Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Why Am I Still Hungry? I Just Ate....

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Have you ever eaten something that you think should make you feel full, only to leave you still hungry? Those little 100 calorie packs of white flour and sugar make me feel that way. I would have been better off not eating anything!

A new book called The Skinny written by Dr. Louis Aronne, a well respected researcher and director of the weight loss program at New York Presbyterian Hospital says that what you eat and when you eat it can make a big difference in appetite, fullness, and willpower. He thinks that some calories we eat actually cause us to overeat later on.

Guess which foods make you feel hungrier? Broccoli? Nope, nice try. Instead it is refined carbs (white bread, pasta, rice, for example) and sugar. Dr. Aronne calls foods that are high in refined carbs and sugar "fullness resistant." The reason is biological. He says they interfere with the hormonal messages the body usually sends to the brain to signal that it is time to stop eating. No wonder those leftover jelly beans from Easter don't make you full! You can actually feel hungrier after eating foods like that because of the surge of insulin to clear all of that sugar out of your blood, causing rebound hunger.

So what should we do to actually feel full? Here are Dr. Aronne's tips:
  • Eat foods high in protein, vegetables, fiber, and water.
  • Start your day with breakfast, of course, but include some protein in that morning meal. Some eggs or a scoop of protein in a smoothie is great.
  • Don't skimp on lunch. If lunch is too light and you don't have a healthy snack in the afternoon, that leads to overeating at dinner and easy storage of fat.
  • At dinner, start with a clear soup, salad or something with lean protein like shrimp cocktail. Don't start with bread because that can increase hunger. Alcohol lowers resistance and promotes fat storage, too.
  • Have lean protein at every meal.
  • Eat snacks midmorning and midafternoon, but don't let them be high in refined carbs and sugar. Instead, eat something with fiber and/or protein.
  • Drink water, and only water. Avoid juice and sweet sodas.
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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