I have tried limiting my calorie intake for years, and have always given up because I get so hungry, and have no self-control. How do you guys make sure you don't go over your limit for the day? when do you eat most of your calories? Do you eat them later in the day? Any tips are appreciated!
Try and have a well balanced breakfast that is lean and will keep you full, this is where I eat most of my calories. I bring a Tupperware of fresh veggies like cucumber, peppers, carrots with me to snack on during the day along with drinking LOTS of water I never get hunger pains. I also started with eliminating things from my diet and found that it was a lot easier to reach my daily calorie goal, I only drink plain tea and water which slashed my intake by quite a bit! :)
What do you consider your limit and what type of foods are you eating? If you are eating good, healthy, whole foods including enough protein and healthy fats, and staying away from sugar and processed foods, you will have a lot less problem with being hungry. Also you need to look at this from the standpoint of your long term health, not just weight loss when you are lacking motivation. Good luck!
Planning the night before and logging all the next day's food is how I stay on track. I take an hour to myself after our girls are in bed and plan it, log it, print it and put it on my fridge. Then I just cross off items as I eat em. I also keep track of how many glasses of water I drink thru the day on this printed log as well.
I found I was hungriest for the first two weeks! Then slowly and slowly I'm getting better and want to eat less - oh and EXERCISE really helps me control my appetite too (I'm not sure how/why).
So, another member actually suggested this, I made my calorie limits high for the first 2 weeks (i.e. I wanted to aim for 1500, but for the first 2 weeks I was eating 1800-2000) and now slowly and slowly I'm bringing it down - probably 100 calories every week! (This week I'm aiming for 1700/day)
Also what people said above - eating the right foods really helps me! If I want dessert, instead of having 2pcs chocolate (80 cal) I have half a protein bar! Still yum and get my sweetness hit and it's much more filling! :)
Good luck! I'm just starting out too - just stay motivated and keep your goal in mind!
1) Look at the calorie count on the food label prior to consumption to ensure I won't go over
2) The motivation to look better
Find a balance you're happy with, it doesn't have to be all at once and there is no reason to be hungry, just be smarter about the choices you make. For example, if you're having pasta, ditch half of it and fill the plate up with a mix of vegetables - you're getting more nutrients whilst getting the same amount of food with less calories. If you're looking for sweets, find alternatives you're happy to eat, like fruit with greek yogurt or a piece of dark chocolate instead of a full bar.
Don't forget to also include some protein and healthy fats - a small portion of nuts may look like a calorie dense food, but when added to a meal or snack they can make you feel satiated for longer, same with avocado or eggs, etc - have a look at where you're getting most of your calories now and start swapping until you find a balance that keeps you satisfied - if you're not satisfied you wont stick with it.
If you're still having problems, try a smaller deficit - you're better to take a little longer to reach your goal than to give it up completely.
Also, you'd be amazed how much water you really should be drinking. If I'm hungry later in the day (like just before/after dinner) I drink a few glasses of water. It helps. Before I started, I was drinking maybe 2 or 3 cups at most of water. Now I'm at 9 to 15 cups a day :).
I don't have the healthiest diet, but usually I manage to stay at my 1,400. Personally, the only way I manage to stay under is if I log what I've eaten right after I eat it. Then, I know how many calories I still have left for the day, and I can plan accordingly. As for when to eat the most, that depends on your schedule. I imagine for most people it's dinner. My job shift is 3-11 so I go really light on breakfast (which is usually around noon for me), and heavier throughout the day. Anyways, logging food ASAP helps me the most.
Planning - My biggest, most unpredictable meal is dinner, so I start my "day's" calorie count with dinner. So, for example, tonight's (Sunday's) dinner is logged in my smartphone cc app as Monday's "breakfast." Monday's breakfast is logged in as "lunch" and Monday's lunch as "dinner." It's much easier for me to predict and control what I'll be eating for breakfast and lunch each day, so if I start counting with dinner, I'm more likely to stay within my calorie range.
Grin & bear it for a few days - I find that a bad habit of mine is wanting something sweet and/or a snack at night after dinner. I really have been going overboard with that, and it has been eating into my calories (excuse the pun). If I can just go a few days, though, without eating anything after dinner, it's much easier. Those first few days do take massive willpower, though.
Keep trigger/tempting foods out of the house - For example, this week, I'm back in strict losing mode after overeating much of last week. When I went grocery shopping, I only bought foods that will help me with my goal of cutting back this week---fruits, veggies, etc. I wanted, oh how I wanted, to buy those peanut butter Nature Valley granola bars that were on sale, but I resisted. In fact, I resisted several things in the grocery store that I would have bought if this were last week. I just walked away from them this week, though. I know that no matter what I tell myself, I will overeat those foods if they're in my house.
Prepare some dishes ahead of time - I know some people who spend a weekend day just preparing dishes for the upcoming week. They freeze them so that when they come home tired and hungry, they can just defrost and eat. I'm not that organized, but I do prepared some foods that I know can serve as either lunch or dinner---e.g., I just cooked a big pot of chicken soup today & froze them in 1 1/2- and 2-cup portions.