Always Hungry? How to Deal

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
bloated belly

It’s 2 p.m. and you’re standing in front of the vending machine, debating, and wondering how you could possibly be hungry when you finished your last bite of lunch not very long ago. This happened last night, too, except you were at your fridge door not very long after dinner…also debating… and feeling kind of frustrated that your seemingly bottomless pit is grumbling again. To help you rein in your appetite and tame hunger pangs, try some of these science-based strategies:

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Have Eggs for Breakfast

Not every day, of course; you can shake it up with your Nutrisystem breakfasts, nonfat Greek yogurt with berries, a tablespoon of almond butter on whole wheat toast, or a half cup cottage cheese with sliced banana. All those options contain protein—and that’s the key to help curb hunger throughout the day. Researchers at the University of Missouri at Columbia found women who ate a high-protein sausage and egg breakfast felt less hungry and more full throughout the morning, and even ate fewer calories at lunch, compared to women who had a low-protein plate of pancakes and syrup in the morning, or skipped breakfast altogether.

Sip Before Snacking

You might confuse wanting a bag of pretzels with needing a glass of water. Mild dehydration can be masked as hunger, so before heading to the pantry, sip some water or have a cup of tea and wait a little to see if your pangs subside. Staying well-hydrated may also help you manage your appetite and weight: A new study that looked at the dietary habits of more than 18,300 adults found the majority of people who drank one, two or three more cups of water every day cut up to 205 daily calories, as well as reduced their consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol.

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Eat the Peel

The skin of an apple or potato, for example, is where you’ll find most of its fiber; not cutting it off is one simple way to up your intake of this essential nutrient. Fiber can help you feel more satisfied, and stay fuller longer. In an analysis of research published in the journal Obesity Reviews, scientists found that greater intakes of dietary fiber reduced appetite by five percent, decreased calorie intake and led to weight loss. In addition to fruits and vegetables, other high-fiber foods include beans and lentils, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Hit the Sack

A recent University of Chicago study found that getting only about four hours of sleep (instead of a healthier seven-and-a-half hours) increases hunger and appetite throughout the day, especially in the early afternoon.