Posted on Jul 19, 2019, 4 p.m.
We all go through periods of time when we’re feeling hungry… ALL. THE. TIME. This could be due to changes in the seasons, shifts in microbiome, hormonal fluctuations, or efforts to snack less and maintain a healthier weight.
When this happens it’s like an internal debate of giving in, bingeing, or staying strong. Best advice is not to completely restrict yourself because it will most likely lead to binge eating. It can be hard to see and understand just what is causing this insatiable hunger and why you just don’t feel satisfied.
Typically diets won’t help and there are better ways to help cub that appetite, especially for sugar and carb cravings while maintaining a healthy weight. The trick is to eat nutrient dense foods that send signals to the brain that you actually are satisfied.
We’ve collected a few tips that might help kick that crave of wanting to raid the pantry after you have already consumed a healthy meal:
Eat more fish, it’s loaded with plenty of high quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids that will help to increase feelings of being full and satiety. Fish protein has been suggested in some studies to have one of the strongest effects on satiety as compared to all other protein sources.
Science says eating eggs and meat protein for breakfast will help you to feel more satiated throughout the day. Adding high quality protein to a meal has been shown in multiple studies to improve satiety.
Try filling up with grains, foods that are high in fiber help to improve satisfaction while decreasing hunger. Quinoa is full of protein and is high in fiber, oats and buckwheat have also been shown to improve satiety.
Another study suggests to eat more greens, eating more vegetables such as a salad before a meal can help to increase satiety and reduce food intake. Leafy greens are rich in thylakoids that help to reduce hunger, decrease cravings, and increase satiety.
Legumes such as lentils, beans, peas, green beans, chickpeas, and peanuts are full of protein and packed full of fiber, a large systematic review showed consuming these food choices contributed to promote satiety.
Adding a variety of nuts such as walnuts and almonds to your diet can help to improve satiety which is likely due to their high content of healthy fats and proteins; pine nuts have actually been shown to work as an appetite suppressant.
Don’t cut fats out all together, rather eat the healthy ones, by adding healthy fats such as coconut products, avocado, extra-virgin olive oil, and omega-3 oils to the diet it can help you to feel more full and satisfied while boosting energy and metabolism. Adding avocado to a meal has been found to improve satiety for 3-5 hours.
Eating fruit such as blueberries, apples, and watermelon that are high in fiber and packed full of water, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are a great choice when you are looking to feel full, try to opt for whole fruit rather than fruit juices which are typically loaded with added sugars and can cause insulin spikes and more hunger.
If you are struggling with endless hunger, try using a smaller plate and load it up full. This old school tip tricks the brain into seeing the food and thinking that will be more than enough. One study showed that we actually count calories with our eyes not stomach.
Finally try to practice mindful eating, this is a scientifically backed way to reduce those feelings of hunger. Slow down, chew your food, take your time eating so you can enjoy it. This way you can enjoy the smells, colours on the plate, textures as you chew, and the flavours in your mouth fully. Try to savour the experience by slowing down and chewing as many times as you can before swallowing. Mindful eating is and old school tip that is back by science, studies show that it can help those with compulsive eating disorders to overcome their struggles, and it helps promote healthier eating behaviors.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.