Healthy Hacks: How To Curb Post Meal Hunger & Food Cravings

During my consultations, I commonly hear from  patients that they feel hungry or crave particular foods after dinner. And, we all know that post-dinner eating is just not good for our bodies, predisposing you to obesity. Curbing those post-meal food cravings can therefore greatly improve your health and quality of life.

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Post meal hunger pangs are common when you consume foods with high-glycemic starches and saturated fat. This causes the levels of insulin in your bloodstream to spike, clearing glucose from the bloodstream, resulting in the sudden onset of a feeling of hunger. It’s called a “carb craving”, and is most often brought on by overeating, snacking, or drinking alcohol or sugary soft drinks. Other behavioral habits like watching TV or reading while eating can also exacerbate the problem.

How To Stop Post Meal Hunger And Binge Cravings

To stop feeling hungry after eating you need to identify and eliminate the common causes of post-meal food cravings. These include the following:

Drinking Colas

“Fructose, a common ingredient in soft drinks, is one of the worst culprits, as it hijacks your brain’s appetite management system, tricking it into thinking that your body still needs to eat”

Whether it’s a packaged juice or cola that you drink, almost all processed drinks contain high amounts of sugar. This not only reduces blood flow to the brain, but it also lowers activity in the appetite-regulating region of the brain. Fructose, a common ingredient in soft drinks, is one of the worst culprits, as it hijacks your brain’s appetite management system, tricking it into thinking that your body still needs to eat. What’s even worse is that these drinks provide you with plenty of calories and no nutrition at all, which is why they are said to contain empty calories.

Dehydration

“Mild dehydration can increase feelings of hunger, which is why it’s a good idea to stay adequately hydrated throughout the day”

Yes, we are generally advised to avoid drinking water with meals, but if you aren’t adequately hydrated you will land up eating a lot more and will probably experience post-meal hunger. Mild dehydration can increase feelings of hunger, which is why it’s a good idea to stay adequately hydrated throughout the day. The next time you feel hungry after eating a little while ago, simply down a glass or two of water and you will soon realize that you weren’t really hungry to begin with.

Low-Fiber Diets

“Leafy greens like spinach and kale are rich in fiber and also contain plenty of folate, an essential nutrient that helps control food cravings because of its regulatory effect on blood sugar levels”

Processed and refined foods are generally deficient in fiber, which is not just important for bowel movements, but also for satiety. Leafy greens like spinach and kale are rich in fiber and also contain plenty of folate, an essential nutrient that helps control food cravings because of its regulatory effect on blood sugar levels. Fiber-rich foods like leafy vegetables and fresh fruits promote feelings of fullness and will also give you plenty of nutrition without much of those calories.

Ingredients In Packed Foods

“Packaged foods often contain harmful ingredients like MSG, Lactitol, Maltitol, and high fructose corn syrup, which are known to cause hunger”

Manufacturers are great at employing deceptive marketing, so you’ll often come across foods that would appear to be healthy with labels like “no sugar added” or “low carb”. However, many of these foods contain harmful ingredients like MSG, Lactitol, Maltitol, and high fructose corn syrup, which are known to cause hunger. if you absolutely must binge, don’t reach out for store-bought packaged snacks, try munching on some homemade delicacies instead!

Stress & Boredom

“Being highly stressed or really bored can cause you to overeat, as food then acts as a mood booster and distraction”

Sometimes your hunger is purely psychological. Yes, it’s precisely why we’ve labeled an entire category of foods as ‘comfort food’. Being highly stressed or really bored can cause you to overeat, as food then acts as a mood booster and distraction. Instead of slouching around after meals, go for a leisurely stroll after dinner; this will keep you busy, improve digestion, and boost your mood.

These tips should help curb your post-meal cravings and hopefully, they’ll also help you shed a few pounds. You’d be surprised at how much difference just a few minor changes to your diet and eating habits can make to your health and weight.

Read Next: 10 Zero Calorie Foods to Help You Slim Down

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