If you’re always hungry after eating – even if it was a big meal – you’re definitely not alone. Millions of people struggle with this problem every day. Unfortunately, an unchecked appetite leads to a larger waistline and a range of health problems. With this in mind, this article will go over 3 common causes of postprandial hunger and their respective solutions.
Now, before we begin, please note the following: your insatiable appetite could be due to an underlying medical condition (e.g. an overactive thyroid). As such, make sure you discuss this with your doctor and get a full workup if necessary.
Provided there’s nothing wrong under the hood, here are some things to consider.
- You’re not eating enough. Many people struggle with their weight for decades. Some do so their entire lives. Given this, they’re always dieting and trying to eat small meals. Oftentimes, these are much smaller than necessary to sustain their daily energy needs.Unfortunately, this usually backfires because, what they don’t get at the dinner table, they make up with in unhealthy snacks and other treats. And as you know, those types of calories can add up quick. So, if you’re in this situation stop starving yourself. Get on a sensible eating plan and stick to it.
- You’re not eating enough fat. Now, as counter-intuitive as this sounds, fat is your best friend if you’re trying to get and stay slim. Why? The answer is simple: it makes you feel full. Furthermore, it delays gastric emptying so you stay full over a longer period of time. The bottom line? When you feel full and satisfied you’re less likely to crave, and hence, less likely to snack.With that said, there are good fats and bad fats. The former can be found in fish, nuts, and animals fed their natural diets (e.g. a grass-fed cow as opposed to a grain-fed cow). The latter – which should be avoided like the plague – are the unnatural trans-fats (e.g. found in baked goods and margarine) and the fats that make up vegetable oils (e.g. corn oil, sunflower, etc.)… Again, stay far away from those except for the occasional treat.
- You’re eating too much sugar – a problem made worse by insulin resistance. Let me ask you a question: ever have a large pasta meal only to feel ravished a little while later? This is the classic case of post-prandial hunger caused by rapid insulin spikes and resultant low blood sugar. Let me explain…A high carb meal such as pasta will quickly break down into sugar when it hits your bloodstream. As a result, your pancreas will secrete large amounts of insulin to get it out of your blood and into your cells. However, it usually overcorrects causing your blood sugar to drop too much. The result? The cravings start coming on.
But it gets worse…
The high levels of insulin don’t let you burn body fat for fuel so you feel even hungrier. In a sense, you’re starving at the cellular level. And the typical outcome is to eat more to satisfy that hunger.
So, how can you avoid this? Simple: cut down on refined and starchy carbs that quickly turn to sugar once digested and up your fat and fiber. That means more meat, fish, and veggies.
In the end, while this is a widespread problem with harmful consequences, the solution is quite simple. You have to eat enough, eat enough of the right foods, and avoid the foods that cause you to crave. By doing so, you’ll enjoy meals without the hunger that typically follows – that plus a slimmer waistline and better health.