If you needed another reason not to eat salad
It’s the time of year when many of us take to mindlessly grazing throughout the day, munching our way through chocolates, mince pies and cheese.
But despite this constant eating, we’re often still regularly hungry. How can it be?
Well, it could be down to the foods we’re eating – certain foods can actually leave you hungrier than before.
Here are the foods it might be best to avoid if you want to fill yourself up.
Your diet cola may not contain any calories but it’s not doing you any favours either.
Low-calorie, sugar-free foods are often laden with artificial sweeteners but these aren’t necessarily a healthy alternative to sugar.
In fact, artificially sweet foods make you crave the sweet stuff more.
“This results in you being enticed to crave more and eat more — all the while receiving little to no satisfaction,” nutritionist and exercise physiologist Kathleen Alleaume explained for news.com.au.
“Plus the reality is the presence of sweeteners (as with all additives) indicates that food is heavily processed and best avoided in large amounts.”
Not all salads are going to leave you hungry, but one that’s essentially just leafy greens isn’t going to do much by the way of filling you up.
To ensure you’re eating a balanced meal, incorporate healthy grains such as quinoa or brown rice, sweet potato, protein (like chicken, chickpeas or salmon) and healthy fats like avocado.
“Any meal without those components will likely leave you searching for your next meal in no time,” Alleaume says.
Full of vitamins they may be, but juices are high in sugar and low in fibre, fat or protein, which will keep you full.
“While you may be sipping a whole heap of antioxidants, without the bulk from the fibre in the flesh, the body absorbs the liquid, especially the fructose (fruit sugar) more rapidly,” Alleaume explains.
“This leaves you with a calorie-containing beverage that spikes your blood sugar, followed by a crash, leaving you hankering for more food.”
Drinking your calories also doesn’t leave you with the same sense of fullness as eating solid food.
Whilst you might think a few crackers makes for a good low-calorie snack, the majority are mostly simple carbohydrates, which means they’re quickly absorbed by the body and you’re left wanting more.
To make your cracker snack more satisfying, Alleaume recommends topping them with houmous, nut butter, avocado or ricotta.
There’s a reason bars often give you free nuts, crisps and nibbles – salty foods make you thirstier. And often, we mistake thirst for hunger.
“The result is you’re more peckish, but less satisfied,” Alleaume says.
Not technically a food, no, but alcohol is full of calories and also leaves most of us wanting to eat.
“Research also shows that alcohol switches the brain into starvation mode, increasing appetite,” Alleaume says.
“Another reason to explain why French fries are always more enticing after a few drinks.”