There can be many reasons why you always may feel hungry. For example our level of hunger can fluctuate daily depending on what we are doing or how stressed we feel. Some days when you are doing more for example exercise, busy at work or rushing around with the kids you are likely to need more food for fuel to keep you going. Often when we are busy we can forget to eat or eat the wrong things to fill us up. When we feel stressed on an ongoing basis the stress hormones produced can stimulate appetite. Also when we don’t sleep well this can trigger the hormone ghrelin which can also increase appetite.
When we eat too much sugar and sugar drinks, fast foods and refined carbs this makes us hungrier longer term as these foods upset blood sugar levels, providing highs and lows like we are on a rollercoaster. When our blood sugar crashes we automatically crave sugar, refined carbs or fizzy juice to pick us back up. Look at alternatives to sugary foods and drinks such as fizzy water, fruit and some nuts. You can look at healthier sugar substitutes such as xylitol and stevia to add to baking etc
Do you have some protein at each meal? If you are always hungry you may not be getting enough regular protein in your diet. Protein foods such as lean meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, lentils and beans for example help keep us fuller for longer and slows down the rate we absorb sugars. Regular protein helps keep energy levels, mood and concentration up and may aid with weight loss. It also helps support blood sugar levels and your stress response. You could add nuts, seeds to cereal/porridge or have an egg in the morning, have chicken, cottage cheese or beans with lunch and fish/turkey/lean beef or lentils with your evening meal.
Fibre found in wholegrains, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit helps slow the release of sugars from foods into your bloodstream. This helps support blood sugar levels and thus less cravings and hunger. Try oats, brown rice, quinoa, lentils, beans for your complex carbs. Having good gut bacteria also aids digestion, influence our appetite and how we store fat. Take probiotic supplements or eat some fermented foods such as sauerkraut, miso paste, kefir and live yoghurt.
Fuel up the right way with balanced meals and healthy snacks. If you are out and about take some food with you to avoid energy dips and reaching for chocolate and crisps or the donut store! Anne xx Adapted from Bella Magazine March 2018