11 Foods To Eat If You're Constantly Hungry That Are Healthy & Filling
We've all had those days that no matter how much we eat, we still don't feel satisfied. If you're someone with a hefty appetite, you're not going to want to load up on nutrient-empty foods 24/7, so it's important to know what healthy foods to eat if you're constantly hungry. Certain foods are not only more filling, but can keep you satisfied over time, and you'll want to load up on these foods instead of ones that please your appetite, but end up making you crash later on.
"Some people feel a constant sense of hunger because they are eating foods that digest quickly, like refined carbohydrates and low-fat foods, rather than filling up on satiating foods, which are rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats," says Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN of Nutritioulicious over email.
Sometimes hunger is caused by other factors like thirst or lack of sleep, but if you're truly just hungry, you might want to switch around your diet. If you are someone who constantly feels hungry, consider incorporating these 11 foods into your day.
"Nuts are an excellent source of healthy unsaturated fats and a good source of protein and fiber," says Levinson. A study from the journal Obesity (Silver Spring) found that adding walnuts to your breakfast increases satiety.
Potatoes rank the highest in satiating foods, according to research from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Eating boiled or bake potatoes with your meal can help round out your meal and keep you from getting hungry later.
"Avocados have the trio of healthy fat, fiber, and protein that gives it the staying power you need to stay full," says Levinson. "Some research shows that people report greater satisfaction following a meal that included avocados."
"Beans are rich in fiber, especially resistant starch, a type of fiber that slows the release of sugar in the bloodstream, keeping your blood sugar levels steady," says Levinson.
5. Greek Yogurt
A study from the Nestlé Nutrition Institute found that consuming dairy proteins increases satiety, reduces food intake, and keeps blood sugar steady. "Since Greek yogurt is higher in protein than regular yogurt, it will be more satiating," says Levinson.
"This stick-to-your ribs whole grain keeps blood sugar levels steady and takes longer to digest," says Levinson. A study from the Journal of American College of Nutrition found that eating oatmeal results in increased fullness and greater reduction of hunger than eating a normal cold breakfast cereal.
7. Brown Rice
Other whole grains like brown rice work the same way as oats to keep your energy levels steady. "The extra fiber helps fill you up, plus whole grains offer important vitamins and minerals that we tend to miss out on," says Isabel Maples, MEd, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics over email.
Fruits are also high in fiber, so choose options like apples, pears, bananas, and berries, which are high in the nutrient, says Levinson.
Here's another reason to load up on your morning eggs: A study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that people who ate eggs for breakfast felt more satiated and ended up eating less food later on than people who ate a bagel of the same number of calories for breakfast.
Get out the tuna salad with crackers or that salmon avocado hand roll. Fish ranks the highest on the satiety index of all protein-rich foods, including eggs and beef, according to research from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
You might think that a meal full of liquid would make you less satisfied than a solid one, but research from European Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that soups may actually be more filling than solid meals containing the same ingredients. Avoid soups that are cream-based and look for ones filled with vegetables and other high-fiber ingredients.
"Our signals for thirst and hunger can get crossed in our brains," says Maples. "We think we feel hunger when maybe we are a little dehydrated. If you suspect you haven’t been drinking enough, drink a glass of water, and then delay food for 15 to 20 minutes, to see if the extra fluid helped. If you notice that you have a headache or darker urine, drink two glasses."
To avoid hunger pangs, ditch the simple carbohydrates and reach for foods that are higher in fiber and protein instead.
Images: Pixabay (12)