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Can Eating Actually Make Me Hungry?

It's a basic instinct, if you're hungry you should eat. But what if it isn't that simple? What if some foods are so processed that they actually mess with our body's chemical and hormonal mechanisms and make us even hungrier? It's true. There are a number of foods that are tricking you. Find out more about the sneaky dietary decisions that are messing with your head, and your gut.

1. Juices

I hate to break it to you, but I'm not just talking about those little boxed juices your kids bring to school. I'm talking about the cold-pressed, raw, organic, green, and detoxing juices that have taken the health scene by storm. It turns out, a glass of juice lacks the fibrous skin of solid foods needed to maintain satiety. You drink your juice and your blood sugars spike, then crash, making you hungry.

If you want a more satisfying juicing experience, make sure the juice is blended from real whole fruits and vegetables. Add nut butter and protein powder to further balance out your blood sugar and increase satiety. Always check the sugar content of the juice you're drinking to make sure it isn't liquid-sugar.

2. Simple-salty carbs

Have you ever wolfed down a bag of chips and quickly followed it up with, "now I want something sweet"? You're not alone. Salty snacks, like chips, are quick digesting simple carbohydrates. The energy they grant you is short lived and leave you craving more. The contrast between salty and sweet also tricks you into thinking you have two stomachs. Your salty stomach feels full, but you could still use something sweet. This starts an endless cycle of cravings that are hard to curb.

3. Fast-fried food

Here's a scary fact: did you know trans fat actually inflames your gut, impairing your body's appetite-controlling neurotransmitters? That's a lot of information to swallow. Buns, condiments, and thick icy milkshakes are dense with fructose corn syrup. This syrup spikes then reduces insulin. Not to mention all that salt. Salt dehydrates you and fools you into thinking you need more. Fast-food is essentially one big trap for your health and your wallet when you find yourself turning back into the drive thru for round 2.

4. Pizza

We can never have just one. The white flour dough, hydrogenated oils, processed cheese, and preservatives are the perfect combination for confusing the brain and the body into believing "I need more!" There is hope. You can adjust the recipe of your classic pizza to make it hit the spot on hunger. Revamping your pizza to include whole-wheat dough, lean meats, veggies, and a lighter serving of cheese can provide you with fiber and protein that leaves you full without feeling sick.

5. Sugary cereals

How do you want to start your day? Drained and hungry or energetic and satisfied? Sugary cereals start our day with swings in insulin and unbalanced blood sugar. Our body tends to release cortisol in the morning, this makes it even more difficult to metabolize sugars. The day should be started with a high-protein breakfast that is rich in fiber. Try starting your day with 3 eggs or bran-based cereals with less than 5 g of sugar.

Eating for Satiety.

Why do you pick up a snack? Is it because you're hungry, or is it because it's covered in a thick layer of icing or salt? Eating is meant to nourish our body and provide us with energy to help us make it through the day. Eating baked goods for breakfast or greasy pizza for dinner will make you feel good in the moment but make you sluggish and tired later. Make better meal choices to feel good throughout the day and not just during that first bite.

Sources:

  1. Fetters, Aleisha. 11 Foods That Make You Hungrier. Health.com. August 05, 2014.
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