Ever wondered why you have this sudden urge to munch on something? Or why you feel so hungry at odd hours? And why, to fight off the urge, you feel unable to do anything but end up munching and snacking?
Though munching and snacking is – to a certain extent – good, if you tend to reach for potato chips, French fries, candy, chocolates and sugary junk foods, you could run into trouble. Though these foods DO curb your hunger pangs, they only boost your energy level temporarily and do nothing to benefit your metabolism and overall health.
This will not only leave you feeling sluggish, but also burden you with unwanted calories in your body through the introduction of excess sugar and other junk into your body.
What Are Hunger Pangs?
The term “hunger pangs” can be defined as a gnawing sensation, discomfort, pain or weakness of the stomach when it has a strong desire or craving for food. These hunger pangs are not true pains, but are merely a sensation caused by the irritation of the lining of the stomach.
Image credit: WomensHealthMag
These hunger pangs have a habit of striking at the worst possible time – especially before lunch, before dinner or an hour or so before your bedtime.
The most frequent reasons for hunger pangs are:
- A small or unfinished and hurried breakfast which has been taken in a hurry
- A late lunch taken past the typically lunch time
- A very late dinner
- A very unbalanced diet (i.e. too much sugar, less fiber than is needed and so on)
- An extensive session of physical activity in the day which increases the appetite
The trick to munching and snacking right lies in choosing foods that not only satiate your hunger pangs, but also provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals.
These nutrients help to keep you going all day, preventing you from being distracted by untimely hunger pangs. These key elements also help you in the long run when it comes to managing weight gain and related health conditions.
Foods That Stop Hunger
The following are some of the best foods that stop hunger and suppress appetite, while also helping you maintain both your weight and your overall health.
Excellent for reducing hunger pangs, dry fruits come with the high concentrations of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fiber needed to keep you feeling full. Prunes (which belong to the plum family) contain zero fat and are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. They can be either consumed whole or can be added to smoothies or oatmeal.
Flax seeds are another good option for hunger pangs. Known to prevent bad cholesterol and cancer, they are a good source of healthy omega-3 fats. Finally, almonds – which are essentially tiny pellets of healthy fats and protein – are excellent for controlling your hunger pangs.
Another solution to hunger pangs is to simply munch and snack on fresh whole or sliced fruits of your choice. These fresh bursts of flavors are a great natural way of curbing your hunger pangs.
As an example, an assorted bowl of fruits featuring raspberries, cherries and blueberries is a healthy way to minimize your appetite. These fruits are the best form of natural sugars and can be particularly helpful when you are low on energy.
Another source of good natural sugars is apples. Surely, you’ve heard the expression, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” before – and it’s so true. Apples, which can be consumed whole or sliced, are a good source of both fiber and vitamin C.
When hunger pangs strike, have a bowl of vegetable soup or tomato soup for lunch or dinner. This is a great way to reduce hunger cravings and will give you a satisfying meal that provides loads of vitamins and minerals with negligible calories.
Even a basic 2 burner gas stove would be able to make you these soups in less than half an hour.
Eating a green salad that contains fresh green vegetables, cabbage and other produce can help to curb even the toughest of hunger pangs. However, in order to maintain a healthy diet, avoid the usage of butter or cheese, which tend to slip into many otherwise-nutritious salads.
Sandwiches are so versatile, coming in a wide selection of different varieties and tastes. A good vegetable sandwich will have your mouth watering in a jiffy.
However, care should be taken to go for brown breads instead of normal breads, as most normal breads are made from appetite-ruining all-purpose white flour.
These mini meals wrapped with tortillas or pitas and filled with savory stuffings are another great choice to curb your hunger pangs without ruining your appetite. Wraps and rolls like vegetable wraps and vegetable corn wraps are wholesome treats that can help you persevere until meal time.
Though there are many types of Indian breads to choose from, one of the best options is phulkas, which is made from wheat flour and provide vitamins and minerals for very few calories.
Listen closely to your hunger pangs and address them when necessary. While you don’t want to spoil your appetite, coming to a meal starving hungry will undoubtedly result in eating more than you intend.
Do you have a favorite way to manage your hunger pangs? Share your favorite remedies in the comments section below!