Is your body in hungry-all-the-time mode? Do you know the meaning of the word Hangry?!
Are you forever dreaming about your next meal or snack situation, rummaging through the cupboards for something to eat or grabbing food on the go as your move through your day.
Hunger pangs mid-morning, mid-afternoon and through the evening are a sign that you are not fuelling your body with sufficient nutrition and subjecting yourself to sugar spikes and crashes throughout the day. This can result in blood sugar imbalance or dysglycemia, symptoms of which include anxiety, mood-swings (hello bitch Mom!), and feeling hungry-all-the-time!
Ultimately the effects of this dysglycemia are insulin resistance and diabetes…… Never mind the loss of energy, mood swings and foggy thinking that you experience on the daily.
Here are 8 tips to combat hunger pangs and that hungry-all-the-time feeling.
- Eat More Healthy Fats. Unlike simple carbs, fat is a complex nutrient that takes time for the body to digest. it also helps us to feel satiated by working on the brain pathways that reduce the reward that we feel from the food that we eat. There are healthy and unhealthy fat choices so stick with Extra Virgin Olive Oil drizzled over a salad, avocado sliced in a rice bowl or on toast for breakfast, coconut oil stirred into coffee and used to saute vegetables and oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines.
- Eat More Protein. Protein is also a complex nutrient that takes takes time and energy to digest and therefore stays longer in the digestive tract. If you include protein in each meal or snack then you will stay feeling fuller for longer. Think scrambled eggs and greens for breakfast, slices of apple with nut butter as a snack, tuna, egg, beans or sliced chicken on a salad for lunch and poached salmon or a steak for supper. There are lots of easily digestible plant based proteins that can be included into your diet such as hemp seeds in a smoothie, edamame beans drizzled with toasted sesame oil and chia seeds sprinkled onto a bowl of porridge or stirred into lemon water to make Chia Fresca.
- Cut Back On Carbs. Mainstream dietary advice over the past couple of decades has recommended that carbohydrates take up the greater part of your diet. Carbohydrates have occupied prime position at the base of the food pyramid for years. What we now know is that both refined and unrefined grains are easily digested by the body and quickly release glucose into the bloodstream. This spikes your insulin level as the hormone insulin works to transfer glucose into the cells of the body. High insulin levels can cause blood sugar levels to crash and there you are with hunger pangs and hunting around for the next snack that will you fill you up. This is the fast track to feeling-hungry-all-the-time! Remember that All vegetables are a carb so try and draw on whole vegetables and fruits for carbohydrate in your diet. Also experiment with alternative protein rich carbs, for example grains such as quinoa, buckwheat as a grain or in a noodle, millet and amaranth.
- Eat More Fibre. Fibre is so important in our diet and most of us could do with eating more! Fibre helps us with our daily detox, (read poop!) helps to prevent colon and bowel cancers as it cleans and scours our digestive tract, helps to slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream and importantly provides bulk to help us to feel full for longer. Switch to whole grains and include more vegetables into each meal you make. You should be looking at every meal and trying to add in a rainbow of vegetables so that you can increase both the nutritional content and the fibre content of the dish to banish that hungry-all-the-time feeling!
- Cut Back On Fruit. Fresh whole fruits are a wonderful source of micronutrients, fibre and water but they also contain a lot of sugar. Fruit is something that we are encourage to eat as a healthy option. Are you relying on little sugar boosts throughout the day by picking up fruit after each meal. between meals and during the evening. Maybe you are starting the day on a sugar high, by including lots of sugar rich fruits in our breakfast bowl. Don’t worry even if you are trying to save yourself from feeling-hungry-all-the-time, fruit is not taken entirely off your table. Berries, strawberries and blueberries and cherries and kiwis are sweet and delicious with more antioxidants and fibre and less sugar than say, pears, melon, pineapple and override bananas. Switch up your fruit choices or snack on washed and chopped vegetables such as red pepper, celery sticks, radishes and broccoli. Definitely ditch fibre free fruit juices and make water your default beverage of choice.
- Drink More Water. Next time you feel hunger pangs strike……pause…..get mindful and check-in with your body. Are you actually feeling thirsty or even a little bit dehydrated? Our bodies often speak to us from our ‘reptile’ brains and tell us we are hungry when really we are feeling thirsty. Have a big glass of water or chug down a Chia Fresca and then see how hungry you feel in the ten minutes after.
- Eat Mindfully. It takes 20 minutes for our bodies to register that full-up feeling! Give yourself time to recognize when you have eater enough. Slow down and eat more mindfully, Notice every flavour and texture in your food. Enjoy the rainbow of colours in what you are eating and feel thankful that you have chosen to nourish yourself carefully. Give your body time to communicate your appetite needs to your brain and be open to listening carefully.
- Get Good Sleeps. Remember that ‘reptile’ brain I mentioned earlier? Your body an also tell you it is hungry-all-of-the-time when you are actually overtired and under slept! Try and get a good 8 hours of sleep every night. Clinical trails ave shown us that if we do not get enough sleep at night we are more likely to slump at 2pm in the afternoon and suddenly feel very hungry as we try and replace our missing energy. Smarten up your sleep hygiene; turn off all electronics at 7pm to avoid sleep stealing blue spectrum light, take a long, self-loving bath and relax and get into bed an hour earlier than usual to read, journal or even just daydream. After a couple of good nights sleep you will find your energy levels rise, you can skip the afternoon slump and your body will not be craving those compensation carbs in the afternoon!
Legal Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace medical advice or diagnosis from your family practitioner, specialist or medical doctor. The recipes advice and articles consist of nutritional and lifestyle advice as the sharing of information to support a healthier body.