Food cravings are something all of us have likely experienced — especially at the end of the day and right before bed.
And these cravings can be frustrating, especially when you’re trying to lose weight.
However, the science of diet design can help reduce evening hunger in several major ways, with the result being a drastic reduction of cravings and a huge drop in the likelihood of falling off the wagon.
Why Do Evening Food Cravings Happen?
Let’s take a look at the phenomenon of evening hunger and then see what steps we can take to reduce it while still dropping body fat.
There are several reasons why evening hunger is particularly pernicious during fat loss diets.
HORMONES THAT MAKE YOU HUNGRY RISE IN THE EVENING
- Insulin – A very important hormone that your body produces to process the sugar in your diet. When your insulin spikes then crashes after eating sugar and flour or junk, it makes you hungry.
- Leptin – This is the brake on your appetite. Leptin has the powerful hunger-suppressing effects. When you eat a lot of sugar, processed foods, and flour, the leptin doesn’t work anymore. Your brain actually becomes leptin resistant.
- Ghrelin – A “hungerhormone” produced in your stomach that helps regulate your appetite.
- Peptide YY – A hormone that is produced in your intestines, and it says, “Hey, I’m full! I’ve had enough to eat. I don’t need any more.
- Cortisol – The “stress hormone”. When you’re stressed, your cortisol level goes up, and when that happens, you get hungrier and your blood sugar and insulin levels rise.
So all these hormones have to be kept in balance. How do you get them in balance? It’s very simple
HOW TO SATISFY EVENING CRAVINGS
1.Eat More Protein & Good Fat
Of all of the macronutrients, protein is the most satiating. That’s right, per unit of calories, protein fills you up the most and keeps you fuller, longer. With minimum levels of good fats like nuts and seeds, avocados, coconut or olive oil, needed for proper body and hormonal functioning, and carbs which are effective at supplying energy and preventing muscle loss during dieting.
Some combination of these balances your blood sugar..
2.Eat More Veggies & Fruits
Not only are greens and other low-calorie veggies stocked full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, they are also incredibly filling. If you eat enough of them they can make a meal downright hard to finish! Fruits can also be consumed more at the expense of slices of bread and grains.
3.Eat Well Throughout The Day
Make sure you eat at regular rhythms and regular times.Enjoying healthy meals at set times is a hugely important factor in managing your appetite and ensuring that you’re getting enough healthy fats, protein and fibre. Not only do these food groups help control your blood sugar, but they also work as appetite suppressants.
If you’re thinking about eating at night, chances are you’ve not had enough to eat during the day, and/or haven’t made very nutritious choices.
4.Get Enough Quality Sleep
If you don’t sleep, you will be hungry, especially for carbs and sugar. Why? Because when you deprive yourself of sleep, ghrelin, the hormone that drives hunger goes up and PYY, the hormone that makes you feel full, goes down. So, if you want to lose weight, sleep it off.
A lack of sleep completely disrupts your body’s normal eating responses, unbalancing your hunger hormones so that you crave sugar or caffeine as a quick source of energy. This means that not only are you inclined to snack, you also want to snack badly.
5.Don’t Drink Your Calories
Drinking your meals is a much easier way of getting in calories than eating them. Chewing a bunch of food can be a pain in the ass, and solid foods (especially the high volume foods high in fiber, such as whole grains, fruits, and veggies) can keep you fuller much longer than liquid foods.
If you have sugary, liquid calories in the form of sodas, juices, lattes, sports drinks, or iced teas, it will spike your insulin and blood sugar and will cause cravings.
Make any or all of the following changes to your diet, and your evening hunger problems will decline.
And if you still feel like snacking at night, then…
Ditch the junk and choose from these healthy snacking options suggested by nutritionist.
Now that you’re sorted, let us know in the comments below how this guide came to your rescue!
By Priyanshi Bhatnagar