FREE Shipping! Code: SAVETIME (orders $130+)
0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Total
    Check Out Continue Shopping

    ICON Meals Blog — protein

    Blog Menu

    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.

    Five FREE Killer High-Protein Sandwich Recipes

    Five FREE Killer High-Protein  Sandwich Recipes

    Sandwiches are a quick and easy meal for active days, and when there’s fun in the sun to be had nobody wants to spend too much time in the kitchen.

     

    It’s also tough to get enough protein in when you’re running around! We’ve solved both problems with one stone — a short recipe ebook featuring 5 amazing sandwiches that are easy to make. Using two slices of our Protein Bread will add 30g of protein to your macros all by themselves.

     

    [Download FREE Recipes ebook]

     

    Download High Protein Sandwich Recipes

     Order Protein Bread

     

    3 Custom Meals For Fat Loss

    3 Custom Meals For Fat Loss

    Calories put on pounds, simple as that. If you want to lose weight, just cut out the calories, right? Well — it’s not that simple. To stay HEALTHY while cutting you still need to eat well. The key is to load up your diet with foods rich in nutrients and proteins, and low in saturated fats and calories. High-protein foods keep you feeling full longer, reducing hunger cravings — the #1 diet destroyer.

     

    How much protein is enough for you? According to the Dietary Reference Intake Report, the maintenance zone for sedentary people is 0.36g/day for every pound they weigh*. Let’s assume readers of this blog are more active and focused on muscle building, we’ll increase that number to 0.75g/day. If you weigh 220lbs, you need 165g/protein a day.

     

    Build Custom Meals Now

     


    Three Custom Meals Designed To Lose Fat

     

    1. Chicken, Sweet Potato Mash, and Green Beans

     

    It’s tough to get any cleaner than this meal. Our super lean chicken breast clocks in at 6.25g of protein per ounce. Green Beans provide an incredible amount of nutrients in a calorically small package, and our sweet potato mash will keep you feeling full and energetic! This balanced and tasty meal is perfect for controlling weight.

     

    ICON Meals Chicken Custom Meal

     

    2. Shrimp, Red Potatoes, and Broccoli 

     

    Inspired by Louisiana crawfish boils, this meal features low-fat, high-protein shrimp that will keep hunger at bay without piling on the calories. Red potatoes provide valuable healthy fats (necessary for any healthy diet), a reasonable amount of carbs, and a bonus boost of protein. Broccoli provides an incredible amount of nutrients in a calorically small package.

     

    ICON Meals Custom Meals Shrimp

     

    3. Turkey Breast, Sweet Potatoes, and Green Beans

     

    Feeling like some fall-favorite comfort food? Turkey is almost as protein-packed as chicken at 6g/oz, while still being super clean and lean. Add just a little oven roasted sweet potato for flavor balance and fiber, plus green beans to round out the carbs and add even more fiber. It’s a meal that will fill you up on just a few calories.

     

    ICON Meals Custom Meal Turkey

    We’ll Do The Math For You!

    Our website features a macro calculator that updates live as you select between portion sizes. It’s incredibly easy for you to find your perfect macro balance with a few clicks.

     

    Just remember: if you’re active you need to consume roughly 0.5g of protein for every pound you weigh, daily.

     

    Put together your custom meals today.

     


     

    *https://ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx

    Growing Muscle Faster by Optimizing Protein Synthesis

    Growing Muscle Faster by Optimizing Protein Synthesis

    Building vs Breaking Down

     

    Throughout the day your body switches between synthesizing and breaking down protein. To build muscle you want your muscle protein synthesis (MPS) to exceed protein breakdown rate (PBR).

     

    When you are fasting your PBR rises, and if PBR is higher than MPS the result is muscle loss — negative protein balance. When you eat protein MPS goes up, and when MPS exceeds PBR the result is muscle gain.

     

    The Basic Formula

     

    PBR > MPS = muscle loss

    MPS > PBR = muscle gain

     

    How To Do It

     

    The most important part of growth/retention is consuming enough protein, and you can optimize synthesis rates with numerous high-quality protein feedings during the day. These also ensure you retain muscle while you’re in a deficit.

     

    For example (and I’m generalizing): whey protein elevates synthesis rates for 4 hours while casein does so for 6. The idea is to re-spike MPS rates when they begin to fall so MPR doesn’t exceed them. That’s one good reason whey is preferred during the day, while casein is better for sleeping/longer periods between feedings.

     

    It’s About Speed

     

    This isn’t to say if you decide to fast most of the day muscle starts “falling off” your frame. The body stubbornly holds onto muscle and fat. But, if you want faster progress in strength, size, and energy, numerous quality feedings is the way to go.

     

    I don’t find myself hungry during the day and prefer to bank calories until my last meal. However, ensuring I consume protein several times a day makes a huge impact on my progress, especially when I’m trying to build muscle and strength.

     

    Get them feedings in!

     

    Michael Mastrucci (Follow on Instagram)

    The Macro Diabetic, Host of Diabetically Speaking

    When Should You Eat Carbs? By Dr. Gabrielle Lyon

    When Should You Eat Carbs? By Dr. Gabrielle Lyon

    You may have heard about “protein timing,” — but if you haven’t it refers to the distribution of protein throughout the day, and before/after training sessions for optimal muscle protein synthesis (the process by which cells make proteins).


    There are different studies and philosophies on how this should be accomplished depending on your overall goals. If you train regularly, then you probably have a system down pat already.


    But are you paying attention to “carb timing?”


    If you’re not, you might be putting yourself at a disadvantage when it comes to your health, physique, and losing those last 5-10 lbs


    The research for carbs and high-intensity exercise is very clear; however, the research about meal distribution for metabolic flexibility and body composition is not as well-established and definitely not widely-recognized.


    So why should you pay attention to how you distribute carbs throughout the day?


    It primarily has to deal with “metabolic flexibility,” or your body’s ability to adapt to different metabolic demands (aka the stress you put on it through eating and training).


    We know that the consumption of any carbohydrates requires an insulin response so that our cells can absorb the sugars from the macronutrient for energy. Eat too many carbs, though, and your body might not be able to keep up.


    Research studies have shown that the body can use (burn or store) about 40 grams of carbs after a meal (assuming you’re not exercising while digesting the meal). Meals that exceed 40 grams require more and more insulin to shut down fat metabolism and force the extra carbs to be converted into fat for storage.


    This limits the body’s ability to burn fats, increases fluctuations in blood glucose, and increases hunger.


    For the average person trying to lose weight - keeping carbs lower at the beginning of the day and higher towards the end of the day.




    Stay connected with Team ICON Member Emily Hayden:

    Want to be featured by ICON Meals? Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on IG or Facebook!