I was asked this week, “Why do I feel hungry after eating and want to go back to the fridge to snack on things?”
It’s a great question and one that many people have asked before so I thought I’d share my thoughts on it today.
The appestat is part of the brain that registers appetite satisfaction. In other words, when all the nutrients required to run the processes of your body have been taken in, the appestat signals that it’s time to stop eating.
When you feel hungry after eating a good sized meal, it’s not necessarily that you are lacking discipline and need to “control” your portions. Most commonly it’s because what you have eaten did not meet your nutritional requirements.
This is why I love the idea of metabolic typing. It teaches each individual how to decipher the messages that the body is sending and therefore how to adjust what you are eating.
Balancing your needs takes a bit of fine tuning and getting used to.
The key message in our example here is hunger!
This is a classic signal that your previous meal was too high in carbohydrate relative to protein and fat.
It’s a short term response in which the body is trying to get you to eat more to hopefullyget on board the nutrients that it is still looking for.
Other short term responses to too much carbohydrate are:
- A jumpy mind
- Feeling tired but wired (at the same time)
- Nervous energy (jittery)
- Craving fat/protein
- Lethargy/falling asleep about 1.5+ hours after eating (blood sugar crash)
So how do you balance the body in this scenario?
If you notice soon enough the best thing to do is have a dessert that is high in protein/fat and very low in sugar (low glycemic). Therefore avoiding fruit, cakes and biscuits is an absolute must.
Instead choosing things such as nut butters, cheese, yoghurt, nuts or seeds.
At the same time you would want to avoid alcohol, coffee, caffeinated teas, fizzy drinks and sports drinks.
Eating a dessert such as this is a great way to stop the feeling of hunger and feel satisfied.
In the longer term it’s important to start to recognise this earlier and plan your meals so that they are containing sufficient protein and fat in the first place.
Make a note of how much protein each meal has in comparison to the size of your palm. Work on fine tuning your meals so that you find the right amount of “palms” of protein to carbohydrate and you’ll no longer be feeling hungry after dinner.
One final thought: if you are not eating correctly all day, but you are also so busy that you can ignore these messages, even if you have what you think is a well balanced meal in the evening you may well feel hungry.
If you’ve been on a blood sugar rollercoaster all day and not even realised it, your body will let you know when get chance to stop.
In this case you need to dial in with how much protein and fat relative to carbohydrate is in your breakfast and lunch too.