Are you hungry ALL. THE. TIME?
You may think you have a fast metabolism or maybe you are concerned that something is wrong with your nutrition program. Think about it, when was the last time you ate? If it was more than three hours ago, you are probably due for another meal. But if you ate an hour ago and you’re already hungry again, it is probably time to look at what you are eating. Here are three tips to keep your stomach feeling full and happy!
- You Don’t Drink Enough Fluids – Our bodies need a lot of fluids to optimize cognitive and physical performance. Cognitive performance is mentioned here because a lot of people feel sluggish mid-day thinking that they are hungry or even tired, when really their body is just crying for water. The average woman should drink a minimum of 2.5 liters of fluid per day, while the average man needs at least 4 liters. That is a lot of liquid for your average busy person to consume every day…and if you are training, you need to drink even more. For every 15 minutes you work out, you should drink another 150ml to 250ml of fluid. That means if your workout lasts 60 minutes, you need to get another .5-1 liter. One of the easiest ways to drink enough water is to carry a water bottle with you. The best fluid of all time: water, can do a lot to help you deal with hunger pangs. First, it helps create a feeling of fullness. When you consume water, your stomach expands, which sends a signal to your brain that you are full just like you are with food. Then there are those times when our bodies get confused. For example, we do not usually feel thirst until we are already slightly dehydrated. And our brains can often confuse thirst with being hungry. Our brains tell us we need to eat, when all we really need to do is drink. Keep filling up on fluids, preferably calorie-free fluids and you can keep your appetite in control.
- You Don’t Eat Enough Fiber – Fiber is often one of the most overlooked parts of our diets. Most frequently people only look at macros: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. But our bodies need fiber too. In fact, the recommended daily intake for fiber is 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women. But in actually, people tend to consume a lot less than that: about 18 grams for men and 15 grams for women. Considering the powerful appetite-suppressing punch fiber packs, you might want to make sure that you are getting at least the daily recommended amount – and it is not that hard to do. Just by swapping white carbs (white bread and pasta, white rice, and white potatoes) for brown carbs (whole-grain breads and pastas, brown rice, and oats) you can increase your fiber by 4-5 grams per meal. Another great source of fiber is flaxseed. At 3 grams per tablespoon, flaxseed can give a big fiber boost to your morning oats, post-workout smoothie, or nightly Greek yogurt.
- You Don’t Eat Enough Vegetables – To give you a guideline of how many vegetables you need, aim for at least three servings (one serving is about a handful). When you are dieting to lose weight you might even increase this until the point that you feel full all of the time. Vegetables suppress those feelings of hunger because they are about 90% water – and loaded with fiber. They really fill up your stomach. Vegetables also contain very few calories per portion, so you can just eat plates piled with vegetables without ruining your diet.