Dietary Habits That Prevent Unnecessary Hunger Spikes

by Danny Fernsby
man taking Progentra pouring milk to his breakfast cereal

Sometimes, people feel hungrier than they should, even after eating a good meal from thyroid problems, certain medications, stress, or even boredom. However, oftentimes, constant hunger is actually a result of poor dieting habits because certain meal choices can actually lead to unnecessary hunger spikes and random food cravings. Addressing this hunger properly by slightly altering your diet can help you lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. Here are some dieting changes that you can make in order to prevent hunger.

Do Not Skip Breakfast in the Mornings

There are many reasons why breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so skipping it can cause a variety of health and weight problems associated with poor dieting habits. It makes sense that skipping breakfast will make you hungry later, potentially leading to overheating during lunchtime. A small breakfast is not going to be enough in order to prevent hunger. Research shows that eating close to 500 calories for breakfast can actually prevent a certain degree of weight gain, especially if the high calorie breakfast foods that you are choosing are packed with other important nutrients.

Protein is especially important in the mornings if you want to get through the day in the most efficient and productive manner possible. Part of the reason that a well-balanced and high protein breakfast has this effect is that a big breakfast can prevent blood pressure spikes throughout the rest of the day. Your blood will have stable glucose levels, which means that you will also be producing stable levels of insulin. As result of this stability, you end up with fewer random food cravings. It might be difficult to find the time in the morning to ingest anything more than a single cup of coffee, but if you are interested in preventing the food cravings, then you should definitely try to find time to fit a well-balanced breakfast into your morning routine.

Choose Fresh Foods over Canned Foods

canned tomato next to fresh tomatoMost people prefer eating fresh foods to canned foods, but canned foods are still beneficial for preserving your food for a long time. Additionally, certain types of canned foods might seem as though they are still perfectly healthy. Canned beans, for example, are popular for their high concentration of both iron and protein. Additionally, whether they come from a can or not, most vegetables and other salad ingredients are always going to be healthy for you and they can actually prevent food cravings because the vitamin K found in green vegetables can regulate the insulin levels in your body in order to combat hunger spikes. However, if possible, you actually might want to consider avoiding canned fruits and vegetables.

Studies show that canned foods can actually lead to some weight gain. Some scientists believe the reason you can put on a few pounds just by choosing canned foods over fresh foods must do with the fact that canned foods often contain BPA, or bisphenol-A. Small exposure to BPA is not going to harm you and the FDA says that Americans do not get exposed to toxic levels of BPA by eating a lot of canned food. However, even harmless levels of BPA exposure can cause imbalances in certain hormones responsible for controlling when you feel hungry or full. Therefore, canned foods can make you feel hungry, even if you have already filled up on a well-balanced meal. To prevent BPA exposure and the unnecessary hunger that it can cause, try eating fresh fruits and vegetables when you have the choice.

Stop Drinking Sugary and Alcoholic Beverages

Drinking is important for preventing hunger since the effects of dehydration are actually similar to the effects of hunger because similar parts of the brain are involved. However, if the reason for your hunger must do with dehydration, then you still want to stay away from certain drinks because some beverages are unlikely to effectively satiate you. For example, soda, iced tea, lemonade, many juices, and most other sugary drinks are unhealthy and you definitely want to consider choosing to drink water over these beverages in order to prevent many health concerns related to poor weight. They are packed with calories and unhealthy processed chemicals, so there is no reason why you should be drinking these if you want to maintain a healthy diet. Additionally, the high fructose corn syrup in these sugary beverages can make you especially hungry.

bottles of sugary and carbonated drinksStudies show that the fructose inhibits a hormone called leptin, which is responsible for making you feel satisfied after a meal. Preliminary studies show that alcoholic beverages have a similar effect. If your brain fails to process enough leptin, you will continue to feel hungry after you have eaten, so you want to avoid high fructose corn syrup in order to feel full. You should always stick to water if you can, but certain types of teas and coffees can be healthy for you too.

However, you should be aware that black tea can actually needlessly decrease your blood sugar, lead to more hunger spikes, which can be especially if you are drinking the tea after you eat nutrients that should increase blood sugar like carbohydrates. Therefore, coffee is probably slightly better for you than tea. If you crave fizzy drinks, then carbonated water should work. If you are engaging in serious exercise for about two hours a day, then you can even consider sugary drinks with electrolytes including Gatorade or Powerade. However, soda and alcohol cannot provide you with any nutrients.

You can always talk to a nutritionist or another healthcare professional about choosing the right diet plan. In order to feel full, you will definitely need a diet that consists of protein, fibers, and other nutrients that are processed slowly by your digestive system. However, even a healthy diet can lead to hunger if you do not engage in the right habits. Skipping breakfast, choosing canned foods, and drinking unhealthy beverages can all sabotage a perfectly healthy diet by making you hungrier than you should be.

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