Erik Ledin, co-owner of Lean Bodies Consulting and a world-renowned fat loss expert, has a simple response to his clients, who are actively trying to lose fat, when they say “I’m hungry!”: “Did you expect not to be?”

“People often think it’s abnormal to be hungry when trying to lose fat”, says Ledin. “In fact, it’s a perfectly normal and predictable part of the fat loss process. It’s even desirable as it shows one’s body is responding the right way to a caloric deficit. I’d be far more concerned if one was NOT hungry while in a caloric deficit as this indicates possible hormonal/metabolic dysfunction. You are providing your body with less of what it needs for the purpose of losing fat…so to expect not to be hungry is simply unrealistic. There is no way around not being hungry when trying to lose fat.”

Ledin is quick to point out hunger is not a indication of the need for more food. “People often tell me they are starving, when that’s so far from the truth it’s laughable”, says Ledin. “Starvation literally means lack of food, famine, undernourishment, malnourishment, fasting. This is clearly different than hunger while in a necessary caloric deficit to meet a goal.”

Ledin feels, when truly trying to lose weight and fat, the hunger simply has to be accepted and managed. So how do you manage hunger while dieting? “You need to apply the minimum effective dose”, says Ledin. “All too often people drastically cut calories, pile on the cardio, etc., from the get go. This is an unsound approach. One should see how much-not how little-they can eat and still lose fat and then sanely ratchet the deficit up over time using an outcome- based approach, cutting calories conservatively and adding in more activity as needed.”