Why You Still Feel Hungry After Dinner
It can be frustrating, even puzzling, when we eat dinner and find ourselves raiding the fridge shortly after. This is a common problem and one that I’ve experienced myself.
Below are six main reasons why hunger persists after dinner.
After a good night’s rest with no food, it is essential to break your fast when you wake up in the morning—hence the term “breakfast”. Skipping breakfast is truly detrimental to the body; blood sugar drops, adrenal glands suffer and hormones are thrown out of whack. This is a big deal and a major contributor to overeating at night. They say breakfast is the most essential meal of the day for good reason, so do your best to eat every morning before 10am.
Making it a daily habit is the first step, but what you’re eating is also important if you want to prevent those after dinner munchies. Breakfast should include nutrient dense proteins and complex carbohydrates. For example, overnight oats or chia seed pudding with nuts and fruit.
Timing of meals
Just like breakfast, timely eating the rest of our meals throughout the day, and having small snacks in between, helps to keep blood sugar stabilized and prevents persisting hunger after dinner.
Ideally, the timing of your meals should be similar to the following.
- Breakfast: upon rising, 8am is ideal, but latest before 10am
- Snack: Between 10am-12pm
- Lunch: Between 12pm-2pm
- Snack: Between 2pm-6pm
- Dinner: Between 6pm-8pm
Thirst can actually make you feel hungry even when you’re not. Most of my clients think that they drink enough water until I ask them to measure it and that’s when they discover that they are only drinking about half of what’s need. My advice is to use a water bottle that comes with measurement marks so that you can keep track of the amount you’re consuming daily.
Processed foods and, especially, high fructose corn syrup—like those found in soft drinks—impact the brain by disrupting natural processes that tell your body when you are satisfied. Thus, leaving you still feeling hungry. Avoiding soft drinks and processed foods will maintain the body’s natural signals of hunger and satiety.
Brain chemical imbalances can cause cravings and excessive hunger. This is yet another reason why it’s necessary to keep blood sugar stabilized throughout the day and, also, to eat complex carbohydrates vs. simple carbohydrates. Doing so, will help to maintain balance in the brain and avoid persisting hunger.