7 Foods that Leave us Hungry
We know that the types of food that leave us hungry are often low in fibre and protein, but high in sugar and processed carbs. Fibre and protein slow the absorption of the foods we eat from the stomach into the bloodstream.
When foods are low in fibre and/or protein, they travel quickly through the stomach and into our blood, causing a spike in insulin. Insulin is released to start the digestive process and remove the sugars from the blood (where if they remain, they become dangerous). So eating foods that speed up the insulin response are the ones that end up making us hungrier in the long-term.
With this in mind, it’s time to watch the following main culprits.
7 Foods that Leave us Hungry
Number 1 – White rice: it’s white because it has been stripped of the outer coating which contains fibre that helps you stay full, so white rice is a big no-no for weight losers. Choosing brown or even basmati is preferable. Or try cauliflower rice for a change that serves similar texture without the same blood sugar crash.
Number 2 – White bread: I bet you didn’t know that your apparently harmless slice of bread could contain up to 1 teaspoon of sugar – yes sugar (!) – per slice. The lack of fibre leaves you empty inside, wanting more to fill up. So no wonder then that we can all easily polish off half a slice pan of white (or even a whole baguette) without too much trouble. Instead, always opt for wholegrain varieties, especially the ones that advertise ‘high-fibre’.
Number 3 – Fruit juice: once again, stripped of the fibre that nature intended, juice delivers a concentrated form of sugar, without the powerful hunger-busting punch of whole fruit with the skin on.
Always aim to eat your fruit instead of drink it, and have it with a source of protein at all times; for instance, have a piece of cheese with grapes or some berries with Greek yoghurt.
And nothing beats water when it comes to satisfying thirst, free from calories and sugar – if you’re out in a pub and craving a soft drink, opting for a lo-cal or artificially sweetened one is no harm every now and then.
Number 4 – ‘Healthy’ granola bars: traditional granola bars are often made of mainly sugar and hydrogenated oils, plus they are often low in protein (the very thing you need to fill you up). They are popular as they deliver that hit of sugar and false ‘energy’ that people are looking with, but they just don’t leave you feeling satiated.
Instead, opt for a low sugar, high protein bar that will feel like a ‘treat’, without the sugar rollercoaster. Sample our popular bars here
Number 5 – Chips: although undeniably delicious (and one of my downfalls), the seemingly harmless chip easily converts in the body to sugar. In other words, when our bodies take in these quick-absorbing carbs, we are either use them as energy, straight away, or we store them as fat. And how many of us head to the gym right after eating a bowl of chips?
A better alternative, if you simply must have your spuds, is to bake a small potato in the oven and have it with some protein and veg. Or, if you are simply craving some sort of salty snack, remember there are always healthy alternatives that mimic that flavour: such as roasted masala chickpeas or crispy kale chips.
Number 6 – Croissants: loaded with fat and white flour, these delicacies offer little nutrition with their package of 300-400 calories, and leave you hungry soon after. For brekkie, far more preferable would be a poached egg with some mushrooms and tomatoes on one slice of wholemeal toast (more fibre and more protein will help you go for longer).
I’m visiting France with my family soon but I know that if I visit the boulangerie every morning, I’ll be craving carbs and I’ll be hungry all day so I’ll happily have my poached eggs at home and watch them tuck in (of course, they burn it all off anyway, don’t they?).
Number 7 – Muffins: are you still kidding yourself that ordering a muffin with that cup of coffee is not ‘that bad’? Sorry – it really is. It’s the exact same as ordering a slice of cake. Loaded with white, processed flour, sugar and fat, this choice is a dismal one if you’re trying to lose weight.
Not only will it score low on the satiety index (the degree of how full you feel), but it will also mess with your blood sugars, causing a crash – and hence (probably) another poor food choice – a few hours later. Which really begs the question, why is a muffin a popular breakfast choice in the US?
I pray that awful habit doesn’t travel across the Atlantic to us – we’re already facing an obesity epidemic of our own, thank you very much!
Number 7+1. Alcohol: I know it’s not a food per se, but it’s well worth a mention here because it will play havoc with your hunger. Our bodies have no ability to actually store alcohol, so, when the process of removing kicks in soon after drinking, extra demands are place on our glycogen stores. These soon run low, leading to cravings for new sources (in other words, carbs, carbs and more carbs!).
We would do much better to drink less and, when cravings do hit, to go for more complex carbs that will be slower release, such as nuts and seeds (or better still, a protein snack that mimics a salty snack, such as my fav, BBQ Zippers.
There you have it – 7 Foods that Leave us Hungry – take your pick and start to make those clever substitutions.