1. Artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are found in products labelled as being diet or sugar-free, however the body isn’t particularly good and gauging how many calories are being consumed. This makes you crave more food, while receiving little to no satisfaction.
2. Salty snacks
Foods preserved with sodium are usually highly refined and won’t fill you up. Salty foods also leave you feeling thirsty, and thirst can often be mistaken for hunger which results in you eating more, rather than drinking some water.
3. Foods with MSG
Foods that contain the flavour-enhancing additive MG, which a Spanish study discovered could increase feelings of hunger by up to 40 per cent, as MSG desensitizes the hypothalamus in the brain to leptin, a hormone which helps promote the feeling of satiety.
4. Too-light salads
Salads may be diet friendly but if they aren’t constructed from the right ingredients they can leave you feeling empty and unfulfilled. Top your salad up with protein such as eggs, chicken, salmon or legumes, or carbs such as roasted sweet potato, corn or brown rice.
Cereals are usually made from refined grains that are digested and absorbed quickly which leads to a spike in blood sugar and hunger soon after eating. Try protein in the morning instead.
6. Rice crackers
Rice crackers are made from highly refined rice that can make insulin levels spike, blood sugar levels crash and make our body feel hungry again. Turning to these snacks when you get the afternoon slump will just leave you feeling more hungry than before and encourage additional eating.
While not technically a food, chewing on gum can trick your body into feeling hungrier as it stimulates your body’s salivary glands, which is the first process of digestion. It can make your body think a meal is coming and make you hungrier than you were before.
While a thoughtfully-composed juice can give you a good dose of antioxidants and hydration, the fact that the fruit has been juiced and the fibre removed means your body will absorb calories quicker. Chew your calories instead.
What should you eat instead?
Protein has staying power and will keep you fuller for longer, while fibre-rich carbs are slowly digested and will keep your blood sugar levels steady. Try things like eggs, chicken, legumes, salmon, sweet potato, wholegrain varieties of bead and crackers, nuts and natural oats.
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