Many people feel hungry after eating a meal. While it’s true that eating a few smaller meals throughout the day is a good strategy for a healthy lifestyle, it’s generally not a good thing to get hungry after eating dinner, especially if it was a full meal.
Why is your body telling you to eat more even after you’ve nourished it? There are many factors that could make you hungry after eating. See if any of these dietary decisions is behind your post-meal hunger pangs.
Why Am I Hungry After Eating?
You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
Failing to drink enough water before, during, and after your meal can lead you to feel hungry after eating. This is because the signs of dehydration actually mirror hungry feelings. That’s why it’s a good idea to drink a glass of water rather than grabbing more to munch when you start feeling hungry after eating. In fact, drinking water before your meals will lead you to eat less and burn more calories. A study from Virginia Tech found that participants who drank 2 cups of water pre-meal ate 75 – 90 fewer calories, plus lost 5 more pounds than dieters who did not up their water intake.
Carbonated beverages and sweetened drinks are not suitable stand-ins for water, either. Chock full of high-fructose corn syrup, these beverages can reduce our blood flow and brain activity in the neural centers that regulate our appetites, meaning we feel more hungry after eating when we consume these beverages. The drinks also make us crave food by blocking leptin, a hormone that triggers our fullness.
Bottom line: skip the sodas and stay hydrated with H2O in order to stop feeling hungry after eating.
While it’s great to eat your greens, canned foods often contain high levels of bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical that can cause craving-making leptin surges. To avoid these effects, drop the can opener and opt for fresh or frozen veggies — their high nutritional density, including vitamins and minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, will keep you from getting hungry after eating. In particular, leafy green vegetables full of vitamin K can help regulate your insulin levels and prevent unwarranted cravings.
You Didn’t Eat a Balanced Breakfast
Turns out what your mother always told you was true: if you don’t start the day off right with a balanced breakfast, you’ll end up feeling hungry after eating. A University of Cambridge study confirmed this by studying 6,764 healthy participants for 4 years. They found that those consuming 500 calories or more for breakfast gained inly half as much weight as the participants who ate just 300 calories.
Why the difference in weight gain? When you eat a big breakfast, your blood sugar and insulin levels increase more gradually through the day, meaning you’ll crave food less. To create the best breakfast that won’t leave you feeling hungry after eating, be sure to add some high-protein foods (like eggs or sausage) to your meal.
You’re Eating a High Glycemic Diet
In order to stop getting hungry after eating, you need to look at your diet’s glycemic index. A food’s glycemic levels indicate how quickly (or slowly) the digestive system breaks it down to create glucose (or sugar). After the breakdown, this sugar enters the blood stream to circulate to all the cells in your body. The foods that break down more quickly yield more glucose and fall in a range of 70 – 100, with 100 being pure glucose. Slowly-digested foods have a lower score and produce less glucose.
Obviously, high glycemic foods like breads, potatoes, baked goods, fruit juices, and candy will cause your blood sugar levels to spike, affecting your leptin production and preventing fullness. Thus, you should stick with low glycemic foods — try beans, vegetables, and oatmeal, all of which have protein, fat, and fiber to promote slower digestion and keep you from feeling hungry after eating.
Hungry After Eating? Work It Off at TITLE Boxing Club
While it’s true that your body may need some extra protein after a vigorous workout, studies have also shown that workouts can lower levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates your appetite. This means that a Power Hour at TITLE Boxing Club will not only help you lose weight by burning calories, but also by stopping you from being hungry after eating!
Want to start controlling your appetite today? Be sure to cut out the bad foods from your diet and find your boxing or kickboxing Power Hour today by contacting your local TITLE Boxing Club.