber intake was less than 2 grams.

In comparison, notice how after adding in an apple as a snack, with the addition of almond butter, you were feeling completely satisfied? I’d estimate the combo of an apple with around 1-2 tablespoons of nut butter to contribute around 8 grams of fiber to your day. Of course there is healthy fat added as part of the almond butter, which may also be helpful, but I do wonder if fiber made a difference here!

Increasing your fiber intake can be a helpful strategy for weight management since higher fiber diets are linked to greater hunger control, decreased cravings, and even increased energy throughout the day. When you eat more fiber, you are actually naturally lowering your calorie intake but often feeling greater satiety because higher fiber diets add bulk, slow the digestion process, and lead to a feeling of greater satisfaction.

Many of my clients notice more stable hunger, energy, and cravings when working towards eating more fiber, particularly once they start to hit the target of taking in at least 25-30 grams of fiber daily. Keep in mind that even though fiber isn’t providing your body with digestible energy, it does help to control the release of sugar into your bloodstream so you won’t have a crazy energy spike, and subsequent crash, after eating.

You may have to experiment to find the amount of fiber that works best for you and your HEC since sometimes upwards of 35-50 grams can create digestive distress including gas, bloating, and constipation or diarrhea. Increase your fiber consumption slowly, and work on gradual changes over time. I hope this helps, and let us know if you feel less “hangry” as your work to increase your fiber intake!   ~ Coach Stacey

Heads up! You’ll be noticing some changes to our weekly coach blog format! If you’d like to submit a coaching question of your own, feel free! Just comment below with your questions!

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