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    ICON Meals Blog — hydrate

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    8 Ways To Feel Full While Cutting Calories

    8 Ways To Feel Full While Cutting Calories

    From Michael Mastrucci (@themacrodiabetic)


     

    Two hormones have a major influence on energy balance: leptin and ghrelin. Leptin mediates long-term energy regulation and is responsible for decreasing hunger. Ghrelin is the yin to leptin’s yang, a fast-acting hormone that increases hunger.

     

    When you’re cutting, putting your body in an intentional caloric deficit, the body’s subconscious response is to increase ghrelin which leads to cravings and hunger pangs. This is true even in short cutting periods. And if you give in to these cravings, your cutting will have been for nothing! Here are eight ways to counteract the body’s hunger response:

     

     

    ICON Meals - Caffeine

    1. Caffeine

    Black coffee’s caffeine content can blunt hunger. However, it’s not a panacea and I wouldn’t recommend downing a pot later in the day.

     

    ICON Meals - Distractions

    2. Distractions

    There’s nothing like watching your favorite show or a movie during dinner to help you chill out after a long day, and mild hunger can fade when our minds are distracted with entertainment. Take care to fully enjoy your food — chew thoroughly, swallow, set your fork down, take a sip of water. It’s not a race.

     

    ICON Meals - Fasting

     

    3. Fasting

    Some people have no trouble pushing their meals until later in the day, and fasting can be effective for fat loss — but it is definitely not REQUIRED. Before jumping on the fasting bandwagon pay close attention to how it affects your energy levels. There’s no reason to force your body to take on additional stress when already in a deficit.

     

    ICON Meals Flavors

     

    4. Flavor

    If you’re finding your food a little bland, adding spices and other flavors can make it more palatable without adding excessive amounts of sodium or sugar — ICON Flavor Seasonings are a great example. Too much salt and sugar can numb taste receptors over time, leave you feeling hungry, and make lightly-seasoned foods less satisfying.

     

    ICON Meals - Hydration

     

    5. Hydration

    Drinking water is far better than eating more calories when maintaining a deficit. Most importantly, you need water to help regulate a vast number of physiological processes and stay healthy. Drinking water before and after a meal (and in between bites) helps to promote fullness and keeps your digestive system working properly.

     

    ICON Meals Grilled Chicken Lean Box

     

    5. Nutrients

    Whole foods are your best bet for overall health. 200 calories of potato chips are mostly empty of valuable nutrition —instead, opt for veggies or micronutrient-dense foods to get far more bang for your caloric buck. Additionally, nutrient-dense foods often provide your body with better energy levels and can be much easier on digestion.

     

    ICON Meals Mentality

     

    6. Mentality

    Going to bed hungry is a big pet peeve of mine, so I like to save the majority of my daily calories for the last meal of the day. This doesn’t agree with everyone, and that’s ok. After you’ve eaten dinner, it’s important to remember that you’re not going to starve. If you get those post-dinner cravings, drink water, stay occupied, and see how you feel in 20 minutes.

     

    ICON Meals Sleep

     

    7. Sleep

    Sleep affects hormone regulation, and lack of it will put leptin and ghrelin out of balance. To prevent cravings and dips in your energy, your body needs to get full, complete rest. This is doubly important when you’re intentionally depriving yourself of calories.

     

    ICON Meals Fork

     

    8. Utensil Size

    Psychological tricks can help us feel fuller without actually changing our food. Smaller silverware and dishes visually trick our minds into thinking our portions are larger and therefore more satisfying.

    How To Calculate Your Sweat Rate

    How To Calculate Your Sweat Rate

    It’s pretty common knowledge that proper hydration is important for your general health. Most of your body is made of the stuff, and we simply need to drink enough every day. The Mayo Clinic recommends 15.5 cups of fluid a day for men, and 11.5 cups for women (that includes all fluids, 20% of which come from food).

     

    When you’re exercising though...things get a little more complicated. Sweat’s our way of regulating body temperature, and the more you sweat the quicker you become dehydrated. Knowing how much you sweat makes adequate rehydration much easier.

     

    ICON Meals Sweat Rate

    Learn Your Sweat Rate

    Sweat rate measures how much water leaves your body while you’re exercising. Next time you exercise, do these steps to calculate it:

     

     

    1. Head to the bathroom and empty your bladder.
    2. Find your initial weight — weigh yourself in as little clothing as possible.
    3. Write down the ambient temperature.
    4. Go through a 1-hour exercise routine, recording any fluid intake.
    5. After your routine, towel off any sweat and weigh yourself again in the same clothing as before. This is your final weight.
    6. Convert weight loss to fluid ounces or milliliters. (1 lb = 16 oz = 454 ml)
    7. Add fluid lost to fluid consumed during exercise to find your hourly sweat rate at that temperature.

     

    Average people sweat 27 – 47 oz/hr during exercise, but sweat rates as high as 125 oz/hr have been recorded (that was Alberto Salazar while training for the 1984 Summer Olympics). It’s important to remember that climate affects sweat rate. Temperature, humidity, and airflow are all important variables to consider.


    Once you know your sweat rate, you’ll know exactly how much water to replenish during your exercise!


    Besides water, post-workout you’ll want protein to help your body repair and regrow your muscles. Snacks like our Wag Bars are the optimal choice.