It's completely normal to feel hungry periodically throughout the day. But if you can't control your appetite and hunger is ruling your day, the problem could be in your food choices.
Get Control of Your Appetite and Hunger
If you're hungry all the time, your body is probably having a tough time managing insulin levels. I like to think of insulin as both an anchor and a fat-storage hormone.
Insulin's job is to keep your blood sugar levels from getting out of hand. It helps to "anchor" your blood sugar down.
When insulin forced to anchor down your blood sugar too often, your body will store fat - and it's usually through the belly area. The relationship of insulin to blood sugar is a bit of a roller coaster ride. When blood sugar levels go up, insulin pulls it down. When insulin gets too low, you get hungry!
Of course, when you're hungry, you want to eat.
See how this works?
What you need to do is stop the cycle. I've got 3 good tips below that will help you out!
Manage Your Blood Sugar Levels
Assuming you're an otherwise healthy person with an appetite or hunger problem, your goal should be to manage your blood sugar levels as quick as possible.
It's not necessarily hard to control your appetite or your hunger - but you will need to make sure you're eating foods that don't spike your blood sugar levels.
There are a couple ways your blood sugar levels can climb too high:
- Eating too much sugar, including from refined carbohydrates
- Eating too much food in one sitting
When insulin starts working overtime, you can bet that other hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline are also going a little batty. The combined effects of misguided hormones don't just result in weight gain, but also conditions like chronic inflammation and diabetes.
The bottom line: if you're hungry more often than normal, something needs to be done about it. Fortunately, it's a relatively easy fix. Here are a few quick tips that will hopefully have you feeling energized without the distraction of unwanted hunger pangs.
3 Tips to Manage Appetite and Hunger
1. Don't Eat Too Much Before Bedtime
Try not to eat three hours or less before bedtime.
It's so important to stop eating three hours before bedtime, especially if you often wake up feeling hungry, or crave sugar for breakfast. It's normal to want to eat in the morning, but far too often we end up eating the sugar equivalent of dessert for breakfast.
For many people, but the time they're finished with their first meal of the day, they've already triggered the wild roller coaster of blood sugar and insulin.
Here's why it's important to curb your food intake before going to bed.
When we eat shortly before bedtime, insulin levels rise. Insulin levels always go up no matter what we eat.
As insulin levels rise before bedtime, another hormone, called Human Growth Hormone (HGH), is also supposed to rise. HGH is an incredible hormone that helps our body develop muscle, repair damages an generally help keep us as youthful as possible. HGH is released in the greatest amount when we sleep.
But when insulin and HGH face off against one another, insulin always wins. HGH can't be released the way it should be.
As if that's not enough reason to ease off on eating just before bedtime, our metabolism naturally slows, so most of that food in your tummy ends up sitting there until it can better digest in the morning.
This results in unruly early morning insulin levels that triggers hunger straight out of the gaits. Once that roller coaster starts, it's hard to stop.
2. Eat a Breakfast That Has Enough Fat and Protein
I'm not completely sold that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but the first meal of the day sets the metabolic stage for your body for the remainder of the day.
It's important to avoid foods that have too many refined carbohydrates and sugar in general. This includes fruit, fruit-flavored yogurt, pastries, bagels and instant oats, to name a few.
Regardless of your body type, make sure you're getting enough protein and, more importantly, healthy fat in your breakfast. A couple examples of this type of breakfast include:
- Hard boiled eggs + fresh berries
- Full fat plain yogurt + cinnamon + walnuts + berries
- Old fashioned oats + whole milk + cinnamon + berries
- Omelet + tomatoes + 1/2 avocado
Do you get the idea?
Breakfast can still include carbohydrates, but unrefined. Breakfast should also be paired with foods that contains a good amount of fat and protein.
3. Always Add Veggies to Your Lunch
I recommend loading up on veggies for lunch, regardless of what else you eat. Veggies are not only a great source of nutrients, but they're an excellent source of fiber. When we eat more fiber, we slow digestion down and help to build more beneficial bacteria in our gut.
If you're eating out for lunch, order a side salad, or side of vegetables. Consider ordering salads, stir fries or house-made veggie-loaded soups as your main course for lunch.
Avoid eating too many starchy carbs, like rice, pasta, potatoes, pizza or wraps for your mid-day meal. They could leave you zonked out before the day is over - another sign that your blood sugar levels aren't where they need to be.
Hopefully this will help get your day on track and crazy hunger-free.
FYI - if you haven't picked up The Belly Burn Plan, you should - especially if you have belly fat or are having a hard time managing hunger. It's incredibly effective and doesn't require any fancy foods or special equipment.
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