When you start to feel those first pangs of hunger twisting within your stomach, the automatic response is typically to find something (preferably delicious) to eat. Sometimes, we even eat at times when we’re not hungry at all, as a form of comfort, to pass time, or simply because we feel as though we’re obliged to consume food at the same time every day. However, there are some foods out there that you could be eating as a way to tackle your hunger, that only make the issue worse. This is particularly dangerous for those of us who are trying to lose weight. Foods that contain a higher glycemic index are generally digested faster than other foods, boosting sugar levels that leave you feeling hungry. This could lead you to eating even more, and needing extra sustenance in order to feel satisfied. This is a list of some of those foods:
- Salty Snacks
Snacks such as salt and vinegar crisps might be delicious, but they’re also unhealthy, and can leave you craving more food in order to satisfy your hunger. It’s common for most people to crave something sweet when they are finished eating a salty snack, as the easily-digested carbohydrates create a link in your brain to sweet foods.
- White bread
Having a couple of slices for toast every morning for breakfast may seem like a good idea, but if you find yourself feeling hungry soon after, then your choice of bread could be the issue. The flour which is used to make white bread, is processed to remove the bran, which takes away the fiber content of your toast. Also, the high glycemic score means that you will feel a spike of energy before quickly crashing, leaving you wanting more.
- Fast Food
I know, most people love fast food, but aside from the excess amounts of fat, sugar and carbs that they contain, the ingredients inside of that easy-access food are also encouraging you to eat more of it. The sugar that goes into burger toppings and buns cause a spike that lead to hunger, and the high salt content of fries leads to dehydration, which is regularly mistaken for hunger.
Raw fish may seem like a healthy snack option, but when it’s combined with the sweetened white rice that is often used in sushi, it becomes a less satisfying choice. White rice has a similar effect to bread, as it is quickly digested and offers little in the way of fiber. If you do love sushi, try choosing the type that comes with brown rice if you want to feel fuller for longer.
- Italian food
Everybody loves pasta and pizza (especially me), but these foods can be just as problematic as white rice and bread when it comes to making you feel hungrier, in less time. A further issue with pizza and pasta, is that it is so easy to over-eat. Instead of sticking to the recommended portion size, we often binge, causing the simple carbs in the dough or pasta to create an insulin spike. This spike tricks us into thinking we’re still hungry, so we eat more.
- Artificial Sweeteners
Drinking a diet coke may seem to be the best choice if you are trying to lose weight, but when you put artificial sweeteners in your drink, your brain is triggered into an expecting the energy boost that would normally be provided by regular sugar. In some cases, this can create further feelings of hunger, as your body wants to make up for the lack of energy it was expecting.
Okay, not a food, but if you’re craving a full pizza to yourself, or a kebab after you’ve had a long night out, it may not just be your drunken state that are allowing your dieting inhibitions to slide. Research has shown that alcohol reduces the hormone in your body that makes you feel full. Also, if you add on the dehydrating effects that alcohol has, you will usually find yourself eating extra to make up for the energy that your body believes has been lost.
It’s completely possible to eat cereal as a healthy meal option if you make the right choice about which cereals to eat. However, there are plenty of options out there that are not designed to help you stay feeling full until lunch time. A lot of popular cereals are packed high with sugar, and offer low amounts of fiber, leading to a brief spike, following by a quick crash in energy levels. Opt for choices that are high in oats and grains if you want to feel fuller on a morning.