While you’re finding yourself spending more time at home, you might be tempted to take a little walk into the kitchen for a snack. Hey, it happens to the best of us! But what you don’t want to end up doing is eating foods that are simply going to leave you wanting more. Seriously, there are foods that will just make you hungry.
Here, we compiled the most unwholesome foods you’re going to want to ditch, as they’ll just make you hungry. And instead, replace them with some healthy, filling snacks!
It all started when we were little babies. Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, a plant-based dietitian and author of The Vegiterranean Diet and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, says that humans are programmed to have an opioid (opiate-like) response to a protein found in milk (casein) so that infants continue to desire adequate amounts of their mother’s milk.
“This effect is also induced by cheese, which is a concentrated type of milk. The widespread infatuation with cheese is caused by protein molecules called casomorphins, which are paired with a high fat and salt content. As a result, as nature intended, the more you have, the more you crave. “
Although juicing and juice cleanses are very trendy right now, says Janel Funk, MS RD, LDN, “the technique used to prepare juice strips the most satisfying nutrient—fiber—from the sugary drink.”
“You’re left with a calorie-dense beverage that increases your blood sugar, causing a drop that makes you even hungrier.” Our bodies aren’t any more satiated by the calories in juice than by the calories in food, so drink water for thirst and hydration and eat entire fruits and vegetables with their fiber intact.”
If you’re craving a drink rather than a snack, consider this recipe from HelloFresh’s Rebecca Lewis, RD: “Blend the fruits and vegetables you intended to juice.
If you can’t get past all the pulp, try adding some protein powder or nut butter. The added protein and fat act in a similar way to fiber in slowing down the absorption of the foods into your bloodstream.”
While yogurt is continually pushed as a great healthy food, it truly depends on which one you choose to keep you satisfied, says nutritionist Kayleen St. John, RD of the Natural Gourmet Institute, a New York City-based health-supportive culinary school.
“A 6-ounce fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt has 150 calories, 6 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of fat, and around 25 grams of sugar. Even after you’ve finished your last spoonful, the higher carbohydrate level and low-fat content will keep you wanting more.
Instead, go for plain Greek-style yogurt, which has twice the protein, and top it with fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds for extra fiber and antioxidants.
There’s a reason you’re hungry so soon after your egg-white omelet in the morning. While egg whites are high in protein, the yolk contains a lot of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, and a 2010 meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that saturated fat was not linked to an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, or coronary vascular disease. St. John agrees.
“The saturated fat in egg yolks not only makes you feel full, but it also helps your body produce hormones and absorb vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin A (excellent for your skin and immune system), B vitamins (for energy), and choline (for brain and muscle health).” We’ll increase our protein intake.
Fat-Free Salad Dressings
“When we grab for the fat-free bottle, we think we are making a good choice,” says Lisa Hayim, registered dietitian and founder of The Well Necessities. Not the case. “These fat-free salad dressings can be loaded with salt and sugar to give them flavor.
We end up pouring on more, making sure each piece of lettuce in our salad is doused. After the salad is over, the salt and sugar make you feel unsatisfied and craving more.” Exactly what the salad dressing company is hoping for, but not your flat belly diet.
Foods Labeled “Healthy”
According to a recent report published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, St. John cautions that “we tend to overeat those foods labeled healthy.” This tends to make people order larger portions and feel less full after eating foods touted as healthy.
The exact reason behind it is unclear, but likely has to do with subconsciously programming ourselves to relate unhealthy foods to satiety.” Be wary of those label claims, and always check the ingredient list before you buy.
Because of the increased dopamine release, sugar and all of its derivatives (from artificial sweeteners to organic cane sugar and everything in between) are highly addictive.
“Sugar addiction has become increasingly popular and a big contributor to our current global healthcare issue,” says Hever, “given that we are evolutionarily designed to seek out the sweetness in order to survive and that highly concentrated sources of sugar are everywhere in infinite quantities.”
“Refined and processed sweets have an uncanny ability to tempt you to overeat while providing no satiation, satiety, or nutrients.” “Whole food sources of sugar, such as fruit, are different since fruit preserves its fiber and minerals,” she says.
That’s why you can swiftly consume a couple of candy bars or drink a huge cup of juice without feeling full, but eating 10 apples or pears would be challenging,” she adds.
“Traditional granola bars are often made of just sugar and hydrogenated oils and are void of protein (the stuff that fills you up,” shares Hayim.
“They are often lower in calories than a traditional meal and do not serve as a meal replacement. The flavor is just enough to whet your appetite, but leaves you far from satiated.”
Think twice before smothering this naughty condiment on your baked sweet potato fries or mixing it with your breakfast egg dish. “Ketchup, or any food made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), can make your appetite continue to grow stronger.
HFCS interrupts the body’s metabolism and slows down the production of leptin (which helps us feel full). As a result, there is no message being sent to the body that you’re full and that it’s time to stop eating,” warns Hayim.
“Ever stuff yourself with a giant blueberry muffin, only to find you were hungry right after?” asks Hayim. Been there, done that.
“Although it can be loaded with calories, it is made almost completely of sugar. This sugar is rapidly digested and absorbed, leaving your body starved for more.” Yikes!
Many sugar-sweetened bowls of cereal are devoid of fiber and protein, which are two elements you need first thing in the morning to keep your blood sugar stable and avoid a mid-morning hunger drop, Funk explains.
“When you eat sugary cereal with fat-free milk, you’re not getting enough satiating fat to keep you full. Look for cereals with more than five grams of naturally occurring fiber per serving, and don’t skimp on the fat or protein.
Watch out for diet-friendly, low-calorie cereals, too. Even if they’re low in sugar and calories, they tend to be low in fiber and protein as well,” she advises.
AKA white bread, crackers, etc. “Fiber plus water equals ‘bulk,'” offers Hever. “In your diet, fiber-rich whole foods promote satiation and satiety.
Because fiber is stripped away when refined, these foods can easily be eaten in excess. This is why chewing your way through a bread basket is way easier than finishing off a bucket of brown rice.”
It’s true that you can’t just have one. This is due to the fact that salty snacks are high in sodium and typically lack fiber and protein, “St. John declares. “These foods’ high salt content dehydrates you, causing you to eat more of the snack instead of reaching for a drink of water.
The food is carbohydrate-heavy and imbalanced due to the lack of protein and fiber, resulting in an unavoidable blood sugar surge.”
Hayim adds his two cents: “Dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, is triggered by sodium, according to brain scans. That implies the more salt you consume, the more salt you crave!”
Here’s a group of meals you should avoid at all costs because they’ve been scientifically confirmed to be among the worst at making you hungry. Remember, just because something is “sugar-free” doesn’t mean you can eat it.
Always read the label to determine if any artificial sweeteners have been added. “Artificial sweeteners deceive your brain into believing it is eating a tasty treat.
When you don’t consume the real thing when your body expects it, you’re more likely to crave sweet foods even more “Funk adds to the conversation. Another reason to avoid the area? Artificial sweeteners have been linked to stomach aches and discomfort.
When you think you’re hungry after eating that chow mien, you’re not hallucinating things. ” MSG is commonly used in Chinese cuisine. Monosodium glutamate is a flavor enhancer that can be found in soups, processed meats, and a variety of other foods.
According to some research, the compounds in MSG produce a significant increase in appetite, which seems reasonable given that those who consume the most MSG are more likely to be overweight than those who do not take MSG “Hayim cautions.
True or false: soups can be a huge win for fast, effective weight loss. True when you’re making your soup from scratch. When you’re picking it up at the grocery store, Typically, this is not the case. “Soups often contain more sodium than any other food.
The sodium in these [seemingly harmless cans] causes that feeling of addiction and wanting more and more,” states Hayim.
Many dieters try chewing gum to take their mind off eating food. Unfortunately, this trick doesn’t usually work, “comments Hayim. Pen chewers ought to listen up: “The chewing action actually tricks your body into thinking food is coming down, which means that gastric juices are prepared in the stomach.”
When no food comes down, the stomach begins to churn with nothing in it. Not only does it cause pain, but also makes you more conscious of your need to eat.”
Many of the foods that cause us to be hungry right after we’ve eaten them are overly processed, refined, and stripped of their benefits in fiber, says Lewis. And why is fiber so important? Because fiber is what slows the absorption of the foods we eat from the stomach into the bloodstream,
When foods are low in or fiber-less, they travel quickly through the stomach and into our blood causing that crazy blood insulin spike. Insulin is released in order to start the digestive process and remove the sugars from the blood (where if they remain become dangerous).
So eating foods that speed up the insulin response are the ones that end up making us hungrier in the long-term.”
Bagels and Croissants
Although both of these options appear to be nice in size and satisfying, they are made up of white sugar and flour. They have [barely any] fiber or nutrients, “says Hayim.
“As a result, your blood sugar leaps high and then comes crashing down, causing you to feel hungrier than before you started these treats.”
If you like Pia Coladas and getting lost in a calorie-bombed blender vortex, go right ahead. Everyone else? Skip ’em. ” When smoothies have no protein or vegetables, they are just fructose.
The result is a rapid rise in blood sugar, followed by a crash. In addition, they are usually too low in calories to actually fill you up, compelling you to want more food after,” suggests Hayim.
We’re well aware of the situation. It’s not a meal. However, it’s worth noting that it’ll make you quite hungry: “Our bodies are incapable of storing alcohol” (unlike our unlimited capacity to store fat).
The removal of alcohol from our bodies causes us to swiftly deplete our glycogen stores (which comes mostly from carbs). So when we drink too much (more than two drinks for women and three drinks for males), we need carbs to replenish the glycogen stores that have been depleted by alcohol,” Lewis adds.
“Unfortunately, because alcohol impairs judgment, such cravings are generally for the incorrect type of carbs: simple, processed, and fried.” Drink in moderation, and if you find yourself needing anything after a few too many, ” Make an effort to eat well.
If you want to keep the flat tummy that you’ve worked so hard for, keep driving. ” Preservatives, trans fats, HFCS, and salt are all included in these highly processed meals.
Preservatives and trans fats interfere with our stomach’s ability to connect with our brain, which is why you should be concerned,” Lewis explains. “Satiety-related hormones and neurotransmitters aren’t created in the brain, and as a result, the brain loses its ability to identify when we’re full, causing us to eat more.”
Fast food also leads our bodies to retain fluids, making us feel thirsty and bloated. Often, when we think we’re hungry, our bodies are simply urging us to eat.
Foods You Can Easily Overeat
Overeating leads to more overeating. Excessive consumption of calorie-dense foods stimulates a response in your brain similar to opiates, promoting addictive behavior, says Hever.
Instead of repeatedly reaching for these foods that make you hungry, try one of the best foods to combat overeating, or seek professional help if you think you may suffer from bingeing.
As hard as it may be, don’t be lured in, even by healthier-sounding donuts. (A vegan doughnut can still be deep-fried and filled with sugar, hence landing a spot on our list of foods that make you hungry. It’s no surprise that donuts are made completely out of sugar.
Donuts break down into sugars, causing the boy to release more insulin. When there is a lot of insulin, too much of the sugar enters your cells, leaving none for your blood.
The result is actually a low blood sugar that makes you feel hungry shortly after consumption.” C’mon, that’s why they have all the dozen deals, anyways. Steer clear.
Your Craving’s Wannabe Twin
Ever wonder how a simple craving that’s super-specific can sometimes spiral out of control when you reach for something else? Hever says, “If you are craving something and then try to quell that craving with something else, you are likely going to continue searching for the original food you desired.”
Thus, it is usually better in the long run to have a small serving of whatever it is you want so you can move on with your day. In other words, if you really want chocolate, have a square of dark chocolate instead of eating low-fat chocolate ice cream. “