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Reducing Hunger after BreakfastReducing Hunger after Breakfast


Reducing Hunger after Breakfast

A breakfast made up of simple carbohydrates causes a spike in blood sugar which is followed by a drop in blood sugar. This creates a roller coaster ride of hunger, cravings for carbohydrates, and decreased energy levels.

Simple carbohydrate breakfast items may include:

  • low-fiber sugared cereals
  • donuts
  • sweet rolls
  • muffins
  • white bagels
  • white toast with jelly
  • juices

Does that mean that you can never eat these items? Of course not. But to reduce hunger, aim for a nutrient-rich breakfast with a high satiety factor. Satiety is the ability of a meal to offer a feeling of prolonged fullness. Including fiber, fat, and protein in your meal can slow the overall release of glucose into the blood, which allows an appropriate release of insulin. This increases the overall satiety of the meal -- keeping you full longer.

High fiber, complex carbohydrates (such as whole grains) have low glycemic loads, and they are packed with vitamins and minerals. Eating these healthy carbohydrates in combination with healthy fats and lean protein further improves the satiety of the meal. For instance, choose whole-grain toast with a slice of low-fat cheese or salmon, or a whole-wheat muffin or waffle with fruit spread or almond butter.

Also try varying the size of your breakfast. For example, you may find that increasing the amount of food eaten at breakfast, and balancing this out by decreasing the amount of food eaten at dinner, more closely matches your personal hunger profile.

Experiment with various combinations until you find a variety of meals that provide you with satiety for a few hours. Remember, being hungry 3 to 5 hours after eating is normal. Individuals vary in their sensitivity to blood sugar swings so it may take some time until you find what meals provide optimal satiety for you.

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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