It is generally viewed that a balanced, varied diet which includes three meals per day is said to keep the body fuelled and ourselves satisfied. If the feeling of hunger ever arises between meals, we will use snacking to help us through. However, snacking can get somewhat excessive throughout the holiday season. During December, we are much more inclined to snack continuously.
Furthermore, our snacking choices at this time are less healthy. Consumers are more likely to pick sweets, pastries and cheese. Ironically, snacking can leave us feeling hungrier than when we started. Consequently, because we’re left feeling hungrier we will then eat more so the cycle continues. To help prevent this, it is best to avoid foods that could increase hunger levels and have no benefits your health.
‘Low-Sugar’ Doesn’t Equal Healthy
One main food component that should be avoided are artificial sweeteners. These are normally found in low-calorie, sugar free food alternatives. Although they may have less sugar, the sweetener substitutes aren’t necessarily a healthy option. This is because foods that are artificially sweet cause cravings for more sweet foods, thus leading to more consumption with little satisfaction. In addition to this, the inclusion of artificial sweeteners shows that food has been heavily processed and should be consumed in moderation.
Make Snacks More Substantial
Crackers and salty snacks are big culprits too. Although the former can be an ideal, low-calorie snack, they are mostly carbohydrates. As a result, they are absorbed very quickly by the body. Crackers can be made more substantial with the addition of protein such as: hummus or avocado. Salty snacks will increase thirst which is easily mistaken for hunger.
Be Careful About Alcohol Intake
Although it isn’t a food, alcohol can increase hunger. During the festive season, consumers can be more relaxed about alcohol consumption. The substance causes the brain to think that the body is starving, therefore increasing hunger.
Healthy and Satisfying Snacking
Surprisingly, there are foods that are considered to be healthy that actually increase hunger levels. Salads are a prime example. There is often a misconception that eating a salad that mainly consists of leafy greens is the healthiest option. In fact, salads with the inclusion of grains, protein and healthy fats are the healthiest and satisfying because they are balanced. If a salad is lacking if any substance it will leave you searching for extra food.
Another healthy food option people often choose are juices. There may be antioxidants and vitamins but a lack of fibre, fat or protein means that there’s nothing substantial. With the inclusion of natural sugars, the body will absorb the liquids quickly. The high sugar content will lead to a blood sugar spike, followed by a crash that’ll leaving you craving more food.
Eat Balanced and in Moderation
Eating more food during the holidays is common practice each year. Indeed, it is fun to do so, you should be aware that not all foods are filling. Consuming certain foods can increase your hunger levels and cravings for foods with high sugar and salt content. Keep these in moderation whilst maintaining a balance for your meals and other snacks.