Feeling hungry? You should eat. But what if the foods you’re eating actually make you hungrier than you were before you dug in? It’s a more common conundrum than you might think. “Hunger is a result of many complex interactions that occur in the stomach, intestines, brain, pancreas, and bloodstream,” says weight-loss specialist and board-certified internist Sue Decotiis, MD. Problem is, it’s a circuit that’s easily hijacked.

Here are 7 foods that can make you feel like you’re running on empty—even when your stomach is stuffed.

1. Fat-Free Salad Dressings

“When we grab for the fat-free bottle, we think we are making a good choice,” says Lisa Hayim, registered dietitian and founder of The WellNecessities. Not the case. “These fat-free salads dressings can be loaded with salt and sugar to give them flavor. We end up pouring on more, making sure each piece of lettuce in our salad is doused. After the salad is over, the salt and sugar make you feel unsatisfied and craving more.” Exactly what the salad dressing company is hoping for, but not your flat belly diet.

2. Granola Bars

Granola bars have two things working against them—they’re usually high in sugar and low in protein and fiber. So post-nosh, you’ll likely be looking for another snack. “Aim to get at least 10 grams of protein in a snack if possible,” Schoenfeld says. Some good options: a container of Greek yogurt (20 grams of protein); a half-cup of cottage cheese (12 grams of protein), or two hard-boiled eggs (12 grams of protein).

3. White Bread and Pasta

Refined flour is devoid of nutrients, so you have to eat more to get that satiated feeling, says Taub-Dix. White bread and pasta have a high glycemic index, meaning they are quickly digested and converted to sugar, causing your body to release a burst of insulin. A review of studies published in the journal Health Psychology found that elevations of insulin corresponded with “increased hunger, heightened perceived pleasantness of sweet taste, and increased food intake.”

Hunger tamer: You are better off going with whole grains, which provide more fiber and nutrients, making them more filling, Taub-Dix adds. If you want the white bread and pasta, combine it with some kind of protein such as cheese, beans or poultry, to promote satiation.

4. Chips/Pretzels

Because of the amount of sodium found in chips and pretzels, these snacks can lead to dehydration. Often, people may think they’re hungry when, in fact, they’re really thirsty. In addition, these type of snacks contains mostly empty calories. “Not only are they low in vitamins and minerals, but they usually contain very little protein and fiber, which helps to keep us satisfied when we eat,” Strutzel says.

5. Dried Fruit

Fruit is fantastic for you, but eating dried fruit on its own can skyrocket blood sugar levels and lead to a sugar drop, which will cause you to become hungry soon after your snack. Instead, try snacking on a bit of dried fruit with a little bit of fat or protein to slow the absorption of the sugar; dried apricots or currants with a handful of nuts or a high-protein yogurt or even a small piece of jerky. Be especially careful with consuming dried fruit, as its candy-like sweetness makes it easy to overindulge. In general, berries are relatively lower on the glycemic index, so dried berries (as long as there is no sugar added) are a good, high fiber, dried fruit choice as they’ll offer the most sustained form of energy.

6. Cereal

A double-whammy when it comes to keeping you hungry. It is low in fiber and high in sugar, having you ravenous soon after eating it. Swap it out for fiber-rich, unsweetened, hot oatmeal made with milk or soy milk for some added protein. Then add 1/2 a cup of fresh berries to up the fiber factor and 1 tablespoon of raw almonds for some delicious crunch. Pro tip: if you really cannot ditch your cold cereal then add a 1/2 cup of it to 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt with that 1/2 cup of berries.

7. Italian Food

Everyone loves pasta and pizza, but these Italian foods are just as problematic as white bread thanks to the shared ingredient of processed white flour. What makes pasta and pizza different is that it’s easy to simply overeat that particular food, rather than sticking to the recommended portion size. The simple carbs in the pasta and dough create an insulin spike, which will make you eat more because you’re still hungry.

Sources & References:
www.health.com
www.eatthis.com
www.rd.com
www.huffingtonpost.com
www.ahchealthenews.com
www.ecowatch.com
bznutritionny.com
www.smh.com.au

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Feeling hungry? You should eat. But what if the foods you're eating actually make you hungrier than you were before you dug in? It's a more common conundrum than you might think. 'Hunger is a result of many complex interactions that occur in the stomach, intestines, brain, pancreas, and...
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