Food is one of the best things in the world. And nothing comes close to it. But even the best things in life must be taken in moderation. As sad as it is, we can’t be eating 24 hours a day. Most people can spend a few hours between meals before eating again, although this doesn’t work for everyone.
If you get hungry again after you’ve made your meal, you should do some research on why it happens. Sometimes the instinct to eat has little to do with food. Maybe you’re not getting the right nutrients or there are psychological reasons behind it and your body is trying to deal with boredom and stress.
We’ve put together the 12 best ways to help you stop eating like there’s no tomorrow. Read them carefully to find the one that best suits your lifestyle.
1. Sleep more
Getting enough sleep is extremely important for your health. And by enough, we don’t mean just 4 hours after a crazy night that barely leaves you awake to work the next day. According to research, the average person must sleep seven to nine hours a night.
Sleepless than that results in a temporary increase in the hormone ghrelin, which increases your appetite. That’s why you’re in front of the fridge at 3 a.m! And even worse, a new study shows that four consecutive nights of bad sleep can cause people to metabolize different food, leaving them hungry even after a meal.
2. Reduce your salt intake
New research shows that high-sodium diets increase hunger in the long run. With a high salt intake, the body retains fluids and consequently needs more calories to store them.
In addition, foods high in salt tend to be processed. Processed foods are chemically altered to be richer and lead to overeating.
3. Eat more slowly
Do you eat at the speed of light? Then maybe that’s why you’re looking for more food. People who eat fast have to overeat and are associated with higher rates of obesity. Scientists have come to the conclusion that this happens because of the lack of chewing and the reduced awareness that occurs when eating too fast.
Both are really essential to losing the feeling of hunger. So the next time you sit at the table ready to devour your burger, take a deep breath, and try to chew more each of your bites.
4. Focus on your food
This is a bit related to the previous one, but eating while you’re distracted is another story. Nowadays, it’s very common for people to eat while watching TV or surfing the Internet. This may seem harmless, as you would think it only saves you time. Unfortunately, it is associated with increased appetite, higher calorie intake, and weight gain.
This happens because you don’t pay attention to the amount of food you eat. So try pressing that play button AFTER you eat. Netflix can wait 10 minutes.
5. Consume more protein
Proteins have certain properties that lead directly to a reduction in hunger. They immediately increase the production of hormones that indicate satiety and decrease the production of other hormones that stimulate hunger.
And it’s not hard to add them to your daily diet! Meat, chicken, fish, and eggs contain a lot of these.
6. On the other hand, say yes to fat
Forget everything negative you’ve heard about fat. It plays an absolutely key role in keeping you full all day. You digest it slower than everything else and it stays in your stomach for a long time. It also releases the same hormones as proteins that promote satiety.
There are many foods that contain “the good” fat we’re talking about, such as salmon, tuna, or plant-based foods like nuts and flax seeds.
7. Have you heard of something called water?
Do you know that transparent liquid that is responsible for life? Do you drink enough or do you prefer a soda? Well, it goes without saying that drinking plenty of water is extremely important for your health. The advantage is that an adequate intake of water also controls hunger.
In fact, many people seem to confuse thirst with hunger. We recommend that each time the “hunger” attacks, take some water before looking for something to eat.
8. Be more active
A study published in 2015 found that people are much more likely to eat more during periods of boredom. Worse yet, at that time they were leaning towards unhealthy fats and carbohydrates.
So what’s the solution? It’s relatively easy. Instead of trying to kill boredom with a pizza, try taking a walk or calling a friend and it will probably work wonders.
9. But don’t exaggerate
Excessive exercise depletes the glycogen stores within the muscles, leaving you hungrier afterwards. What’s more, you could get dehydrated after exercise if you don’t replenish the fluids. Dehydration is related to a stronger feeling of hunger, as we saw earlier.
But I guess this is the most acceptable reason to feel hungry! All we ask is that you find a balance in your lifestyle.
10. Stop drinking alcohol
I understand that you like to have a glass or two when you go out at night. But don’t come back complaining about the huge amounts of food you eat! Alcohol is well known for its effects on hunger.
It may not only make you feel more hungry, but it may also alter the part of your brain that controls judgment and self-control. This can make you eat more, no matter how hungry you are.
11. Put some fiber in your diet
I know the meat tastes good, I enjoy it as much as you do. There is no need to have a diet absolutely full of meat and devoid of fiber. This will cause a number of health problems, but it will also have a big effect on the hunger you feel every day.
A high intake of fiber influences the release of appetite-reducing hormones and the production of short-chain fatty acids, which have been shown to have effects that promote satiety. Foods like fruits, vegetables, and nuts are rich in fiber and you should consider eating more of them to eat less overall.
12. Just relax
Have you heard of cortisol? It is a hormone that has been shown to promote food cravings. And guess what, stress is known to dramatically increase cortisol levels in your body. One study has also shown that stressed people tend to consume greater amounts of delicious but unhealthy snacks, such as chips and cookies.
So I challenge you to at least not worry about your excessive hunger issues, because that will make your problem even worse. Ultimately, the best way to deal with this is to relax and the results will come.