Lowering Your Hunger Levels
Maintaining a healthy diet is essential to weight loss
, disease prevention and general wellness. A major obstacle to following a weight loss plan is the problem of dealing with hunger levels that cause one to fall off a diet and eat unhealthy food. Lowering your hunger levels, therefore, should also form part of your weight loss plan.
Causes of increased hunger levels
Starving yourself causes your brain to look for the same foods that you are advised to avoid. Extreme diets where only certain types of food are eaten while avoiding foods from a specific food group may not only deprive you of much needed nutrients but also trigger food cravings that often lead to uncontrolled eating.
Inconsistent blood sugar levels
High glycemic foods cause spikes in your blood sugar and energy levels. When this happens, your body compensates for the sudden drop in sugar level by creating a sense of hunger.
Foods that help in lowering hunger levels
Eating the right kinds of foods may help you fight hunger while providing you with health benefits. These include:
Low Glycemic Index (Low GI) foods
High blood sugar levels induce hunger pangs and trigger food cravings. Foods with a high glycemic index cause spikes in your blood sugar level to raise your hunger levels. On the other hand, eating low GI foods help maintain consistent levels of blood sugar in your body which prevent you from feeling hungry after consuming a meal. Foods that rank low on the GI include fruits such as apples, bananas, green vegetables and beans.
High fibre foods
Studies confirm that persons who consume high fibre cereal ate less at the breakfast buffet than those who didn’t have much fibre in the morning. Fibre, particularly soluble fibre, helps induce a feeling of fullness which prevents you from feeling hungry after a meal. You can obtain soluble fibre from psyllium, pectin and guar gum. Apples, peaches, oranges, grapes and most vegetables are good sources of soluble fibre.
Low energy density foods
Foods with lower calories per volume help reduce your appetite by making you feel full faster without packing plenty of calories. Most fruits and vegetables have low measures of energy density. Avoid junk food, high fat and deep fried foods as these contain high amounts of calories in small portions. On the other hand, eggs, beans and salads manage to fill your stomach and help you feel full longer.
A digestive hormone, cholecystokinin, is a natural appetite suppressant which is produced in large amounts after consuming a meal with beans. Beans also help regulate blood sugar levels to prevent hunger pangs long after a meal.
You may also lower your hunger levels by consuming lean beef, olive oil, grapefruit, cinnamon, vinegar, tofu, green tea and pears. Moreover, a Japanese study showed that women who ate breakfast foods of red peppers ate less than they normally did at lunch. It is surmised that red peppers contain capsaicin which is believed to suppress the appetite.
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