Other than eating soups, wraps, salads and filler food with few calories per volume, what other strategies are there to keep hunger at bay?

A 20% to 30% calorie deficit results in a decent sensation of hunger through the whole day...unless one eats half a cube meter volume of spinach...

Sure cardio is nice and fun to lose weight without starving, but it's sweaty and I get sun burned from running outside during the day, and it's not really that safe running at night where I live. So cardio is an option but limited.

Also the hunger is kinda distracting, when hungry I just wanna go for a walk or go to sleep....anything to "stop" my brain.

  • Sleep a lot. Insufficient sleep, lack of rest or increase of stress is a massive hunger amplifier.
    – matousc
    Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 12:12

3 Answers 3


High protein

High protein foods are very satiating. It'll also help with muscle retention.

High fiber

Broccoli, cauliflower, squash (when in season), and basically a lot of vegetables are highly satiating. Do not buy bars or processed foods that are labeled "high fiber". They are absolutely lying, and you'll end up eating a ton of sugar for a few grams of fiber.

Low calorie, high volume foods

There's a lot of low calorie foods that are also high volume. Low fat greek yogurt, watermelon, unbuttered popcorn, and pretzels are some good examples.

Don't eat a lot of sugar

Aside from being high calorie, low volume foods, junk food that's high in sugar also causes hunger.

Diet break

For one or two days a week, depending on how long you've been dieting and what your time goal is, eat at maintenance or slightly above. This is usually enough to keep you satiated for the remaining week. Another option is to diet for two or three weeks, and then eat at maintenance for one week.

You of course have to be mindful if your trying to make weight for some sport, but for the average person just trying to lose weight, it can be a very effective long-term strategy.

Diet/zero calorie drinks

I'm not going to argue the potential health problems that fake sugars may or may not cause. There's plenty of evidence that people that you can lose weight while drinking diet sodas. They can be used as a distraction when you just need something. These days there are also a lot of flavored waters that don't have fake sugars which can be used for the same purpose. Regular water of course is still the preferred drink but sometimes they don't fulfill that... itch.

Caffeinated drinks like coffee are also very helpful. Caffeine can cause hunger to go away for some people. Be mindful of additives as they often contain a lot of sugar (see "Don't eat a lot of sugar").

Get a hobby

As you've noted, doing something can distract you from being hungry. Sometimes you're not really hungry. You're just bored. You can work, exercise, study, build a model train village in your basement, or whatever. Just keep your mind focused on something else and it can help alleviate hunger.

  • "people that drink diet drinks lose more weight than those that don't" - When you refer to "those that don't", do you mean people who drink sugared drinks instead, or people who don't drink sweet drinks at all? There's an ambiguity here which I read as "artificial sweeteners cause weight loss". :D
    – Alec
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 11:38
  • @Alec: Oops. It was in relation to people who drink sugared drinks, and kind of a slight jab at people who think fake sugared drinks cause people to gain weight because it increases desire for sweet things. I've edited it to hopefully remove some ambiguity.
    – DeeV
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 12:33

You certainly can "lose weight, without being hungry."

When it comes down to the science of it all, losing actual fat is simply math. That calorie deficit you mentioned is key. In order to lose fat, you NEED to be in a caloric deficit. Technically, you can eat whatever you like—as long as you are still in a deficit.

The reason we lean towards the theories you mentioned above (primarily volume foods, lower in calories) is because they are all methods to stay in deficit... because let's face it: you'll be way less hungry if you eat 3 CUPS of broccoli (120 Cals) vs only 2.5 individual chicken nuggets (~48 Cals EACH).

Not to mention, these "filler foods" tend to be nutrient-dense options which also attribute to your level of satiety and overall fullness. You'll actually find that many clean, whole foods (meaning single ingredient/minimally processed) will keep you quite full for hours.

Drinking plenty of water also helps! We often mistake hunger for thirst, and ensuring you're hydrated will assist in avoiding this.

And of course, always consult with a RD or local Certified Nutrition Specialist when it comes to crafting a weight-loss plan that works best for you! They'll be able to safely guide you to a proper deficit. :)

  • Another benefit of drinking a lot of water is that it increases the calories you burn in a day while not adding any calories when you consume water.
    – MJB
    Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 11:45
  • Hunger can be decreased greatly while on a caloric deficit, it can not be eliminated completely. Hunger does return every once in a while even against best efforts to adjust one's diet. In practice, being able to deal with the feeling of hunger mentally is just as important as the dietary adjustments mentioned.
    – BKE
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 8:30

You can not avoid feeling hunger sometimes when losing weight.

You can't expect never being hungry when losing weight. Hunger is a signal, that your body wants to maintain its weight.

Instead, you need to manage hunger:

  1. Replace foods with high glycemic index with low glycemic index, to control your blood glucose levels and insulin response.

  2. Eat according to proper schedule, eg. plan how much and when you eat and stick to that, even if you feel hungry. As you get used to the schedule, hunger will lessen.

  3. Decrease stress. Prioritize your weight loss goals such that you can have times of lower stress and activity.

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