They don’t call you the bottomless pit for nothing. You could eat Wonka out of house and home and send his beloved Oompa Loompas into a deadly state of emaciation. And then go for pizza afterwards.
The question you never asked yourself is: Why are you always so damn hungry?
Whilst excessive eating is a prolific issue amongst western society, it’s excessive snacking that we want to address today. We all know that one person. The one who just had breakfast at 9:05am and is already looking forward to little lunch at 9:30am.
Well it’s time to say goodbye to your questionable snacking habits. We hit up personal trainer, food lover and ex-Bachelor star Sam Wood of 28 by Sam Wood to find out why it happens and how you can stop your incessant snacking for good.
Why You’re Always Hungry
There’s a couple of reasons for this according to experts.
“One of the first points is that most of us have conditioned ourselves to eat too much. We feel that if we don’t have thousands of calories a day then something has gone a miss,” explains Wood.
“I think typically as a rule, we eat too much and our portion sizes are too big. But the bigger problem is that we don’t eat the right foods.”
To alleviate your hunger cravings throughout the day, Wood recommends:
Stop Being Low Calorie Focused When It Comes To Your Food Mindset
The first thing we cut out with this focus is healthy fats and good proteins as they both tend to be foods deep in calories. We need to move away from the calorie content in food and worry about the nutritional content in food and what’s in it.
What Your Body Actually Needs To Feel & Stay Full
Your body needs some complex carbs, not processed carbs which have been stripped of their fibre, minerals and vitamins.
- Complex carbs include: oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole wheat bread, quinoa, couscous, pumpkin
- Processed (refined) carbs include: white flour, white bread, white rice, pastries, potato snacks, pasta, breakfast cereals
“We need healthy fats and good protein. Those foods will absolutely fill you up and leave you more satisfied for longer,” says Wood.
The downside of a diet heavy on refined carbs is the opposite effect. These foods tend to rip through your body, cause your blood-sugar levels to spike and drop rapidly.
“You eat and then an hour later you feel like you haven’t eaten and you eat again. You’re continually filling up a bucket with a hole in it.”
According to Wood, if you eat right you won’t just be fuller, you’ll only need three meals a day. So here are the tips for staying fuller and eating correctly:
- If you’re training a lot, throw in a few extra healthy snacks and a good protein shake
- Get your eating balance right – most people are eating 80% carbs and 20% of whatever else that could include just a fraction of healthy food in it
- If you get that balance of carbs, good fats and quality protein right, you just won’t be hungry. You’ll be eating less often in smaller portion sizes and you’ll actually feel full
How About If You Have A Fast Metabolism?
Wood calls this an excuse for eating shit food. A fast metabolism may be genetic, but it shouldn’t change a person’s healthy eating habits by any means.
“It might just mean the portion sizes of your balanced diet increases,” he says.
“You should always adhere to nutritional rules.”
Timing Your Food Intake Can Help
Intermittent fasting is a big trend amongst health advocates at the moment. The process essentially allows you to consume a dense quality of food in an eight hour window and no more around it.
Wood who does intermittent fasting himself says that the benefit of holding off breakfast a little later and not snacking after dinner enables you to eat a lot less crap whilst feeling full. Those empty snacking calories which turn into fat will also be negated.
The key points to take away from here is:
- Don’t stress eat as this is reactive eating and it won’t benefit your long term goals
- A better solution would be to have a structure where you can get in three good meals a day
- Prepare your ingredients ahead of time so you don’t find yourself coming home to nothing in the fridge
- It doesn’t need to be fancy, just have fresh vegetables, brown rice and meats in the freezer on hand
- Attempt to eat 21 healthy meals a week if you’re going for the ultimate summer body
Change Up Your Routine
It’s not easy to have a balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. Some meals will be heavier than others and this is where you need to keep a check on your intake.
“We tend to have a high carb breakfast then try to make up for it later in the day. It’s great not to have cereal every morning. Try an omelette with veggies which starts your day off with protein. It’s also a great and balanced meal,” says Wood.
“At lunch try and bolster it with salad alongside a good protein source with sweet potato or quinoa for good carbs. If you take care of breakfast and lunch, dinner is the easiest. Dinner is a fifth size portion of protein and some good vegetables and salad and a cup of brown rice to go with it.”
This may sound complicated for those who are used to rummaging for food when they get home, but all it takes is a little foresight.
Head to the supermarket, stock up on meat protein, vegetables, salads and complex carbs and you’re good to go.
“It’s never going to be a perfect fit but as long as there’s a bit more balance in the three meals you consume everyday, you’ll be amazed that you don’t feel hungry anymore.”
Easy foods for a quick snack fix that’s also balanced:
- Fresh vegetables, brown rice and tuna
- Tin of tuna, avocado, sweet potato, cup of brown rice, leafy greens
- Vita Weat with tuna and avocado
Drinks to avoid:
- Sweet fizzy drinks are full of sugar; they’re all empty carbs that won’t fill you up and they’re empty calories with no nutritional value
- Coffee is okay as long as you don’t overload it with frothy milk and sugar