Why Your Hungry After a Big Meal

This is a great article just recently published in the Wall Street Journal. It explains the reason you feel hungry after overeating on highly processed foods. We talk about this in class as well.

If you will recall, highly processed foods decrease the production of Leptin, the hormone that suppresses hunger. It also will spike insulin levels, usually overproducing, to decrease the rapid rise in blood sugar levels and then you end up with “rebound hunger”. This can explain why after a night of overeating, you wake up ravenous the next morning.

The article also points out that you can reset your appetite to be ready for breakfast. So many guests tell me they can’t eat breakfast, or at least much of one, because they aren’t hungry in the morning. After a few days of different eating habits (bigger breakfast and lunch, smaller dinner) the hormone Ghrelin, which triggers hunger, will adjust. So you have NO excuses anymore, it just takes some getting used to!
This article is just one more reason to make sure you are eating well-balanced, consistent meals (this article says no more than 5 hours between meals, I would say 4-5) made up of wholesome foods. Remember the 1/2, 1/4, 1/4 rule: 1/2 of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, 1/4 whole grain, and 1/4 lean protein. Be sure to include the protein, it can help protect the blood sugar spike and subsequent insulin release.
Who has tried this? Has it worked for you? I would love to hear from you!
Emily Fonnesbeck RD,CD