In the Western world, we’re not very good at being hungry. Our environment is so overwhelmed with fatty, sugary, colourful and exciting foods that scientists are saying if you were to go on autopilot, it would be next to impossible to NOT become obese.
But environment aside, some people are just more inclined to suffer from an insatiable appetite and these people are often referred to as ‘constant cravers.’ You may notice some kids from very early are fixated on food and meal times. As adults, it’s those who are eating breakfast and thinking about what they’re going to eat for morning tea already. Not to mention dieters who have voluntarily reduced portions or removed entire food groups and feeling that constant pit in their stomach.
Being hungry can be very difficult to manage but by including these foods into meals and snacks may just help to tame a wild appetite.
- Protein powder – protein keeps us feeling fuller for longer. Add a super-high quality pea or whey protein powder like Nuzest Clean Lean Protein to a meal or snack to boost or supplement missing protein (think oats made with water or a fruit smoothie not made on milk or yoghurt).
- Dill pickles & fermented veges – not only are they totally delicious and so great for gut health but pickled and fermented veges have a large water bulk so you can eat quite a lot of them and really fill up with very few calories.
- Green apples – another food that is full of water, apples also contain a specific type of fibre that helps keep us full as well as pectin, which has been shown to help reduce blood sugar spikes and this means no energy crashes afterwards. They’re also sweet, crunchy and satisfying, the perfect afternoon snack.
- Soups – particularly vegetable soups. The liquid content makes for a very filling meal and by using a variety of different veges, it’s a delicious way to get in a few daily serves.
- Eggs – Almost daily my patients tell me how much more satisfied they are through the morning when they’ve had eggs for breakfast. The awesome combination of fats from the yolk and complete protein from the whites make these little gems the perfect food to feel fuller for longer. Note: If you have high cholesterol you can still have up to 6 eggs per week
- Low fat Greek yoghurt – Greek yoghurt in particular is strained for longer so it’s higher in whey protein and more thick and creamy making it feel like a real treat as well as being highly satisfying. Flavour plain Greek yoghurt with cinnamon, vanilla essence, berries, a teaspoon of cacao powder or a few drops of stevia concentrate.
- Brassica veges – that means broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage & brussel sprouts. Not only will these guys help to prevent some cancers but they are jam packed full of fibre, 1 cup giving you 6-7g, a quarter of your daily fibre needs. Fibre with fluid swells in the gut making us feel full from a meal.
- Lentils & legumes – So dense with nutrients and inexpensive, lentils and legumes contain the trio of fibre, complex carbohydrates and protein making them alone the perfect food for appetite management. Don’t despair if they upset your tummy, you can build up your tolerance to them by starting with small amounts and slowly increase it.
- Water – very often we think we’re hungry when we are in fact just thirsty. Keep up your water intake, as well as herbal teas, sparkling water and even mugs of tea with a dash of milk to make sure you’re well-hydrated, not confusing hunger signals with thirst and to fill the volume of your tummy.
- Salad – a big serve of salad added to a meal or before a meal is a great ‘filler’ that will not only help to bulk out the size of a meal but help to make you fuller, faster. It’s what you can go back to for seconds if you’re still hungry after your meal.
- Skinless chicken breast – with virtually no fat, skinless chicken breast is a protein powerhouse providing us with a full range of complete proteins. There help to slow down the release of carbohydrates into our blood stream so couple your chicken with some brown rice, quinoa and sweet potato or on a wholegrain sandwich for a super satisfying meal.