Foods that Increase Hunger and Cravings

55031Losing weight consciously could be a very challenging and difficult task. This explains why so many people give in to their weakness and remain over weight when presented with such challenge in life. Studies have shown that most cases of obesity are associated with poor feeding habits and inactivity. There are certain foods even though are healthy in some sense when consumed in moderate amounts, have increased potential of inducing hunger few hours after consumption,  thus causing one to eat more and accumulate calories. To successfully lose weight, one must learn to control his/her feeding habits and avoid certain foods and beverages that have this increased potential.

There are certain foods that increase hunger and have been associated with high incidence of obesity. These foods have high ‘glycemic index’ that elevate blood sugar which stimulates insulin production with resultant decrease in blood sugar, hence hunger sets in.

Foods/Feeding habits that induce that hunger:

  • Chewing gum- though helps to maintain freshness of breath stimulates the stomach gastric juice, saliva is produced which goes down to the stomach tricking it into thinking there is food to be digested, thus increasing hunger.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) – this slows down the secretion of leptin (a hormone that initiates a feeling of satiety and to quit eating) in the body. HFCS has been shown to interfere with metabolism so that a person continues eating. HFCS is worse than sugar for creating stored fats and affecting the liver adversely. Refined carbohydrates from processed flour and grains have high glycemic index ratings. Whole grains are preferable.
  • Fruit juice and smoothies- contain high levels of fructose and synthetic additives. Fructose is a major health risk because it bypasses the body’s satiating signals, which encourages over consumption and subsequent weight gain along with insulin resistance. These substances contain concentrated forms of fructose, giving rise to a vicious cycle of blood sugar imbalances.
  •  Avoid all forms of refined sugars- a major barrier to weight loss because of its quick metabolism and high glycemic index.
  • Salty foods- increase dehydration which in turn increases cravings.
  • Diet soda- has been shown to cause weight gain. Upon consumption, the taste buds are triggered which signals the brain and the gastric content of the stomach is increased and prepares the body for digestion. The stomach finally receives a content with no or limited calories which sets the satiety hormones in turmoil, thereby increasing the desire to consume more calories and gain more weight.
  • Frozen dinners- replace commercially prepared foods with natural foods. Many frozen foods contain MSG (monosodium glutamate) and other chemicals that affect the nervous system in a way that can over stimulate appetite, leaving you with the desire to over eat.

Foods with high glycemic index include white rice, white bread, cereals, bananas, baked potatoes. Etc

Some foods make you feel full so you won’t want to eat again in two hours; potato is a good example of such foods. Even though they increase the blood sugar level, the feeling of satiety will prevent you from eating too soon. Other similar foods are those with high fiber and nutrients, corn, brown rice, beans, whole grain cereals, vegetables and salads, carrots. Etc Notice how certain fruits and vegetables make you feel.

For a healthy living, one should deliberately choose foods which benefit the body providing energy as well as nutrients for long-term benefits.

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