Hunger. A dieter’s greatest enemy. That moment an hour after a meal when your stomach is calling for more but your brain knows, you’ve had plenty as it is. Maybe you can fight it today’s and tomorrow, but sometime down the line you will break. This is why we all have such trouble with dieting and losing weight– hunger is not sustainable. The reason we face constant hunger even when we feel like we have eaten our share is due to our food choices. Our stomachs respond to meals in a couple of ways. First of all it uses general volume as a determination of satisfaction. When your stomach is full to capacity it knows it regardless of whether it is full of pasta or chicken or broccoli. This is why so many people resort to vegetables to fuel their diets– they fill up a lot of volume with a small amount of calories. The only problem here is that fiber alone is not enough to fill us up. The stomach also uses another standard to judge fullness and that is content of a meal. It becomes fuller much quicker from a meal containing protein and fat than it will from carbohydrates or vegetables alone. However, protein and fat typically don’t satisfy the volume requirement as they are more dense. Here’s where the fun happens. If we eat a balanced meal of high protein as well as volume filling foods we will reach fullness with the lowest number of calories. What’s more is that the proteins and fats we have digested slow down the digestion of the carbs, so we keep the volume in our full stomach holding us over for a long time before our next meal. Without this food pairing method, even if we are to fill our stomach’a volume to capacity, the carbohydrates and fiber will quickly leave the stomach and leave us hungry again. But with the pairing digestion is slowed. The secret to dieting is there is no secret. Cutting out carbs or cutting out fats is a painful process and yields subpar results in the long term. The secret is to use our bodies natural impulses to satisfy our hunger rather than fight it. By pairing or food choices and eating balanced meals you will find dieting will come easy and being fit and healthy is not a chore!