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If you’re anything like me and you are just starting to get on the healthy eating bandwagon, you may be finding that you’re feeling hungry more frequently than you’re used to. Unfortunately, those hunger pains have always been there. How you respond to them is what’s changing. One of the hardest things about this process is learning how to interpret them and appropriately deal with them. It’s been trial and error, but I have found 5  solid suggestions.

Here are some great tips to fight your hunger in a healthy way:

1. Drink more water! Keep in mind that your body’s signals for hunger and thirst come from the same place, which can be confusing. Try drinking a full glass of water before rushing to the vending machine. You just might find that you were only thirsty, which also means that you were able to avoid a huge influx of calories. Want to learn more about how you can tell the difference between being hungry and thirsty? Check out this article I wrote a few months ago on how to decipher the between the two.

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2. Bulk up your intake of fruits and veggies!
  “Extensive research has led to this conclusion: By strategically increasing a meal’s water and fiber content — with the addition of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains — you can dramatically cut the calories per portion while still filling up,” says an article from WebMD.

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3. Try eating an orange or grapefruit at least once a day. Research suggests low-calorie fruits that are rich in soluble fiber help get you fuller faster and help keep the blood sugars steady, explains another article on WebMD.

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4. Do not avoid fat; they are not all created equal. Fats, like those in olive oil, avocado and almond butter, are very good for you and help keep you fuller longer. Your body breaks them down much slower than carbs and sugars. As long as you watch your portion sizes, healthy fats are an essential part of a well-balanced, nutritious diet. For more information, read 5 Healthy Fatty Foods That Boost Weight Loss.

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5. Slow Down! If you’re eating too quickly, your brain doesn’t have time to catch up to your stomach. Believe it or not, it can take up to 20 minutes for your brain to register that you’re full. Strive to really take each bite slowly and enjoy every morsel of delicious food on your plate. This is one of the easiest but most overlooked tips to control your appetite and avoid packing on the pounds.

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Who else is going to be loading up on oranges on their next grocery trip?!